Released: 2004, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
There´s been much talk around this newcomer to the Dutch metal scene called Textures lately in some of the most respected (metal) magazines like Aardschok and OOR. Some have even praised Textures´s debut album, POLARS, as the best Dutch metal album ever made, so there surely must be something special in this band. So let´s just find out that, shall we...?
As far as hyping the album as “The best Dutch metal album ever made...”, well, I hardly think so if that question was asked straight from me. In my opinion that title belongs to the Dutch now defunct Death Metal pioneers Pestilence and the band´s totally fantastic 2nd album CONSUMING IMPULSE, but hey, tastes and opinions do vary. But to each of his/her own, I guess...
Textures´ playground for their brave musical efforts on POLARS cannot be categorized into any certain field of metal that easily at all. There´s lots of very technical, innovative and damn progressive elements being involved in their sound and therefore it´s quite hard to pinpoint actually whether there´s any specific genre where Textures could fit in better or worse than when comparing to this or that category amongst different genres. Maybe some sort of Progressive Metal spiced with some Thrash – and melo-Death Metal elements or something would do at least some justice to their style? Think Pink Floyd playing Thrash Metal with a really technical touch, add a weird combination of modern electronic tools into it and give it some room to breathe freely a little bit and you get an idea how these Dutch experimental metallers Textures might sound like?
Like I say already, it´s kinda hard to nail down any specific category for them where they would belong to as far as their own brand of metal is concerned, but one certain thing is already sure: Textures do something completely different on POLARS compared overall to the mainstream metal genres nowadays. The guys seem to be a bunch of damn talented musicians according to a totally complex and technical material they have recorded for their strong debut album and they seem to have all the vital strings tightly being squeezed inside their creative fists as far as all kind of uniqueness and originality of their songs are concerned. Most of the time the band sounds very entertaining and enjoyable to listen to with many groovily pounding walls of downright heavy riffs basically dominating the songs a very pleasing way indeed.
The first 6 songs on the album turn out to be a real ´ace stuff´ on POLARS, varying approximately between 3 to 5 minutes in length. But the last two tracks on their otherwise bombastic debut album release, the title track “Polars (clocking in at 18:25 minutes)” and the album´s closer song, “Heave (clocking in at 14:32 minutes) make a tiny little cut into an overall so brilliant wholeness. It needs to be admitted that both songs have many great moments in them, but the guys have unnecessarily lengthened the songs with some weird helium-filled cosmic noises (or whatever!) from the outer space instead of keeping the songs tightly inside a more accessible time frame. And that´s where their stumbling block is located as far as these two particular songs are concerned at least in my opinion. As a second irrational thought out of these two particular songs in question, I kind of started thinking seriously that I´m glad the true Prog-Rock masters Pink Floyd ever tried to expand their Prog-Rock thing into anywhere near neither Thrash Metal or nor any other metal genre. Hey, seriously...
However, Textures did impress me with POLARS a hell of a lot indeed, so I command you to check them out if a little dose of progressiveness in metal isn´t that ingredient that scares you away immediately. A very promising debut from this Dutch metal act... absolutely!!