Textures
Silhouettes

If you’ve heard Textures’ debut Polars or their stellar sophomore effort Drawing Circles, then you more or less know what to expect from their third release. Or do you? Silhouettes may very well be a coming of age for this talented outfit. If you’ve read the buzz about this album then you know Textures don’t really mind flaunting their influences. This album is a veritable Meshuggah and Devin Townsend love child. But don’t let that bother you, Silhouettes can hold its own against anyone.

First off, let’s cut the Meshuggah wannabe/clone/poser bullshit. Staccato, disjointed, poly-rhythmic metal part of their language. Do you blame them for being influenced by one of the most groundbreaking bands in metal? So forget the language and listen to what they’re saying. After hearing opener Old Days Born Anew” for the first time, it became clear that I was about to be blown away by more than just technical prowess. There’s a moment when their constricted and calculated brand of metal opened up to this spacious, grandiose style (led by Eric Kalsbeek’s superb clean vocals). Fortunately, they recreate this duality all over the album and it never sounds two dimensional, forced or formulaic.

I think the highlight of this album for me is the songwriting. They manage to flow effortlessly through a song and always keep it interesting. They also take their time, which I really respect. Take second track “The Sun’s Architect” for instance. Menacing and seething riffs pummel you until somehow you’re listening to Kalsbeek sing like Michael Buble and you have no idea how you got there. But it’s awesome. And then before you know it, you’re back to being hammered in the chest with chunks of guitar and kick drum.

“Awake” is probably one of my favorite tracks off this album. The opening couple of minutes is absolutely astounding to me. Yes, it does sound a lot like Devin Townsend, but I’d consider that a compliment more than anything. And it’s not long before you’re being pummeled with more meaty, syncopated riffs. “Storm Warning” is another highlight, once again proving their mastery of songwriting. The last couple minutes are just bathed in drama, the kind you can’t ignore. “Messengers” is a moody trek through less brutal territory, led mostly by Kalsbeek’s emotional singing. The last track “To Erase A Lifetime” ends the album with true fireworks. They seemed to be saving some of the best stuff for last.

All in all, it’s hard to be dissapointed by this beast. The album definitely has highs and lows (“One Eye For A Thousand” did little that really interested me, despite some cool southern riffing) but the highs are stellar. So give this album a shot. There’s a lot of really good stuff going on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
January 6th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Polars passed me by but you’ve convinced me to give this one a listen (and perhaps return to that one as well). Great review.


  2. Commented by: axiom

    Yeah. If they possess the killer chops, and great songwriting, then I gotta get familiar with them.


  3. Commented by: Sandwiches

    this band is legit. Love this fucking cd


  4. Commented by: STIFFY

    Polars was amazing. Liked the old singer better just cause this seems to be soilworkish. However, they are very talented. Polars also had a lot of horns in it. Big long breaks with jazz sax and shit happening. That release was the best to me.


  5. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Compared to the experimental nature of “Polars” this album sounds much more straightforward (especially since their second album Drawing Circles was also more straight ahead-the new one feels kind of like a continuation of that).

    I like this one a lot though, still very technical, while being catchy and very sing-worthy in places.

    Definately in my top 10 for 2008.


  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Mmm I can vouch for these guys’ technical ability but for some reason their music just doesn’t grab me. I’d much rather listen to Hacride or Coprofago if I’m in Meshuggah mode.


  7. Commented by: Cynicgods

    No mmm was supposed to be in my previous post. I was prolly thinking of lasagna or something. :D


  8. Commented by: Anxiety Hangover

    This is a weak, watered-down version of Meshuggah. I’ll listen to Meshuggah.


  9. Commented by: vegard

    great band, so-so album imho. go see them live if you have the chance!


  10. Commented by: Stiffy

    Man, what happened to Coprofago? I forgot about them.


  11. Commented by: Belgarath

    As far as I know they’re still active and about to tour Europe. Still waiting on that new album…


  12. Commented by: E. Thomas

    New one is awesoome


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