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Textures - Dualism (Album Review)

Monday, 03 October 2011 Written by Ben Bland
Textures - Dualism (Album Review)

Dutch metallers Textures have a right to feel a little frustrated at recent trends in metal. Although they are now being lumped in with the ‘djent’ scene that has recently exploded across the heavy world, Textures are really a far more important band in the evolution of modern metal than they are given credit for.

ImageHaving formed over a decade ago, the band are, if not exactly progenitors of the aforementioned Meshuggah inspired scene, then at least an important part of its initial wave and should be credited as such. This is especially true considering that they have far more originality and, indeed, individuality than ninety percent of the bands they are often put next to on the page. They have also progressed noticeably with each album, to the point that 2008’s 'Silhouettes' was packed full of so many ideas that it was hard to keep track of at times. With 'Dualism' the ideas are all there again, with new ones to boot. The main difference this time is that now Textures are in full flow. This is music that is technically complex and unique but also makes for easy listening.

The increase of hummable melodies is primarily responsible for this. The naggingly catchy 'Reaching Home' may use the same riff throughout its, possibly slightly over-lengthy, five minute running time, but that doesn’t stop making it one of the most enjoyable songs that Textures have written to date. This is in no small part due to the charismatic vocal stylings of new boy Daniel de Jongh. Replacing the impressive Eric Kalsbeek, the former CiLiCe frontman proves himself to be a highly versatile and delightfully entertaining frontman over the course of this record. His clean singing in particular is impressive, although his growls compete with the best when they are utilised.

Musically much use is still made of the math metal polyrhythms the band are known for, but they now feel less central to the overall sound. 'Black Horses Stampede' has elements of Mastodon’s distinctive guitar style whilst post-rock influences crop up throughout. Even the heaviest moments here have a brightness that previous Textures records have lacked. As well as being down to the musical composition of the album, this is also partly due to the excellent production job by guitarist Jochem Jacobs. The keyboard contributions of Uri Dijk, another new man, are also important in creating the odd soothing soundscape to contrast with the heavier moments.

Overall, in fact, this is an unusually tranquil work for that of an ‘extreme’ metal band. Textures may not be radio friendly but their take on experimental modern metal should, with any justice, make one hell of a gateway into the heavy underbelly of the guitar music world. 'Dualism' is an enthralling album that will have you singing along as well as banging your head.  
'Dualism' is out now on Nuclear Blast records. Textures tour the UK with The Ocean in November and December 2011.  

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