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Textures - "Drawing Circles" (CD)

Textures - "Drawing Circles" CD cover image

"Drawing Circles" track listing:

1. Drive
2. Regenesis
3. Denying Gravity
4. Illumination
5. Stream of Consciousness
6. Upwards
7. Circular
8. Millstone
9. Touching The Absolute
10. Surreal State of Enlightenment

Reviewed by on March 25, 2007

"the band has had a clear desire to achieve perfection"

There aren’t many bands that can say they blew the international metal community’s minds with their very first album. Textures, with their debut ‘Polars’, did just that. Now they’ve released the follow-up, 2006’s ‘Drawing Circles,’ with which the Dutch tech-metallers have gone above and beyond their previous effort. With a fresh vocalist and a fresh song theology, Textures have proven that even the best can improve.

Drawing Circles is the debut album for the bands’ new vocalist, Eric Kalsbeek, after the departure of Pieter Verpaalen. Eric brings to the table an incredible range of emotion, from soaring clean vocals to aggressive growling reminiscent of Jens Kidman. Musically, the band combine the rhythmic mayhem of Meshuggah with evidences of Devin Townsend stylings to create a brutal yet atmospheric deliverance. While Drawing Circles is more vicious than its precursor, it isn’t quite as wild as Polars, and doesn’t continue the ambient passages of the debut. However the songs are more instrumental, and a higher degree of structure is apparent. Each song on the album is perfectly suited to the others and, as Eric put it, “You shouldn’t listen to this record on shuffle, because that makes it sound less good.” Drawing Circles focuses more on the song as a whole, rather than the song as a way to interweave as many experimentations as possible, which helps the band convey clearly the concept inherent in the album; humankinds’ desire to achieve perfection. The album itself is an icon for its own concept, using its own characteristics to denote the message it portrays – with Drawing Circles, the band has had a clear desire to achieve perfection.

Drawing Circles gains utter attention right from the outset, with 'Drive' opening our eyes for almost a minute before Eric kicks in with a blisteringly metal “We don’t need a saviour to be saved.” The attitude of the band is openly displayed in this track. 'Denying Gravity' was inspired by Dimebag Darrel, the riffs drawing away from Meshuggah and closing in on Pantera for five minutes of full-fledged fury. Lyrically, the song suggests that we must keep on moving forward. 'Stream of Consciousness' was written in exactly that style, as used by English author Virginia Wolf, without any revision or alteration. 'Upwards' is a six-minute intro to the second half of the record, and contains close vocal similarities to 'Touching The Absolute', though the melodies do vary. 'Touching The Absolute' is the longest track, with a running time of just over 8 minutes, and sums up the feel of the album. Drawing Circles ends with a slightly under 4 minute instrumental outro that reminds us of how intense the musicianship of the band can be, especially taking into consideration the fact that the band records and produces their music themselves in a studio they built in their attic. There may well be no such thing as perfection, but that certainly hasn’t stopped Textures from striving to achieve the impossible.

Highs: A higher degree of structure to musicianship gives Drawing Circles a clarity that was missing in Polars

Lows: No single song can be listened to without a resulting need to listen to the whole album, in order. I'm still not sure if that is a bad thing or not.

Bottom line: With everyone else raving about Textures, perhaps it's about time you picked up a copy of 'Drawing Circles'

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)