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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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4 stars Edit: While this is a good album, over some more time, I don't think it's quite a masterpiece, as some of the pieces feel a bit too samey. However, this is a still a worthwhile tech/extreme album to check out.

This is finally the album that I was hoping Textures would release. "Drawing Circles" had shown us what kind of potential the band has in them and I firmly believe they've finally realized that potential with this release.

"Silhouettes" is still the same brand of fairly technical death metal that Textures has provided us with in the past, but this is by far their most melodic album so far. What we saw in bits and pieces on "Drawing Circles" has come together to form full songs. Eric Kalsbeek also utilizes his clean vocals much more frequently ("Awake" and "Messengers" stand out the most). The synths also have a much more powerful punch to their sound, even more so than previously, but still add the same beauty that makes the music of Textures so captivating. This is also probably the most accessible release from them to date because of how melodic this album is. But at the same time, it's still quite brutal music. Really, this release is more of everything Textures is great at doing with more melody and intensity.

I think that with this release, Textures affirmed my beliefs that they're on their way to the upper crust of the new wave of tech/extreme bands. Another release as good as this and hopefully people will start talking about them more. With an album as amazing as "Silhouettes" sounds, I have to give this a 5 star ranking. I really can't find any fault with this album and tech/extreme fans should get themselves acquainted with this fabulous release.

Report this review (#219891)
Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4+ ooooh... if you can, go buy this album and don't read this review. If you can't right now, here goes. This album buy Textures carries one of the most achieved sounds we can here today. This band from Holland have one of the cleanest, most polished sounds in extreme metal today. Powerful, subtle, NEW! Unlike Hacride, their structuring is more comprehensible and more strict. So a certain coherence and flow take you through the album and you will have gone through have of it without realizing. They also achieve the challenge of blending pop vocals and passages with technical madness without bothering your ear a single bit. I simply hope the established equilibrium won't be degraded.

Still, there a few reasons why this album isn't a masterpiece: - The band can achieve much more (that's not really a reason, but once you see that, you "think less" of the album...) - Doesn't stand the test of time very well (like a Mastodon or a Cynic album to me...) - For now, the originality is not completely deployed, I would say it's mostly in the sound.

Excellent album, and the next should be even better!

Report this review (#231073)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Textures offered up a chunk of good work with their release Silhouettes. Of course, it is pretty standard for Tech metal, but it's still interesting a lot of the time.

Many people point to them as a clone of Meshuggah. Their influences from Meshuggah are certainly very apparent, as their songwriting style, with extremely syncopated or odd-timed guitar chugs playing along with technical drums with harsh vocals behind. Of course, Silhouettes is certainly a lot more melodic than any release by Meshuggah ever, and sometimes there are simply bursts of melodic atmospheres and clean singing that envelope the listener.

If there's another band that Textures also sounds similar to it would have to be the non prog metalcore act Killswitch Engage, if only in terms of vocals. The vocals are dissimilar to Jens Kidman's thrashy growl, and closer to Howard Jones' more hardcore screams in KSE, and the melodic and emotional singing in the more harmonious parts sound extremely close to each other.

As for the standout tracks, there isn't much for variety in Silhouettes. Certainly, there is a lot of switching between abrasive metal assaults and lush melodic washes, but the switches occur in most of the songs. Most of the riffs are pretty immemorable as well, though the relentless snare attacks with prominent triplets and unusual pick scrapes in the guitar in "Laments of an Icarus" is certainly a cool riff that while not particularly catchy is memorable, especially after the album is over. "Messengers" is also nice for being a very soft track, a sort of ballad when compared to the rest of the songs.

All in all, Silhouettes is a good effort by an excellent and talented band that has much potential. Although they've come out with two albums before this they are relatively unknown, but there's still the possibility of them becoming among the forefront of technical metal. Keep an eye on them.

Report this review (#231777)
Posted Saturday, August 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars When I saw the amount of reviews on this record I must say I was surprised. I mean, haven't "Silhouettes" and Textures been around for quite some time now? I remember when "Drawing Circles" was released, it was all the rage in most metal magazines I read at the time(not that many, I admit). But the few here on progarchives who give "extreme"(God, I hate that title so much) metal a proper glance and review it seem to be more focused on the older, classic acts of tech and progressive metal. The newcomers somehow elude the spotlight.

Then again, is "Silhouettes" really an album to sing praises for? Unlike their previous record "Drawing Circles" this one takes an even bigger step in the direction of Meshuggah's polyrhythmical metal, bordering on what is bearable at times. Now this is coming from someone who generally dislikes this brand of metal, so if you love the style of Meshuggah or similar acts I definitely think that you should give Textures a spin or two.

They have branded their musical style "polyrhythmical metal" and unlike "Drawing Circles" where it was intertwined in the music, serving obvious musical purposes, on "Silhouettes" I get the impression they are smearing the polyrhythms there for show, because I cannot for the life of me see how the rhythmics could be considered anything but tasteless on most of the songs("Laments of an Icarus" is a perfect example).

But when the band shines they do so brightly indeed. There are some truly brilliant songs and moments on the album, so while it does not win any extra points for originality and taste it sure does make up for it in spades with either musicianship, power or melody.

Something well worth noting as well is that Textures features one of my favorite voices in metal at the moment, so if you're looking for a great vocalist or are a vocalist yourself who is looking for inspiration, listening to Kalsbeek's will not leave you disappointed.

Silhouettes is a lot like sequels tend to be; it follows one of the better extreme(ugh) metal albums of the early millennium and is bigger, faster and more complex than its predecessor. Yet bigger is not always better and the album looses a lot of soul and passion in its choice to put further emphasis on its progressive and technical side.

A great album for fans of the genre! 3/5

Report this review (#251862)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permalink

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