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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Netherlands

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Textures biography
Formed in 2001, TEXTURES - guitarist Jochem Jacobs, guitarist Bart Hennephof, drummer Stef Broks, bassist Dennis Aarts, synth maestro Richard Rietdijk and then vocalist Pieter Verpaalen - decided that the only way to truly capture their musical manifesto was to tackle every element of creating an album themselves - from production through to artwork.

The result of these considerable efforts was TEXTURES 2003 debut "Polars", an album practically overspilling with ideas, the Dutch sextet merging the polyrhythmic attack of MESHUGGAH with DEVIN TOWNSEND influenced soaring melody and stacks of imagination to epic effect.

Received by the press both home and abroad, "Polars" was bestowed with an Essent Award for 'Most Promising Act' in 2004, TEXTURES hitting the road hot on the albums heels to rack up shows alongside the likes of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MESHUGGAH, MORBID ANGEL, MACHINE HEAD and CULT OF LUNA as well as putting in crowd leveling performances at Fury Fest and Lowlands. The band was strengthened further with the addition of Eric Kalsbeek to their ranks in place of a departed Pieter, Eric's melodic abilities adding a new dimension to the TEXTURES live show.

TEXTURES second album "Drawing Circles" (once again, self produced and self recorded) - to be released via Listenable Records - is a jaw dropping body of work that sees the sextet still frothing with rabid ambition, pushing the envelope of metal and hardcore to its limits; bending and moulding the genres into unexpected new shapes. "Drawing Circles" really is unlike anything else you're likely to hear this year - a true original in a time of repetition.

Upping the ante in heaviness and melody, "Drawing Circles" is simultaneously richer and more in your face than "Polars", its ten tracks unrestrained by boundaries, trends or conventions. So what are you waiting for? Perk up your ears, open your mind and prepare to be absorbed, intrigued, and utterly blown away.

Highly recommended for fans of complex,technical metal in the vein of MESHUGGAH.


See also:

- Exivious

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Nuclear Blast America 2012
$4.75 (used)
Nuclear Blast America 2016
$5.72 (used)
Listenable Records 2008
$10.95 (used)
Drawing CirclesDrawing Circles
Listenable Records 2006
$3.87 (used)
$4.49 (used)
Polars (10th Anniversary Edition )Polars (10th Anniversary Edition )
$12.37 (used)
Listenable Records 2011
$2.90 (used)
Double CD
Volume 1996
$1.16 (used)
Dualism by Textures (2013-02-04)Dualism by Textures (2013-02-04)
Nuclear Blast Int'l
Polars by Textures (2011-09-27)Polars by Textures (2011-09-27)
Listenable Records
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TEXTURES discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

TEXTURES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 24 ratings
3.84 | 54 ratings
Drawing Circles
3.76 | 48 ratings
3.76 | 51 ratings
3.62 | 13 ratings

TEXTURES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TEXTURES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TEXTURES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TEXTURES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Polars by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.58 | 24 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

3 stars Textures is a quite strange band from the Netherlands that mixes melodic death metal in the key of the Goteborg school with bands such as Dark Tranquillity with quite modern thrash metal parts reminding me of Bullet For My Valentine with calm progressive and ambient elements and a few technical parts that recall bands such as Meshuggah. This strange mix sounds very weird at first try and the vocals don't really help and sound like a mixture of In Flames, Bullet For My Valentine and Rise Against. They are quite variable but maybe too diversified and not unique enough.

The good thing about this record is that it is quite unpredictable and surprising and has many chilling interludes and atmospheric changes of style as in "Young Man" or the interlude "Effluent". The band is able to put a high amount of creative ideas in a short amount of time, for example inside the strong opener "Swandive". The band gets to the point and still varies a lot within the running time of five minutes of this song.

It's because of these talents and abilities that I don't get why the band put two overlong tracks in the end of their record. "Polars" is still a great song but it could have been shortened a lot and I would have preferred to listen to three different tracks instead of one good song that goes slightly nowhere and has no truly epic character whatsoever.

The strangest thing is though the final "Heave". It's a purely instrumental ambient track without much variation that sounds like a mixture of krautrock meets space ambient music. Take "Phallus Dei" from Amon Düül II minus the strange vocal noises and add Senmuth's "3923 Seconds On Mars" instead and you get an idea what this song is about. This sounds weird and it is indeed. It's not a bad experiment but it doesn't fit at all with the rest of the album and literally feels quite alien on here. This is what I call experimental at all costs and this also explains the variations in the reviews for this somewhat confusing debut album.

These guys clearly have a lot of talent and many diversified and still coherent songs. But they should focus on their strengths, improve the vocals and dose their experiments in a more logical way. Nevertheless, this album somewhat intrigued me and I'm ready to check their other records out soon. I somehow encourage their courage but they should not go too far. For fans of experimental melodic death metal, this is certainly worth to be checked out and maybe also for open-minded avantgarde and progressive fans. Anybody else should not try this out as this is a very particular effort with some odd elements and many strong points on the other side.

Originally published on on December 6th of the year 2011.

 Drawing Circles by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 54 ratings

Drawing Circles
Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Textures is one of the pleasent albums I've heared from technical progressive metal this year, even is released way back in 2006, Drawing circles is the second offer of this intresting dutch band. I like a lot the instrumental section, very solid, tight and full of energy but I'm not so keen about the vocals. The instrumental sections are very well performed,competent musicians, each one know to handle the instruments, very good drumer btw, some very intresting chops, a perfect example are the opening track , Regenesis or Stream of Consciousness , hevy parts technical most of the time with clear influence from bands like Gojira or the mighty Meshuggah. The vocal department is not my cup of tea , really is to much towards hard core kind of aproach, is not clean is not growl is something in between, a thing that I'm not so attached. Also Textures can play and compose aswell intresting technical metal/fusion music like on Touching the Absolute, the musicianship is top notch. In the end a good album for sure, why I give only 3 stars, because I think the vocal parts ruin the Textures music overall, if were all instrumental then for sure it would be better and with higher rate from me. Good band with potential in this field that needs recognition , wider then they had today.
 Polars by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.58 | 24 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Polars' - Textures (7/10)

For all too many underground metal bands, the debut album is often raw, unfocused, and in only the most optimal cases, promising enough to be sufficiently excited for the next album. While this is not the case for all bands clearly, this is a trend I have noticed, and was the presumption I had going into listening to the debut of the Netherlands progressive metal act Textures. A band that is now possibly the most innovative and adventurous act in the budding 'djent' metal scene, Textures' debut 'Polars' did not initially meet high expectations from me, but I found myself pleasantly amazed by the work this young band has done here. Although there are certainly still faults here and plenty of room left to grow, Textures provides a relevant listening experience from square one onwards.

Although Textures can be often best described as a crossroads between the styles of Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, and Gojira, the sound here is quite a bit more based in thrash metal that later albums. Although there is still the rhythmic sensibilities of Meshuggah at work here, there's generally a much higher sense of speed and aggression here, that seems to have been somewhat lost in the later work by Textures. As it is however, the band divides their effort and sound between some lighter sections in the music. Many of the more metal installments of 'Polars' can feel a bit shallow on subtlety, but they are almost always followed and countered by a more melodic, progressive section. In that sense, the album's title 'Polars' does seem to hold some real weight when describing the music.

Although not nearly as polished as its successor 'Drawing Circles', the independently produced recording of Textures' debut is quite well done, especially in terms of capturing the band's chugging aggression. Especially when it comes to the rhythm section of the band, the musicians really do the compositions justice. The songwriting of the band is also well done, although a little shaky in parts. The first six tracks on the album do feel a little short, especially when compared to the last two gigantic tracks. The highlight here is the title track 'Polars'; an eighteen and a half minute monster of a track that towers above the rest, both in terms of its musicality and scope. A perfect closer, but it is followed by a long ambient soundscape called 'Heave', which will clearly be a point of derision for many listeners. The last track contrasts the heavy, thrashing riffage of the album by providing some otherworldly soothing hums and meditation. It does feel as if it goes on quite a bit too long in the context of the album, but it does also feel mostly like a sort of exit music; an afterthought past the de facto closer; the title track. In any case, quite well done and unexpected in the context of a metal album.

A great album, although Textures would still have a few steps to take before reaching the excellence of their next two albums.

 Drawing Circles by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 54 ratings

Drawing Circles
Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Drawing Circles' - Textures (8/10)

When I was first introduced to the Dutch progressive metal act Textures, I sadly initially dismissed them as being an excellent and higher echelon Meshuggah clone, but still just that; a clone. Granted, Meshuggah has clearly had a large influence on this band as well as the entire budding 'djent' style, but as even a few minutes diving into the band's second record 'Drawing Circles' can go to suggest, there is much more to this band than I may have first given them credit for. Beautifully merging heaviness and lighter beauty, as well as strong songwriting chops and performances all across the board, Textures really sets out to impress with this prog metal opus. 'Drawing Circles' fires on all cylinders and pulls out virtually every trick in the book, and were it even a little more profound as an artistic statement, Textures may very well have boosted themselves up to the level of being masters even only with their second record.

As the opener 'Drive' starts off, 'Drawing Circles' is brought first into the fray of Textures' heavy side, before touching on any lighter elements they have to offer. Had a listener only listened to this track, they may have very well been lead to believe that the band was merely another in a legion of djent cookie cut bands, but and while the second track 'Regenesis' may follow down this route, it changes halfway into something incredibly melodic, driven by a highly expressive clean vocalist. It should also been known that should someone not be looking at the track times, it is very well possible no even to notice that a new 'song' is being played, due to the fact that Textures cleverly meshed every composition here into one running stream of music. With that in mind, there is rarely a rest from some sort of action.

Throughout the rest of this musical journey, it becomes even more clear just how dynamic and varied the sound of Textures can be; going from some moments of great aggression to even a few optimistic and peaceful passages as are heard best in 'Upwards'. The apparent enclosed mini-epic 'Touching The Absolute' shows Textures delving into some incredible jazz fusion. The entire album is bound together by the band's metal sound though, which is not completely original, but manages to get just enough of a unique spin on it to stand alone. The sound here sports some of the best production you are bound to find in metal of its kind, and the convincing direction the band takes here is only helped by their great playing abilities, which really hit hard and never pull their punches. Although evidently masterful at playing cohesively together, the lack of any particular standout moments or tracks does seem to rob the album of the same dedication that a masterpiece warrants, even if the band may have been very close with it here.

Throughout all of this quality, Textures still does not feel as if they met their potential as a playing unit. A surprisingly cohesive suite of modern metal that swerves seamlessly between anthemic melodic and gritty metalcore moments, 'Drawing Circles' comes highly recommended, even from someone that may not have had the greatest first impression of them.

 Silhouettes by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.76 | 48 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lezaza

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

 Silhouettes by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.76 | 48 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by topofsm

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.

 Silhouettes by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.76 | 48 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by mono

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!

 Silhouettes by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.76 | 48 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Drawing Circles by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 54 ratings

Drawing Circles
Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Unlike Textures' debut "Polars", this was an album I could get into almost immediately. I almost wish I had started here with their music, because I think I would have adjusted to "Polars" much more quickly. As soon as I heard the opening song, "Drive", kick into gear I knew this was going to be a roller coaster ride of an album and a big improvement on their previous effort.

The music is once again highly technical metal with a mix of crunchy, heavy riffs and melodic passages. The two big changes are in the synths and vocals however. The synths are much more frequent and are actually incorporated to make them important parts of the songs, rather than bursts of beauty every now and then. This album also has a new vocalist in Eric Kalsbeek. His vocal style is a departure from that of Pieter Verpaalen, who as I mentioned in my review of "Polars" sounded like a mix of death metal and hardcore punk vocals. Eric on the other hand sounds more like a death metal vocalist with a touch of metalcore/deathcore. His vocal style is one that I am more adjusted to and thus was not an acquired taste. He also utilizes lots of clean vocals which are very well done and they add a new aspect to the music. It allows the band to explore new ideas which I enjoy immensely.

In all this is a significant improvement on the part of Textures. The growth between this album and their debut is a major step towards them cementing themselves as major players in the modern tech/extreme metal scene. I can give this album 4 stars pretty easily.

 Polars by TEXTURES album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.58 | 24 ratings

Textures Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fans of Meshuggah, Gojira, and Strapping Young Lad: new competition has arrived.

I became aware of Textures about 6 months ago or so and, having heard a good deal of praise about them, decided to check them out. I heard comparisons to bands such as Meshuggah and Gojira and that excited me a great deal. This was my first exposure to the band and for awhile this was by far my least favorite of their 3 releases. However, it has grown on me over time.

Textures refers to themselves as avant-garde metal but except for fairly heavy use of synths, I don't see much that's avant-garde about the music. There are blast beats galore and the music is very technical. On first impressions I thought that Textures was simply another band trying to imitate some of the big names in tech/extreme metal. In reality, their music has a very unique and recognizable sound to it. The riffs tend to be very heavy and chugging but with melodic parts as well (some of which even have jazzy moments). The synths add some beauty to both aspects of the music as well. The vocals of Pieter Verpaalen sound like a mix of death metal with touches of hardcore punk to me and are probably going to be an acquired taste for most (he was replaced after this album by Eric Kalsbeek whose style is quite different).

I only have one complaint with this album. While the first 7 songs would qualify it as a 4 or 5 star album, the last song on the disc, "Heave", is a synth song that goes on for 14 1/2 minutes. While "Effluent" is also a synth song, it only lasts for a bit over 3 minutes and thus isn't long enough to wear out its welcome. I like electronic music, but hearing nothing but synth(s) going for 14 1/2 minutes wears on me very quickly. I normally skip the final track for that reason. Usually only one flawed song will warrant a 4 star rating from me, but given that this is a 56 minute album and the song in question takes up about a quarter of it, I'll have to lower my rating to a high 3 stars. I still recommend this album to fans of the bands I mentioned before, but the last song really should have been dramatically shortened.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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