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Textures Polars album cover
3.57 | 24 ratings | 5 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swan Dive (5:09)
2. Ostensibly Impregnable (3:21)
3. Young Man (3:59)
4. Transgression (4:20)
5. The Barrier (2:55)
6. Effluent (3:12)
7. Polars (18:25)
8. Heave (17:04)

Total Time 58:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Jochem Jacobs / guitars, vocals
- Stef Broks / drums
- Bart Hennephof / guitars
- Richard Reitdijk / synthesizers
- Dennis Aarts / bass
- Pieter Verpaalen / vocals

Releases information

CD Listenable #58 (2004)
CD The End #559 (2004)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TEXTURES Polars ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TEXTURES Polars reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Polars" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch progressive/technical metal act Textures. The album was released through Listenable Records in 2003.

The music on "Polars" features elements from both the melodic Swedish Göthenburg death/thrash metal style (especially Soilwork comes to mind) and the more technical/experimental hybrid extreme metal style played by acts like Meshuggah, Gojira and Strapping Young Lad. The music features both melodic death/thrash metal riffing and more technical chugging riffs. In addition to those styles there are also a few jazzy Holdsworthian solo parts on the album (Similar to those played by Meshuggah). The vocals are both aggressive, sneering and screaming but you´ll find the occasional clean vocal section too. There are a few weak moments with the clean vocal sections but they are generally enjoyable. The extreme vocals are powerful and intense.

There are some really intense and aggressive songs on the album like the powerful opener "Swan Dive" (I love the blast beat section which reminds me a bit of good old Defleshed) and the even more aggressive "The Barrier". Both "Ostensibly Impregnable" and "Young Man" are also very enjoyable tracks which vary between heavy thrashy riffing and more melodic parts. "Transgression" is also in that style but has a mellow section in the middle with some sax. "Effluent" is an ambient song and it works like an intro to the centerpiece and highlight of the album which is the 18:25 minute long title track. It´s quite the intriguing and powerful song. The song features all the elements that make "Polars" such a great album. Beautiful melodic and atmospheric parts, thrashy riffing and great vocal work. The album ends with the almost 15 minutes long ambient "Heave". Not exactly the most interesting way to end the album, but as long as it closes the album I can skip it when I´m not in the mood.

The musicianship is excellent. Sharp and edgy playing from all involved. I´m especially fond of the drumming style of Stef Broks. He is an exceptionally skilled drummer to my ears.

The production is strong and suits the music perfectly. Very metallic sounding and raw. Don´t expect organic sounds here.

"Polars" is overall a very strong debut release and while there are a couple of compositional elements on the album that are a bit imature, "Polars" is a professional sounding release that is recommended to fans of Meshuggah, Gojira and Strapping Young Lad. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Review by horsewithteeth11
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.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Latest members reviews

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 part ... (read more)

Report this review (#808897) | Posted by kluseba | Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fans of Progressive Metal listen up- This is a very heavy album with many layers. If you enjoy Meshuggah- you should really check this out- many will say that Textures tries to sound like them- but I feel they have a sound all their own. Yes- they are in the same category "Math Metal" if you w ... (read more)

Report this review (#105323) | Posted by Drew | Tuesday, January 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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