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This review is from: Drawing Circles (Audio CD)
The first thing you notice about Drawing Circles is that Textures have changed their vocalist. The old vocalist was a bit lifeless and had no character, this new vocalist adds a vast amount to the band. Most notably a bigger character and a better voice, when both screaming and clean.
The music hasn't changed much at all though. They're still operating on the edge of metal and hardcore and use awkward rhythmic devices not unlike pioneers Meshuggah. Drawing Circles has a lot more melody in it than Polars, the previous album, simply because this new guy can actually sing and they're, wisely, making use of it. Clean singing in metal/hardcore it still a bit of a taboo really. Metalheads are scared of appreciating it just in case it turns out to be emo and emo fans are just stupid anyway for liking emo. Because of the emphasis on melody this time there don't seem to be as many catchy or at least discernable riffs like there were on the first record. This doesn't mean there aren't any however, `Denying Gravity' is a fantastic riff, `Millstone' is just mad and the opening section of `Stream of Consciousness' is a lesson in technical thrash.
There was something puzzling me to what separates the two albums and why this new one sounds more ordinary and I think I've figured it out. Polars was self released and self produced and it did sound good but the production was recogniseable becasue ot wasn't a professional job. Drawing Circles benefits(?) from a professional run-of-the-mill production job and now they sound like everyone else. Plus the vocalist, whilst being a lot better, has the usual hardcore/metal screamy voice, the old singer had a limited voice but it was unique. These elements have taken away some of the original appeal of Textures, now they do sound like everyone else. The songwriting and quality of the musicianship though, puts them up there with the best in their field, alongside The Red Chord, The Acacia Strain, Poison The Well etc. They have more subtlety and ideas than those guys though, which probably puts them higher still.
A good record that will probably make quite a few top ten lists but by no means make number 1.