Textures – Drawing Circles

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.


1. Drive (2:26)
2. Regenesis (4:57)
3. Denying Gravity (5:15)
4. Illumination (1:56)
5. Stream of Consciousness (6:48)
6. Upwards (6:06)
7. Circular (5:13)
8. Millstone (3:42)
9. Touching the Absolute (8:07)
10. Surreal State of Enlightenment (3:49)


* Eric Kalsbeek – vocals
* Jochem Jacobs – guitars, backing vocals
* Bart Hennephof – guitars
* Dennis Aarts – bass
* Stef Broks – drums
* Richard Rietdijk – keyboards

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