Arguably one of the best bands ever to emerge from the fertile Dutch soil are the progressive techheads from Textures. Their debut album Polars was hailed as one of the finest metal releases in the Netherlands ever and its successor Drawing Circles was met with almost the same critical acclaim. Some say the third album is the make or break for a band, so let’s have a critical look at Silhouettes.
The first notable difference with Drawing Circles is the obvious maturity of songs like Old Days Born Anew, Awake, Laments Of An Icarus, One Eye For A Thousand and Storm Warning. All the various elements that make the typical Textures sound are better integrated than ever before. Of course the melodic parts are still influenced by Devin Towsend and the band know their Meshuggah classics when it comes to dissonant riffage and nifty time changes. However these influences are incorporated in a such a fashion that it doesn’t bother me at all.
A new aspect in the Textures amalgam is the relatively straightforward approach in their song writing. The band claim to be influenced by Pantera in that aspect. I don’t hear the musical comparison to the late Dimebag Darrel and Co, but I’ll take their word for it. It does take me to the only critical note I have on Silhouettes. Because of the ‘in your face’ approach the album lacks substance in the progressive and adventure departments. This is exactly what makes the previous two albums so appealing to me.
As with Polars and Drawing Circles the band did the production themselves. This is done with simply splendid results.
Although Silhouettes has become one of my favourite albums, I sincerely hope they will push the creative and progressive envelope further on its successor.
written by Raymond Westland