Textures - Silhouettes
Listenable Records
Progressive Deathrash Metal
9 songs (47:28)
Release year: 2008
Textures, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat

Textures have come in for a lot of abuse over the course of their seven-year career, bearing accusations of everything from being Nu-Metal to ripping off Meshuggah, and whilst the first is utter nonsense, there’s always been more than a little of that Swedish insanity in these Dutch boys’ sound. Third full-length Silhouettes forsakes the structure of the previous two albums in favour of nine songs between the four and six minute mark, with none of Drawing Circles’ eight or Polars’ eighteen minute madness. The songs are just as packed and complex as before, although there’s a shift towards a more general, dare I say Metalcoresque, melody with plenty of moshable parts, and that’s where the troubles start.

It’s actually rather unfair to tar Textures with the ‘core toilet brush, yet if there’s any group of bands that someone au fait with the modern Metal scene will dump them with, it’s ‘core. Technical, yes, progressive, yes, with a clear sense of melody, yes, but it simply feels like a ‘core band, and so it’s little wonder that people have a hard time with them. On first listens to Silhouettes you’ll probably have the same reaction I did: that this is rather shit. It actually sounded rather disconcertingly like a cross between recent Cryptopsy and Meshuggah, albeit much better produced than the former and with less of the latter’s single-minded destruction. Give it a chance, however, and you’ll still probably think it’s shit – albeit with a diamond buried deep underneath. Opener Old Days Born Anew, for example, is probably the best song here, thrashing away gleefully and leading the listener on before twisting away in an altogether different direction. Just as the stage is set for a big Melodeathy clean-vocalled chorus, the song heads back to the chaos, gradually revealing more of the epic melody as the song progresses. It’s something like Scar Symmetry without the perfect hooks in the end, backing electronics taking the track in an atmospheric direction.

Where Old Days Born Anew, and ultimately the album, fails is in the guitar playing. The leads are wonderfully spacey and melodic, but the rhythm guitars are far too much like the downtuned Meshuggahisms that everyone knows and loves/detests. As far as I’m concerned, by trying to have the best of both worlds Textures have shot themselves in the foot – this is too unstructured and difficult for Melodic Death fans, whilst the tech-progsters out there will be bemused by the bolted-on melodies and general Meshuggah-lite feel. This isn’t to say that Silhouettes is a bad album, far from it; it’s just frustrating to listen to perfect moments like the epic melodies that pop up towards the end of The Sun’s Architect, for example, and having to sit through other songs that meander wildly and feel as if they go absolutely nowhere. The beginning of Awake, for instance, will have Devin Townsend fans squealing in joy, but after the midway point it descends into dull riffing that feels like it belongs in a completely different track.

Silhouettes ultimately doesn’t work, and I say that with regret, as someone that spent a good few hours trying to get to grips with it. There’s so much promise here, yet ultimately much is promised and little is delivered. Take Laments Of An Icarus – apart from the dreadful title, it sounds like Chimaira gone Deathcore, with nothing but some rather decent solos to recommend it. If you’re coming to Textures as the next stage in your Metallic evilution having just come off Lamb Of God, then you may well love this, and even more experienced Modern Metallists might appreciate the challenge. Just don’t try and pretend this is as good as it could have been.

Killing Songs :
Old Days Born Anew, The Sun’s Architect, State Of Disobedience
Goat quoted 64 / 100
Other albums by Textures that we have reviewed:
Textures - Dualism reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Textures - Polars reviewed by Alex and quoted 63 / 100
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