Textures // Dualism
Rating: 4.5/5.0 — A double textured Dutch feast! [Stroop Waffels?! – AMG]
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU | US]
Websites: textures.com | Facebook.com/Textures | myspace.com/Textures
Release Dates: EU: 2011.09.23 | US: 09.27.2011

Textures - DualismThe guys in Textures are smart guys and they make smart metal. Their brand of metal has a lot of technicality and there’s no tediousness in their approach to song writing. So if you’re a two-digit IQ kind of listener, please don’t bother us with any dim-witted comments you may have concerning how pretentious you think these Dutch fellows sound. Textures started to blossom as a unique band with their second album Drawing Circles and they cemented their sound quite impressively with 2008’s Silhouettes. Some line-up changes brought in a new vocalist and a new keyboardist which consequently had them take three years to put out album number four but it’s one that is definitely worth the wait.

Dualism clocks in at fifty-six minutes, making it the longest record in the Textures discography. “Arms of the Sea” opens up with some staple Textures arrangements and finishes off with a brilliant riff at its end, setting a high bar for what’s to come after it. Now the guitars and the drums sound the same as they did on Silhouettes but that’s not entirely a bad thing. Dualism contains lots of high-IQ riffage and skin-pounding that will have you doing air guitar while trying to catch those intelligent ride bell accents. “Singularity” and the previously released single “Reaching Home” are a couple of examples of the astounding technicality on offer while “Stoic Resignation” and “Burning the Midnight Oil” burst with extra shots of awesomeness and stellar musicianship.

Textures 2011New vocalist Daniel de Jongh shows off his vocal command on the aforementioned album opener to put any doubts that may linger among old fans to rest. He also proves why he was the man chosen for the job more than once throughout Dualism as so starkly pointed out by that slightly hollowed-out scream on “Sketches from a Motionless Statue” which brings a strong sense of urgency to a great track. De Jongh”s vocal versatility makes the ferocity of the tracks ebb and flow on various occasions which would discourage any naysayer trying to accuse Textures of being “trendy” or “Meshuggah wannabes”; even after listening to that confusing drum beat in the first couple of minutes of “Consonant Hemispheres.”

So if you’re a tech-geek like me or someone who enjoys some amazing drumming or even a metal fan who hasn’t even heard of Textures, do yourself a favor and listen to Dualism. It will need a few spins to start showing its true color but you’ll enjoy the ride. The line-up changes haven’t had a detrimental effect on the sound of Textures; quite the contrary. It’s one of those rare albums one stumbles upon each year that masterfully balance adroit instrumentation, flexible vocals and top-notch production while exceeding the fifty minute mark without a single dull moment.