26 September 2011
by Ruth Booth
It’s the name. That’s it. Granted, there’s few better for a Textures album, with their penchant for taking threads of djent’s polyrhythmic metal and ambient sounds, and winding them ever tighter since 2003 debut Polars. You could talk about its applications to Cartesian philosophy, political theory, Yin and Yang, Thanatos and Eros, and the psychic war innate to every human being since time began. If that’s your bag.
But ‘Dualism’? It’s like Tom Waits releasing an album called Gravelly-voice Man, or Muse naming theirs Matt read this great theory about aliens in Machu Picchu. Or a Metallica record called Pissed-off Men, or Kings of Anger, or… oh. Right.
Though it’s been three long years since 2008’s Silhouettes, it’s easy to forget that ex-vocalist Eric Kalsbeek and Richard Rietdijk (synths) only left in Spring 2010. That means it took the new lineup only nine months not only to get their bromance on, but have enough written for the initial recording sessions this January. It’s been plenty. The howling chug that opens ‘Arms Of The Sea’, all lolloping gait and Daniel de Jongh’s roar tearing across it, is one heck of a middle digit to any mentions of “rush-job”.
Compared to Kalsbeek, new vocalist de Jongh (formerly of Celice) more than measures up in the versatility stakes. There’s a touch of roughness in his high notes (frighteningly, almost Chris Cornell-ish at points, a Patton-like groove at others), but some beautifully subtle moments on the likes of ‘Reaching Home’. Thankfully those great melodic anthem lines are here to stay.
That’s not to say Textures have lost any of their discordant power – ‘Stoic Resignation’ sounds anything but. Simply that it’s still how they handle the transitions that most impresses – see when ‘Burning The Midnight Oil’s acoustic-meets-electro claustrophobia hits that inspiration-at-two-o’clock-in-the-morning moment. On that note, check out those lovely dark synth-y bubbles, just one of Uri Dijk’s lovely touches on this record.
Watch the video to ‘Reaching Home’ by Textures:
And that’s the real problem with this record. It’s less a duality, more a three-way interaction of ambience, djent and anthem that makes it so satisfying. It’s also what made ‘Singularity’ such a great preview. The spiralling riffs and chiming synths, indicative of the more emotionally layered direction of this album. Sheer fury from officially the Best Dutch Guitarist 2011 (no really, it’s on Wikipedia) and producer Jochem Jacobs. Those soaring vocals. If this is how together they sound after a year and a half, the future’s looking pretty rosey.
Of course, it remains to be seen how Dijk and de Jongh will colour the future template of Textures. For now, Dualism is proof that a rose by the same name can smell just as sweet – and even have a little kick of its own.
Sounds like: Periphery, TesseracT, Rosetta, Meshuggah.
Top Tracks: Arms Of The Sea, Reaching Home, Singularity
Textures – Dualism tracklisting:
Arms Of The Sea
Black Horses Stampede
Sanguine Draws The Oath
Burning The Midnight Oil
Minor Earth, Major Skies
Sketches From a Motionless Statue