It's been over 3 years since Dutch progressive-metal band Textures released their last album 'Silhouettes'. Since then the band have changed two members; their keyboard player now Uri Dijk and most notably their singer who is now Daniel de Jongh, taking over from the amazing Eric Kalsbeek. It was a tough act to follow Kalsbeek who was such a versatile vocalist, who could easily change in one breath from intense vocals to clean vocal melodies bursting with emotion. Fans have waited in anticipation for 'Dualism' and the big question seems to be, does the new singer still meet the standards of the band?
In one word: Yes. Daniel de Jongh does make a noticeable difference in Dualism and it's as if the rest of the band have shaped their sound around him. As you'd expect from Textures, there are very heavy and complex parts and it's something which Jongh deals with perfectly for growls but in a more death metal vocal style. It's on the clean vocal parts however that he really shines more and the album seems to be geared towards using the most of those sounds. All in all the vocal performance is as important and impressive as anything else on the album.
In Textures previous releases you might have been familiar with longer songs but on 'Dualism', the focus seems to be more on creating well-crafted, concise songs, where the vocal performance can take more of the space at the top. That doesn't mean that there aren't great instrumental parts, but this time they are often driven alongside the vocal performance or given their own song, such as 'Foreclosure'.
This has to be Textures most concise and melodically crafted album to date. You still get all of the tasty progressive and groove orientated riffs that you are used to, but this time instrumental parts don't over stay their welcome and you can happily listen to this album as a whole on many occasions, making it a very addictive record.
If people haven't heard Textures before, this is probably the best place to start and I would suggest a listen to many progressive or metal fans, as the band can easily go under your radar due to a lack of exposure compared to other bands in the genre. Textures are a band that prove that they are more than just another Meshuggah wanna-be band and just so happen are producing some of the best progressive and metal music you could possibly hear in one package.
What makes Textures unique is that they accomplish what most bands rarely can and that's the ability to create the perfect balance of 'heavy' and 'melodic'.
'Dualism' is out now!