With some line-up changes having solidified and some proper funding now behind them (aka higher production values, though the band themselves once again take up residence behind the boards), Dutch outfit Textures have returned with another impressive offering. Utilizing more melody this time out, the band invoke a much broader atmospheric quality to their work which not only keeps it dynamic, but also interestingly varied as well.
Those who were introduced to Textures through their earlier work are surely familiar with the bands stranglehold on polyrhythmic ferocity and there are numerous flashpoints throughout this record where these gentlemen eagerly tighten that grasp. But for every sustained scream and Meshuggah-styled outburst, there now seems to be a period where the band catch their breath with a contemplative, sometimes borderline prog (or even jazz) melody.
Attempting to compliment many of these forays are some rather emphatic cleanly sung parts - though this is perhaps the bands biggest pitfall. These vocal parts sadly don't pack all that much power and seem a bit flat and heavy handed in comparison to the immersive instrumentation. There is also a tendency to stretch these moments out to the point where they flounder (see "Touching The Absolute") and lack the energy of the more diverse aggression shown elsewhere.
Whatever the case may be though, "Drawing Circles" rarely hits a full stride as the band often get lost in their own indulgent world or simply don't offer enough at once to entirely satisfy. They readily have all these amazing elements available and yet struggle to string them together into one rivetingly cohesive package. Everything just feels a bit too timid and displaced to put them in the category of greatness they could easily reach, which more or less means it just may be time for an actual producer to enter the fold.
(3.5 / 5)