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Textures - Polars CD (album) cover

POLARS

Textures

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.60 | 23 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Polars" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch progressive/technical metal act Textures. The album was released through Listenable Records in 2003.

The music on "Polars" features elements from both the melodic Swedish Göthenburg death/thrash metal style (especially Soilwork comes to mind) and the more technical/experimental hybrid extreme metal style played by acts like Meshuggah, Gojira and Strapping Young Lad. The music features both melodic death/thrash metal riffing and more technical chugging riffs. In addition to those styles there are also a few jazzy Holdsworthian solo parts on the album (Similar to those played by Meshuggah). The vocals are both aggressive, sneering and screaming but you´ll find the occasional clean vocal section too. There are a few weak moments with the clean vocal sections but they are generally enjoyable. The extreme vocals are powerful and intense.

There are some really intense and aggressive songs on the album like the powerful opener "Swan Dive" (I love the blast beat section which reminds me a bit of good old Defleshed) and the even more aggressive "The Barrier". Both "Ostensibly Impregnable" and "Young Man" are also very enjoyable tracks which vary between heavy thrashy riffing and more melodic parts. "Transgression" is also in that style but has a mellow section in the middle with some sax. "Effluent" is an ambient song and it works like an intro to the centerpiece and highlight of the album which is the 18:25 minute long title track. It´s quite the intriguing and powerful song. The song features all the elements that make "Polars" such a great album. Beautiful melodic and atmospheric parts, thrashy riffing and great vocal work. The album ends with the almost 15 minutes long ambient "Heave". Not exactly the most interesting way to end the album, but as long as it closes the album I can skip it when I´m not in the mood.

The musicianship is excellent. Sharp and edgy playing from all involved. I´m especially fond of the drumming style of Stef Broks. He is an exceptionally skilled drummer to my ears.

The production is strong and suits the music perfectly. Very metallic sounding and raw. Don´t expect organic sounds here.

"Polars" is overall a very strong debut release and while there are a couple of compositional elements on the album that are a bit imature, "Polars" is a professional sounding release that is recommended to fans of Meshuggah, Gojira and Strapping Young Lad. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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