Apr 292016

Textures - Phenotype - Artwork


(TheMadIsraeli returns to NCS with a review of the new album by Textures.)

So what’s the result when a long-running, respected force in metal makes an album after the man who was thought to be their mastermind leaves?

Phenotype is Textures best record since Silhouettes without a doubt in my mind. If I have any complaint, it’s that the band didn’t use this rush of inspiration to write even more material, the album having only having nine tracks on it of varying lengths. Those nine songs however, are dynamic, diverse, and intense in a way the music definitely was not on their previous record Dualism, which, despite my enjoying it, was definitely stagnating a bit. Continue reading »

Jan 092012

This is Part 15 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

This list has included quite a lot of variety so far, which in part is a reflection of the diversity of my own tastes and in part a reflection of the tremendous variety available in metal today. But there’s one sub-genre that hasn’t yet made an appearance. I hate to even use the word, because it’s already getting a bad name in some quarters, due to the saturation of the style by a flood of bands and bedroom projects who seem to believe that atonal Meshuggah-style riffing played with a bit of technical flash is all that’s needed to create a “song”.

I suppose we should have seen that coming, since the label for the sub-genre originated as nothing more than a name for the representative sound or tone made by an appropriately down-tuned guitar. But of course, much more is needed than start-stop pneumatic riffing and polyrhythmic complexity to create something memorable — and infectiousness is what this list is all about. The two songs I’m adding to the list today have got that quality.


TheMadIsraeli reviewed this band’s wonderful 2011 album Dualism here, and followed that with an interview here. Like him, I’ve been a Textures fan for a long time — they have yet to disappoint me. Back before that “djent” label went viral, I thought of Textures as a “math metal” band, but even that label was too restrictive. They’ve always had a talent for constructing songs that were not only rhythmically complex and physically jolting, but memorably melodic. Continue reading »

Nov 202011

Nah, just kidding. I didn’t really see you naked this weekend. I just wanted to get your attention. And by the way, those of you who felt a little thrill at the idea of me seeing you naked, please don’t send me photos of you in the nude; I’m pretty sure you’re the ones I do NOT want to see naked.

What I did see were new videos that I thought were worth sharing. Still catching up on what I missed while on vacation, I found:

  • A new official video from Chthonic for the song “Quell the Souls in Sing Ling Temple” from the band’s latest album, the excellent Takasago Army (reviewed at NCS here); it was posted to YouTube on November 17 (thanks to TNOTB for this one)
  • A video of Textures performing “Consonant Hemispheres” on Dutch television on November 18; the song is from the band’s 2011 album Dualism (reviewed at NCS here)
  • A video of Vader performing “I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul” at a club in Liverpool, England, on November 10; the song is from Vader’s latest album Welcome To the Morbid Reich (reviewed at NCS here)
  • “A new fan-filmed video of Italy’s Hour of Penance performing a scorching new song called “Sedition Through Scorn” (posted on November 15)
  • “A new video for the song “Dagger” from Vildhjarta’s new album Masstaden, which hasn’t yet been reviewed at NCS — but will be soon; I’m putting this one last because the site that’s streaming it hasn’t devoted enough bandwidth to make this thing play reliably

All these videos are available after the jump. Get naked and watch them. Continue reading »

Nov 062011

(Ramblings from TheMadIsraeli . . .)

Until yesterday, I’d been a bit scarce around NCS recently, mainly due to illness, school being fucking lame, and the well being rather dry in terms of good shit for me to review.  I’ve only got five major reviews on the horizon that I give a damn about at the moment — VallenfyreDemisery, Vildhjarta, Vektor and Ever Forthright.  So as you probably guessed, this ain’t none of that reviewin’ shit.  Instead I’m gonna just talk.  Talk about stuff within metal, within the scenes, share my thoughts.

I figured a good start would be to talk about this djent thing.  I just reviewed a djent album in Uneven Structure’s Februus (here), and two of my above-mentioned choices for future reviews, Vildhjarta and Ever Forthright, are also djent bands.  I know that before I hopped on board with NCS they covered Ever Forthright quite a bit here, though Vildhjarta not so much.  Fuck, part of the reason I think I was picked up to write for NCS was to be the designated “djent guy”, since it was an interest of mine outside the tastes I shared with the other writers.  So I thought, finally, I might try to collect my thoughts about djent. Continue reading »

Oct 142011

(Textures‘ new album Dualism has been making quite an impact. We sure as hell liked it here at NCS, as reflected in TheMadIsraeli’s review. Now TheMadIsraeli follows that up with this interview of the band.)

Hello there! First off, how are you all doing today? I’m honored to even be doing an email interview with you guys, you’ve been one of my favorite bands since Drawing Circles.

Hi! Very good! We just got back from the USA tour these days, so life is turning back to normal again, getting used to the European rhtyhm again, and we’re preparing for the upcoming release shows.

I’m curious to hear from you guys, how does it feel to be on your 4th album now?

It feels natural haha, it’s just what we like to do! Time flies when you are having fun! We are very proud when we look back at all the 4 albums, and if we had to do it again, we would have done it the same way i think.

So you’ve just wrapped up the Frak The Gods tour. In hindsight, how did you enjoy the tour and what were your favorite or favorites of the three other bands on the bill? I know you guys love The Contortionist for example.

Yeah that band has really amazed us, it’s a great live band, and their sound and set was ultra steady, each night! I must say i didn’t know them before this tour, so for me it was a double surprise, just awesome to watch, every night. And great guys as well! Periphery and the Human Abstract are fun to watch too, great musicians!

Continue reading »

Sep 262011

(TheMadIsraeli provides a glowing, detailed, review of the new album from Textures, and following that we’ve got the album’s first official music video and more tracks to hear.)


This album I highly anticipate will alienate some longtime fans of this band who were expecting a Silhouettes part two.  Dualism lives up to its name — in fact, I was surprised by how much it honors the name on so many levels. Everything on this album is about balance.  Elements are so evenly distributed in their use that it makes the album unusually well-rounded.

Let’s get one thing straight at the outset: Textures isn’t djent. Textures is progressive groove metal, and this album proves it.  It includes songs that really weave hill-and-valley-laden sonic tapestries that take the listener on a journey, sometimes in durations as short as under three minutes.  This is an album that means business, a mission statement by a band really trying to put out the definitive word that they are playing their own game with their own set of rules and always have been. This album simply makes it official.

Duality begins innocently enough. Opener “Arms Of The Sea” starts out with an ominous dissonant lead, building the tension into a mammoth sludge riff filled with dark, southern swagger.  This may be the catchiest riff Textures have ever written, no lie.  The song lumbers on at its methodical pace, an odd choice for an album opener to be sure, but so effective once it clicks with you.  It’s got heavy parts, pretty parts, ascending build-ups and descending crescendos, diverse vocal delivery all over the map, and top-notch tasteful drumming by master of the kit Stef Broks. In retrospect, this song serves as a good summation of the album as a whole, although it may not seem so at first. Continue reading »

Sep 032011

It’s Labor Day Weekend, August is a thing of the past, and as some people count it, summer is over. School is on the verge of resuming for people still attempting to educate themselves, and a ton of new metal tours are looming on the horizon for the fall. And of course, the fall will be filled with new album releases, too. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album before August, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. And feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

Aug 182011

On August 3, Dutch metal band Textures released the first song from their new album (“Singularity”), which we declared to be fucking good pancake. Now the band have premiered yet another new song called “Reaching Home”. Like the first one, it comes from the forthcoming Dualism album.

I have mixed feelings about this song. On the one hand, the instrumental part of the song is cool, anchored by the complex Meshuggah-connected rhythms that are a large part of Textures’ signature sound. And you won’t be surprised to hear that the song has an infectious melody, too, because that’s also a big part of this band’s style.

On the other hand, there are no harsh vocals in the song at all, and there’s not much of a metal edge to it either. As drummer Stef Broks candidly told REVOLVER magazine, it “sounds like a direct assault to the rock charts,” and may remind people of Tool, Depeche Mode, and U2. Perhaps that’s why the song is premiering on the REVOLVER web site (cuz, seriously, REVOLVER hasn’t been metal in a long time).

On the third hand, as Brok also said, it may also remind people of Devin Townsend, and I get that connection, too. There’s a dreamy ambience to the song that is appealing, and the appeal may grow if I listen to it more. If you’d like to listen, GO HERE (I can’t yet embed the song).

Dualism will come out on September 23 in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, and on September 27 in North America.

Aug 032011

I usually try to put some thought into the headlines for NCS posts (usually about 30 seconds of thought), instead of just writing, “HEY MUTHAFUCKAZ, THIS NEW SONG RULEZ!” For this post, the title just typed itself. As for what it means, those who know, know. Those who don’t need to bone up on their Finnish idioms.

This morning, I have three new songs that qualify as fucking good pancake. The first one, which is the subject of this post, comes from Dutch progressive tech-metallers Textures. They’ve released the first taste of new music from their forthcoming album Dualism. The track is called “Singularity,” and you can hear it on the band’s Facebook page by pressing the “Like” box (I don’t yet have an embeddable copy of the track — when I do, I’ll update this post to add it here for those who aren’t FB nerds).

The song is fucking good pancake. I am liking the dominant riff very much. It is a slightly off-kilter series of hammer blows. I am liking the harsh vocals and tolerating the clean ones. I am liking the rhythmic changes and instrumental progressions in the song’s mid-section. I am liking the propulsive drum fills. I am liking the floating melodies (though not liking them as much as on “Awake”). But mainly, I am liking that dominant Meshuggah-style riff. Fucking good pancake. Go listen to it, won’t you?

Nuclear Blast will be releasing the album’s first official single, “Reaching Home,” on August 19. Dualism will come out on September 23 in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, and on September 27 in North America. (a bit more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 312011

(Our man Israel Flanders has a few words and musical teasers for the forthcoming albums by Textures, Evile, and Revocation, plus his plans for upcoming reviews.)

Alright, I decided it was time to do one of these “post random shit” deals.  Mostly stuff I personally care about, but things you all might be interested in, too.

If you aren’t aware of who Textures are, I’d wager you’ve been under a rock for some time.  One of the very first djent bands to emerge after Meshuggah, these guys, I would dare have the nerve to assert, have more to do with modern djent as we understand it than Meshuggah does. With their unique brand of polyryhthmic grooving, clean ambience, and a history that has included two obscenely talented vocalists in their fold (ex-vocalist Eric Kalsbeek) and now ex-CiLiCe vocalist Daniel De Gogh, Textures has made their mark in a way that can’t be ignored.

Their new album Dualism arrives in September, and I’m absolutely psyched.  After the jump, I’m including the three studio reports released for this album, as the song clips included in these sound really awesome.  Also below is a VERY GOOD high quality video of Textures playing one of the new songs live. Continue reading »