It may be hard to imagine that Textures’ debut album came out a whopping 10 years ago but that’s what happens when you’re heralded as one of the most influential bands in modern-day progressive metal and the reason why, love it or loathe it, djent exists.
But don’t be fooled; Polars isn’t a sanitised polyrhythmic free-for-all, nor it is a sonic bromance the likes of Skyharbor and Tesseract have a hook on. No, Polars – remastered and reissued with a cheeky cover of Pantera’s I’m Broken included in the digipak – is the aural version of a hyperactive bar brawl: all flailing limbs and harsh staccato vocals.
But Textures were never limited to quick-fire brutality; the painstakingly layered chunks of foreboding ambience folded into their repertoire signalled the start of something highly progressive. And this was before everything was hot-wired through Pro Tools.
Compared to 2011’s Dualism, Polars is raw and rabid, lacking sparkling clean-cut vocal melodies and stodgy Killswitch-esque emo-muscle, but at its crux is a young band of brothers exploring uncharted territory. And that in itself is quite exciting./o:p