So, thinking back to when I first heard this band prior to this album, I absolutely loved Polars sans the singer’s brash and high-pitch scream vocal style. When this album was released, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it initially because – as others have noted – the Textures you get on Polars isn’t the Textures you get on Drawing Circles… but that certainly isn’t a bad thing at all!
The major difference between Polars and Drawing Circles is composition. Where Polars was more experimental and progressive, Drawing Circles is refined and centers its focus on composition and an even flow of mature song writing. Likewise, the singer on this album is WORLDS better than the singer on Polars, in my humble opinion! The vocals on this album are absolutely perfect for my personal taste. Some people are comparing his style to Phil Anselmo as if it’s a negative thing. The heavy vocals are comparable to Phil, but this guy has much more range and creativity. Likewise, this guy’s clean vocals blow Phil’s out of the water. There’s no comparison there.
Musically, this album is far less experimental than Polars but like I said, this album makes up for it in absolutely brilliant composition and very mature song writing. That’s not to say there aren’t experimental ideas on this album at all, because there certainly are. Production of this album is leaps and bounds better than Polars.
This album is aggressive, brutal, ambient and beautiful all wrapped up into one. The first time you hear Regenesis and you get to the bridge, you’re like, “what the…!?” Something else I love about this album that kind of annoys me about Polars is the lack of unnecessarily long synth passages. If you want to hear a complex polymetric passage on this album, check out Denying Gravity about 15 seconds in. It’s a dizzying passage that will challenge even the most astute rhythmic ear on the first couple of listens but it leaves you with a smile and that feeling in your chest where you’re like, “that is f#*%ing BADA55!!!” and so, you hop in your car and go around blasting it with your windows down even though you know no one cares or even likes metal. lol.
Long story short, drop the Meshuggah comparisons musically and forget about the Phil Anselmo comparison (personally, I love Pantera, so I’m not sure why so many metalheads on here are so prissy about his vox). Likewise, don’t come to this album from Polars expecting exactly the same thing. The music may not seem as challenging to you, but give it a few listens and I promise it’ll grow on you. If, by chance, you haven’t heard these guys yet, START WITH THIS ALBUM! This is seriously one of my favorite albums of all time, and probably like a few of you out there, I’ve listened to a LOT of music in my life thus far.
Textures may not be your cup of tea, but they’re certainly mine and I HIGHLY recommend this album.