There are few moments when men are allowed to cry in Metal, Arnie’s “thumbs up” moment in T2 is one of them. Its been an emotional sixteen years in the lands of Netherlands finest export. Releasing what could be their most dynamic album of their career, Textures were beginning their trajectory to the big time with 2015’s stellar release Phenotype. Announcing suddenly after the album’s release that the band would be calling it a day, it was a bit of a shock to the world of the Progressive Metal scene. However the band weren’t about to go without saying goodbye. Bringing friends along for the ride, the night was an education in Dutch hospitality.
Though sadly missing the first band, I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of Exivious. An instrumental, Prog, Jazz project, the band are also calling it a day following their relentlessly complex release Liminal. Seeing each member speak their instrumental language it was a sight to behold yet tonight was about one thing and one thing only.
With the crowd growing by the minute, the early start time might have puzzled some but with an action packed, two hour set, its no surprise that Textures wanted to make the most of their farewell. Opening the set with the serene tones of “Surreal State of Enlightenment” the band receive a heroes welcome upon appearing on stage. With a set list that cherry picked five album’s worth of polyrhythmic patterns, there wasn’t a fan in The Underworld that would have been disappointed with the band’s choices. Weaving in and out of Silhouettes and Phenotype in their beginning section. Its proof that the likes of “New Horizons” were practically built for live performances as Daniel De Jongh’s vocals “rise above the sky!” are lobbed straight back at him. Followed by the distorted grunts of “Shaping A Single Grain of Sand” whose grand finale exerts the kind of pressure expected from Textures, with every member head banging in unison.
For newcomers the likes of myself who joined Textures on their first Nuclear Blast jaunt Dualism, the likes of “Reaching Home” is dutifully welcomed. However older cuts the likes of “Stream of Consciousness” delight fans throughout the crowd. Following the emotional cinematics of “Zman” followed by “Timeless” the band are right back at it again after De Jongh aims to train us in the art of singing. Once again looking to Silhouettes the band unleash hell, particularly in the trickster riffing of “Singularity” much to my absolute joy. However the real highlight comes in the form of a stripped back acoustic sections where guitarist Joe Tal takes the centre stage. Performing all sorts of acoustic acrobatics, even throwing in a nod to the late great Malcolm Young (RIP) its one of the sweetest moments of the night.
Joined by De Jongh for “Awake” and the rest of the band for its final section that even the strongest of men would begin to get slightly teary eyed. Announcing that the fateful time has indeed come, “this will be our last song” decrees De Jongh. As the band ready themselves for the final time, it truly is the last chance to dance as the bring the jitterbug rhythms of “Laments of An Icarus” headfirst into the crowd. Special mention goes to the inhuman efforts of drummer Stef Broks. If there was anything to take away from tonight’s performance its not only that the band have been on absolute, pin point accuracy but that the band have metaphorically brought the fans alongside them for the final journey.
Receiving a standing ovation, worthy of the highest praise, there couldn’t be a bigger high to go out on that the band’s performance at this united Underworld tonight. The Metal equivalent of Arnie’s thumbs up moment has come. Farewell Textures, thanks for the ride.