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The Human Abstract Nocturne

The Human Abstract - Nocturne
01. Harbinger
02. Self Portraits Of The Instincts
03. Nocturne
04. Crossing The Rubicon
05. Sotto Voce
06. Mea Culpa
07. Movement From Discord
08. Channel Detritus
09. Polaris
10. Echelons To Molotovs
11. Desiderata
12. Vela, Together We Await The Storm
2006 Hopeless Records

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 9/4/2006

Contrary to the thoughts of many Dragonforce fans around the globe, amazing guitar work doesn't always directly translate into amazing songs. It's entirely possible to be able to shred the life out of a guitar and yet fail at writing songs of any substance. Led by guitarist A.J. Minette, Los Angeles' The Human Abstract possesses incredible musical talent for such a young band, but as their debut full-length displays, have yet to find a their own unique songwriting style and sound.

But first, let's get one thing straight: Minette can straight up play. Technical guitar work characterized by sweeping arpeggio after sweeping arpeggio leaves the listener no choice but to respect the guitar playing abilities of The Human Abstract. The problem, however, lies in that it would be a huge understatement to say that these guys are fans of Between The Buried And Me. Vocals aside, some tracks on Nocturne might very well be unused BTBAM tracks that didn't make the cut on Alaska. This is quite the dilemma for me because I actually do enjoy listening to this record, as it is far more entertaining than the majority of boring and repetitive metalcore on the market today. Just like Alaska, Nocturne is also fitted with all the musical bells and whistles, as classical acoustic interludes and jazzy breaks are used to round out the record. Since The Human Abstract is the first group that I have come across that so closely resembles BTBAM, and this year's The Anatomy Of was such a sub-par release, I just might try and justify myself in liking this poor man's Alaska.

Vocally, Nathan Ells provides both mid-range screams and clean singing on the record, as well as lyrics that, as the press sheet so elegantly describes, "[invite] the listeners to closely and precisely examine the inner workings of their own lives for the sake of a greater peace." I've read through the lyrics, and I can't quite say that they changed my life. For future reference, I would recommend that The Human Abstract, and all bands in general, lay off the pretentiousness when trying to convey how their lyrics and themes are so awesomely introspective. If a band's lyrics truly are impressive, people will discover it on their own. Lyrics aside, the vocals themselves are enjoyable, as the strong emphasis on clean singing is a welcome change from monotonous screams. Although the vocals aren't nearly as powerful as the singing/screaming combo found on an Into Eternity record, they do give Nocturne at least some distinction from their idols in BTBAM.

The production on this disc is incredibly clean, and in order for the guitar work to shine, I wouldn't have it any other way. And who was the man behind the great production job Jamie King, known for his production on... well, Alaska.

Bottom Line: Even though this record just screams BTBAM at every musical chance it gets, and the not-so-life-changing lyrics rub me the wrong way, I can't help but say that this is simply a solid record that, given the proper marketing, will be a huge success in the metalcore scene. I would be very interested to see how The Human Abstract develops as a band once they find their own brand of songwriting. In the meantime, I know this isn't as good as Alaska, but I guess it will have to do.

D_   posted 12/24/2007 9:35:36 AM
^ The piano part is technically on Desiderata, though they play from there on for the video and when they play it live. I think it's awesome, and actually well written and not some filler piano piece like most bands use.

Stop comparing this band to BTBAM. They're technical, but when I listen to this I don't go "OMG Alaska!" and neither does anybody I know that's heard both CDs.

anonymous   posted 12/2/2006 7:56:07 PM
kid above me is a f*cking idiot. production/songwriting tip: this album should have been much more aggressive.
Heaven Beside You_   posted 11/21/2006 10:03:06 AM
Honestly...I'd never heard of these guys until some girl talked to me about them. I listen to a lot of shit...but these guys...provide a brand new inspiration to my writing. I wouldn't say their lyrics are "life changing" but then again no one's have been for me. They are however...not boring. They're well written...with some of the best guitar I've heard since all I knew was Metallica and Megadeth. They do so much more than just shred. Yes they shred but it sounds so damn good and It's not mind
anonymous   posted 10/24/2006 5:41:13 AM
this band owns your f*cking band. commit suicide you little idiots.
anonymous   posted 10/1/2006 8:35:18 PM
this band needs Mike Patton

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