The Human Abstract
Midheaven


2.0
poor

Review

by Kit Brown USER (73 Reviews)
August 19th, 2008 | 29 replies | 10,003 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Less sweepy, more stinky.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

The Human Abstract’s Nocturne was one of the more exciting releases of 2006. This up and coming California metal outfit, while not displaying the strongest songwriting, showed that they were a force to be reckoned with. Nocturne was chock full of arpeggio sweeps, quirky technical sections, and catchy choruses. While not being well received by the entire metal community, I felt that Nocturne simply worked and was just an easy listen. Now after losing their poster-boy and borderline one-trick-pony, A.J. Minette, where was the band to go? I assumed The Human Abstract would only mature from here, furthering their somewhat progressive sound into something much more interesting than Nocturne. What I got was Midheaven, an incredibly disappointing and irritating listen.

While there are still plenty of shreddy bits on Midheaven, it’s no longer the main focus of the album. Instead the album is much more focused on vocals and keyboards, and it is much worse off for doing so. Full-time singer and part-time pompous douche bag Nathan Ells is much more noticeable on this album, which makes him exponentially more annoying than on Nocturne. While his past vocal works were about half-and-half in the screaming/singing realm, it’s not the same this time around. Ells sings almost the entire time, occasionally throwing in some decent post-hardcore style screams or hilariously lame spoken word parts in an attempt to mix things up. I really didn’t think he was that bad before, but now he either sounds too flat, too nasally, or just plain stupid. When the main focus of your album becomes the main nuisance, you know you’ve got a major problem on your hands. And did I forget to mention that the lyrics are laughably pretentious and awful?

Musically the album is a little hit, mostly miss. The production on the guitars here doesn’t have nearly enough attack as it did before and comes across as generally weak. Most of the riffs and leads just seem to blend together as one and few are memorable. Shredmeisters Dean Herrera and Andrew Tapley certainly know their way around a fret board but ultimately fall short of making anything truly stick out to me. And while the listener is not being bombarded with dweedly-doodly bits, you’ll be forced to either choke down trite alternative/mainstream rock riffs or failed attempts at progressive metal. The newly added keyboard player to the band also makes himself known constantly throughout the album’s forty-three minutes, always adding in additional melodies to compliment the guitars. Sometimes it works, but a few of the experimental parts (such as random jazz organ riffs) do much more harm than good. The rhythm section always provides a solid backing for the band and is usually the most enjoyable part about Midheaven.

So ultimately what went wrong with this album was the “too much, too soon” issue. The Human Abstract just put too many styles into one album without knowing really how to navigate around them. Combined with lackluster songwriting and a poor vocal performance, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. No song really sticks out on here as amazing, though “A Violent Strike” would be my choice cut from the album, as the outro kicks a legitimate amount of ass. I won’t give up on these guys just yet, but Midheaven is just a textbook example of a band going through sophomore slump. Better luck next time.



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user ratings (604)
Chart.
2.2
poor
other reviews of this album
Tyler Munro EMERITUS (1.5)
Midheaven is a sloppy and nauseatingly pretentious blend of alt. rock and technical metal. An absolu...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
August 19th 2008



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Context: Nocturne is a 4/5

Bleak123
August 19th 2008



1902 Comments


I agree with both your ratings ...Nocturne is a 4, this as far as I've heard is a 2 - 2.5. Good review! I'll pos.

IAmInsect
August 19th 2008



3800 Comments


nice review but no more news mod wtf

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2008



17920 Comments


still haven't worked up the care to listen to this. scared to

Duderino
August 19th 2008



827 Comments


Nocturne at least had like 3 songs that were enjoyable. I tried listening to the stream with rather low expectations but ultimately just gave up

Thor
August 19th 2008



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

nice review but no more news mod wtf

I haven't been a news mod in ages. It just took mx a long time to take that little title off my screen and change me over to a contributor.

IAmInsect
August 19th 2008



3800 Comments


i know kit, hence the sarcastic question. i'm not good at being funny yet!

Thor
August 19th 2008



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Give it time, breh.

Golgoroth
August 19th 2008



1084 Comments


Great review. I really liked what I've heard of Nocturne, but your review made me not want to listen to Midheaven. At all.

botb
August 19th 2008



9560 Comments


i actually kind of like this album, but i agree its not nearly as awesome as nocturne.

Tillius
August 20th 2008



90 Comments


This is disappointing. I loved Nocturne, but everything I've heard off of this new album has been crap. What a shame and waste of talent. Good review, and I'm sure I'll agree with it once I check ot the full album.

DWittisarockstar
August 20th 2008



1501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

As always, bringonthebreakdown knows whats up.

And IAMINSECT, you are amazingly funny so stfu with that lack of confidence.

Thor
August 20th 2008



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Are you really serious about giving this a 5?

beans
August 20th 2008



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

what do you think?

bustyagunz
August 20th 2008



911 Comments


Duh, DWittisarockstar knows whats up.
No, this **** blows.

DWittisarockstar
August 20th 2008



1501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

[quote=bustyagunz]Duh, DWittisarockstar knows whats up.[/quote]
i agree with this guy. i already had a fun conversation with bunit about this earlier. it was delightful.

Essence
August 20th 2008



3578 Comments


Have you READ the lyrics? They are laughably awful.

DWittisarockstar
August 20th 2008



1501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I love how dim everyone on this site is.

Essence
August 20th 2008



3578 Comments


You realize you can't just carry obscure jokes from a previous review right onto the next one, right? I realize now your sound off and rating are a joke, but, still. Don't get mad at us for not 'getting' your joke from a different thread.

kattunlover69
August 20th 2008



1194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ya man ur jokes are just as uninspired and corny as jack's insults



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