The Human Abstract
Digital Veil


4.0
excellent

Review

by mas westman USER (11 Reviews)
March 24th, 2011 | 262 replies | 26,875 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Call it a comeback.

13 of 15 thought this review was well written

What comes to mind when someone mentions "The Human Abstract?" Most of the time people always associate the band with the returning lead guitarist A.J. Minette, who is undoubtedly one of the best guitarists in the current metal scene. The Human Abstract has always had their own complex sound, which is a lot of classical interludes and exciting build-ups, leading into shredding and soaring guitar leads on top of fast rhythms. That is found a lot in modern progressive metalcore, but nobody does it or has done it quite as effectively like The Human Abstract. Nocturne was released in 2006, and I remember the first time I heard "Vela, Together We Await The Storm." I was blown away by the way that they soared into choruses and out of guitar solos with so many crazy time signatures and guitar leads, and how I had never heard anything like it. Nocturne made me anticipate Midheaven to be as great as, if not better, than Nocturne. To my disappointment, with A.J. Minette leaving the band to do something "non-metal," Midheaven was an abysmal mess, causing me to lost all faith in The Human Abstract, as well as hating them for disappointing me as much as they did. So here we are now, A.J. Minette back with The Human Abstract, with the departure of former vocalist Nathan Ellis and arrival of Travis Richter(ex From First To Last, The Color of Violence). With the main returning element that caused Nocturne to be such a success, what exactly do we have with Digital Veil?

Well, it's certainly safe to say that The Human Abstract have regained their composure. Travis Richter was certainly a very risky and controversial replacement for Nathan, being as he has never been in a band as technical and complex, but his excellent blend of growls and shrieks complement his deep and demanding cleans very well. However, that isn't to say that he doesn't have any "meh" moments on the album. His cleans can sometimes come off as unneeded and frustrating, because his screams are too good to not be used more often than they are on Digital Veil. For example, in "Horizon to Zenith," Travis almost sounds bored, drawling out the lyrics monotonously and dispassionately. Fortunately, these moments are too few and far between for it to become a complete turn off to this album. His vocals really shine on "Faust," as that song all around is easily a highlight of the album.

So what makes Digital Veil so great? The answer is extremely obvious, really.. We saw the direction The Human Abstract starting going in after they lost A.J. It's no secret that he was one of the main elements that made Nocturne such a success. There are some moments on this album that are absolutely jaw-dropping, some of which being the "breakdown" (if you can even call it that) towards the beginning and end of "Complex Terms" when he and the forgotten stepchild Dean Herrera show that they have certainly not forgotten how to show off their chemistry and playing ability. However, there are some moments on this album that seem to just drag on and on. These moments (seemingly hours) happen when Dean decides to just chug along to whatever insane sweep pattern A.J. seems like shredding at the time. Fortunately, they don't happen as often as they did on Nocturne, but they can be frustrating when they do happen. They happen in "Patterns," as well as "Holographic Sight." The fact that A.J. sweeps a lot and Dean chuggs a lot is no reason to not listen to this album, though. Some of the most brilliantly orchestrated moments on the album happen when they do that. The end of "Complex Terms" being the biggest example, as Travis and the band chants "Oh how we believe in all the monuments built by thieves," A.J. and Dean weave in and out of a ridiculous triplet pattern as the song closes out.

With all of that meshed together into a disappointingly short 8 song album, we have a complete return to form with The Human Abstract. Lose Andrew Tapely and Nathan Ellis, add A.J. Minette and Travis Richter, and you get what can arguably be called a top album for 2011 at the end of the year.

Recommended Tracks
Complex Terms
Faust
Antebellum



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user ratings (836)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • SugarFreeSquid (2.5)
    Overall unsatisfying and far too short...

    pizzamachine (3.5)
    neo-classical metalcore may seem like a ridiculous premise, but the result is an enjoyable...

    drewcordova (4)
    Well written, beautifully executed, serious Progressive Metal. A contender for "Best Metal...

    mcg182 (4.5)
    The Human Abstract finally grow up as a band, and all it took was kicking out the old fron...

  • TheOscillat0r (2.5)
    The Digital Veil will satisfy previous fans, but it is unlikely to win over any new ones....

    Philalethes (4.5)
    Have you ever wondered what kind of music Beethoven would write if he were a metal head? ...

    Kyle Pierce (4)
    Don't call it a comeback....


Comments:Add a Comment 
loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been a while since i reviewed something

constructive criticism welcome

Ire
March 24th 2011



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

neg

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

o no

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YOU'RE GONNA GET ME OFF Ire

IAmKickass
March 24th 2011



840 Comments


When did they change vocalists? Haven't really followed this band, just trying to see when the change occured.

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nathan Ellis was the vocalist on both Nocturne and Midheaven, and apparently after Midheaven he wanted to control everything the band did, so they tooted and booted.



Baphomet
March 24th 2011



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, have your pos.

The album is also extremely good, I wrote these guys off after Midheaven.

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i did as well. i was so pissed at them when i heard it, because i absolutely love nocturne.

but this restored my faith in humanity, haha.

and thank you!

IAmKickass
March 24th 2011



840 Comments


Oh okay. I have this album in my Itunes but still need to listen to this, still remembering back to 'Vela, Together We Await the Storm' times.

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that is easily my favorite on nocturne.

it's just so damn good

IAmKickass
March 24th 2011



840 Comments


Yeah it's the first song I ever heard from them, and instantly it pulled me in. A while back I went through all their stuff but it just kind of faded away from me. Hopefully going to have both those albums and this one rated sometime this week.

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah man.
like i said in the review, some of it can drag on, but it doesn't happen that often.

the end of complex terms is so fucking awesome. so is the part starting at :45.

i don't know if faust or complex terms is my favorite, but either way... they're both fucking great.

IAmKickass
March 24th 2011



840 Comments


I think that was my one problem when just browsing through their stuff, very few moments really grabbed me. Good thing I'm one for second chances. Good review btw, pos.

loveisamixtape
March 24th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, bro.

lemme know what you think of this after you listen to it.

IAmKickass
March 25th 2011



840 Comments


Will do man.

loveisamixtape
March 25th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Antebellum is siiiick

pillowswantyoursoul
March 25th 2011



923 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Such a shit album. Good review though, breh.

HangEmHigh
March 25th 2011



282 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

really another 4? its funny how this band is able to hide its crappy breakdowns and shitty vocal melodies from everyone with only a bit of noodling.

Mabbitt
March 25th 2011



1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I most certainly wouldn't ever call this a comeback, because that would mean they returned to the Nocturne sound. They're a completely different sounding band nowadays.

@hangemhigh: go read some interviews with AJ and articles he's written.

loveisamixtape
March 25th 2011



5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is very similar to nocturne

just not as good in terms of wanking off successfully.

and noodling? wut



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