The Human Abstract
Digital Veil


3.5
great

Review

by pizzamachine USER (211 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2012 | 45 replies | 5,114 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: neo-classical metalcore may seem like a ridiculous premise, but the result is an enjoyable, interesting album when its flaws are ignored.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Digital Veil involves a completely original take on metalcore. Strongly influenced by classical music, the album is filled with mindboggling technical riffs, riffs that noodle around for a legitimate reason. While the album bears some resemblance to Rhapsody of Fire’s From Chaos To Eternity, The Human Abstract’s guitarist, A.J. Minette, made sure that the album would not sound like power metal. The result is a superbly written metalcore album that stands out due to its neo-classical bent.

Because the album is so classically influenced, it doesn’t feel as brutal as it actually is. The nonstop onslaught of riffs feel like the accompaniment (replacing a symphony) to an exciting scene at a play, where the audience holds their breath in tense anticipation for the climax, and when it comes the audience stand up and applause. Perhaps played live these energetic tracks could cause easily anxious teenagers to start a mosh pit, but when experienced through headphones, it feels incorrect to headbang to it. The album exudes a different kind of energy than that (although it’s certainly violent), for it is too well structured and calculated for the listener to ignore. It is the thinking man’s metalcore, if there ever was such a thing, and it begs for more contemplation than spine ripping. The only problem with this (and perhaps a major problem) is that neo-classical metalcore is a rather silly idea, a completely inappropriate genre collision. The album may be quite good, but one can't help laughing a bit at its ridiculousness.

The album is most compelling when guitars are given freedom to fly through scales, playing unorthodox, classical melodies. However, when the band show off their progressive side (a key part of the album’s musical style), it dramatically drags down the energy of songs and subsequently feels out of place. This is where the band’s classical musical influence gets the best of them, for it’s still supposed to be a metalcore album; tossing in supposedly epic singing sections (with rather poor singing) just doesn’t feel right, and sounds like a band trying too hard. The progressive metal elements in here do not belong, and some metalheads may consider the album to be boring as a result.

Digital Veil will ultimately divide listeners. The neoclassical and progressive style will seem fresh and exciting to some, while for others, it may seem boring and undesirably prominent. However, it’s nonetheless a unique, inspired metalcore album with excellent songwriting and enjoyably vicious technicality. In other words, despite its many, and obvious flaws, it’s a slam dunk, and although one could endlessly critique the dunk in question, it’s still a fucking slam dunk.



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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...

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

    mas westman (4)
    Call it a comeback....

    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....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
January 2nd 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

R.I.P. The Human Abstract

wacknizzle
January 2nd 2012



12572 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review pizza, glad to see that you like this. I just got back into this yesterday, I watched like every video they had on youtube then found out an hour later that they broke up that day bummer. If you like converge you should check out my when forever comes crashing review, everyone hates it but I think that album is awesome

Digging: PVRIS - Paris

Wheelah
January 2nd 2012



756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, and appropriate timing.

I love this album, it's got something unique about it that I can't quite place my finger on. I'm not going to pretend I know much about classical music, but it definitely has the "classical" sound to it, at least in a metalcore form.

Ire
January 2nd 2012



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

lol

FearThyEvil
January 2nd 2012



12190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Pizza, Pos'd.

wacknizzle
January 2nd 2012



12572 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awww... why'd you change your rating pizza. This should be a 4 imo at least, I appreciate this alot more than I used to.

pizzamachine
January 2nd 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heh, because I accidentally clicked 4 instead of 3.5 when I submitted this.

Thanks guys.

xandermander
January 2nd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, honestly, and AJ Minette is talent personified.

wacknizzle
January 2nd 2012



12572 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agreed ^

bloc
January 2nd 2012



34660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Band was cool live.

When I first heard this album, I thought it was pretty disappointing. Then I heard it again and it was pretty good. Now it's getting boring.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

pizzamachine
January 2nd 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When I first heard this album, I thought it was pretty disappointing. Then I heard it again and it was pretty good. Now it's getting boring.

The bloc formula haha.

jayfatha
January 2nd 2012



2882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I seem to have liked this more than most

NeutralThunder12
January 2nd 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

bloc gave a higher place a 5 though so

Gyromania
January 2nd 2012



15164 Comments


Very good work, Pizza. This is surprisingly one of your longer reviews :P

pizzamachine
January 3rd 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha thanks, I'm as surprised as you are! I just couldn't stop writing.

pizzamachine
January 3rd 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The lone ghost neg on a review that I spent over three hours on, making sure that it was absolutely perfect. Oh well.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 3rd 2012



49743 Comments


those bastards


Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

FearThyEvil
January 3rd 2012



12190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, pizza ghost negs are bitch.

botb
January 3rd 2012



9521 Comments


"but the result is an enjoyable, interesting album when its flaws are ignored"

my thoughts exactly :p

i shouldn't have to ignore flaws to enjoy an album, especially when it's by a band that has a ton of potential

LoneWanderer
January 3rd 2012



180 Comments


"it’s still a fucking slam dunk."

Well finished man...I'm going to have to get to this soon.

pos'd



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