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The Human Abstract

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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The Human Abstract Nocturne album cover
3.20 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Harbinger (4:31)
2. Self Portraits of the Instincts (3:24)
3. Nocturne (3:29)
4. Crossing the Rubicon (5:06)
5. Sotto Voce (1:34)
6. Mea Culpa (3:32)
7. Movement from Discord (4:07)
8. Channel Detritus (5:27)
9. Polaris (4:23)
10. Echelons to Molotovs (2:36)
11. Desiderata (3:54)
12. Vela, Together We Await the Storm (4:34)

Total Time 46:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Nathan Ells / vocals
- Dean Herrera / guitar
- AJ Minette / guitar, piano
- Kenny Aerhart / bass
- Brett Powell / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Sons of Nero

CD Hopeless Records ‎- HR687-2 (2006, Canada)

Thanks to The T for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE HUMAN ABSTRACT Nocturne ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT Nocturne reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a good album that has some flaws that stop it from actually being great.

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT is a metal band, no question about that. And a progressive metal band at that. Not only do they use heavy, violent riffing but they combine it with extreme virtuosity and even some showing- off moments when they just play scales or figures for no particular reason. Their music is a combination of the sound of bands like MESHUGGAH, CYNIC, with elements of more traditional outfits like DEATH or even DREAM THEATER (?! - The guitarist even thanks John Petrucci for inspiration in the liner notes.) Think of this as hardcore-meets-thrash-meets-progressive metal.

The attack on the senses is constant, relentless, but there are melodic moments, and some are actually very good, even attaining beauty at times. The double-bass drum is used to accentuate most every crushing riff that the guitars produce, yet at the same time we can find acoustic passages where the pounding gets reduced to zero and all we have is melody. It's quite an achievement what this band has done at combining extreme violence with melodic music. When the album is heard, there's never certainty about what will happen next, and that's a good thing, as this record can be called anything except predictable.

As said before, the musicians tend to out-do themselves by showing off their abilities every now and then. There's no denying the quality of their performance even if at times they do things we never quite understand the purpose of. Many riffs end in rethorical scales or blazing figures where the bass drums, the guitars and the bass guitar all play in unison to the amazement of the listener but also to the bewilderment of the fan who doesn't see the point of it. There are genres where that kind of elements is necessary or even applauded (my own favorite DT the biggest example of that), but at times I wonder: is THE HUMAN ABSTRACT a technical metal band? They don't sound like one, but it's like they have a little of it in their hearts and just can't make up their minds about completely ignoring it.

The songs are never predicatable, their structures are somewhat typical but with many sections and layers that create surprise and tension. Most of the first half of the record is excellent. There's but one problem near the second half: track 8 ends with a long acoustic fade-out that would've been a perfect way to close the album (in fact, whenever I heard the record I think this is the end of it), but after this extended (and beautiful) moment, another violent songs starts and kills any effect this music had on us. Not only that but, to this reviewer, it feels like after track 8 THE HUMAN ABSTRACT lost their inspiration, as the remaining songs are the weakest in this collection.

I can't leave without commenting upon my biggest problem with this record: the vocals. I just can't tolerate hardcore-style vocals ala MESHUGGAH, and for the most part, that's what we get. Oddly enough, there are better moments when the voice is doubled and we get a kind of FEAR FACTORY-like effect which we like, but in what's even weirder, there are a lot of times when the vocals sound like an EMO band. Yes, even the melodies and the riffing tend to sound a little emo-ish in a few passages in the record, and that's another style we don't particularly love.

In the end, a good album, very good for lovers of extreme metal a la FEAR FACTORY or MESHUGGAH, which has a few flaws, the biggest one being the lack of decision from the band members regarding what is that they are trying to accomplish, and what identity THE HUMAN ABSTRACT really has.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nocturne is the debut album from US metal act The Human Abstract. I´ve read a couple of reviews of Nocturne in different metal magazines, but to see them on Prog Archives is a bit of a surprise for me.

The music is very melodic and simple structured modern heavy metal. There are both screamo and clean vocals in the music. Frontman Nathan Ells is capable of both styles but his vocal style is not very distinct and sounds like the million of other bands playing the metalcore style. I read in one of the threads in the forum that someone said that metalcore is metal mixed with emocore and I can only join that statement. The music on Nocturne is filled with memorable and melodic choruses and more aggressive sounding verses. Melodic twin guitar harmonies ( there´s a very obvious neo-classical element in the music) and thrashy riffing. There are some unexpected shifts in rythm in some of the songs but the music is generally easy to listen to and at times very commercial. Just listen to the chorus in Self Portraits of the Instincts. That one just imprints itself in your mind after the first listen. Some find this charming, I find it annoying most of the time.

I was reminded of a pop version of Soilwork more than one time but The Human Abstract also sounds a lot like Avenged Sevenfold when they are most melodic. Trivium also comes to mind. The musicianship is excellent and we´re witness to some really well played songs seen from a technical view. There´s nothing new here but the level of musicianship is very high.

The production is very professional. It is clean and powerful.

Nocturne is not my cup of tea I´ll admit that. I´m having a hard time appreciating the emo element in their music which I find cheesy to say it out loud. When that is said Nocturne is a very professional album. The production, the compositions and the musicianship is all on a high level so I can´t give the album less than 3 stars even though this really doesn´t get any points with me personally.

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