Sound — 8
Since the recording of their last (and poorly recieved) album, Midheaven, The Human Abstract have gone through quite a few changes. From almost constant member replacements to the true departure of vocalist Nathan Ells, I speculated what a new THA album would sound like after so much personal turmoil. The result is mixed, but overall splended. Musically, they are sounding much more like a true progressive metal band than a metalcore group, though some elements of metalcore are still visible in the music. In numbers like Faust or Patterns, the true technical skill of guitarists Andrew Tapley and A.J. Minette shines beautifully, like a polished jemstone. Other songs, like Complex Terms or the title cut are just plain fun to listen to.
Lyrics — 9
New vocalist Travis Richter (formerly guitarist for Post-Hardcore outfit From First To Last) has most obviously taken a page from the BTBAM vocal delivery manual. Travis' voice so strongly resembles Tommy Rogers' at points they're almost indestiguishable. This isn't to say his delivery isn't impressive though. Unlike their first vocalist, whose range was basically a hardcore punk scream and emo-esque singing, Travis hits low bellows with a few high screams thrown in, as well as singing midrange. That being said, I believe his voice fits the music far better than Nathan's ever did. Lyrically, this album is a stellar triumph. Very well written, some of the lines come off rather literally ("I know what you are thinking how could he take apart my safety"-Faust) to the, well, abstract (The tailor's shop has closed and we don't dress for miracles anymore-Complex Terms). It's this lyrical variety, combined with Travis' voice, that make the songs more than just average prog pieces, but something worth listening to over and over.
Overall Impression — 8
While some will undoubtedly compare Digital Veil to any post-Alaska BTBAM, The Human Abstract have enough originality in their music to make them more than just a carbon copy band. This disk impresses on almost every level, from the precise drumming, to the technical shredding, to the stellar vocals. The only flaw with the album for me was that near the end the songs tended to blend together rather than flow naturally. Otherwise, in my view, Digital Veil is nothing short of a modern Prog/Metalcore masterpiece. For fans of Between The Buried And Me, The Faceless, Rush, Coheed & Cambria.