Midheaven review by The Human Abstract

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  • Released: Aug 19, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (33 votes)
The Human Abstract: Midheaven
1

Sound — 8
The Human Abstract has changed quite a bit since Nocturne. They're not shredding as much, they're not as heavy, and have become a bit more progressive with Midheaven. Even though they cut down on the shredding, there's still quite a bit (a lot is actually done by Dean, unlike Nocturne), one of the best parts, in my opinion, is about 4 minutes into Breathing Life Into Devices. One of the things that killed me when I finished this album is the fact that there is no classical influence anymore, which is one of the reasons I started listening to them. I liked the addition of a keyboardist, though. He does add a more "epic" atmosphere, but he has no solos, which I was expecting.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are very well written, each song has several different meanings. The album is supposed to be concept album about the cycles that man goes though and has gone though throughout history. You can tell that Nathan put a lot of work and a lot of time into these lyrics. His singing is a bit different than Nocturne, there's more variety in Midheaven. There's not as much screaming on Midheaven, but there's the addition of low growls. A lot more of the clean singing seems MTV approved, but still good.

Overall Impression — 8
This album is different that Nocturne; I don't think it's quite as good, but defiantly worth buying. My favorite songs are Breathing Life Into Devices, Clam in the Chaos and Counting Down the Days. The only thing I don't like about this album is the loss of the classical influence. Every member of this band is extremely talented, and it can be heard throughout Midheaven. If this album were stolen or lost I would be very upset as every member of the band has already signed it, but I already downloaded on my computer so I wouldn't need to buy another copy.

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    JMan 240
    I don't know why everyone is bitching so much about bands taking different approaches. It's becoming some what of a trend in boarder-line metal band, to go and experiment with new things. To say that these changes are from them selling out or going mainstream is completely ridiculous. In fact, its the complete opposite. They have the freedom to do these things because metal is not a mainstream genre anymore. True, it is making a come back since the bottom of the genre fell out in the mid to late 90's, but it definitely does not have the same impact that it did in the 80s and early 90s. The bands aren't under pressure from a rampant, million strong, horde of fans, and therefore feel that they have room to experiment. I think these truly are just these bands doing whatever the hell it is they feel like doing at the moment. To some, that might be a bad thing, (Which is stupid because metal is based on freedom of speech and freedom of expression), to me, a progression from the simple power chords of earlier metal, is amazing. I mean, all of these bands we have now, that produce musical scores with such depth and precision, we're in musical heaven you guys.
    adrianjunger
    CaRveItiNbass wrote: The abscence of AJ doesn't mean that the band is crippled or anything. Dean is just as good as he was, because he did harmonies of everything that AJ did. This is their first album without AJ, and I think it's pretty damn good, regardless. It's a concept, and a very interesting one at that. But the first three tracks are the best, in my opinion. I'd probably give it about an 8.
    The absence of AJ means that the band lost a big part of their sound, the classical influence. And to say that Dean is as good as AJ because he played harmonies of it isn't really true. AJ WROTE the leads, and probably the harmonies as well.
    Bdaddy21
    blackborrego wrote: Lyrics are awesome, The instruments are awesome ! they still have shredding ! its a very good album to all the haters I dare you to upload a video showing that you could play their songs if not stop talking shit ! get a label then get a record better than midheaven and nocturne and the you can talk shit
    WTF nobody is talking shit about The Human Abstract so idk what your problem is. all we're they're saying is that we prefer Nocturne over Midheaven. and since we have a preference over which cd we like more we have to be able to play their music? grow up dude. IMO it's okay, not quite what I expected. but i guess it'd be better if I could hear the guitar parts.
    KsE909
    Listen u want to know why this album sucked...A.J. Minette is gone. Thats why the classical influence is gone. He left THA to play classical because he didn't think metal made him a better guitarist. I loved Nocturn I'm listening to Crossing the Rubicon as im typing. Midheaven wont be as good as Nocturn as with more records. As long as A.J. is gone THA will never be as good.
    KsE909
    profmcnasty wrote: who all thinks nathan is gay? like for reals?
    Dude Rob Halford is gay and so was the vocalist from queen, sexuality has nothing to do with it.
    ticklemeemo
    Album seriously sucks. Metanoia is the only song I like, and believe me, I have tried to like this cd.
    Unskathed
    It's a decent album, not nearly as awesome as Nocturne though. AJ Minnette > Dean and Andrew combine. Nathan also sounds like crap most of the time on this album.
    CaRveItiNbass
    The abscence of AJ doesn't mean that the band is crippled or anything. Dean is just as good as he was, because he did harmonies of everything that AJ did. This is their first album without AJ, and I think it's pretty damn good, regardless. It's a concept, and a very interesting one at that. But the first three tracks are the best, in my opinion. I'd probably give it about an 8.
    jpgilbert701
    CaRveItiNbass wrote: The abscence of AJ doesn't mean that the band is crippled or anything. Dean is just as good as he was, because he did harmonies of everything that AJ did. This is their first album without AJ, and I think it's pretty damn good, regardless. It's a concept, and a very interesting one at that. But the first three tracks are the best, in my opinion. I'd probably give it about an 8.
    So what if Dean played the leads and harmonies? I'm sure there are a ton of people of can play Petrucci's leads too. Being technically capable of playing isn't the only thing that makes you good. It's being able to write it which they obviously couldn't do without AJ.
    blackborrego
    Lyrics are awesome, The instruments are awesome ! they still have shredding ! its a very good album to all the haters I dare you to upload a video showing that you could play their songs if not stop talking shit ! get a label then get a record better than midheaven and nocturne and the you can talk shit
    brad777no
    To all the people who said Dean Herrera is as good as A.J. Minette, AJ was Dean's teacher.If yall are looking for music that is similar to the Nocturne Album listen to The Fortune Teller. They are a Los Angeles band that still need a vocalist but the guitar is similar to that of NOcturne Album because the guitarists are being taught by AJ himself. SO give them a look on myspace and you might like. And about Midheaven, I believe Nathan Ellis matured on his vocals and sounds better than before but they lost their classical touch. I love both albums though. I have to agree though that I far more liked Nocturne. Anyways check out that band, their just starting I believe, but they have two solid instrumentals so far that have similar sound.
    sexclamation
    This band is doing themselves in by keeping this shitty vocalist whom, might I add, did not get better at all. I listened to the guitars and drums and overall the instrumental side of this album is pretty solid. But how can anyone stand that guys voice? It's extremely rare that he hits the right note and i'm surprised that the band hasn't figured that out in production of the album. His vocals sound too loud and for the lack of quality they should really just be turned down all the way. To tell the truth I would appreciate the sound of this band a lot more if they were an instrumental band.
    Dregen
    ticklemeemo wrote: Album seriously sucks. Metanoia is the only song I like, and believe me, I have tried to like this cd.
    That's funny because AJ actually wrote that song before he left. I tried to like this album, but... Yeah. They lost that ****ing badass classical vibe they had going on. Nathan's vocals were also a huge turn off. Just plain ****ing annoying. On Nocturne it wasn't bad, fairly good actually, but you can definitely tell Nathan took huge liberties writing this one. I almost cried when I heard this album.
    StewieSwan
    I'm an angry former THA fan! Why couldn't they just re-release the same album over and over! I hate it when bands mature and do something different! /sarcasm
    Dregen
    StewieSwan wrote: I'm an angry former THA fan! Why couldn't they just re-release the same album over and over! I hate it when bands mature and do something different! /sarcasm
    Maturing and doing something different doesn't always mean it's going to sound good.
    travislausch
    Dregen wrote: StewieSwan wrote: I'm an angry former THA fan! Why couldn't they just re-release the same album over and over! I hate it when bands mature and do something different! /sarcasm Maturing and doing something different doesn't always mean it's going to sound good.
    No but "The band changed so they suck" is such an easy fall-back because most fans of any band or genre absolutely cannot stand change of any kind. I would argue that this point is very much something psychological.
    Bdaddy21
    blackborrego wrote: to all the haters I dare you to upload a video showing that you could play their songs if not stop talking shit ! get a label then get a record better than midheaven and nocturne and the you can talk shit
    **** you...this cd was weak, and its not about whether we can play their music or not...hell I make music 100x better than half the bands that are selling records today. the point is, they showed so much potential with Nocturne now Midheaven is a total change of direction and it wasn't a strong statement for them.
    jojoxc
    I really think this album wasnt that bad, i actually liked it, the lack of shredding isnt a bad thing
    planktonfighter
    I loved Nocturne and I just may love this more. Midheaven is ****ing epic. Too bad you guys dont' like it. At 25 in Breathing Life Into Devices I nearlly shat a tear. That's one of the best harmonic choruses I've ever heard.
    XenititesX
    i disliked this album. its not as heavy. i consider it more mainstream than anything else
    mikiedaman
    i hated this cd to be honest. the first track actually made me cringe because the guitar sounded so bad. downhill for these guys, nocturne was a mindblowing cd, and this was subpar.
    lordoftheflies6
    quite possibly one of my biggest disappointments in my music listening career, right up there with in flames... I'm with mikidaman, this is definitely downhill
    aPIRATEwithADD
    the technicality is still there, and lyrically they've improved on so many levels. I think this is a great step forward for another up and coming band.
    planktonfighter
    We Remain wrote: an amazing and promising band has been lost RIP
    Did they die? Or doesn't your openess to new, different styles of music only expand to Nocturne?
    skate_guitar
    They wrote a good album... but it would have been nice if they went heavier. meh.. just meh.
    thricepunk2117
    this album isn't the worst thing ever written, but compared to nocturne, which in my opinion was one of the best technical metal CDs of all time, it's just very disappointing. lets just hope their next CD is as raw as nocturne
    skate_guitar
    I completely changed my mind. This album grew and grew on me. It's actually really impressive. Breathing life into devices and counting down the days are great.
    Mr.McAwesom2112
    AMEN. JMan 240, i tip my hat to you. I do agree that the guitars sounded very weak in the mix, and i am upset at the lack of the classical element, but give them a break. A true music lover is able to see the beauty in all music, no matter what. So what if they changed it up? Its their right to do that, and frankly it makes them better musicians for the plain and simple fact that theyre branching out and experimenting. Keep an open mind.
    inelms
    I agree with JMAN 240 also. If people like Nocturne so much then all they need to do is keep listening to Nocturne. Even if Midheaven sounded similar to Nocturne or better, people would probably complain that it was too much like Nocturne. Unless you're willing to make something better, shut the hell up.
    guitaroojay
    personally i feel that this album isn't as good as Nocturne was, cause I like the whole shredding sound. But Midheaven like the review says has a lot of concepts. I agree with those who said it wasn't as good as they're previous album but this one definitely unveils a different side of The Human Abstract. So maybe they plan to combine both kinds of concepts from Nocturne and Midheaven. Not sure but could be a possibility just saying.