Sound — 10
This is the first album by Californian metal/mathcore band The Human Abstract. It has lots of technical and classical aspects to the sound such as lots of arpeggios scale work ect. The guitarist Dean Herrera and AJ Minette often do harmonies and harmony solos with each other and even their bassist Kenny Airheart joins in on the leads from time to time with his original tapping technique. Most of the songs are in minor keys changing to major from time to time. It nicely blends classical and metal elements into one package. Also there is a acousic section in almost every song like Polaris and 2 acoustic peices sotto voce and Desteratia. Sotto voce is in a major key and has more movment and more poly sections while Desteratia is a minor song leading into Vela together we await the storm. Often there is 2 melodies (polyphonic) or a singer and guitar counter- melody.in songs like harbinger and vela together we await the storm. The almost constant tom and fill work by drummer/ founder Brett Powell can even count as melodies from time to time. As bad as this sounds the only problem is massive arpeggios can get boring after a while.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are, well, abstract (no pun intended) The lyrics are inspired by William Blake and other mythology. I find Nathens Ells Vocals are realy complemented by the music which realy adds to the emotion of the song. For ecxample in Self Portraits of the Instincts When the lyrics get dark the singing turns to screaming the guitars get faster and more diminished sound. Or a acoustic section with an driving melodic solo when you sing triumphant modivational lyrics. I find the lyrics are pretty good. Their good lyrics to find your own meanings in. I still listen to polaris whenever I need modivation in life. Even when you can't understand what the hell he is saying you still just love it cause you can hear what the meanings or message is just by the tones of his voice. I like his screaming a lot, probably one of My favorite screams. I like it cause you can always understand what he is saying. The only problem is at times it sounds too much like talking. And his singing is very melodic which adds a lot of contrast from the screaming. The only problem is it is at times too slurred and you can't understand what he is singing. I realy like Ells vocals, Sining and screaming. Everything in between. I think the lyics could be a bit better though.
Overall Impression — 10
The human abstract are a very original band. Well so is a lot of mathcore in general. their sound almost reminds me of associated mathcore band Protest the hero, only with different vocals. I find the best songs on the album are the opening harbinger just for all its technical skill, mea culpa for Kenny's Double hand tapping technique and Crossing the rubricon for it's 16th note 200bpm harmony intro. I love the listening aspect. By that I mean you can listen to it actively or passively and still love it. I also love how every instrument is intense. Vocals, guitar, drums even bass is some of the best I've heard. I can't think om much to bring this album down except a bit of vocals. I just love every bit about it. I had to go to 3 music stores and special order it in just to find this album and I would hell as do it again in a minute.