Nocturne review by The Human Abstract

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  • Released: Aug 22, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (131 votes)
The Human Abstract: Nocturne

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- 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.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ascendancy2 wrote: Their new songs on the myspace arent very promising...
    Cuz A.J. is gone The new guy isn't nearly as awesome in terms of complex structuring and whatnot. He's a lot more conventional.
    I've loved THA since Nocturne came out and I recently got to see them for the first time in Warped Tour, lemme tell you they rocked. They played the 2 new songs on myspace and another one from the new album which was waaaaay better then the 2 songs they got up which gives me hope that the cd will be better than ppl think. I got to talk to them after their set and they were such nice people, the keyboard dude was hysterical and Nathan is such a nice guy just hanging out with the fans.
    [x]Huffy[x] wrote: New album has leaked. I downloaded it. I'm quite disappointed in what I heard.
    Yeah the guy you hear doing all the awesome sweeps and classical guitar stuff in Nocturne left the band. I'm not sure how much he wrote but they are definitely different. They replaced him then added a keyboard player so I don't know. I liked what I heard off of their myspace but it'll never be the same (or maybe even as good) as Nocturne.
    gibsonLP68 wrote: MustangMan311 wrote: Terrible, terrible band. Horrible vocals, terrible song writing. I respect their playing ability, but nothing else. That didn't even make ****ing sense. Dumbass. Merkaba_46&2 wrote: They are fine, but Between The Buried and Me does it way way better. Nobody said they were better than BTBAM. Both of these bands, along with protest the hero, are keeping the music fresh and original
    Hahahaha, how does that not make sense? They can't write music, but they can play it.
    I prefer this band to BTBAM. I got Colors and was massively disappointed. Didn't sound very original to me. Please, stop comparing BTBAM and THA. Its stupid.
    Music is either good or bad. And all these people saying a band's music sucks before they even listen to them just because of the genre... Just sit your asses down and listen to an album all the way through, without a negative mindset before you start. Be open to all kinds of music. If you go into an album thinking this band sucks, most likely you'll think they still suck afterwards. Take the time to appreciate more than what your used to. After all, you can learn something from everyone. And one more thing, try not to read critics' reviews before you anything. Trust your own ears. And to Seither2k, well said.
    jumpmanhat wrote: arggh i hate this band. I saw them for free and it was just torture. The singer was the worst part, hes like friken deaf or something, he kept telling the sound guy to make the vocals louder!! and he kept messing up, nonethe less, the vocalist sucks ass. The constant sweeping made me want to throw up... Terrible, Dream Theatre/Fall out Boy wanna be band
    Come on now, don't lie, you just made all of that up. *tut*.
    I saw them at Warped Tour, and I nearly had a heart attack from the intense awesomeness. I preordered their new cd and they played a few songs from it. I can't wait for it. They were friggin' insane, and the keyboarder (keyboardist?) looked drunk as hell.
    bon_harrington wrote: THese guys SUCK! THey are horrible, how they got a record deal is beyond me..... I can sit and scream into a microphone too, maybe i should send there record company my demo... Horrible band
    Ok. Now play the guitar for these songs.... o right u cant. Cause u suck and they rock! (and the vocals still pwn u)
    I just started listening to these guys about a week ago, and there is not one song that I am tired of listening to. They have originality, technicality, melody, and aggression. That is all I need. This album reminds me of BTBAM's "Colors". Awesome.
    insidethehorror wrote: I just started listening to these guys about a week ago, and there is not one song that I am tired of listening to. They have originality, technicality, melody, and aggression. That is all I need. This album reminds me of BTBAM's "Colors". Awesome.
    i can see where your coming from mentioning BTBAM, but they seem more death metal influnced, while THA seems more neo-classical influnced. you know what i mean?
    I've listened to this album all the way through a couple times and love pretty much all of the guitar and drum parts. But the thing I can't get over is how they can make sickass music and think that guy can sing or scream at all. Their vocalist is the worst! He brings disharmony into every song by throwing some off key vocals on there and hasn't wrote anything memorible. But I have heard the new album Midheaven and he is way worse in that cd than this one. It doesn't change the fact the guy couldn't hit a note even with that gay ass auto-tune that rappers use, lol. Once the rest of this band decides to get rid of that joke of a singer they will be a lot better off