Nocturne Review

artist: The Human Abstract date: 10/06/2009 category: compact discs
The Human Abstract: Nocturne
Release Date: Aug 22, 2006
Label: Hopeless
Genres: Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
Each track will take you on a different atmosphere, making this album very unique, because each track is very well played and has a lot of variety that makes the act of listening to this album a true experience.
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 9.3 
 Votes:
 131 
 Views:
 717 
reviews (6) 118 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Nocturne Reviewed by: creamytwinkie69, on february 08, 2008
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Human Abstract is a relatively new band in the progressive/metal/hardcore scene. But that certainly doesn't stop them from being an interestingly original and talented group. I found out about them when I was looking through Myspace for innovative artists. Then, a fateful click on THA's profile quickly blossomed into an obsession. I immediately went out and bought Nocturne, but only after listening through all of the tracks presented on their Myspace player quite a few times. Their first full-length album showcases the dueling guitars of A.J. Minette and Dean Herrera, melting in with the raging yells, screams, and melodies of Nathan Ells. A.J. is a guitar prodigy, pulling off complex and rapid riffs, scales, technical progressions, and complex solos. Bassist Kenny Aerhart and drummer Brett Powell keep the beat steady for the rest of the band. From there, the university music theory training of Minette's really shines. All instruments integrate into an exploding rush, strangely reminiscent of classical elements as well as being very much metal. // 10

Lyrics: Nathan Ells' volatile vocal ideas aren't quite there for you to absorb in completeness and still be sane. With a name from a British poet, an album named after a form of classical composition, and song names in Latin and/or concerning concepts of life, the content of the vocals aren't exactly surprising. The focus is of living's troubles, betrayals, losses, confrontations, challenges, pressures, and the simple act of surviving. Ells' vocals range from harmonious whispers, abrasive growls, committed yells, to old-fashioned singing. Although I have to say that singing is definitely not the strongest point of THA, it holds it's own in the cyclone of musicianship. Song listing: 01. Harbinger - it starts acoustic, but quickly, the progressive metal sound breaks through. Simple vocals complement scale-like guitar shredding. It is a perfect introduction to the rest of the album. Portrayal of an awakening and a new beginning. 02. Self Portraits Of The Instincts - the track which I have the most trouble listening to. The ideas present are good, but they don't integrate nearly as well as the other songs. Random abstract ideas that compose humanity's dark side. 03. Nocturne - perfect choice for title track. It is definitely the most progressive song on the CD. Each instrument does it's own act while Ells' pulls off his best vocal performance (on Nocturne). All of the pieces fall together to make a masterpiece of a song. Forget 'em. Honestly, just enjoy the song. 04. Crossing The Rubicon - the second catchiest vocal work on Nocturne. More progressive and technical elements are present. Guitars take slightly more of a background. About revenge, respect, and hardening of the soul. 05. Sotto Voce - an instrumental. Don't skip over this song, though; it leads into Mea Culpa nicely and also is a great experience in it's own. 06. Mea Culpa - undeniably, the most likable song here. The metal takes more of a background as a more alternative/punk atmosphere takes over. It is the best song to start THA with. The tipping of the scales and relationships. 07. Movement From Discord - ups the energy from Mea Culpa. Perhaps it is the heaviest song on Nocturne (but maybe not - you decide). This song can really get your adrenaline up. Concerns heroism and the pressure of meeting expectations. 08. Channel Detritus - one of the best songs on the album. This track has the most unclean vocals (which still isn't too much, mind you). Determination, overcoming challenges. 09. Polaris - my favorite song by THA. It contains the best guitar work in the album. "Face the change." Take action over inaction (don't be lazy). 10. Echelons To Motolovs - fairly good. The ingenuity still shines through clearly even though the bulb is gathering dust. The powers of the rich and influential. 11. Desiderata - another instrumental. This one is longer and changes a few times. The piano outro at the end is sometimes heard with the beginning of Vela, Together We Await the Storm. Don't skip this track either. This is where the bulb of ingenuity is cleaned. 12. Vela, Together We Await The Storm - a great song. The light shines clearly. More personal feelings are expressed by the band through the vocals and the harsh screaming at the beginning is a welcome addition. The end fades with "Gone, so many friends and lovers/So far, nothing to show in turn" being repeated over and over, leaving you feeling empty yet fulfilled in the experience of experiencing Nocturne. // 9

Overall Impression: The Human Abstract is a progressive metal band, with some hardcore, mathcore, alternative, and classical influences. The sound is big, abrasive, over-the-top. Insanely difficult guitar parts are swept through by the guitarists A.J. Minette and Dean Herrera. Growling and melodic vocals and supplied by Nathan Ells. The bassist is Kenny Aerhart, and Brett Powell is counting to four on drums. Classical-influenced metal, with yells, screams, growls, and clean vocals. Guitars play scale-based and other theory based progressions and solos. Riffs are energetic, diverse, and complicated. Great musicianship is certainly one of THA's noble qualities. Songs are catchy, yet progressive. Listening to Nocturne is like sleeping. The dreams feature monsters of living, and serene images of random things. Everything is wrapped together so it feels right; however, as you look closer, it all explodes into your face and the stunning beauty of it all surrounds. And then you wake up, and you think, "Let's do that again." // 10

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overall: 9
Nocturne Reviewed by: IfDaysEnd, on january 18, 2007
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: This band really surprised me. Finally there's something fresh and original in a recent band. These guys are all about the music, virtuosity and creativity have finally gathered in a new band. What you can hear in this album is a mixture of many genres (mostly european influenced metal). It's a blend of power metal (oh yes, believe me, in some riffs you will get Rhapsody in your mind), complex guitar playing (Jason Becker-like), I don't know if metalcore or what but it is definitely metal. Each track will take you on a different atmosphere, making this album very unique, because each track is very well played and has a lot of variety that makes the act of listening to this album a true experience. // 9

Lyrics: Some lyrics talk about abstract themes, this isn't a themed album, but the lyrics are good. In some cases the title of the songs are unfolded in the lyrics in metaphores or in fictionized situations. They're good, but could be a little better. But that doesn't mean that they're bad. The vocals are dynamic, they range from melodic singing, to simple screams. Nothing more. // 8

Overall Impression: Well I can't say that it compares to other artists or albums, because they mix many things in each song making each song escentially unique. The guitars are great and so is the drumming; a band like this one can't stay in a genre for too much time, and in every song the transition just comes up naturally that you won't even notice because of the ambientation and the technique they use is awesome; I won't get in details in the time signatures they play, but it is definitely technical metal. In terms of originality, quality playing, dynamism, creativity, this band has an A+. Any metal fan will surely appreciate this brand new band, they may be new in the scene, but they don't play like it. I assure you, nobody will be disappointed. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Nocturne Reviewed by: Sandman8591, on march 16, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: I thought very highly of this CD when I heard it. My cousin bought it and we were listening to it in his car on the way home from best buy. I was like, "Woah, these guys are pretty damn good." So when I got home I downloaded the CD and put it in my iPod. Now, I listen to it all the time. A.J. Minette (lead guitar) is virtuoso material. He's simply and complexly an amazing guitarist. When he came in on Harbinger (the opening track of the CD) with his amazing sweeping skills, it just blew me away. And the vocals, which were a mixture of screaming and Nathan Ells' unique singing voice were pretty much awesome. The drums = simply awesome, although I really don't know enough about drums to know if their drummer was incredible or not. But definatly overall, this album sounding amazing to me, and I would definatly recommend it to someone in search of a new, unique, and extremely talented band. // 10

Lyrics: Although the guitar playing somewhat distracted me from the vocals and Nathan Ells' lyrics, I did look up some of the lyrics and thought they were, in my mind, very good. Nathan Ells' voice is amazing, and he is a great lyricist as well. There are some things he could do to make his lyrics a little somewhat better, but I think his voice makes up for that. His skills as a singer maybe not be "the best" but he is definatly unique in his own way and that's what helps shape The Human Abstract's wonderful sound. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this album kicked my ass. I thought it was amazing, and even though at first I sort of thought, oh it's just another new band and is nothing special. Then boom, these grew on me in 2 seconds flat, and now I love listening to this CD. Hopefully they come out with a new CD sometime soon, because I would love to hear these guys' new material. Perhaps it will even be more amazing. // 10

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overall: 9
Nocturne Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 22, 2007
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is f--kin awesome. It's a mix of classical music and metalcore which is one mean mix! The guitars are awesome the bass is awesome the drums are awesome and the vocals are awesome. Stand out songs are Mea Culpa, Sotto Voce and Desiderata. The guitar work in all of these songs really really kick ass. The guitarists in this band are definately guitar heroes of the next generation! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are pretty good and the song titles are in latin like mea culpa. The vocals along with the lyrics make the songs very catchy so the songs don't sound like music lessons are a pig shitting they are actually fun to listen to. The singer is pretty good but his voice doesn't really stand out from other singers but it's still really good. // 7

Overall Impression: This band is better than all of the other metalcore bands out there. They can play their insturments really well and the songs are still songs. So the songs aren't destroyed by the insturmentalists needs to show off. I love the album very much the only thing I hate is nobody really knows about it. If this album was lost or stolen I would definately buy it again and if I found the f--ker who stole it I would give him thumbsup for his ood taste in music. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Nocturne Reviewed by: corrda00, on august 04, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Nocturne Reviewed by: Classicalgreg, on october 06, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well I've been a fan of this band for many years and I have to say that "Nocturne" was a great album. I feel that everything flowed nicely form start to end and I think the production was great as well. Definitely a great album to have if you like progressive metal. This band definitely stands out above the rest and is as skilled as the legendary "Between The Buried And Me" in my opinion. I really love the fusion this band uses with classical music as well because it is one of my favorite genres. So as far as the bands sound goes I give it a 10. // 10

Lyrics: This band also has some pretty haunting lyrics too. I often hear Nathan Ells voice being played on repeat inside my head. At first I didn't really like the singing at all but now I respect him a lot because I realize now that I probably wouldn't like this band at all if they had a different singer. Anyway my favorite lyrics from him are the ones in "Channel Detritus" (Song #8 on the album) and he sings in a whisper (sort of) "Fools regret until they die, forgive yourself back to life." Which I think is an amazing line. A lot of this bands lyrical themes are about personal hardships and such other times you can't really be sane to understand what he means when you see the lyrics. Which it think is really interesting. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this band when I first heard them was "WOW! I've never heard anything like this!" I would definitely recommend this album to anyone even if you don't like screaming. If you can look past that I think you'd love this album. Its a technically dazzling, awesome album to listen to. A quick rundown of the songs are as follows: 01. Harbinger: great intro song with an epic intro riff. Goes into some confusing guitar work that is pretty hard to follow. 02. Self Portraits Of The Instincts: another sweet song. I love the chorus in this song and some of the riffs are pretty crazy. 03. Nocturne: holy **** this song blows me away every time I hear it. Its one of my favorite songs and it never gets old to me. A first time listener might say: "What the hell is happening? I don't know but I like it." 04. Crossing The Rubicon: crazy song with some really technical parts. I love this song for the "Acoustic sounding interlude" because it has a nice mellow feel to it when i listen to it. This song has my favorite outro to any song I've ever heard. 05. Sotto Voce: amazing instrumental song done by A.J Don't skip this song! 06. Mea Culpa: wow is one word to describe it. I really don't know how in the world A.J comes up with this stuff really. Probably the holiest solo I've ever heard. 07. Movement From Discord: I LOVE the instrumental work on this song. the ending is truly epic. Listen to this song and you'll know what I mean. 08. Channel Detritus: awesome intro and outro in this song. Favorite lyrics from this band. Just a masterpiece. 09. Polaris: this is the first song I heard by The human abstract and I have to say it may be their easiest song to play but it definitely one of the best. Its a really catchy song and gets stuck in my head often. 10. Echelons To Molotovs: pretty sweet song. I love the pinch harmonics in this song because they compliment the mood of the song well. 11. Desiderata: awesome Instrumental song that leads into this bands most technically difficult song in my opinion. It has a cool Erie feel to it. 12. Vela, Together We Await The Storm: amazing way to end a great album. Pretty weird lyrics. I love the harmonies and intro sweeps to this song because they just add to the feel of this song. and the heavy guitar parts underneath the sweeping kind of give me this "doomsday" feeling or something along those lines. This album is truly a master piece in my opinion and shouldn't be missed out on. I think you know what I'd to to the person who stole it and I wouldn't be dumb enough to lose it. Seriously go pick this album up it wont disappoint. // 10

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