The Human Abstract

Digital Veil

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The Human Abstract are a technical/progressive metal band, somewhere between Muse and Neuraxis. They've got harsh vocals (from former From First to Last guitarist Travis Richter), sweepingly epic songs that transition from chugga-chugga guitar riffing to delicate piano melodies, death metal roars to nasal crooning and back multiple times. The longer songs, like the seven-minutes-plus "Antebellum," have a real beauty reminiscent of Radiohead in their Pink Floyd period, where some of the shorter ones like the title track or "Holographic Sight" occasionally get too caught up in change for its own sake, shifting from one section to another seemingly for ADD-related rather than artistic reasons, but nothing here is mere "riff salad." The guitar solos are clean and augment the songs rather than dragging them to a halt for an outburst of wanky shredding, and the drumming is powerful, somehow balancing intricacy and power. Some songs ("Complex Terms" and "Horizon to Zenith" in particular) owe more to Muse than others, but that's not really a bad thing. And the closing track, "Patterns," is one of the best cuts on the record, dramatic and shredtastic. This is a major statement by a band that seemingly has yet to peak.

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