The Human Abstract - Midheaven
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Release Date: August 19, 2008
When any kind of metal band releases a record today, there is pretty much a standard of what it contains: an extraordinary amount of breakdowns, some amount of silence before each breakdown (to make you anxiously await the same talentless breakdown every time), poor vocals, and some "heartbreaking" lyrics that you can’t understand no matter how hard you try.
The Human Abstract has decided to take this standard and smash it to pieces for their sophomore album Midheaven.
A noticeable difference from other bands would have to be the Human Abstract’s amount of time put into their musical performance. The very first track, “A Violent Strike,” amounts up to over six minutes of musical chaos; rather than leaving you bored, it has varying amounts of chaotic guitar riffs and brutal drumming combined with Nathan Ells’ varying technique of powerful singing and throaty screaming. You’ll notice the transition of noise to quiet singing and intricate guitars happen seamlessly and beautifully.
”A Procession Of Fates” features the boys trying to reach their inner Avenged Sevenfold with fantastic guitar solos that easily could have been heard on City Of Evil, while “Breathing Life Into Devices” is a fantastically brutal track that silences any thought that the Human Abstract doesn’t do diversity with transitions from brutal metal to soft piano and crooning vocals.
”This World Is A Tomb” is easily the most ear-catching tune on Midheaven, with Sean Leonard’s beautiful piano playing and fantastic lyrics: "Forging insight, by Pagan torchlight / In cadence warlike, we draw tears from the sky / because the well’s run dry."
Not much screams "radio hit" on Midheaven, like “The Path,” but it’s an instantly catchy track with an easy sing-along chorus that has you pumping your fist and singing along to the beat. Later on, the Human Abstract does their best to say what they feel in their hearts on “Counting Down The Days,” with lyrics that spell out an anti-war message that you can’t help but agree with while listening to Ells singing out, "There’s no right side of war / You can’t justify it / To erase away all that we’ve become, they can’t see we’re all one." As Midheaven's closing track “A Dead World At Sunrise” finishes the album off with another gorgeous piano track, you’re only left with wanting more.
The Human Abstract has done a magnificent job of avoiding all the flaws that seem to hinder their peers in this scene. Between chaotic drumming from Brett Powell and truly face-melting guitar riffs and solos from Andrew Tapley & Dean Herrera, this whole team of talented musicians have really come together to make an album that shows the effort put into it. The Human Abstract are here to stay, rocking out and showing the scene what a modern metal record should sound like.