When I saw that this album was on Hopeless Records, I immediately assumed a few things. First off, I thought this album was an EP. I was wrong, as this is a full length album by The Human Abstract. Secondly, I thought that The Human Abstract would be an emo band in the vein of Amber Pacific and All Time Low. I was wrong again, as “Nocturne” starts off with The Human Abstract playing a very new-hardcore type of style during their “Harbinger”.
Of course, there is a breakdown during this track that is more in the emo or goth vein, but this allow the band’s energy to be focused, so when the act gets back into the heavy side of things, the resulting riffs feel much harder than anything else that has previously been of the disc. The band is able to come up with a chorus that has hints of both HIM and Fear Factory; The Human Abstract really makes the beginning stages of their “Nocturne” into a grab bag, with each track being something else that individuals have pulled from the band’s hat. There is much less in the way of finesse for “Self Portraits of the Instincts”. While the vocals do provide individuals with a little break from the fury of the guitars and drums, the vocals are contextualized well and the band does not lose any of the fury that they had put on the disc up until that point. Some great drum work is heard during the opening of the title track, even if the vocals do not fall into place as well as the band may hope.
The band is able to create an order out of things, but the title track has some of the more interesting compositions of The Human Abstract. Their breakdown of what is proper for time signatures here is reminiscent of acts like Unexpect, and distinguishes them completely from the rest of the hardcore or metal bands that are currently out on the market. The band does not have a track that could act as a crossover hit for them, but I believe that The Human Abstract does not care what eventually happens with this album. Their goal on “Nocturne” is to provide the hardest and most intense music that they can, and that is what they do during each of the twelve tracks on the disc. Pick it up if you are interested.
Top Tracks: Crossing the Rubicon, Nocturne
The Human Abstract – Nocturne / 2006 Hopeless / 12 Tracks / http://www.thehumanabstract.com / http://www.hopelessrecords.com / Reviewed 17 September 2006