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 The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011

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Slegna
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PostSubject: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:45 am

[Ed. note - I meant to post this earlier but I was waiting on confirmation from Dyl, which I of course didn't get. Oh well, we'll do better next week. Enjoy.]

Andrew: Surprise! You never thought this would return, do you?

Dylan: I sure as hell didn't.

Andrew: Ditto. But here we are with a slightly changed title, a slightly changed format, a few additions, and as an added bonus: sexy time!

Dylan: Mmm... I do enjoy sexy time. Back on topic, we'll be reviewing one album a week instead of five or six at the end of the month, and hopefully this will lighten our workload so we don't end up abandoning this column after one go. The reviewing format will be the same, where we analyze most of the songs, however, there will be some new features at the end, hopefully for a more complete reviewing experience.

Andrew: Shall we get started?

Dylan: Indeed. This week's album is The Human Abstract's Digital Veil, released March 8th on budding music label E1.


Andrew: First!

Dylan: Damn you.

Andrew: So, I guess I should touch on a few things before I get to the actual songs. I like doing my research before writing, especially when it comes to writing about music. Thus, as a forewarning, this introduction may be a bit heavy on precursory material.

First of all, hooray A.J. Minette! Like most guitarists, he has a "signature" tone or a specific sound you hear (the example I most commonly think of is Jeff Waters' "squeal" sound that he plays around the 15th or so fret [See: Alison Hell]). But not many guitarists can say their main influences are Bach and Chopin. And for the musically uninformed, those two fine gentlemen are not modern metal guitarists, but rather great classical music composers of the Baroque and Romantic eras, respectively (fun fact: I didn't even need to Google that shit). Not many people can say that truthfully, but Minette is legit.

Secondly, THA has a new vocalist in Travis Richter. While The Human Abstract didn't sound like The Human Abstract without Minette on Midheaven, the vocals aren't as powerful on Digital Veil without former vocalist Nathan Ells. Richter's screams are rather generic for metalcore, though his clean vocals are excellent and soulful.

Lastly, much to my dismay, Digital Veil only clocks in at just under 37 minutes of music. It's very disappointing to see that they didn't even get to the 40 minute mark.

And now, onto the actual music.

The album starts with a slow instrumental, "Elegiac", that slowly crescendos into a powerful chorus of triumphant sounding guitars. It should be noted that for the recording of the album, THA had three guitar players to work with. Of course, that wasn't quite enough for A.J. Minette, who often played around with a fourth guitar track. This completes a true metal version of a classical string quartet, and this powerful sound resonates well throughout the album.

The progressive songwriting really begins to show during "Complex Terms", however Richter's growls become stale quickly. However, his clean vocals are top notch, and the bridge section is one of the best parts of the album. "Digital Veil" is a headbanger for sure, but once again the growls feel like they're beginning to overstay their welcome on the album. Minette's melodic guitar sweeps and his solo all clearly influenced by Ron Jarzombek (one of metal's unsung guitar heroes), which is a big plus in my book.

The dueling growls/clean vocals on "Faust" mark the high point in the album for vocals, and they only improve during the choruses. Once again, the spotlight shines on the melodies played by Minette. And since I haven't mentioned much in the way of the other members of the band, I can sum it up very simply: it's THA playing THA. Very solid, tight and technical rhythms, however nothing overly impressive. Regardless, they are very solid, and definitely provide a great background for Minette to play his own melody. In "Antebellum", the clean vocals are again backed by growls, and it provides a commanding and resounding choral effect. My favorite guitar hook during the whole album are the beautiful arpeggios Minette plays during the choruses.

"Holographic Sight" is largely forgettable. The build-up in the intro fails to deliver what I think could've been a hard hitting piece. The second last song, "Horizon to Zenith", really showcases Richter's singing ability. The piano bridge is also well done, and demonstrates Minette's classical songwriting background.

Finally we wrap up the festivities of Digital Veil, with "Patterns", far and away the best song on the album. Once again, the clean vocals are exemplary. Even the heavy breakdown's screams are excellent. Richter finally shows an extra edge in his growls that separate him from generic metalcore vocalist #5823.

Overall, a solid album, but the lack of Nathan Ells hurts my perception of Digital Veil. On the flip side, the return of A.J. Minette was a big catalyst to the progression of the album and really set the songwriting apart from other albums. But do yourself a favor and give a listen to Nocturne, especially the songs "Crossing the Rubicon" and "Vela, Together We Await The Storm". I felt myself longing for a truly catchy riff during Digital Veil, but Nocturne definitely delivers in that regard.

Songs to Download: "Faust", "Antebellum", "Patterns"
Songs to Skip: "Digital Veil", "Holographic Sight"



Andrew: Go for it, Dyl.

Dylan: Alright, so I got my first listen of The Human Abstract, and I gotta say, I liked it.

First off, we get an instrumental in “Elegiac”. Not much to say here, but it is a good mood setter. Next up, we have “Complex Terms”. The first thing I notice is the technical work on the instruments. However, I'm not impressed with the rather generic vocals, and this becomes a problem throughout the entire album. What I do dig is the harmony between the growls and the clean vocals, which creates a great sound. As a guitar solo geek, I love the solo in this track. Good opener.

Now we have the title track, where we get the vocals right off the bat. And unfortunately, it remains generic, and this drags the entire album down. I do like the shredding bits thrown in here and there. Otherwise, the title track is really nothing special.

“Faust” is an interesting song. The prog is really kicking in now, and it's here with a vengeance. The problem is, this is also were things start to sound samey. The music is still good, but it's beginning to fall together into one song. “Antebellum” has an awesome intro and is one of the stronger songs on the album. These vocals are really getting old though, there seems to be no variety whatsoever. Excellent song though, like I said, strongest on the album.

“Holographic Sight” and “Horizon to Zenith” are forgettable, really nothing to see here. “Patterns” speeds things up a little bit, and closes the album solidly. We get some more clean vocals, which is finally a good change from the generic metalcore vocals we got throughout the entire album. This is another one of the better songs on the album, and saves it a bit after the prior two songs.

Ultimately, this was a good album, sans the really generic, boring vocals. Good music, great job putting it all together, but they need to work on those vocals, cause it got painful, quick. I have to look into their back catalog, but stand alone, I'd say this earns a solid three out of five.

Songs to Download: "Patterns", "Antebellum"
Songs to Skip:


Dylan: I'd also like to apologize really quickly here, I ran a bit short on time while trying to write my review.

Andrew: Meh, shit happens. I'm not much better when it comes to procrastination.

Dylan: Now, before we wrap things up, I believe that you said you had one thing left on the agenda?

Andrew: As a matter of fact, I did. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, a rant.

Dylan: Whoa! Throwback time. Though you're kind of stealing my gimmick.

Andrew: Yeah, I know. Anyway:

Dear Between the Buried and Me,

Fuck you. Just... fuck you. As I was looking at the events on my local venue's website (the same one I will be visiting on the 5th of April to see Protest the Fucking Hero), and I scrolled down the page to see a poster advertising a BTBAM tour in support of your new EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. I was so giddy I nearly peed myself. So after I relieved myself (I did actually go to the bathroom), I saw who you guys brought along for support.

Job For A Cowboy.

Fuck that shit. Nothing more needs to be said about that gigantic mistake. And not only that, but you also plan to bring along Cephalic Carnage. Grindcore! Are you fucking kidding me?

But that isn't even the worst sin.

A few weeks later, here I am sitting at my computer (still angry over your choices of supporting bands for your North American tour), and I see you release your European tour dates. Naturally curious (a good gay joke would be appropriate here), I check them out. Your supporting act?

Animals as Leaders.

And then I'm all like FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-. Because Animals as Leaders rules. Tosin Abasi is a God. And "CAFO" gives me a boner.

So in summary: Get a better booking agent. Or at least one who isn't biased towards Europe.

Love,
Andrew

Dylan: Agreed. Totally. 100%. Job For A Cowboy is ass.

Andrew: My opinions are awesome.

Dylan: And that's it, right?

Andrew: That's it. We'll see you folks next week with a new album.

Dylan: As always, comments and criticism are very welcome. Adios.

Andrew: Peace.

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:50 am

....I don't believe my eyes, this actually exists again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:55 am

Damn straight, we've actually got a schedule for the next two months or so.

However, whether we stick to that schedule or not remains to be seen.

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:38 am

Im asssuming you guys only plan on doing 'awsum' metal bands and the like every time?


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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:16 pm

A. Is that a problem?

B. No, not always.

C. We won't be doing hip hop or rap, if that's what you're wondering.

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:21 pm

Slegna wrote:
A. Is that a problem?

B. No, not always.

C. We won't be doing hip hop or rap, if that's what you're wondering.


a- Its limited.

b- ok

c- no, not what I was wondering.

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:07 pm

Yes, I'm bumping a just-over-a-year-old thread.


Make more.
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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 am

At first I thought you were just some newb posting. Then I realized who you were. Twat.

In response, no, due to time. Maybe over the summer. Though, on that note, I may have an idea in the works for you and Dylan...

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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Please tell me it doesn't involve a very broad subject matter that requires multiple mind changes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Rant 2.0 - March 18th, 2011   Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:23 am

I just can't understand what is it???????????
Is it a some kind of story or anything else? I want to say about the picture of your tittle because it was the only thing which i like because the graphics work is good in it.
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