Before listening to this album, I have actually only very briefly listened to The Human Abstract. However, this album has made me want to venture out and find some older material. Digital Veil puts you on a ride like no other and that will surely grow on you. From what I also understand, is that this was Andrew’s (guitar) last work with The Human Abstract.
The first track, Elegiac, acts as an intro to the album and does a great job of it. The first half of the intro is just some classical guitar work that puts you in a false sense of security. Just as you feel a soothing rush take over you, the rest of the band seemingly presses the “On” button and gets you pumped up for the incoming rush that is The Human Abstract.
Complex Terms then comes in with a build up on the guitar right into a very proggy riff that reminded me a lot of Between the Buried and Me. A little under a minute into the track, the song takes a whole new direction and starts attacking you with thunderous guitar work from Dean, AJ, and Andrew while Travis gives you a good lesson in growls that make you sit back in your chair like a kid who is getting scolded for stealing cookies. Just short of the three minute mark shows the other side to THA, and that’s the clean vocal side of Travis and then AJ playing a little short piano part. Yes I said piano, that is correct. All in all, this track really sets the tempo for what to expect on the rest of the album, a rollercoaster of sound that will keep you guessing until the end.
Next is one of my favorites on the album, the title track, Digital Veil. A sweet little riff and then the best lyrics of the album make their appearance over a galloping breakdown. “Pull me from the gallows, of this fiber optic nation!” This song has one of the most memorable messages on the album. From what I got, the digital veil in the title is our Facebooks, Myspaces, iPhones, etc. that have made us forget the small things in life that we should hold close. Clearly these guys are very aggressive in this message as the entire song is basically galloping with very fine fretwork from the guitarists. At the end we get crushed down with a similar breakdown to that in the beginning of the track as the song actually fades out with a very mechanical sounding effect.
Faust is the radio friendly song of the album which I have heard countless times on XM Liquid Metal. This track is what got me to actually want to hear the rest of the album and then review it. It truly is a rollercoaster through all 6 minutes. Not only do you get a ball busting breakdown two minutes in, but you get clean vocals, then harsh vocals, then gang vocals! While instrumentally speaking, the guitar work keeps changing up between palm muting, chugging, and crazy arpeggios. The only strange part of the track is I’m pretty sure there is lyric right before the breakdown that is something along the lines of, “You’re gunna get me off.” I thought it was a little weird.
Next comes the longest track on the album, Antebellum. Weird enough, the first few seconds of this song actually reminded me of Paramore and I couldn’t begin to explain why. Within the next 45 seconds you get what you expect so far from the album, until the classic acoustic guitars from the intro come back in for awhile and sooth you for a bit. Then Travis and the drums come back in that builds up to yet another killer section of clean vocals, chugging drums and guitar, with more arpeggio leads. My tiff with this track is that I actually thought it was just too long for the rest of the album. In other words, it’s that one song that just didn’t seem right on here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid song, but minus the acoustic guitars in the beginning, I would think I was listening to another album.
I felt myself almost get tired from the last track, and Holographic Sight makes up for it. There is a build up with guitars and then a huge breakdown that is introduced with “It feels like, it feels like I’m on Fire!” This track is quite possibly the heaviest on the album and what has become a complete opposite to that of the previous track. For the first time I actually caught myself headbanging to the album on this track.
With an exclamation of sorts from the guitars, Horizon to Zenith begins. This track literally feels and sounds like you are all alone on some sort of ship that has set its sight on a place called Zenith and you are going crazy. Lyrically it sounds like some lonely sailor is done bearing the “weight of a nation’s demands.” Great story behind this song, haven’t pressed skip on this track yet.
Finally we have the “music video song,” Patterns. This last track really ties things together, almost like the end to some big journey or story. Lyrically speaking, we have a man talking about how he has become sick and wicked and has realized that “we are all lost in these patterns.” Instrumentally, it starts off as a very mellow, almost epic story only to pick up in ferocity until the bitter end. After the guitar fades away, the acoustic comes back in to play a quick riff to close out the album.
All in all I thought the album was great and tried telling some sort of story which I just don’t understand quite yet. For those who haven’t heard of this band, this band will go great on your playlist right next to Between the Buried and Me as well as Obscura. From what I hear from past fans is that the album was solid but apparently the album artwork sucked. Not too sure why that is such a huge deal since the album makes up for it anyway. If you liked what you heard, check out these guys on the “Pull Me From The Gallows” Tour with Scale the Summit, Across the Sun, This or The Apocalypse, and others.
- Complex Terms
- Digital Veil
- Holographic Sight
- Horizon to Zenith