With a band name that's as wildly pretentious as an art school project (lifted from a William Blake poem), proggy Los Angeles-based metalcore newbies the Human Abstract run a serious risk of suffering from full-on creative diarrhea with their full-length debut. And for all intents and purposes, Nocturne almost asks you to dislike it right off the bat, with its often dense and stunted mix of King Crimson- and Rush-esque wankery and predictably chuggy jock-metal breakdowns. Fortunately, the band has enough tricks and surprises in the wings, not to mention a collectively flamboyant level of musicianship, to save Nocturne from being a bloated disaster. If they do tone down the wanking, they'll be a good band.
The Human Abstract play Sunday (February 18) at the Opera House.