If I didn’t know that most Human Abstract band members were under 10 years old when Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” hit MTV, I’d swear that this was the earsplitting but benign band that caused George Wendt to put the kibosh on Macaulay Culkin’s air guitar jam at the beginning of the epic video. But these self-proclaimed progressive rockers are much too young to have been in cahoots with Jack-O in the early ’90s. At least too young to have been in musical cahoots.
What sets these talented metal players apart is their ambitious puzzle of a message, one that skirts the usual death and gloom of the genre. Rather, this band deals with—according to vocalist Nathan Ells—“the concept of karma.” Which might explain why, if you take away the sections of screamed lyrics and those that sound like a Jack Black ditty, Ells’ vocals and lyric sensibility sound a whole lot like Lenny Kravitz’s. In fact, the first lines of Human Abstract’s “Procession of Fates” fits perfectly when dropped into Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”: “You make your way / but don’t belong/ I swear you’re not the only one.”
Please, somebody get a memo to Weird Al.
The Human Abstract plays the Wilma Theatre Sunday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 PM with Trivium, All That Remains and 36 Crazyfists. $22/$19.50 advance.