The Human Abstract

After writing their third album in the downtown Los Angeles area, the Human Abstract are headed to The Machine Shop in New Jersey on July 1 to record their third album for Hopeless. A fall release date is being eyed. 'Midheaven' descended upon the metal community in 2008, while their debut 'Nocturne,' was unveiled in 2006. If you slept on either releases, shame on you, because they're pretty impressive tech metal with a soul.

There's a swirl of exciting activity surrounding the band. Classically-trained, original guitarist and main songwriter A.J. Minette has returned to the lineup and will shoulder a bulk of the writing responsibilities for the new album. Additionally, Travis Richter, late of From First to Last and the Color of Violence, has taken over vocals.

Ultimately, the band is looking forward to the fresh, clean slate. "I knew that coming back into the band would mean a heavy load on my schedule," Minette told Noisecreep. "Between studying classical music in school, teaching and working on the new album, I've been keeping busy. It has been exciting to write metal music again. We all want to make something that we can believe in, so we all have been digging deeper to become better musicians and composers. I wanted to take my classical studies and apply them to metal, but I did not want it to turn out sounding like power metal."

Richter weighed in on his new role and the seriousness of this phase of his career, saying, "This has been, without question, my biggest challenge as a musician. I had to seriously re-think my work ethic and make some big changes in my life." He also told Noisecreep, "The pre-production and writing process have felt like a training season for an Olympic event -- many eight to 12 hour work days for the guitars, bass and drums, and I have been listening to the songs incessantly and writing and demoing vocals with A.J. We are aiming to release an album that is both heavy in content and rich in detail with hard work and effort as the path to our goal."

Drummer Brett Powell put things in a temporal perspective, recalling to Noisecreep that "[guitarist] Dean [Herrera], A.J. and I started playing together back in 2004 when we were all 18 and fresh out of high school. From day one, we had our minds set on the same goals: to become the best players we could be, and tour the world doing what we love, which was playing music."

Now that six years have passed, the journey the trio has experienced together "has shaped us to be who we are today, and who we will be for the rest of our lives," Powell said. He also wasn't shy about admitting that Minette's yearlong absence made the Human Abstract feel a huge void, as THA missed his presence on and off the stage. "This new album will be everything and more than anyone could have ever hoped to hear from us after supporting our debut album, 'Nocturne,'" Powell said. "Travis was another missing link that we needed all along: a frontman that instantly turned into our new best friend while sharing all the same influences and interests as the rest of us."

Welcome aboard Travis, and most certainly welcome back A.J.