When a band takes its name from one of the metaphysical British poet William Blake's most allegorical and impenetrable poems, it clearly isn't taking the easy route to fame and fortune. In keeping with their titular inspiration, the Human Abstract favor a brainy, progressive take on contemporary metal and hardcore that looks beyond the usual cars-and-girls themes. Guitarist Dean Herrera and guitarist and keyboardist A.J. Minette formed the Human Abstract in 2004, adding bassist Kenny Arehart, drummer Brett Powell, and, finally, singer Nathan Ells. Inspired by progressive rockers like Rush and Dream Theater along with heavier contemporary acts like Between the Buried and Me and Minette's university music theory training, the Human Abstract recorded a demo and played a number of regional gigs before signing with the local indie Hopeless Records in 2005. Working with producers Eric Rachel and Jamie King, longtime veterans of the Southern California post-hardcore scene, the Human Abstract released their debut album, Nocturne in August 2006. A year later, Minette parted ways with the band due to creative differences. the Human Abstract's sophomore album, Midheaven, followed in 2008 and featured new guitarist Andrew Tapley. Further personnel changes found Ellis replaced by new lead singer Travis Richter in 2009. In 2010 it was announced that Minette had returned to the fold. In 2011 the Human Abstract returned with their third studio album, Digital Veil.