There have been countless songs written about love over the years and yes while Holding Absence’s self-titled debut album is probably not even the first concept album to explore the topic either this is an album that does indeed announce the arrival of a band that demands you sit up and take notice of them.
Hailing from Cardiff in Wales Holding Absence is one of those bands that didn’t fit comfortably in just one genre. While their label lists them as metalcore there are parts of this album that firmly puts them into the prog metal genre… and that is something I have to admit that I have fallen in love with very, very quickly.
Holding Absence’s look at love begins with the atmospheric opening to ‘Perish’ which soon reaches a feverish wall of sound littered with anguished wails from vocalist Lucas Woodland. ‘Your Love’ takes a more personal slant as the lyrics deliver lines like ‘your love ruined my life’ while the pounding drums again give way to a more intense in your face style of sound.
The genre shifting of Holding Absence begins with ‘Like A Shadow’ which almost feels like a futuristic style of metalcore and that continues on ‘You Are Everything’ which is then followed by the piano driven and emotionally wringing ‘Marigold.’
Sound-wise you just never know what you are going to get from track to track and that adds to the mystery and magic of the album. ‘To Fall Asleep’ sounds like a heavier version of Kisschasy while ‘Monochrome’ has a more mellow vibe around it. It is then that the ethereal prog sound creeps in – ‘A Godsend,’ ‘Last Of The Evening Light,’ ‘Purge’ and ‘Wit’ all feel like a mini-album of their own. These tracks contain some of the most beautiful prog sounds you will ever here while sounding like a soundtrack that Trent Reznor and Atticus would have written.
It is rare to say but the last four tracks of Holding Absence’s album show a band that is one that deserves to be watched closely. The amazing musicianship on show on these tracks leads you to believe that this is a band destined for big things.