LOATHE / HOLDING ABSENCE released their musically contrasting 4 track EP, ‘This Is As One’ on 16th February on SHARPTONE RECORDS, and it’s an EP that is going to shake you up, slow you down, and
rip out your throat. Without a doubt this EP will leave you wondering how these two bands ever came to be on the same record, but bare with me on this, it’s a good one.
The four track EP, which consists of 2 tracks from each respective band (unless you have the LP where you‘ll be treated to an extra live track from each band), is a melding pot of sounds. Add a shake of nu-metal, a dash of metalcore and post hardcore, a pinch or two of industrial style riffs and mix the lot together, then sprinkle the lot with aggressively brutal and its counterpart of melodically enticing vocals and then you might have a small idea of what this EP has in store. It’s a mixed bag to say the least.
The Liverpudlian quintet LOATHE have built a solid fan base since they hit the metal scene, releasing their debut album ‘The Cold Sun’ (2017) - a concept album that winds its way through a dual timeline of two protagonists and their journey through a post apocalyptic dystopian future - and signing with SHARPTONE RECORDS. Their contribution to the ‘This Is As One’ EP continues in the same strain as their debut album, interjecting raw vocals, hardcore nu-metal and progressive metal while maintaining a balance with melodic vocals and less aggressive riffs.
‘White Hot’ has those familiar aggressive growling vocals of Kadeem France that are complemented by the metalcore heavy drums and bass (Shayne Smith). This gives way to the less aggressive and somewhat melodic vocals of Erik Bickerstaffe, the accompanying instruments suiting the change in dynamic. The beat is chaotic at times which gives the track a frenzied brutal feel, while the vocals hold the track firmly in place allowing it to flow before returning with a battering barrage of drums from Sean Radcliffe as he exercises his full on rampant rage.
‘Servant and Master’ begins with brutal industrial sounds, the likes of which wouldn’t be out of place on a Mad Max post-apocalypse style film. The almost cerebral tone and cold, heavy, industrial nu-metal and djent characteristics of the track give way to a heavy riff before the sweeping exchange to a more subtle vocal, mixed with what I can only describe as accordion-esque vocals at the halfway point making this track a real mash up of sounds. ‘Servant and Master’ is an aggressive, loud and hugely volatile track that will chop you up with its razor edge riffs (Sweeney and Bickerstaffe) and pummel you into submission with the heavy bass and drums.
In total contrast we come to HOLDING ABSENCE, a Cardiff based quartet that deliver their half of ‘This Is As One’ EP with a mature, post hardcore, heavy alt-rock sound with sublimely raw, clear vocals of pure energy that soar! Signing to SHARPTONE RECORDS and nominated for the Best Breakthrough Act 2018 in the Cardiff Music Awards, HA have come a long way in a short time and have amassed a following on Facebook with only a handful of tracks to their name.
‘Saint Cecilia’ fades in then punches it with heavy riffs and drums before the raw emotionally charged vocals from Lucas Woodland kick in. It’s a blazingly harmonious track with its anthemic bridge sections and searing choruses that evoke feelings of euphoric alt-rock bliss. The composition is august, the production quality flawless and the musicianship for such a young band is impeccable. Littered with a maturity that shines through in the lyrics and perfectly placed hooks this track is going to stay lodged firmly in your mind.
‘Everything’ is a stripped back ballad with the dense drums of Ashley Green and the lulling bass of James Joseph prominent in the background. The track feels deeply atmospheric while the soft vocals of Woodland add a broodingly melancholic feel throughout. That is until he unleashes those emotionally charged raw vocals allowing them to break through and pull the track up another level, imbued with the sumptuous riffs of Feisal El-Khazragi. It’s immense! Full of heart and intensity that builds throughout the track. HA have delivered a track that brings the EP to a perfect close.
LOATHE and HOLDING ABSENCE may exist at different ends of the metal/rock spectrum but one thing is for sure, both bands have one thing in common, they have bright futures ahead.
‘This Is As One’ Tour is currently underway, why not check out a live performance when they hit your local venue? To find out more go to: https://www.thisisasone.com/
To find out more about the bands check out the links below:
Kadeem France - Vocals
Erik Bickerstaffe - Guitar / Vocals
Connor Sweeney - Guitar / Vocals
Shayne Smith - Bass / Vocals
Sean Radcliffe - Drums
Holding Absence are:
Lucas Woodland - Vocals
Feisal El-Khazragi - Guitar
James Joseph - Bass
Ashley Green - Drums