On paper, the pairing of Liverpudlian metallers Loathe and Welsh atmospheric post-hardcore group Holding Absence makes perfect sense. Both have been touted as ones to watch by many over the past 18 months and are riding a wave momentum into 2018.
Although ‘This Is As One’ isn’t entirely the collaborative EP some may think it is, it does offer a snapshot of both bands growing musically, blurring the lines of genre borders. Loathe kick off proceedings, picking up where they left off with their twisting debut album, ‘The Cold Sun’. ‘White Hot’ doesn’t hold back, jumping straight into a blast of abrasive, distorted vocals with a throbbing djent-esque bass line before finding their composure. With Kadeem France leading the way with serene vocals that are reminiscent of Chino Moreno.
Their second offering, ‘Servant and Master’, showcases their ever-expanding side. Briefly taking you into a false sense of security through its calm atmospherics, they soon pound you into submission with a heavy dose of pummeling drums, twisting guitars and a thick groove. While the gradual auto-tuned midway point effectively builds to a powerful conclusion.
As for Holding Absence, their stream of singles over the past 12 months continues with ‘Saint Cecilia’. Its harmonious, atmospheric undertone serves as its spine with Lucas Woodland’s soaring vocals being its heartbeat. While its structure is brilliantly executed, complimenting Ashley Green’s emphatic drums with anthemic guitars.
‘Everything’ is the icing on the cake. With the emphasis on creating an effective atmosphere, again the combination of Woodland’s vocals and Green’s sparse-yet-dense drums pays off. Its gradual build has a compelling quality.
‘This Is As One’ successfully pulls off the task of highlighting two emerging bands, both with their unique traits. Although it can easily be seen as a transitional release for Loathe and Holding Absence, the four songs on offer here are a good entry point to two bands who we will be seeing more of in the coming months.
‘This Is As One’ by Loathe / Holding Absence is released on 16th February on Sharptone Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)