I knew it wouldn’t be too long until South Wales, UK natives Holding Absence would come back to their home country for a headline show.. but this time sharing that headline spot with Scouser – metal core band Loathe. Two of the UK’s biggest breakthrough’s in one room to celebrate the release of their amazing split EP ‘This Is As One’.
Opening up the night was big British prospects Modern Error kicking off with crazy guitar riffs and unclean vocals from frontman Zac Pinchin which made my first live experience of Modern Error a memorable one. A band to look out for in the near future if you haven’t already. The band were recently featured on Kerrang! Radio which is a great way to kick off their musical ambitions.
Second to the stage was Parting Gift, another band that you’ll be hearing more on your radio much more frequently in the near future. This was my first time seeing this band who I am quite a big fan of, but not the first time I’ve ever seen the frontman perform live. Ironically, the frontman of Parting Gift Zac Vernon, was Holding Absence’s previous vocalist before Holding Absence’s current frontman stepped up to the role, and the power of Zac’s voice hasn’t changed in the slightest. A powerful and emotional, harmonic voice which was enough to drop the jaws of the crowd shows the brilliance and prosperity of this band. Kicking the night off with ‘In Mind’ and ending the setlist with their biggest hit ‘Be Still’ was enough to give anyone goosebumps.
Then came the first co-headliner, the heavier of the double act, in fact, the heaviest band of the night… Loathe. Showing no mercy the band kicked off the night with the opening riff off of one of two tracks from the split EP with Holding Absence, ‘Servant & Master’ which sounded like The Prodigy vs Slipknot, which showed not just the crowds love for the band, but the love for heavy music that was in that room.
If you weren’t in the pit that frontman Kadeem demanded, you found yourself uncontrollably moshing on the spot to the deep chugging of the rhythm guitar.
The lack of clean vocals left the crowd no time to catch their breath but instead only what I can describe as zoning into what was coming out of the speakers which was ridiculously harsh screams and growls which was no less than a godsend. It’s no wonder these guys are in the Heavy Music Awards 2018’s opening party and nominated for Best New Band in Metal Hammers 16th annual Golden Gods Awards. This may be the first time you’ve heard of these guys, but I can guarantee that it isn’t going to be the last.
Last to the stage were the stars of the show, Holding Absence… the UK’s biggest breakthrough of recent months who opened up their set with unreleased slow jam ‘A Godsend’, which tensely felt like the calm before the storm, which it certainly was. Then came ‘Permanent’ the bands first release since losing previous vocalist Zac, which showed Lucas’ vocal skills perfectly.
Quickly manouvering from shouts and screams, to eye-widening harmonies was spectacular and he is, in my opinion, one of the best vocalists in the game at the moment with a voice not to be overlooked, which he proved on the night.
A few songs later came one of their tracks from the split EP with Loathe, ‘Everything’ which is the bands most recent single. On word? BREATHTAKING. The entire crowd giving it their all throughout, until the final chapter of the song where all hell breaks loose and we really hear the extent of Woodland’s vocal skills.
The band wrapped up their set with their deepest, most emotional release yet ‘Penance’. Six minutes of blissful vocals and almost psychedelic guitars which will instantly knock you into an emotional, all – ears zone.
its always amazing to see smaller bands pull off shows like these bands did that night and its only a question of when these guys are going to hit mainstream rock. Catch both Loathe and holding Absence at this years Slam Dunk Festival. for tickets click here.
Cover photo by Ashlea Bea Photography.