REVIEW: Benjamin Coe
In 2019 Welsh rock outfit Holding Absence embarked on a journey of self-reflection and introspective discovery via a trilogy of albums that began with their seminal self-titled debut. Fast forward 4 years and they are poised and ready to release the closing chapter of said trilogy, titled The Noble Art Of Self Destruction.
Despite numerous lineup changes in their early years, the band persisted and fought their way through an oversaturated music scene determined to make their mark and this album could very well be it. From the opening notes of Head Prison Blues you can feel the anguish and emotion pouring through the speakers, an honest and heartfelt offering on the subject of self-loathing and devastatingly self-destructive thought patterns. Lucas Woodland’s vocals perfectly capture the desperation of someone trapped perpetually inside their own darkness but giving their all to try and escape.
It’s a theme that resonates throughout the whole album. But it’s not all doom and gloom, with the odd glimmer of hope shining through the cracks in the damaged psyche of whoever is narrating this tale of a downward spiral, even if it is at the expense of complete sanity. Lead single A Crooked Melody is a perfect example of this, stating “If I lie myself to sleep, then I’m gonna be alright”. I’m sure it’s something we’ve all felt before, the fake self-assurance that everything will be fine when the world around us is anything but…
Musically the album is quite uplifting despite the heavy lyrical content. Soaring choruses (Scissors), bright guitars (Honey Moon) and soft piano intros (These New Dreams) are strongly juxtaposed by some dark & broody breakdowns (also Scissors, obviously a standout track) and some crushing riffs (Death, Nonetheless). Guitarist Scott Carey proves time and time again on this record that he knows how to not only properly help express the weight of Woodland’s lyrics but also provides a bright white to the empty black of the subject matter that is dealt with here.
This album, simply put, is the human soul on display. A completely honest outpouring of a more and more common human condition in which we find ourselves lost inside a circle of self-hatred and destructive behaviour. The boys in Holding Absence should be standing proud and taking a bow for wearing their hearts on their sleeve and offering something so tragically beautiful as The Noble Art Of Self Destruction. A fitting end to a powerful story.
Purchase and pre-save The Noble Art Of Self Destruction here.
PROM QUEEN CITY AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2023
FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER – FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE 18+
SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER – MAGNET HOUSE, PERTH 18+
SUNDAY 22 OCTOBER – UNI BAR, ADELAIDE 18+
THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER – THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE 18+
SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER – LIBERTY HALL, SYDNEY LIC AA
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