Trading ambient heavy structures for a wider sound, Holding Absence dive into a layered sonic palate for their sophomore LP, ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’.
Emerging with a collection of tracks that expands on the foundation set in place with their self-titled debut, Holding Absence have refined their sound and structures to create a record that surpasses their already lofty output to date.
Following on from the sparse and ambient driven opener ‘Awake’, the Welsh boys hit the ground running with ‘Celebration Song’. Led by a simple yet effective vocal refrains and driving melodies, the track re-introduces the group without pulling any punches. Emerging more confident and boasting a sweeping production sound to match their ambition, on this song we see Holding Absence pushing their post-hardcore and post-rock influences further than before.
Matching its progressive rock tinged predecessor, ‘Curse Me With Your Kiss’ merges post-hardcore guitars with a hook driven chorus to create a track that will undoubtedly stand out in the group’s live shows. Highlighting how well the band have refined their sound, the track seamlessly runs through sleek bridges, overlapping codas, and crunching guitars without sparing coherency.
Following an impressive starting run, the mid-point of ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ uncovers Holding Absence‘s ability to deliver direct yet intriguing commercial rock tracks. Whether it’s the punk rock framework and breathless delivery of clear setlist mainstay ‘Afterlife’ or the bouncing and streamlined ‘Beyond Belief’, the quartet manage to balance their more ambitious ideas alongside easy to digest numbers; a winning formula for any band if they can pull it off.
Closing with the trilogy of ‘Phantoms’, the shimmering 7-minute long ‘Mourning Song’ and the record’s title-track, Holding Absence create an engrossing experience that leaves you gasping for more. Sliding through spoken word, sheen synths, swirling guitars, and pounding rhythms, they not only cover their range of influences but also push them further. Tied together with dominating choruses and moments of quiet reflection, ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ concludes on a strong note.
Proving that their debut was far from a flash in the pan, Holding Absence have matched and exceeded expectations on ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’, and in doing continue to prime themselves as icons in waiting.