Holding Absence & Alpha Wolf // The Lost & The Longing // EP Review
Both Holding Absence and Alpha Wolf are back, simultaneously this time, as they’re poised to release their new split EP The Lost and The Longing via Sharptone records on the 12th of August.
Now for many Metalcore fans, both of these bands are more than likely already at the top of your Spotify On Repeat, but for those who don’t know, here’s a very quick rundown of both bands. Holding Absence make incredibly atmospheric Emo-Metalcore with beautiful instrumentals and vocals, while Alpha Wolf focuses on crushing riffs, metal vocals and some ridiculously heavy breakdowns.
First up on the release is Alpha Wolf ft Holding Absence with 60 cm of Steel, which starts exactly as expected, brutal vocals, crushing riffs and a disgustingly infectious groove that feels impossible to sit still to thanks to the double time that kicks in halfway through the verse alongside a breakdown I can only describe as (and pardon the language) but pure fucking filth while the entire song has some gorgeous vocal melodies from HA’s Lucas Woodland. Following on is Alpha Wolf’s Hotel Underground, one of Split’s singles. Once again, it’s just Alpha Wolf on top form with more disgusting riffs, crushing vocals and just utterly great musicianship that brings an insane level of heaviness I really didn’t expect (I know I know, very amateur of me).
Up next is Holding Absence Aching Longing Ft. Alpha Wolf, another single. Somehow HA managed to blend their incredibly beautiful, melancholic soundscape choruses with some genuine gurn-worthy riffs and breakdowns alongside a full verse feature from Alpha Wolf that adds this layer of desperation from the soul. But the highlight of the EP has to be Holding Absence’s Coffin. Starting with a solemn piano piece, Lucas Woodland’s vocals truly shine through here and showcase just why he’s one of the best vocalists in the scene currently. But that’s not all, as the song features utterly mind-blowing songwriting and structure that showcases exactly what this band has perfected, the art of making me cry thanks to the many subtle changes in tone across the short runtime, explosive crescendos of the choruses and the closing of the track with another jaw-droppingly gorgeous piano piece.
Despite being a massive fan of both these acts, I really didn’t know what to expect from this release, but after following the single drops, to say I am anything but blown away would be a lie. Despite only having two songs each, both acts managed to showcase everything that makes them not only stand out in the scene but shows us who the next heavyweights of the metalcore genre are going to be. Just put this on repeat and have your mind blown by two of the best acts the scene has going for it.
Review: Dan Stapleton
“The Lost & The Longing” was released on the August 15 through SharpTone Records (RoW) and Greyscale Records (Australia and New Zealand). The EP includes four new tracks — two of which feature collaborations between both bands.
THE LOST & THE LONGING TRACK LISTING:
“60cm of Steel” (Alpha Wolf Feat. Holding Absence)
“Hotel Underground” (Alpha Wolf)
“Aching Longing” (Holding Absence Feat. Alpha Wolf)
“Coffin” (Holding Absence)
HOLDING ABSENCE ARE:
Lucas Woodland — Vocals
Scott Carey — Guitar
Benjamin Elliott — Bass
Ashley Green — Drums
ALPHA WOLF ARE:
Lochie Keogh — Vocals
Sabian Lynch — Guitar
Scottie Simpson — Guitar
John Arnold — Bass
Mitch Fogarty — Drums