Holding Absence // Thornhill // Dark Divine // Live Review // The O2 Institute // Birmingham

After an incredibly long time away from the scene, I’m finally back at the o2 Institute in Birmingham for a night of Post-Hardcore love with Holding Absence, on tour for their latest release The Noble Art of Self Destruction. Along for the night were Australian Alt-Metal sweethearts Thornhill and American Gothic Metalcore rising stars Dark Divine.

Dark Divine was the first act to hit the stage with an aggressive yet catchy blend of riffs and sub-drops mixed with catchy choruses and a great stage presence. Whilst I didn’t find myself completely encapsulated at the start, after a couple of tracks I couldn’t help but groove along to the chunky breakdowns as the crowd got more and more absorbed into the sound. The heaviness of the set quickly managed to whip up excitement and get the crowd pumped for the acts to come. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re a metalcore fan.

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Up next we’re Thornhill, who I’ve been dying to see live for years now. With two very different sounds, one being that of Modern Metalcore, and the other being what I can only describe as Art-Deco Alt-Rock, it was great to not only hear classic tracks such as Views from the Sun and Where We Go When We Die, alongside newer tracks such as Viper Room and Hollywood. Alongside a great setlist, the bands energy and tightness kept everyone watching entertained from the moment they started to the moment they left the stage. A truly great act that stand alone in sound.



Finally we had Holding Absence who took to the stage with smiles and excitement. The crowd took no time to lose it as the band started with Head Prison Blues. With a setlist covering most of their discography alongside their ridiculous stage presence, there wasn’t a second that didn’t feel utilised. My personal highlight was False Dawn of the bands latest release. This set was also personally quite special, I remember photographing HA in a small 100 cap venue in Coventry to 10 people at best years ago, and seeing them hit this level is absolutely awe inspiring. I cannot think of a more exciting band in the UK at this moment in time and it won’t be long before they’re headlining even bigger venues.

After so long away from the scene. It was great to be back doing what I love, surrounded by people all sharing a collective moment. There truly is nothing like live music, especially with bands as great as these. Check them all out as soon as you can.

Photography: Dan Stapleton

Pulse Media Visuals



Watch the lyric video for “Scissors” and stream on all platforms now here.

Purchase and pre-save The Noble Art Of Self Destruction now here.

“Head Prison Blues”
A Crooked Melody
False Dawn
Honey Moon
“Death, Nonetheless”
“Her Wings”
“These New Dreams”
“The Angel In The Marble”

The Noble Art Of Self Destruction was recorded at Canada’s Jukasa Studios with producer Dan Weller (Enter Shikari, Bury Tomorrow).

Lucas Woodland — Vocals
Scott Carey — Guitar
Benjamin Elliott — Bass
Ashley Green — Drums