From the moment of our very first breath to the very last before we die, we never stop growing. It is inevitable. Every trial and tribulation, every heartbreak, success and failure, every scar, blemish and wrinkle is another unique brushstroke illuminating our life’s canvas.
Holding Absence’s latest album is a testament to how our life’s story is never fully told, with opportunities for change and growth found in every moment, from the depths of despair to the euphoria of our greatest loves. Whether adding colorful flourishes to an already picturesque painting, or chiseling away at the marble to reveal the beauty that lies within, The Noble Art of Self-Destruction (the final act in a trilogy of records encompassing the first chapter of the band’s career) speaks to how we are each an unfinished piece of art with new meanings and qualities waiting to be discovered.
The album kicks off with “Head Prison Blues” which is solidly crafted with an alt rock aesthetic that feels both familiar and refreshing at the same time. It is this very familiarity that carries the album as it shifts with every ebb and flow from start to finish. “A Crooked Melody” follows and keeps a pretty steady pace that seems par for course and sets the precedent early in. “False Dawn” shifts things ever so slightly and seems to have a more personal approach and is a highlight of the album so early in. “Scissors” shifts gears back a bit closer to a tempo initially encountered on the first two tracks and keeps the overall flow of the album pretty cohesive.
The middle segment of the album takes a slightly more mellow approach with “Honey Moon” which really shows vocalist Lucas Woodland’s vocal ability as being more than just another alt rock standard. “Death Nonetheless” picks the tempo back up once again adding to the interesting contrasting elements of song placement in the middle of the album which is intricately followed by “Her Wings.” “Her Wings” serves as another fine example of how soaring Woodland’s vocals can be and helps carry the song to a different level.
“These New Dreams” begins the progression to albums climax and carries a more ethereal vibe to it that fits perfect this far in to the album. “Liminal” serves as a bit of a final surge of energy as it fits more aesthetically with the first few tracks of the album rather than toward the end when an album is more apt to be on the downhill side of things. The album culminates with “The Angel In The Marble” which serves as the perfect closer as the lyrical subject matter fits the overall story that is intended on The Noble Art Of Self Destruction. It is beautifully crafted and showcases the overall musicianship of the band as a whole.
Ultimately, The Noble Art Of Self Destruction is very much like its subject matter. It is a slab of marble that is chiseled upon each subsequent listen that reveals the beauty within as it all takes shape.
You can catch Holding Absence on tour with Senses Fail in North America when the tour kicks off in Las Vegas later this week and runs through early October.