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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr

Album Review: Holding Absence - The Noble Art of Self Destruction

Great Britain's Holding Absence rises from the success of their previous release The Greatest Mistake Of My Life with their third sincere and impassionate album, The Noble Art Of Self Destruction, the final installment of their three-album trilogy.


Growth is a constant in life. Struggles, heartbreak, success, and failure shape us. For Holding Absence, every trial is a brushstroke on the canvas of life, an idea that has cultivated their new release, The Noble Art of Self-Destruction. Vocalist Lucas Woodard sees life as an ever-evolving work of art, constantly evolving and being improved to create a better future. From start to finish, Holding Absence's third album release is a story built on life experiences that are never truly finished, changing and growing with every opportunity of self-realization and introspection found in life's most unpredictable moments.


The aesthetic notion of Kintsugi and Michelangelo's marble statues is the foundation of The Noble Art of Self Destruction. That there is beauty in the flawed and broken, eventually reviving into something more beautiful born from the anguish of sadness, sorrow, and suffering that comes with imperfection.

The Noble Art Of Self Destruction is more than just a growth story but is about a band that has used each experience to create a better version of themselves as they walk into the next chapter of their lives.



From the beginning, "Head Prison Blues" marks the start of this final act of their three-album journey. Holding Absence utilizes ethereal soundscapes and vocal harmonies at every turn to capture the struggle of one at one wit's end, opening the door to subsequent moments that extend this notion of one reconstructing oneself one step at a time from the depths of pain and hopelessness.


Other beautiful junctures such as "Crooked Melody" and "False Dawn" continue to build on its augmented emo nuance wrapped in post-hardcore bliss. Holding Absence explores imposter syndrome and self-loathing, delving into the painful effects of failure and providing a genuine look at self-worth from the perspective of someone struggling mentally.


"Scissors" turns the page to a canorous and positive note by answering the question of the defeatist attitudes expressed in "False Dawn," showing that through cutting off parts of yourself that are toxic and ugly, another person emerges for the better. A turning point of reemergence on the record, the denuded love ballad "Honey Moon" demonstrates a level of soft creative dissonance while still retaining bits of the heavier elements built on in previous songs.

The tracks "Death Nonetheless" and "Her Wings" showcase a poignant vulnerability towards the topic of suicide and death. These particular pieces stand out as some of the most evocative on the album, offering a solemn and introspective contemplation on the concept of loss, as well as the struggle to navigate the apathy that often accompanies life and death.

"These New Dreams" and "Liminal" are the album's last parting tracks before entering the finale. Both listening experiences convey a sense of altitudinous instrumental and lyrical optimism after much adversity and the tug-of-war battles that manifest when attempting to defeat the demons that exist within the inner recesses of dealing with mental health.

"The Angel In The Marble" is one of the most ornamented instrumental structures that has been created on the album and is a captivating closure to end such a difficult journey. A six-minute work of musical transcendence and Woodard coming to terms with his imperfections, The Noble Art of Self Destruction ends with an air of self-acceptance and a willingness to carry on after the struggle.

The aesthetic notion of Kintsugi and Michelangelo's marble statues is the foundation of The Noble Art of Self Destruction. That there is beauty in the flawed and broken, eventually reviving into something more beautiful born from the anguish of sadness, sorrow, and suffering that comes with imperfection. This third chapter signals the conclusion of one that has been battle-worn by hard experience and the beginning of something new, fresh, and complete. While it is too soon to predict what the next chapter will bring, what has emerged is a new and improved Holding Absence, battle-ready to go on another adventure.



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