Album Reviews

Album Review – Holding Absence – The Greatest Mistake Of My Life





Release Date: 16/04/2020

Record Label: Sharptone Records

For Fans Of: Casey, Dream State, Loathe


There are rumours floating around that Holding Absence’s The Greatest Mistake Of My Life is a flawless, beautiful, triumph of a record; Hardbeat can confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is absolutely true. If anything, such high praise is at risk of being an understatement as the post-hardcore outfit deliver twelve tracks that hold the listeners’ emotions in the palm of their hands with an effortless ease that is becoming customary for the band. Aesthetically and musically, Holding Absence are embracing a brighter version of themselves. However, the heartache and heartbreak which resides at the core of what they do shows that even on the brightest of days, you can’t escape your shadow. 

The Greatest Mistake Of My Life sees Holding Absence take us on a journey through the intricate and complex relationship that love and death have. The joyous ‘Celebration Song’ and its sombre sister track ‘Mourning Song’ reflect this bold and sensitive exploration. While they might represent different sides of the coin, they are cut from the same impassioned cloth and act as opposing bookends to the voyage in between. It’s understandably an emotional minefield to navigate, but every word is sincere, every note is pure, and every second is a reminder of the limitless potential that exists within this band.

Aspects of The Greatest Mistake Of My Life mark a different direction, demonstrating the evolution occurring within the band. The fantastic ‘In Circles’ is the post-hardcore ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ for today’s generation, and simultaneously manages to be both subtly understated, but also larger than life. Lucas’ vocals are flawless, almost hypnotic, but without a hearty roar to be found it’s a confident stride from their comfort zone.

If you haven’t seen the brilliant music video accompanying the track, check it out below.

However, if there are fans who are concerned that Holding Absence may have abandoned their principles and steered away from their phenomenal self-titled debut album entirely, there is no need to worry. Holding Absence have simply built upon it. ‘nomoreroses’ is a prime example of this, enriched with the religious symbolism and murky metal undertones that epitomised their previous record, but with a refined and polished finish demonstrating an increasing maturity and confidence.

There’s a charming story behind the record’s title and the subsequent title track, ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’. Frontman Lucas Woodland covers this song just like his Great Uncle did during the 1950’s, after the original was recorded in the 1930’s by Dame Gracie Field. Lucas discovered this after gifting his Nan a vinyl of the first Holding Absence album only to be told it was not the first gift she had received of this nature from a relative.  It’s a fitting choice of theme and title for a release that feels timeless, enriched with identity and personality, but also ahead of the curve.

The greatest mistake of your life would be ignoring this record as it truly has something for everyone, and will certainly mean everything to someone. There are big-hitting, atmospheric titans in ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Curse Me With Your Kiss’, a dash of the cinematic and dramatic with ‘Die Alone (In Your Lover’s Arms), while tracks like ‘Beyond Belief’ just outright slap. ‘Drugs and Love’ is an anthemic, melodic and alternative song about love that provides a different narrative than the traditional variety. 

Holding Absence have followed up on their remarkable self-titled debut record with a release that sets the benchmark for the band moving forward, and almost certainly for the British heavy music scene itself. The Greatest Mistake Of My Life will be talked about for a long, long time to come and deservedly so. Incredible.


Rating: 10/10

Recommended Track: ‘Die Alone (In Your Lover’s Arms)’

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You can read our full feature with Holding Absence in Issue 2 of Hardbeat Magazine, which you can pre-order now! 

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