THIS IS AS ONE - Loathe and Holding Absence w/ Modern Error and LIFETIGHT Birmingham Asylum 07.03.18

Photo Credit : Thomas Smith

Last Wednesday saw the intimate Asylum 2 host some of the most promising talent the UK alternative scene has to offer. Loathe and Holding Absence are entities that are currently making colossal waves on the US and UK touring circuits, as well as receiving EP reviews that are unanimous in acclaim. These two bands are building momentum at lightning speed, and their joint co-headliner tour celebrating their split EP 'This is as One' was a testament to the power of rigorous hard-work. Utilising support slots to adhere to the 'support your local scene' mantra, the evening acted as a celebration of the plethora of upcoming talent that we should be honing in on quickly.

Opening the evening's proceedings were melodic-hardcore outfit Modern Error (7), who, although playing to a relatively small crowd made their mark from the get-go. Modern Error have been pipped to have a very big 2018, with Kerrang! Radio and Punktastic both noting the band's potential- this was very clear within their hard-hitting five song setlist. Featuring the angsty musings of Bruised and Blue, and recent offerings Funeral Verse and Blackout Poetry, the band were remnant of bands such as Capsize and Casey, and certainly demonstrated their future potential, despite this only being their third ever live show.

Bringing the positive-vibes were Birmingham's own LIFETIGHT (9) who set the energy levels automatically to 110% with their play on Lil Pump's Gucci Gang (aptly restyled as Posi Gang). Commanded by vocalist Thomas Smith who was remnamt of Tobey Morse from H2O with PMA style rhetoric, the band opened with the riff-fuelled Big Boy House. Although still in their infancy stages, the band played with the self-assurance and confidence of those in the big-leagues. The crowd grooved along to offerings such as Misguided and set-closer Dreams. The set highlight came within Energy, where as cliché as it is to say, the room's energy was at optimum levels. Big things are in store for the lads in LIFETIGHT, and this is only the beginning.

The first of the show's co-headliner's this evening were Loathe (10), who quite simply, after the spread of a red stage light and the simple noise of static transformed the relatively placid Asylum 2 crowd into an absolute frenzy. Opening with the heavily catchy groove-laden riffs of Servant and Master, the precedent was set for the rest of the band's ten-song setlist. Moving swiftly into It's Yours, the ferocious growls and impeccable clean vocals are mimicked in unison by the swells of the crowd who are as much a part of Loathe as the band members themselves. Loathe have the audience eating out of the palm of their hand, and nobody is standing still - this isn't just a performance, this is a masterclass in how to blow every other metal band out of the water. Chaos continues with the chugging riffs of Loathe and Rest; In Violence where vocalist Kadeem France cements himself as a metal vocalist who would be difficult to rival. Closing the set with White Hot and Babylon... it is clear that the audience has been part of an experience that will not be easily forgotten. Loathe are a band you do not want to sleep on, and their future can only continue to rise from strength-to-strength.

After the adrenaline has eased off from Loathe's performance, it is time for the evening's headliner's Holding Absence (9). Acting as one of the frontal bands, who are turning keen ears towards South-Wales, the band is synonymous with

hard graft, grit and determination. Although possessing an energy that is somewhat different in feel to Loathe, Holding Absence take the crowd on a musical journey which begins with Permanent. Juxtaposing ambience with grit, and the faultless cleans of vocalist Lucas Woodland with the heavy tones produced by guitarist Feisal El-Khazragi, the band makes the crowd not only listen but feel. This is also evident through the lyrical intricacies of Woodland, who writes lyrics with a style that demonstrates wiseness beyond his years. The journey continues with tracks such as the catchy Saint Cecelia, Everything and Heaven Knows, which leave the audience captivated and keen for more. The highlight of the set comes with Dream of Me, being the band's initial release, it has certainly become a favourite amongst early followers of the band. Closing with Penance, it is apparent that Holding Absence are on the cusp of greatness, and it is only a matter of time before the band blows up in popularity. Huge things are in store for the UK music scene, and quite frankly, we are only just at the start of this tale.