This Is As One is the meeting of two bands with two distinct styles, both of them signed under the label Sharptone Records; Loathe and Holding Absence. Both have made a name for themselves in the UK scene and offer something relatively different to one another. Here the bands have joined forces for a Split EP consisting of two songs each (3 on the vinyl version with one live track). Generally the EP sits on a progressive metal, tinged with djent toned sound with flickering elements of post hardcore and anthemic choruses - but how does the EP sit as a whole piece of art with so many cooks in the kitchen?
Hostilities start with a track from Loathe: with a shuddering blend of beauty and aggression coming from 'White Hot'. Its delivery relies on an incredibly heavy spine, with seething vocals often rearing their head. The scousers clearly know how to create a mixture between styles to offer something original. With technicalities in their tones similar to Northlane, Loathe have a musical style that has been worked on intensely. It's abundantly clear that the quintet aren't afraid to experiment, such as on 'Servant and Master', with its instrumental scapes and math rock like tone.
Wales' Holding Absence deliver much of an out and out post hardcore beat, highlighted by the soft voice of Lucas Woodland. 'St Cecilia', beams out of the second half of the EP with a vocal style that focuses more on lyrical texture, and without scathing growls or screams, as opposed to Loathe vocalist Kadeem France's cuts. The concept of two equally distinctive universes clashing gives off a brooding, heavy atmosphere. However, the ambient post hardcore nature from the natives of Cardiff is quite dreamy, with an enchanting voice. They have a hardcore sonority with a touch of heaviness that tends to reverberate around the vocals. You can sense the pain on 'Everything', the presence of the drums adds a heartbeat to the record, it's palpable tension.
Two worlds have come together in this split, though there are certain similarities which can be detected. Metal meets post-hardcore, is a mix that works well and is accented by an incredible job on production. Loathe and Holding Absence have tuned themselves to produce a Split that's working perfectly. They said it, and it's true: This Is As One.