‘The Lost & The Longing’: Alpha Wolf and Holding Absence stretch themselves in new ways

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‘The Lost & The Longing’: Alpha Wolf and Holding Absence stretch themselves in new ways

Alpha Wolf
Words by Bryget Chrisfield

Melbourne-based metalcore heroes Alpha Wolf immediately hit it off with Welsh hard-rockers Holding Absence when both bands played the Impericon festivals in Europe back in 2019.

Now the SharpTone Records labelmates have paired up to release a split EP containing a song apiece plus two collab tracks.

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Collaborative opener ‘60cm Of Steel’ commences with deceptively innocuous guitar noodling – underscored by a slightly menacing drone – before pummelling drums, chainsaw-revving riffs and what sounds like every demon from Hell hightailing it through a portal invade the scene. Beyond the halfway mark, peak desperation – “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT!?” – silences all instrumentation bar lingering guitar distortion. Then impressive, stop-start dynamic interplay dominates the lengthy outro.

Alpha Wolf’s ‘Hotel Underground’ – with lyrical references to “roaches”, “locusts” and “rats” (eww!) – is thrillingly terrifying and instrumentally dense. In the presser, Holding Absence acknowledge this EP’s collaborative lead single ‘Aching Longing’ showcases “our band at its heaviest yet” and Lochie Keogh from Alfa Wolf’s signature yowls are sure get the blood pumping during this one!

Closer ‘Coffin’, by Holding Absence, is melodic, almost soothing at first. But then Lucas Woodland’s lung-busting chorus vocal ushers in all manner of unfettered catharsis.

The Lost & The Longing is a gripping listen, and it’s evident both Alpha Wolf and Holding Absence stretched themselves in new ways on this split. Co-headlining tour, please?

Label: SharpTone/Greyscale Records
Release date: 15 August