Wow, what a bizarre sounding blend of genres we have here. Either I've been out of some of the recent metal subgenres or Holding Sand has found a previously unexplored niche in the heavy scene. I've heard tons of bands who throw several vintage metal styles in the mix, sometimes with some modern day stuff. But, this? This is a huge blend of recent metal styles including sludge, post-hardcore, screamo, progressive metal and, well, rock. This results in something that constantly shifts between ruthless violence and emotional passages, played with some stunning craftsmanship.
A Life Worth Memoirs is the second full-length, after the debut and two e.p.'s by this French quintet. Founded in 2007, the band has played over a hundred gigs throughout Europe and took all that experience with them in the rehearsal room to record something very intense. The album really does have the energy and intensity of a live performance. After the intro, also title-track, the listener is treated to an array of distortion, pounding drums and violent screams, interspersed with melodic passages that are almost breathtaking.
There are twelve songs on this album. The intro and 'Lights Out' differ because of their post-rock like atmosphere. Of the other songs 'Wreck' and 'Farewell' are my favorites. Mostly because of the alternative rock (Deftones-style) of the latter and the pure rock 'n' roll caliber. This influence is present in most songs on A Life Worth Memoirs and that makes Holding Sand differ from most metalcore bands I've seen. Holding Sand sounds like a mature band that truly knows what they're doing and where they want to go. With this full-length they hold a credible business card. On February 23, they will release a weapon upon the world that has the power to elevate them, to make them play with the big boys like Everytime I Die or Escape the Fate.
Below is a video of the making of this album.