A few months ago, there was a sudden buzz about a new extreme
metal band from the Ukraine called Holy Blood. This five male and one female
band had released a great debut album of melodic black/death metal in 2002 that had somehow flown under the radar of almost
every metal fan. The band was already making finishing touches on their second
album by time most people knew they who they were. Now thanks to Bombworks records,
their debut album The Wanderer is being unleashed to the masses and their sophomore effort Waves are Dancing
will be following on its heals shortly.
As I said, the band plays a very good mix of black and death
metal with some folk influences thrown in to give them a somewhat different feel from most bands in the genre. The band seems to mix up their sound a good bit so that the songs each have distinct differences, while
allowing the album to still maintain an overall consistent sound. Imagine a mix
of Bleakwail, Emperor, In Flames, and Mordecai and then throw in some folk influences and you’re close to the Holy Blood
Vocally, the band’s black vocals are killer. They absolutely will grate on your nerves if you are not a big fan of black metal vocals in general. They are very extreme and friends of mine have compared them to nails scraping down
a chalkboard. They also mix in some quality growls, superb clean male/chanting
vocals, and a few average female vocals. Musically, the band is very hard-hitting
and chaotic. Amidst the bone-crushing metal they incorporate flutes and some
acoustic guitars that fit very nicely within the band’s sound. They also
make good use of some raging guitar solos and a huge amount of very well placed keyboards.
The band combines the melodic with the brutal for an overall sound that really pleases these ears.
songs is next to impossible as I really enjoy most everything on this album. “In
the Lake of Fire” and “The Poor World” are both right up there as two of my favorites, but one can’t
ignore the fantastic tunes like “Kill”, “The Warrior”, and the title cut. The band also does a death/industrial/techno-styled remix of the song “Kill” at the end of
the disc. It’s actually a pretty interesting version that brings to mind
influences of Rackets & Drapes (vocals) and the industrial material that Betrayal used on their first two albums, along
with a little bit of a middle-eastern flair. The shredding guitars on the song
are quite addicting too.
Production is pretty solid throughout and packaging, while
quite simple, is nice and includes all the lyrics (which are all sung in English). Lyrically,
the band does a solid job with topics that are all very Christ-centered.
While the band may not be the best band in their genre, they
show a lot of potential and they are definitely a band that I’m excited about hearing more from the in future. (Review by Matt)