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Holy Blood - Waves are Dancing

Bombworks Records

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Holy Blood's sophomore effort opens with the sound of ocean waves followed by acoustic guitars, keys, and finally joined by a beautifully played flute.  A perfect way to start the second disc by this folk-influenced extreme metal band from the Ukraine.
 
Holy Blood gave us a great first impression with The Wanderer, but my opinion is that Waves are Dancing is a much more solid album with better quality songs and a more mature sound.
 
Holy Blood continues with the extreme metal that you fell in love with on their first album.  The first song after the intro, "To Heaven", rips right into your ears with lightening fast riffing, blasting, screeching/shrieking vocals, and group/yelled vocals.  The band also incorporates a good dose of perfectly placed keys and flutes.  The band captures a passion and aggression throughout this song and the rest of the album that begs your attention and respect.
 
The next track, "The Spring" opens with the sound of insects and a flute, only to have the brutal guitars, double bass, and sickening vocals shatter the calmness.  The next track, "Jerusalem" includes some choir-type vocals, some growled/yelled vocals, and chanted male vocals to go along with the black vocals of earlier songs. 
 
Probably my favorite two tracks on the disc are "I Flow Toward the Fate" and "In the Last Battle".  "I Flow..." starts strong and intense, and a little bit into the song they incorporate some subtle female vocals that sound fantastic.  "In the Last Battle" also incorporates these subtle female vocals to perfection.  "...Battle" also integrates dueling chanting/black vocals and male choir vocals to compliment the female vocals.  This tracks has some very interesting guitar work and also has a great guitar solo.
 
I guess the biggest complaint is that I couldn't follow along with the lyrics at all...not one word.  I have just a promo version of this disc, but the band's lyrics are on their website.  They are printed in English, but I couldn't follow anything.  My guess is that they are singing in Russian or whatever and just printed the lyrics in English for the benefit of us dumb Americans that don't know more than one language.
 
Overall though, this disc is a terrific listen and has totally convinced me that Holy Blood is a force to be reckoned with.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, this disc includes a full length concept/live video for the song "The Spring".  Very cool addition that makes this disc a must for metal fans.  Kudos to Bombworks Records for another job well done.  (Review by Matt)

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