Holy Blood: Day of Vengeance put out in 2015 is a solid, dark, mid-paced, crust-covered melo-death record in its own right – no keys, flute or female vocals in this one – but two instrumental interludes and of course, sea-shore samples to begin and end the record. It is complete with death metal growls instead of the brilliantly cadenced mid to high + death growl vocals of the first few records – a vocal style that immediately identified the band, but I would have had trouble identifying Holy Blood from this record! This album includes a few baritone Ukranian/folk singing lines (although quite murky in the mix and sometimes out of tune). In some ways, it reminded me of early Sacrificium albums – minimalistic, dark, and crusty death metal.
After a good number of line-up changes, such as the departure of female vocalist Vera Knyazeva and the melodic guitar players who crafted the Hold Blood sound – Fedor Buzilevich has only preserved a shell of the energy of older Holy Blood records at the cost of vitality, brightness and color. Sonically, the record’s production is murky, with the drums and bass placed in the back of the mix, with the low, murky guitars and death-growls creating a sense of obscurity.
For the listener looking for complexity and detail, this is not the record for you, but perhaps the intent was to create mid-paced, melodic, down-tuned death metal! The Holy Blood melodic guitar work is in this record, but it is not as flashy as let’s say The Wanderer (2002) The Waves Are Dancing (2005), and Shining Sun (2010). (The Patriot (2008) was actually pretty dark in melodic content, with a great blackened Vaakevandring-like sound). Day of Vengeance is quite subdued concerning the flute-bandying bright colors, female-folk vocals, and battle shouts of the previous albums!
It seemed to my ears that there was a slight lack of inspiration in this record – the record musically providing nothing that I haven’t heard before in some way shape or form. Concerning the musical craft – the vocals, guitar/bass work, drumming and eschatological lyrics (the meanings in English I am forced to infer from the apocalyptic titles for I could not find a translation of the Ukranian!) in general gave me a lack of deeper content to dig into and I just couldn’t hear anything unique or progressive in the music.
I remember being blown away years ago with Holy Blood’s beautiful, exultant, colorful and fast-paced Ukranian folk-tinged metal, but maybe Fedor’s current one-man band is evolving Holy Blood to another realm of style and melody altogether. Perhaps this record then is a stepping stone to another era of great vital, rejoicing melo-death from Kiev!
Written by: Aleks J. Tengesdal
1. Dawn Before the Battle (Instrumental) 1:18
2. Day of Vengeance 4:15
3. Grey Eternity 4:17
4. Holy Blood 4:05
5. I Believe in God 5:27
6. In Paradise (Instrumental) 2:40
7. Steel Sword 5:15
8. Dolorosa 4:46
9. Powerless Darkness 5:09
“The Wanderer” 
“Waves are Dancing” 
”The Patriot” 
”Shining Sun” 
“Day of Vengeance” 
Record Label: Bombworks Records, May 2015
Interview With Fedor Buzilevich [Feb. 2014]
Video below ‘Steel Sword’
Video below ‘I believe in God’