HOLY BLOOD - The Wanderer
The Wanderer
Independent / Bombworks Records
2002 / 2005

This first release by Ukrainian folk metal band Holy Blood was a major find for this brutal metalhead when it was unleashed here in the US by the continually awesome Bombworks Records in 2005. I didn’t get around to checking ’em out personally until 2006 or so, but by then the buzz surrounding Holy Blood was pretty good.

As with every new band (or, new to me actually), I like to try to check out things from the beginning, so I got me The Wanderer. And I’d be remiss not to point out my wetting of the self after popping this sucker in the player. Holy freaking WOW this is some beautifully brutal stuff. The music on The Wanderer is a hybrid mixture of black metal and folk metal, with some Celtic influences and occasional death metal undercurrents. The Wanderer is perhaps Holy Blood’s most raw; the output on here is much more cruel and aggressive than what they’ve come out with since. Not that those are anything to laugh at, mind you…it’s just that The Wanderer is more black and death…well, you get the picture. I’ll take some salt with my foot, please…

I should point out that Holy Blood sings all of their songs in their native tongue. Which is to say, not English. However, Bombworks has done us English-speaking metal freaks a solid and printed the lyrics in English on their edition. Very nice, indeed.

So, to wrap things up in a neat package, The Wanderer is one of the better metal albums I’ve had the pleasure of subjecting my ears to. You’d be remiss not to do the same.