The Ukranian folk masters are back with their fourth full length album. Holy Blood has had a storied history, rising up from the ashes of death metal band Requital. Their first release, The Wanderer, was a mix of death and black with some folk influence and was very well received. The second release, the critically acclaimed Waves Are Dancing (still one of Bombworks' all-time top selling CDs), saw more of a shift to folk metal, primarily featuring the flute as the non-traditional metal instrument. The Patriot saw the band continue to morph, blending symphonic black metal with folk. Now, hot off the press is the newest release from Holy Blood, Shining Sun, which is the epitome of a folk metal album: thick and heavy guitars, extreme and operatic / chanting vocals (both male and female), and heavy use of many non-traditional instruments, including the block fluta, buzka, and valinca. The CD opens up with lots of atmosphere with the song "My Fate", beckoning the listener in, before delivering the metal assault that Holy Blood is known for. "Sing Wind Sing" and "Shining Sun" have especially memorable melodies and intriguing song structures that allow the folk influence to flow through the metal. It never lets up, and by the time the CD ends with the wistful "On the Threshold", the metal appetite has only just begun to be satiated. The CD in general is much more melodic than previous efforts, making it easy for a song to remain stuck in your head for long after you have listened to it. Holy Blood also includes a couple of instrumentals, and these tracks truly showcase Ukranian folk, especially the eclectic "Kievan Rus". If you are into bands like Eluveitie, Wintersun, Finntroll, Falkenbach, love death and black metal, or love your extreme metal to be interesting and memorable, then Shining Sun should be at the top of your list. Experience the new wave of folk metal!