Blood Eagle, Demo '16 (Self-Released, 2016)

I am a metal poseur. Having gone from hip-hop straight into punk and hardcore, I missed out on a lot of the crucial releases that hesher connoisseurs take for granted. I've made up for this deficiency in the past several years by immersing myself in classic metal mania of all stripes, and have realized that I'm pretty selective in my heavy metal consumption: I only dig classic Priest/Dio-type sounds, and crossover circa '84 to '87. That means no death/black metal, grindcore/avant, or whatever stylistic progressions the genre has made since those days.

I do have a fondness for Teutonic thrash as played by the holy trinity of Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction, so this new 2016 demo by Leeds, UK-based Blood Eagle is right up my alley.

This three-song release combines galloping early '80s Bay Area thrash scene-styled riffs, a precise rhythm section, and agonizing howls that owe a significant debt to the aforementioned Germanic titans. The cool thing is that the band members come from the New Wave of British Hardcore scene, having played or currently playing in righteous hardcore outfits like The Flex, Die, Perspex Flesh, Higher Power, and Urban Spirit. It's a tried and true formula that kids who grow up on hardcore will eventually expand their horizons into other genres with varying degrees of success. The end result this time around is a worthy complement to what these guys were playing before.

The sonic component might be different, but that same drive to create uncompromising music is still present in spades. I have to commend Tom Pimlott's clean yet not slick production for giving the tunes a space to shine without sacrificing any of their raw power. Tom not only plays in one of the best UKHC bands (Violent Reaction) around right at the moment, but he can now also add "producer/engineer extraordinaire" to his résumé. Kudos!

Head to Blood Eagle's Bandcamp page to download their demo, and give them a follow on Facebook.

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