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Blood Eagle - To Ride in Blood & Bathe in Greed Part III

Blood Eagle
To Ride in Blood and Bathe in Greed Part III
by Chris Hawkins at 20 January 2020, 9:31 PM

Does anyone else remember how massively heavy GRAVE’s “Hating Life” was when it came out?  Though some looked at the band’s stripped-down, groove-heavy approach with disdain, it is musical magic to these ears still.  The reason I mention that albums specifically is because it was the first thing that came to mind upon first listening to this third E.P. by BLOOD EAGLE released last fall.  In a clever move by the band/label, they released their Nuclear Blast debut, “To Ride in Blood & Bathe in Greed,” in three parts, one per month, from September to November this past fall.

I feel like a late-comer to this band as this is my first introduction.  The members, though, represent musicians who have played in other bands including MNEMIC, HATESPHERE, and VOLBEAT.  As evidenced by their resumes, these guys are far from rookies.  Instead, this is a band unified by a common love for old school Death Metal, particularly, NAPALM DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, and BOLT THROWER.  That would be an authentic Big Three of Death Metal for many, but the band also lists MASTODON as being a smaller influence.  After listening to the E.P. numerous times, I cannot hear any MASTODON, but I’ve also not listened to them in quite some time.

A Life That Rots Away” is the opener and is a good summation of the band’s sound mixing bits of melody in with the churning riffs.  A most appropriate opener, it stakes the band’s claim:  a mixture of old school Death Metal and some more modern stylings.  As mentioned above, the guitar tone is spot-on mid-era GRAVE reflecting a common trend I modern Death Metal albums.  The other song that really stands out is the closer, “Wall of Hate,” which really steals the show.  The band certainly saved the best for last beginning with a brutal blast reminiscent of classic NASUM.  The verse section begins a groove that is further elaborated in the raw, dirty, shit-kicking anthem.  This is the type of visceral material the scene needs:  focused, riff-centric, mature, yet still abrasive.  The bass part in the latter section is of note in the way it grinds against the main melody.

The bottom line is that BLOOD EAGLE have arrived!  With their decisive release schedule, they have broken up any potential monotony into bite-sized chunks.  It is hard to imagine any long-time Metal fan not liking this for it has all the hallmarks of a great Death Metal album including menacing blasts, chunky, rhythms, and a rough edge that recalls NAILS and GATECREEPER in terms of contemporaries.  BLOOD EAGLE offers a solid sound engineered by the art of balance and structure.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. A Life That Rots Away
2. Worship the Wolf
3. Wall of Hate
Mikael Ehlert - Bass
Morten Toft Hansen – Drums
Mircea Gabriel Eftemie - Guitars
Franz Hellboss – Guitars
Michael Olsson –Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 26 March 2023

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