If you’ve had your ear to the NEPA musical underground over the past year, you may have gotten wind of one of the area’s most vital sonic landmines in Wilkes-Barre based metal band Bloodeagle.
With a sound anchored in the classic thrash of bands like Metallica, Kreator and Slayer, Bloodeagle has come a long way since its inception just a few months ago in April. They played rage-worthy sets at some of the most memorable shows of the summer including NEPA Metal Meltdown and Scranton Music Festival. It has consistently been checked out via word of mouth among local metal fans, creating quite a buzz for themselves. Comprised of drummer Kyle Robert, guitarist/vocalist Vin Chenzo, and bassist Tyler Kazokas, the band is currently hard at work recording a professional demo, booking live shows like mad, and overall committed to building their brand.
These guys are metal to the bone, right down to the origins of their name.
“The name was all Kyle’s idea,” said Kazokas of the Bloodeagle moniker. “He had been jamming on a lot of bands influenced by Norse mythology like Amon Amarth and Enseferium and it just came to him. An actual Blood Eagle is an obscure torture method by which Ancient Norsemen would make a human sacrifice to Odin by carving an eagle into the recipients back with a long curved blade and then proceed to pull their lungs out from the wound. It’s a unique and gory little piece of mythology. We all liked it and thought it sounded badass, so it stuck.”
Though the guys are admittedly influenced by the aforementioned thrash sounds, they’ve begun to cultivate an angle that is undoubtedly original and organic, happening upon their niche with a sense of discovery.
“It’s an honor when people come up and tell us we sound like those bands, just because of the fact that at one point they were our idols,” Kazokas said. “That being said, we don’t consciously choose that particular sound. Collectively, we try to make it a point not to be confined to any one single genre. Musically, we’re all coming from very different angles and I definitely think that we all try to take advantage of that. Ultimately, there are certain levels we all strive to attain musically, and it’s a lot easier to reach them when we aren’t stepping on each other’s toes too much.”
Bloodeagle has several demos and live tracks available for streaming at their Reverbnation page in advance of their in-the-works studio material. One of the real standouts that exemplifies the band’s sound is a cut called “Left 4 Dead,” which is a maniacal riff machine, akin to “Show No Mercy”-era Slayer. As it turns out, the track is one of the band’s current go-to songs live.
“We always play it in the clean-up spot because we feel it’s definitely one of our stronger songs and really pushes our technical skill,” Kazokas said. “It’s got tons of energy and gets the crowd pretty rowdy. It’s really a simple song but Vinny was really able to coax a lot of nuances from it and really turn it into this huge melodic wall of sound. But, then again, we love playing all of our songs.”
So, where exactly does Bloodeagle find inspiration for their material?
Is it the time-honored metal tradition of topics like religion, politics, and the folly of humanity?
Whatever the muse, it’s clear their crowd is getting it.
“Really, it’s all of that and more,” Kazokas said. “We love to write about what’s going on around us – religion, war, politics, power struggles, and all that good heavy stuff that you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table. That being said, we don’t like to contain it to just those topics. Kyle brings a great historical point of view to our lyrics and writes a lot about Norse Mythology and Viking battles. We’re three young guys, each with a good education, and we like to utilize that to our advantage. Literature is a huge component in our music as well. All the great stories have been told, we’re just trying to find a new way to re-shape them in a relevant way for a contemporary audience.”
Speaking with Kazokas, one gets the impression that the internal workings of Bloodeagle are indeed firing on all cylinders right now, and each member clearly brings something special to the table.
“We really try to give each other complete creative freedom in what we play – it just works better that way,” Kazokas said.
While a projected December release for studio material is worked out, the band is going to continue the live volatility that has earned them a spot among NEPA’s headbanging elite. Not much has changed in this arena since its very first show, and that’s a good thing if you’re a metal fan.
“One of our best experiences was the first show we ever put on at The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre,” Kazokas begins. “There was moshing and fun and blood – just like there should be at any good metal show.”
Mark is a Northeast Pennsylvania-based music journalist who’s enjoyed interviewing legends like members of Iron Maiden, The E-Street Band, and Hall & Oates, right down to the garage band next door - intrigued by a great musical story on any level.
To hear some of Bloodeagle’s music check out Facebook.com/bloodeaglepa or Reverbnation.com/bloodeagle3