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Have you ever wanted Obituary to shift into a hard rocking direction, with more traditional metal focus in the music? Well, Bloodline may just be what you were looking for. Featuring John and Donald Tardy of on the vocals and drums, and Obituary guitarist Ralph Santolla, the band pummels through nine tracks of hard rocking death metal hybrid with the John Tardy vocals sounding exactly as they do in their mainstay.
I have mixed feelings about this, on the one hand I would have loved the band to use these vocals over something that moved even FURTHER into a rock/blues direction. Imagine some raw early 20th century blues with John Tardy doing his trademark growls? That would be pretty amazing. Instead this just comes off as Obituary lite, and even when it works best (on the title track and the very Obituary "Fates Call"), it doesn't distinguish itself quite enough. The album isn't all that bad, I mentioned two of the more exciting tracks and the melodic metal leads and brief flamenco flourish of "Screan Descendent" is also pretty intense.
Where the album does shine is the Morristown mix and mastering. It sounds clear, the guitars have a great chunky sound to them, and the occasional acoustics simmer in the mix. The John Tardy vocals sound their vomited best. You get a few decent tracks here, and I'd liken this project to what Corpsegrinder tried with his stint in Paths of Posession, but I'm glad this is only a side project and Obituary will continue as planned.
All followers of death metal will be aware of probably the genres' most famous siblings: the Tardy Brothers, of Obituary fame. After 7 (soon to be 8) albums of grinding, groovy DM in 25 years the pair have taken recourse to engage in their own private party, in the meantime inviting along a number of friends to complete an album apparently years in the thinking, and the first of 'several releases' Candlelight's promo sheet informs us.
Much like the Razor of Occam album I have just reviewed, this is another album from a 'side-project' sounding incredibly similar to the other band in question, leaving me again somewhat puzzled as to it's conception. Have the people concerned wanted to spread their musical seed as widely as possible, and decided that portraying their style in multiple acts was the way to do it? In the case of the Tardy Brothers "Bloodline", the similarity to Obituary is through the chugging, rhythmic feel of many of the key riffs, simple and clinical in execution and usually pleasing to the ear; and John Tardy's unique bellow, surely the most recognisable in death metal history. Now, the phrase of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' may come to mind, but for my money Obituary have been treading water in recent years, releasing 'good' albums but ones that on the whole are stodgy and incomparable to earlier classics. This trend is unfortunately extended to "Bloodline" - the album is largely mid-paced in traditional Obituary fare, at times like in "Deep Down" upped to a feel of Slayer and Pantera, but for the most part the Tardy Brothers (or more so their guest guitarists including current Obit' axeman Ralph Santolla) revel in producing bland mediocre riffs, made worse by a flat, insipid midtone on the guitars that sounds positively 'demo-ish'. Songs like "Eternal Lies" and "Bring You Down" are based on plain riffs and a sound lacking in depth or feeling. When at times technical flourishes are provided ("Fade Away", "Deep Down") the listener's attention can thankfully be drawn away from the bland rhythmic riffs as these represent the highlight of the album, although wondrous they are not.
So, what to make of it all? Undoubtedly "Bloodline" will appeal to the hardcore segment of Obituary's fanbase and anyone who wants what could be seen as 'good time' death metal, and while it's birth was unlikely spawned in the name of creating ground-breaking music, it is too simple and uncreative to light the touch paper of anyone who's been round the block in these here parts. For those 'future releases' messrs John and Donald would do better to incorporate more adventurous overtones - after all, this isn't Obituary, so surely it should be their more creative outlet away from the strict and regimented sound they had already pigeonholed the band with over the past quarter-of-a-century? Now, pass me "Slowly We Rot" will ya...
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net
The brothers John Tardy and Donald Tardy, better known by heading the veteran “obituary”, have joined together in a side project in order to contribute even more with underground extreme music.
Under the simple name of “Tardy Brothers”, the vocalist John and the drummer Donald came out with their debut album “bloodline” this 2009 with full force.
Bloodline shows us, in a first moment, that typical death metal which has crowned the Tardy’s one of the masters of the genre. The roots of their extreme metal are still there, but they've gone further with experimentations and styles mixtures, bringing us something brand new, yet classical. And the result couldn't have been better.
To define their music in few words, imagine a mid paced technical death metal album which mixes, though, elements of thrash metal, heavy metal and melodic death metal all over, without dropping their aggressiveness and violence so peculiar. This is bloodline.
It’s so amazing the way this masterpiece sounds pleasingly modern without breaking with its extreme and underground purposes. The huge amount of guitar solos, the mid paced beats, the well arranged riffs and cadenced parts played the role to become this album unique, while the brutal and ferocious vocals of John brought us much from the vibration of obituary’s death metal and the likes.
The production is very clean, turning all the instruments finely listenable, helping this album to become so addictive and overpowering. In the end, bloodline is the kind of masterpiece you turn on and don’t interrupt until it ends. It’s impressive.
It’s so hard to choose the highlights, although my favorite one is still ‘fade away’. This is because this specific song has gathered all the elements above mentioned, with its heavy metal riffs, huge amount of solos, cadenced parts (the refrain reminded me somehow the Swedish melodic death metal) and, obviously, the aggressiveness of their well known death metal.
Highly recommended for fans of metal in general. This piece is much more than a death metal album and you’ll surely find something of your taste here doesn’t matter what’s your favorite metal genre.