Bloodline by Tardy Brothers
Release date : March 2009
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
In mid September 2008, it was revealed that brothers John and Donald Tardy, vocalist and drummer within Obituary respectively, had been busy penning material in support of a release entitled Bloodline, one that would see the light of day under the moniker Tardy Brothers. During early December, the duo unveiled the fact that they had decided to pen more tracks, and were in the studio recording them. At Redneck Studios in Gibsonton, Florida, Bloodline was recorded and produced by John Tardy, Donald Tardy and Max Prator, the trio additionally mixing the album at Tampa, Florida's Redroom Recorders. At Morrisound Studios in Tampa, meanwhile, Bloodline was mastered by Tom Morris in early January 2009. By Steven Meyer-Rassow, the full length's artwork was designed. In mid February, Bloodline was pencilled in for an April issue through Candlelight Records.
Lyrics were penned by John Tardy, whilst Donald Tardy authored the music to each track with the exception of “Wired”, a track created by Ralph Santolla (Obituary / ex-Death / ex-Deicide / ex-Iced Earth). Four guitarists provide session work upon the album, namely; Ralph Santolla, Jerry Tidwell (once part of Executioner, who revised their name to Xecutioner two years later in 1986, and subsequently to Obituary in 1988), John Li and Scott Johnson.
Courtesy of main project Obituary, John and Donald Tardy have composed Heavy Metal thunder since the early eighties. A cornerstone of the brickhouse Florida Death Metal scene, Obituary have recently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity amongst Metal fans, and have slowly returned from semi-retirement. Despite Obituary’s hectic schedule, the Tardy brothers have finally found the time to pursue a project the two have long discussed. Bloodline happens to be the Tardy Brothers' debut full length, and features the guitar work of Ralph Santolla (Obituary / ex-Deicide / ex-Death / ex-Iced Earth), and Jerry Tidwell (original Xecutioner guitarist, Xecutioner being the earliest form of Obituary).
Critiquing Bloodline against other side project albums which foundational group members in general have penned, albums which've proved radically different than the member's main preoccupation, this reviewer genuinely didn't expect Bloodline to share many similarities with Obituary's stylings. Surprisingly, the Tardy brothers and Santolla cannot escape Obituary's sound. Having said that though, the Tardy brothers have respectably expanded their reach to those who enjoy Hard Rock oriented projects. The sound is both “beefy” and mid-tempo, much like Obituary’s 2005 album Frozen in Time, yet with a deeper groove.
As the curtain rises, “Bring You Down” kicks out the jam, and the track is as good as you had dared to expect. Lengthy guitar solos flourish, the rhythm section grooving as heavily as it can, but without sacrificing its Metal ancestry. In much the same fashion as Obituary's 2007 full length Xecutioner's Return, the vocals rip it up so to speak. The solos prevalent throughout Bloodline lend credence to a fresh wave of musical thought, and by the time the album concludes, the listener finds themselves much more pleased with the group's technical abilities than anticipation initially estimated. “Bloodline” and “I’m Alive” follow suit, spawning a trio of memorable Hard Rock tracks which will certainly enthuse the outfit's core audience.
The groovier “Eternal Lies” and the Thrash-tastic “Deep Down” supply additional highlights. Upon these numbers, John Tardy cuts insane vocals, almost as though a long forgotten vocal component is undergoing a resurrection via the more accessible and melodic sounds which stem from both guitarists. Assuming the guise of an acoustic interlude midway into Bloodline, “Wired”, if not included for any other motive, seizes the listener's attention since it disrupts the album's potential monotony. “Fade Away”, the album's finale, closely approaches epic stature as any material these brothers have been a part of, sonically resembling a victorious death march which leads into an uncertain future.
In light of the fact that Tardy Brothers is a side project, the group is unbelievably good. However, three-fourths of Obituary comprise Tardy Brothers, so this isn't excessively surprising. Despite its more expansive sound, and more apparent groove, Bloodline boasts the feel of an Obituary album. If Obituary had cut this specific album and marked it with their very logo, it's doubtful any listener would've thought twice, and full length reviews would've likely been just as good. Fans who cannot suffice their appetite for such stylings will discover much meat upon Bloodline with which they can sink their teeth into, all whilst waiting upon the release of Obituary's successor to Xecutioner's Return. Generally speaking, the Tardy brothers have crafted another memorable record which fans can enjoy, something which continues the duo's amazing resurgence with irrefutable gusto.