When John and Donald Tardy announced that they would be doing some ‘solo’ work together outside of OBITUARY, I kind of shrugged it off as one of those experimental things that a lot of people tend to be doing lately. OBITUARY just released one of the best albums of their career with “Xecutioner’s Return”, so it’s a little shocking they would want to even threaten that momentum. Nonetheless though, here we are with the aptly titled “Bloodline” via the new side project also aptly entitled TARDY BROTHERS.
Like most solo projects, TARDY BROTHERS doesn’t stray too far from their main band. “Bloodline” has a foundation in Death Metal (that’s usually what happens when you have a Death Metal vocalist, a Death Metal drummer, and the guitarist from your Death Metal band) but similar to OBITUARY there is a significant amount of swing in the mix that makes “Bloodline” border on the Death N Roll genre of Metal. The opener “Bring You Down” really embraces this Rock N Roll vibe that even OBITUARY wouldn’t move toward.
The rest of the album has the band experimenting with elements that OBITUARY normally wouldn’t use. I would guess, justifying the ‘side project’ orientation of TARDY BROTHERS. Ironically, “Bloodline” uses these elements so well that this just might be better than a majority of the albums released in OBITUARY’s catalog. The use of melody on this album is, in particular, the most impressive part of “Bloodline”. Using four different guitarists to lend their talents to the album worked out way better than I would have expected. There is solo after solo on this album and all of them are impressive. The melodic dueling guitar interlude “Wired” is beautifully set in-between two of the more Death oriented tracks. It’s this kind of thinking that really makes this album worth the listen and with the talented guitar work (specifically on the solos!) TARDY BROTHERS is bound to be an amazing side project.
In the end though, “Bloodline” is still very much John and Donald working together. Fans of their ‘other’ band will definitely want this to add to their collection as it’s just a slight side step in directional choice. It’s a wonderful side project for the guys and with all the talent that they have recruited for this debut effort (specifically letting the guitar solos and leads have an increased role) this is bound to only get better with time.
Songs to check out: “Bring You Down”, “Fate’s Call”, “Deep Down”.
(Online March 11, 2009)