Tardy Brothers


Written by: EW on 19/04/2009 00:35:40

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...

Download: Deep Down
For The Fans Of: Obituary, Six Feet Under
Listen: Myspace (No Myspace – Obituary’s provided)

Release date: 16.03.09
Candlelight Records

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