Featured Music: Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Bloodties’ new full-length, ‘Into the Dark Decade,’ harks back to the days of young Slayer while remaining contemporary.
Full of Heart

Bloodties produces hardcore metal that’s more street, less fantasy.


If Satan has many faces, then the metallic hardcore of Bloodties must be his game face. The look of metal has changed since the days of extreme bands like Slayer and Venom; gone are the chains and blood (leave that to the Scandinavians), and in their place are dirty ball caps, camo shorts, and sweat tops. Through this transformation from evil to blue collar, the music has taken on a meaner bite — more street-level, less dungeons. “Image isn’t necessary in the scene that Bloodties is a part of,” said Kevin, a rep for the band’s label, Counter Intelligence, explaining that “the scene” is truly only concerned with harsh reality.
Bloodties is cut from the same brutal cloth as Dallas legends Pantera and Drowning Pool — a no-nonsense ballistic assault that fights for its life while looking for inspiration. Living in reality instead of fantasyland, the sound is metal that walks the fine line between punkish Agnostic Front and cerebral Exodus, where a band like Hatebreed dwells. Having undergone several member changes over the last year, Bloodties is now a solid quintet led by new vocalist Dave Woodard with a new full-length out, Into The Dark Decade. These kinds of drastic changes usually alter the essences of bands, but Bloodties’ label rep feels that dealing with adversity is now part of the driving force behind the band’s growth. The musicians have worked intensely to become tighter musically than ever.
Technically speaking, Dark Decade is a classic metal album with 1980s-style riffs, compressed by current metal’s chugging rhythms, and spun out as ferocious hardcore. And while melody holds everything together, aggression fuels the music. All the men in Bloodties want, according to Kevin, is to be “an aggressive live band with crowd interaction, and the melody is used strictly to give breaks so this band can show its levels of talent during a song.”
In other words, a lot of hardcore bands with plenty of technical prowess but little creativity eventually find themselves in a bind, trying to discover yet another way to drop a D-chord or deliver eighth-note riffs between double-bass drum blasts. Bloodties is an exception — they discover new ideas chiefly through practice, practice, practice.
This in no way means that Bloodties puts showing-off above kicking-ass. They’re still committed to being animated, both musically and physically. “We don’t want to clone ourselves and just fall into the trap of sounding like this or that band,” Kevin said. “We figure we can set a trend with the technical-fusion hardcore we do.”
Metal — for all its suicide rants, demonic overtones, and destructive devices — is actually a very strong source of inspiration for lots of folks, and the men behind Bloodties look to their darker sides for the strength to rise above. A majority of Dark Decade tackles everyday life issues and precisely depicts the struggle to go on, or as Kevin said, “to maintain what is real.”
A band like the aforementioned Slayer writes about corrupt religious groups and the atrocities of war to instigate some sort of social change, not to celebrate the corrosive natures of those phenomena. Same goes for hardcore stalwarts like Sick Of It All and, even further back, The Dead Kennedys. Both lambasted authority for a reason — a good, positive reason. Screaming at nothing in lieu of saying something is what Limp Bizkit is for.
Some bands will tell you they make music to get chicks, acquire money, sport flashy cars, whatever. Others, like Bloodties, say they don’t know of any other way to say what they want other than by making hardcore music. History has proven that bands with something to say are the ones that hang around longest. Bloodties wants to make a lasting impression, but the band members have run smack into stone-cold reality too often to get their hopes up. “We aren’t going to be taking any crowns anytime soon from the guys that inspired us,” Kevin said. “But our purpose isn’t to out-live other bands, but just to get as big as we can and stay true to our style, our lifestyle, and this music.”

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