Chicago metal titans Dirge Within have seen a handful of changes in their 6 years of activity. The biggest change being their name change to The Bloodline, as well as numerous member changes, with guitarist Shaun Glass remaining as the only original member. The current lineup consists of Travis Neal on lead vocals, Shaun Glass on rhythm guitar, Chuck Wepfer on lead guitar and Frankie Harchut on drums. The band is currently writing their first handful of material to be released under the name The Bloodline. The band has so far debuted one track under the Bloodline name, entitled "The Blackout", which was met with positive feedback from fans and critics.
The track still contains all the elements that Dirge Within fans have come to love with the dark rhythm tone, sledgehammer groove, infectious melodies, and combined influences of Pantera and Killswitch Engage. Vocalist Travis Neal delivers a perfect balance of aggressive screams and soulful melodic vocals, which when combined with serious hooky riffs and melodic guitar passages, the result is a masterpiece of melodic metallic perfection, and is sure to give the listener chills. Lead shredder, Chuck Wepfer delivers a solid shred-tastic solo in the middle. Shaun Glass also plays bass on the track.
The track will come as a breath of fresh air to many fans who were concerned about the band's future after the sudden departure of former vocalist Jeremy Genske. When comparing the composition of "The Blackout" to the material under the Dirge Within name, with new blood added to the band, the songwriting has definitely improved since the last Dirge Within album There Will Be Blood. I am not saying that There Will Be Blood is a bad album. While it's a great solid metal album, and had it's share of very strong tracks, I felt that some of the songwriting on the album didn't quite measure up to the songwriting mastery on Force Fed Lies, but it's still a strong album.
The Bloodline is definitely a band that knows its strengths, and "The Blackout" shows that the band consolidated their songwriting, and lets the fans know that they've got a monster on their hands with their debut album as The Bloodline.