The first 33 seconds of “Sinister Scherzo” convey for me what you can expect of Tourniquet’s “Gazing at Medusa”: virtuosity. The eerie, tremolo-picked melody, sits atop blackened drum blasts, interrupted by a lone flute that signals the first verse. Now in thrash metal country, Tim Owens’ off-kilter delivery voices the madness of a world that “dances tuned to a dark macabre beat.” While a scherzo in the classical sense is played in an upbeat, playful manner “Sinister Scherzo” leaves me with an uneasy chill.
The music of “Longing for Gondwanaland” calls up an image of a warhorse riding into battle. Gondwanaland – the supercontinent – a metaphor of unity that is in stark contrast to today’s reality. We have eschewed the oneness that Paul so aptly describes in Romans 12:4-5:
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
If the melancholy slow march of doom metal is your thing, “Memento Mori” will be an early highlight on “Gazing at Medusa”. The riffs are crushing, and the lyrics remind us of our own mortality. Aaron Guerra and Chris Poland both supply lead melodies that wrench at your heart, while Ted Kirkpatrick keeps the procession moving forward.