I remember many years ago when a friend introduced me to the thrash/ speed metal exploits of Tourniquet. At that time I was just getting into Christian metal bands along the likes of Believer, Deliverance, Extol and Mortification, so Tourniquet was sweet ear candy for me at the time. The album in question was “Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance”. Still one of my favorite Tourniquet releases. Now after all these years I have been given an opportunity to review a band that takes me way back to the days of being a babe in Christ.
I enjoy bands that stretch the envelope of their genre, and have a talent and a passion for what they do. Tourniquet is one of those bands that certainly represents this, and pursues it with enormous amounts of musical skill and excellence that has been harnessed over their 23 years of existence. That said, Tourniquet last released an album in 2003, “Where Moth And Dust Destroy”, and one of my immediate thoughts that crossed mind even before I listened to the album, was are they able to pull it together to bring something fresh. Especially after almost 10 years of dormancy.
Straight off the line one can immediately see from the ‘brutal’ cover art alone that this album could be encircled in debate and criticism. That aside there’s musical brilliance here, and in Tourniquet fashion the expected uniquely thought provoking lyrics stemming throughout this quality piece of music symphony. The album has a strong Christian theme throughout, and also champions for animal rights as in the song “86 Bullets” about the rampage of a circus elephant in Hawaii back in 1994, all in a typical Tourniquet fashion.
One of the weaker parts of this album in my opinion are some of the vocal parts by Luke Easter, yet this does not detract from the overall quality of the album. Like a good classical number, or well orchestrated symphony the songs musically alone to a large extent are strong enough to hold your attention right through their entirety as they lead you through the various moods and qualities within their composition. Unfortunately the opening number just does not work for me, with its irritating cheerleading type chanting, but that could be marginalized to preference. “Antiseptic Bloodbath” is loaded with enough impressive guitar solos, explosive riffs, and exceptional drumming segments to have a nuclear effect on ones senses. In short, you’ll find a mix of Tourniquet’s best sounds from their previous releases sown together to set forth what is a formidable album release able to swing it out amongst the best.
The songs are epic compositions, translated through a large arsenal of instruments via extremely talented individuals. Just perusing the guest guitarists, which include the likes of Marty Friedman (ex- Megadeth), Karl Sanders (Nile), Santiago Dobles (Aghora), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Pat Travers, introduces this album into the wow factor, and adds strength to the credibility of this release. That said, this album can find its self leaning towards the more digestively bizarre for some. So if you like me, expect to be shocked, amazed, and a little confused at times. Though if you a long time fan you would over look any possible shortfalls and love it nevertheless. So whether this album would in fact attract a flurry of new fans is hard to say, but it should appease the hordes of Tourniquet fans who have been waiting eagerly for another outing from the creative palette of this band.
In conclusion, we are looking at a very sophisticated technical piece of work. Though looped together with some bizarre oddities mixed within, its at the end of the day a great album. I found the title track, “Antiseptic Bloodbath” to be the best track by far for me, even though its one of their more darker songs, its intensity and thrash worthiness wishes I still had long hair to thrash about, but at my age hair is becoming a scarce commodity, I have more chance thrashing my goatee about. Really like the intro to “Maiden who Slept in the Glass Coffin” which leads into a Megadeth type thrashy guitar number. The album gets a little bland in the middle. “Duplicitous Endeavor” another Megadeth-ish song, is another song I really enjoy, some great riffs and driving drums and a great guitar solo at about 2m:50s, make it entertaining listening. “Fed By Ravens, Eaten By Vultures” is a brilliant track in summing up Tourniquet as a whole and exudes energy and drive, a very strong finish filled with great riffs, amazing solo’s, some great symphonic bits and some amazing drumming. A definite winner! and a stand out track.
This album has definite clear winners mixed with some lesser or bland and like, ‘what the hell is going on here’ tracks, but no real bad songs if you stand them alone. “Antiseptic Bloodbath” is a very worth while listening experience that will certainly get some head banging going and even provoke a good mosh. Its trademark Tourniquet! Enjoy.
Written by: Donovan de Necker
Ted Kirkpatrick (drums)
Luke Easter (vocals)
Aaron Guerra (guitar, vocals)
Marty Friedman (ex- Megadeth)
Karl Sanders (Nile)
Santiago Dobles (Aghora)
Bruce Franklin (Trouble)
Chart of the Elements (Lincchostbllis) (6:39)
Antiseptic Bloodbath (6:12)
The Maiden Who Slept in the Glass Coffin (7:28)
Chamunda Temple Stampede (5:20)
Flowering Cadaver (5:19)
86 Bullets (5:12)
Duplicitous Endeavor (5:02)
Lost Language of the Andamans (6:57)
Carried Away On Uncertain Wings (4:52)
Fed By Ravens, Eaten By Vultures (8:08
Record Label: Pathogenic Records, 2012