TOURNIQUET — Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance (review)

TOURNIQUET — Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance album cover Album · 1992 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
The greatest Tourniquet album in the universe! I have them all but nothing can beat this classic in thrash speed metal excellence. Every track hammers home with a psychotic exuberance effectively signing the death warrant to false metal in the early 90s. Tourniquet play a moody no holds barred brand of speed with breakneck Slayer-esque rhythms and fret melting lead work. The fire and energy is astounding on the title track, that simply drives at a relentless pace until a mid tempo interlude where everything just stops and the bass heavy riff is joined by distorted down tuned doom metal chords. Kirkpatrick’s drumming pummels the silence and we are back on track to the end that is a freight train careening to a stop.

The next track Phantom Limb is a definitive highlight with very odd time sigs and a crunching distorted blast of sonic violence. Ruminating Virulence continues the high powered cliff face of the pulsating metal soundscape. Other highlights are the explosive Gelatinous Tubercles of Purulent Ossification, that is a title worth remembering.

Incommensurate is one of the best Tourniquet tracks with very strong vocals, Guy Ritter is a powerhouse dynamite performer and the band suffered when he left.

Descent Into the Maelstrom is sheer weirdness but works well as a transition leading to En Hakkore and the finale which is brilliant, The Skeezix Dilemma. This mini epic clocking 10 minutes is an indulgence of experimentation, progressive and original. It begins with a creepy carnival sound like some twisted merry go round from a boy’s nightmare. The boy is then heard speaking words in fear, “Silly childhood game, Uncle Wiggily, I cower in abject horror Approaching space number 109, Home of the gaunt and haggard shell of the Skeezix”. I don’t want to go into what the song is about but it is about a real child’s boardgame that is quite disturbing, akin to child abuse in fact, so it is a track for the faint of heart. The lyrics even profess, “When Mr. Skeezix becomes Mr. Jones, Or you, or me Just think of what it does to wreck A child of two or three, They know and feel much more than We will give them credit for, And all they want in life from you Is love and nothing more, When painful eyes begin to cringe, When you walk through the door.” The song has many time changes and awesome riffs, and the band returned to this theme of Skeezix on other albums.

As usual the lyrics are based on some Biblical or Christian theme as the band are professed Christians but don’t let this fact overcome your interest in the group. They are still a powerful thrash band in any context and this is as about as good as it gets for them.
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