TOURNIQUET — Where Moth and Rust Destroy (review)

TOURNIQUET — Where Moth and Rust Destroy album cover Album · 2003 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Pelata
Since Tourniquet's 1990 Intense Records debut 'Stop The Bleeding' the band has striven to do anything and everything within their chosen genre except make the same album twice. In a nutshell, the band plays melodic, technical thrash. But if you really got into the nuts and bolts of the band's sound, you'd be hard pressed to find a nutshell big enough for all of the influences Tourniquet pours liberally into their music.

'Stop The Bleeding' found the band utilizing 2 vocalists (1 clean and 1 shouting) and forging a sound somewhere between King Diamond (the band) and Slayer. 'Psycho Surgery' (1992) found them using the dual-vocalist approach even more as well as being one of the first bands (behind Anthrax) to incorporate rap into thrash. 'Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance' (1992) saw Tourniquet expand to 4 vocalists (everyone but the drummer singing/shouting) while creating their most diverse, expansive album to date blending death metal, thrash, traditional metal and classical arrangements into one gigantic technical metal onslaught. Since then, the band has gone through numerous line-up changes (gaining current vocalist Luke Easter in 1994 and, most recently, losing guitarist Aaron Guerra last year), and have been without a permanent bassist until this current album. Over the years Tourniquet has released a multitude of albums, all exploring something new while retaining a sound that is unique and identifiable.

The main reason for that consistency being founding member/drummer/guitarist/sometimes bassist Ted Kirkpatrick. This man simply has too much talent for his own good. Handling writing and guitar duties to varying degrees on every Tourniquet release, not to mention his amazing skills as a drummer, he is the glue that holds this band and this sound together. Some of the material he has released under the Tourniquet moniker has been better received than others. However, let me be the first to say that this new album 'Where Moth And Rust Destroy' has to be their most complete and awe inspiring album since 1992's 'Pathogenic'. It incorporates everything Tourniquet has used in the past (minus the rap) and melded it all into one blistering 60-minute sonic experience! I hate to directly quote a band bio in my review, but "Beethoven meets Frankenstein" pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Thrash, classical, prog, super-tight riffing, superb technical prowess, and one of the widest arrays of vocal styles to come out of one man (this is only the second album release by Tourniquet to only utilize one vocalist) I have ever heard. Not to mention the searing lead work of guest players Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) and Bruce Franklin (Trouble) and the excellent violin work of Dave Bullock.

There is so much music on this album that I have had a really hard time knowing where to start reviewing it (hence the preceding history lesson), so lets just start with my personal favorite song. "Drawn And Quartered" begins with a masterful violin / guitar theme harmony set to a driving drum groove. At about the 2-minute mark in this 8+ minute track, the band takes off into neck-snapping Thrashville calling to mind the bands early material. The tempo changes and mood swings that incur afterwards are yet another testament to the band's abundance of talent. The nearly 10 minute "Healing Waters Of The Tigris" is another jaw-dropper. After the nearly 2 minute Middle Eastern flair of the acoustic intro, we get a melodic progressive thrash fest! The opening riff and overlaid guitar harmonies are dark and wonderful. Easter's quiet voicing over the staggered riffing is a great example of the band's dichotomy of sounds. The chorus is one of the albums most melodic. The lead work on this song, and all over the album, is absolutely top notch. Some of the best lead work on any Tourniquet album (Oh yeah, I forgot that was Marty Friedman...I should have expected no less).

Other stellar moments include "Melting The Golden Calf", the 7+ minute doom instrumental "In Death We Rise" (with its mournful violin work) and "A Ghost At The Wheel". There is a lot to take in on this record, so spin it a few times before forming a final opinion. 'Where Moth And Rust Destroy' surpasses the band's ripping 2000 release 'Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm' and is undoubtedly one of the best metal albums released in 2003.
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