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Track List: 1. Where Moth & Rust Destroy 7:15 2. Restoring the Locust Years 3:30 3. Drawn & Quartered 8:12 4. A Ghost At the Wheel 4:18 5. Architeuthis 6:50 6. Melting the Golden Calf 6:54 7. Convoluted Absolutes 5:37 8. Healing Waters of the Tigris 9:31 9. In Death We Rise 7:02 All music & lyrics: by Kirkpatrick, except 4 & 7 - lyrics by: Easter. Line-up: Ted Kirkpatrick - drums & dulcimers; rhythm guitars (+ Bazuki - on 8) Luke Easter - vocals Steve Andino - basses With: Marty Friedman - lead guitars (on all tracks, except 4 & 7) Bruce Franklin - lead guitars (on 4 & 7) Dave Bullock - violins (on 3, 5, & 9) Produced & engineered by Bill Metoyer. Recorded entirely on Pro Tools.
Preamble. Not counting EP & compilations, "Where Moth & Rust Destroy" is the seventh studio album by Tourniquet. Having heard all four of the (first) albums that the band released in the first half of the 1990s, I am quite well familiar with the early creation of this Christian outfit playing Progressive Thrash-Metal. In 1996, I have written and published the book: "Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal", one of the entries of which is dedicated to Tourniquet. I think I should send a couple of copies of that book to Metal Blade, even though the band's debut album, "Stop the Bleeding" (1990), was released by the other label - at least on LP. (It was the Christian Intence label, as far as I remember.) Apart from Ted Kirkpatrick, who is the only original Tourniquet member in the current line-up of the trio, the band's original line-up included Gary Ritter (vocals), Gary Lenaire (bass & rhythm guitars), J. James, and M. Lewis, both of the latter of which were guest musicians (on bass & lead guitars).
The Album. Although there are no instrumental compositions on "Where Moth & Rust Destroy", purely instrumental arrangements abound, on average, about two thirds of the album. That Progressive Thrash-Metal / Techno-Metal, which was typical for the early creation of Tourniquet, is present only on the first two songs on the album: Where Moth & Rust Destroy and Restoring the Locust Years. Here however, heavy and high-speed arrangements are enriched with the classical-like solos of guitar performed by Marty Friedman (of Megadeth & solo fame). The music on A Ghost At the Wheel and Melting the Golden Calf (4 & 6) represents a highly original Progressive Doom-Metal with elements of Techno-Thrash. The contents of the last song on the album, In Death We Rise, which is just filled with magic and hypnotism, are in some ways close to those on both of the said songs. However, all the arrangements on it are completely slow, and the fact that the violin passages are here combined (and harmonized!) with heavy musical textures (or vice versa) allows me to define the stylistics of this song as a blend of Progressive Doom-Metal and Classical Music. Apart from the parts of Rock instruments, the magical passages of violin are also present on the 'inquisitional' Drawn & Quartered and Architeuthis (3 & 5). Some parts of each of these songs are free from heavy elements, though the first of them features in addition an episode consisting exclusively of solos and rhythms of acoustic guitar. A blend of (just) Prog-Metal and Classical Music, performed by dints of Progressive Rock, with elements of a guitar-based Art-Rock is what the music on these brilliant songs is about. By the way, Marty's solos on an electric guitar (and they'll undoubtedly remind you of Classical Academic* Music) are present on both of the said songs as well. (* Due to the appearance of a 12-tone compositional scale in the first half of the last millennium, Classical Music became one of the two branches of Academic Music, the second of which is Avant-garde Academic Music.) Another guest guitarist on the album, Bruce Franklin, contributed the classical-like guitar solo to the amazing Convoluted Absolutes (7), the stylistics of which is Prog-Metal with elements of Classical Music and a guitar-based Art-Rock. The remaining, the longest track on the album: Healing Waters of the *Tigris (8) is another gem in the crown of this masterpiece. Opened with excellent solos of the old Byzantine acoustic instrument, Bazuki, the overtones of which remind me of those of Sitar, this song represents a triple union of Prog-Metal, European Classical Music, and that of the East. (* What's curious is that Eden was located between the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates, and these are currently the main waterways of Iraq.) Finally, it must be mentioned that Luke Easter is an excellent chameleon singer, though all of his varied vocals are far from pastoral intonations. A few songs on the album feature the parts of a 'male choir', all of which are just the overdubs of Luke's wonderful and very diverse vocals. As for the performance capabilities of Steve Andino, and especially those of Tourniquet's main man, Ted Kirkpatrick, they're more than merely outstanding.
Summary. Everything that Tourniquet presented on "Where Moth & Rust Destroy" is marked with signs of a high originality, high complexity, and high tastefulness. Little repetitions, lots of changes of tempo, tone, and mood, amazing contrasts between the slow and machine-gun fire-like arrangements, the solos done in fourth and fifth, etc: all of these (and not only) are among the hallmarks of this album. Ted Kirkpatrick was always active as a composer, but this album is probably an hour of triumph of him (I can't say more categorically, as I haven't heard the two previous albums by the band). Though the fact that the legendary engineer and producer Bill Metoyer still has a magic touch is also evident, judging by the overall sound of this masterwork. Well, I always regarded Tourniquet as the best Christian Prog-Metal band of all time.
VM: March 17, 2003
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