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I would place Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm on equal footing of Tourniquets second best album Psychosurgery. It’s that solid and a return to form since they had been dabbling in hard rock for a while, albeit even more progressive than before. Microscopic has a much more progressive edge than on even Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance, Tourniquet’s third full-length album it has more of a technical edge though like on their first two albums. Most of the songs are mid-tempo or slower but they have good enough songwriting and riffs which makes up for it.
One of the problems is Luke Easter is the vocalist now and has been for over a decade now and is voice just doesn’t fit the music like Guy Ritter’s voice did. Luke Easters voice reminds me of Armored Saint/Anthrax’s John Bush and I never liked that vocal style. The bigger problem is the songs while being mainly entertaining have weak parts, they drag on too long, and there is a fair amount of filler. If Tourniquet shortened the songs and worked more on the leads and riff work instead of the complexity it would have been much better maybe even as good as tourniquets excellent debut Stop the Bleeding.
Overall Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm while being a pretty solid album and a bit disappointing it is certainly better than their hard rock period. Best songs are Besprinkled In Scarlet Horror (an excellent album opener), the title track, Servant Of The Bones, and Immunity Vector. I recommend this album to fans of Tourniquet, and progressive metal.
-8 points Luke Easter’s vocals
-5 points album length is too long
-5 too much filler
Metal Blade Records has been home to many artists over the years and there have been some bands I've felt don't belong there, namely Symphony X and Tourniquet.
Symphony X, being progressive power metal, found their niche on InsideOut Records. Tourniquet, however, are a Christian band and somehow feel strangely out of place here, save for the fact that they're a metal band.
I'm not really supposed to have any material from these guys, but I found this album and Crawl to China in a pawn shop for really cheap. C'mon, metal in a pawn shop? It had to be mine.
As much as I hate to say it, there's some worth to all this madness. Metal tradition dictates that I should write off all this because of its contrived nature and subject matter, but I just can't. MVoaTR is as diverse as Michael Jackson's taste for little boys, ranging from hardcore(mainly in the vox of the choruses), thrash, and even neoclassical and avant-garde(The real reason I say avant-garde is because of the flute in "Immunity Vector".)
The basic concept deals with how we all can succumb to a horrid suffocation when we become so self-absorbed that everyone and everything becomes void. Becoming in touch or back in touch with the Creator is a pivotal theme.
Opening this opus is " Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror", a song that denounces the gore imagery of modern groups and even goes so far as to defend the band's legitimacy as a Christian band.(i.e. 'You say this pace beckons evil spirits...But I care not what you call it...To me it's two hundred beats per minute...On tablature I scrawled it) Much thrashing is to be had here and throughout, but it's not quite as neckbreaking as some secular acts. It's almost as if the heavy weight of the lyrics drags the flow down into the mud a little bit, though there are some times when it gets really wicked, namely during the bridge of "Erratic Palpitations of the Human Spirit". Eh, if they just wanted to play straight thrash, then the thrashing would be more self-evident, but there's some traditional guitaring going on as well.
Perhaps the most interesting musical aspect of the album are the various classical influences weaved into song frameworks(Ted posthumously thanks Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach in the liner notes). Because there's a sort of progressive aspect to some of the songs, when they've lost their steam a little bit, you'll hear some creepy organ or string bit before the conclusion comes. "Immunity Vector" even sounds Yngwieish at times during its 5:11 duration and "The Skeezix Dilemma" has a compelling violin intro.
Is this a classic? No, but it's damn good for a Christian band. Definitely check this out if you get a chance.
Tourniquet has been one of my favourite bands for quite a long time now. Their thrashy brand of metal has always been very much their own, with multiple time changes, intricate drumming and string work, and a special vocal approach ranging from screaming to singing to lunatic whispering and so on. This album shows a particular return to form after a few more laid-back and mellow albums that made little impact.
Yes, they are Christian, and yes, they do sing about Christian topics, but don’t let that put you off from discovering a very special band from the musical point of view. If you are not into the lyrical content, then just listen to the music.
As previously stated, this album is something of a return in musical style to the endeavours on their early albums, and is all the better for it. Opener “Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror” is a thrash-fest indeed, and as the album progresses, it becomes evident that this one is not to be written off easily. It twists and turns, with lots of surprises along the way, and many memorable neck-cracking riffs is turning this into a very enjoyable affair indeed. It’s a solid album, and a great statement of intent from these guys.