Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Divine mental biopsy, reveals YOU NEED PSYCHO SURGERY - 90%

LarsA81, January 29th, 2019

Tourniquet stormed the Christian metal scene in 1990, but also caught the attention of Metal Blade Records, who released this album and the following. However, thrash was on its way to a halt in the early 90’s, and if only TQT had released this minor masterpiece 5 years earlier, they might have gotten the attention they deserved. But in 1991, Tourniquet was pretty much the uncrowned kings of Christian metal.

This is a rather big step forward from the King Diamond-inspired speed metal of their debut album Stop the Bleeding. Or maybe not step, but the plural of it, as TQT heads in many different directions on their second release.

The opening track "Psycho Surgery" shows a much more technical side of the band. The riffs are fast, techy and thrashy. Vocals are delivered by Gary Lenaire and are super fast, aggressive and hard to keep up with. The lyrics have become much more intelligent than the somewhat cheesy stuff on their earlier record. And this is very much the basis of the record.
Besides the techy thrash stuff, the band explores doom metal on a few tracks, specifically the final song of the album "Officium Defunctorum". They also collaborate with rap trio P.I.D. on the song "Spineless", but don’t expect this to be an Anthrax rip-off!! The first third is a rap part with a pretty cool thrash riff. Mid-section is where the band goes totally nuts, and if you think the rap vocals were fast, wait till you hear the trade offs of Ritter and Lenaire in this section. Finally, the song ends on a big doom note. "Broken Chromosome" is a great, atmospheric song with some cool bass lines and intense lyrics. They deal with abuse and neglect of a child with Downs seen from its perspective. Speaking of neglect, "Dysfunctional Domicile" also deals with “Mom and dad forsake the family thing”. In general, the lyrics have a more social aspect than the more Biblical lyrics on the previous album Stop the Bleeding. "Stereotaxic Atrocities" is yet another example of the bands fight for animal rights, and them making awareness of how much we have failed to actually take care of the animals around us.

This album also includes an instrumental. "Viento Borrascoso" is kind of a drum solo (by absolutely epic drummer Kirkpatrick), surrounded by thrashy riffs, flamenco guitars and a horrific weather rapport. Probably the best instrumental the band has ever done!

Their puddle hair and white leather jackets have been traded for a much more street/Cali surf look. The attitude is much more intense and the music takes you all over the place, and you will never know what hit you. Tourniquet has released another classic in their discography, and their all time peak is just around the corner!

A(nother) Thrash Gem! - 90%

dapik, June 20th, 2011

After listening to this album, I was genuinely surprised to come onto Metallum and find it only had a rating of 84%. In my opinion this gem deserves at least a 90! Compared to the vast majority of thrash albums coming out at this time, and even now, Psycho Surgery is several times more original, catchy, sophisticated and just overall enjoyable. Tourniquet have well and truly and expertly overcome one of the greatest challenges of writing a thrash album; making every song unique and different from the others. And, on top of this, they’ve managed to make at least 5 truly classic standalone songs.

It kicks off with the title track, one of the highlights of the album, and a really energetic thrasher with a killer verse riff. Next is my favourite song of the album, A Dog’s Breakfast. This is truly an epic, combining slow crushing riffs at the start (reminiscent of Metallica’s Disposable Heroes) with a fast thrashy and sophisticated chord progression in the verse. The solos in this song are top shelf too, and the classic Tourniquet style, violent barking of lyrics really compliments the riffs wonderfully. Another highlight on the album is Viento Borrascoso (Devastating Wind), which beautifully fuses flamenco guitar with thrash metal and displays some more expert shredding and drumming. Spineless also kicks off with a monster of a riff, truly top shelf, but then goes into a rapped verse which really kills the mood, but the song still manages to be a standout because of the magnificent riffing throughout. However, I'll have to remove 1% from my rating for a very bad decision to put DJ scratching noises in a metal song.

This is truly an underrated thrash classic, and a must have for any thrash fan. Get it at any cost!

Solid release, more mature songwriting - 82%

Metalwontdie, June 26th, 2009

Psycho Surgery sounds like a completely new band released other than Tourniquet it is more technical, has a slower overall tempo, and adopts a weird usage of medical terms in the lyrics and song titles (mainly because Ted Kirkpatrick used to work in a pharmacy). Guy Ritter’s vocals while still having that King Diamond touch to it hear and there has really come into his own on this record, and has even more variation than on tourniquet’s debut. The band is now a full five member band so the songs themselves have increased in complexity and you can even hear some of the more progressive styled song structures that would come fully into being on Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance.

The major problem with this album is that the songs themselves while being well thought out, and well written are just not nearly as entertaining as on Tourniquet’s debut, and some filler is present. Another really annoying weakness is the experiment with rap metal on Spineless which really ruin’s an otherwise pretty good song. The band is very solid and besides the aforementioned weaknesses it’s still a great album with many good parts. The album sound itself is very original and I can say with confidence that I have never heard a thrash metal album quite like this they even experiment with doom metal on here with the album closer Officium Defunctorum.

Psycho Surgery while not being an excellent album like Stop the Bleeding is still of high quality and worth the time it should grow on you. The best songs are Psycho Surgery, A Dog’s Breakfast, Dysfunctional Domicile, and Stereotaxic Atrocities. I recommend Psycho Surgery to open minded fans of thrash mainly fans of progressive/technical thrash, Christian thrash and of course fans of Tourniquet.

-5 points for rap metal on Spineless
-13 points for weaker entertainment value and some filler

Some Damn Good Thrash - 90%

Erdrickgr, December 31st, 2007

While the drummer (and sometime guitar player) Kirkpatrick is the main credited song writer, it is largely Lenaire's riffs that drive the songs. The music is thrash, but it's fairly original sounding--these guys carved out a nice little sound all their own with their first three albums (1990-1992). There are some obvious classical influences, and there is also the tendency to use medical terminology/imagery.

But when it comes down to it, their music is set apart mostly by the rhythm riffs brought to the table, which are often simultaneously catchy and thrashy. Both Mendez and Lenaire play some good, unique stuff here, sharing lead guitar duties. Unlike the new guitarist (Mendez), however, the new bassist (Macias) doesn't really get much of a chance to shine on this record.

As far as vocals go, Tourniquet had thankfully moved away from using so much of the falsetto stuff, and began their move towards darker, thrashier vocals. Lenaire had a major impact on this through his vocal contributions, and Tourniquet's main vocalist, Guy Ritter, left the band during the recording of the album following this one (Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance). As far as this album goes, though, with both Ritter and Lenaire's singing, there's a nice variety to the vocals. The lyrics are mostly about spiritual topics. Some of the vocal melodies are fairly catchy (e.g. the Psychosurgery chorus), but unless you're a Christian they probably won't have much meaning to you. Tourniquet doesn't really beat you over the head with Christianity too much, they just always seem to bring a song around so that it has a spiritual message by the end. The only exception is Stereotaxic Atrocities, which is a song against using animals in experiments.

I'm giving this CD a 90 because, like my title says, it's some damn good thrash. However, I do have to note a few missteps that hurt their score. First, they have some guys rapping on the song Spineless. It only lasts about forty seconds out of a five minute song, but it somewhat ruins what would have otherwise been a great song. Another misstep would be the middle interlude in the song Broken Choromosomes, where the singer takes on the persona of an abused, mentally handicapped person. Doesn't really work that well; and as with Spineless, this would also be a great song except for that mistake.

But whatever mistakes may have been made, it's still some damn good, catchy and thrashy music, and definitely recommended.

Psycho metal –ala-Tourniquet - 80%

Kalelfromkrypton, October 30th, 2007

This one is more complex than ‘Stop the Bleeding’. While this one was more randomly picked up-songs album, this album has sort of a song continuity structure and the lyrics are more focused on social points of view and the first medical allegories show up instead of the total biblical and Christian focused lyrics from their previous effort.

The music: Psycho Surgery opens the album and it is a disharmonic song loaded with high speed drumming, complex riffs and lyrics fueled with all kind of topics from the human mind. In all we have good songs, rap/metal songs ala Anthrax, great instrumental track but the rest are kind of regular filler songs. Although we get good riffs, tempo changes, cool solos and social topics they are not bad at all but they are not remarkable either.

Officium Defunctorum closes the album is a doomy slow song with an atmosphere that fits the title. Not as excellent as ‘Harlot’ thou. This is why this album is different, because of the mood for each song instead of just a collection of fast songs as in ‘Stop’.

Gone are the high pitched vocals and they fall into a trashier category.

The production, however, is not as good as it should. ‘Pathogenic’ has far better production. The sound of this one is kind of down the barrel.

In all a good effort and more varied than ‘Stop’. A good album that fits the wave of speed metal/thrash records from the 90’s.