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Diamonds Found in the Insalubrious, Septic Rust - 90%

bayern, June 6th, 2017

Although I know quite a few people who have a weak spot for Tourniquet, it took me an awful lot of time to warm up to their repertoire. I found out about them some time in the mid-90’s when a guy gave me all their discography up to that time, including the freshly released “Vanishing Lessons”, an album I found strangely compelling, and even considered their finest hour. Yes, cause with more tangible compositional frames the guys were able to produce something more coherent and consequently better leaving their larger-than-life, sometimes plain overdone, highly ambitious musical concoctions from their first three instalments far behind. I didn’t find much sense in such an overcomplicated approach to the good old metal, and as the band performed a small “vanishing” act after the “lesson in vanishing” they gave, I consequently lost track of them.

It turned out that our “magicians” had crawled all the way to China, based on the next showing of the same title, an effort I’ve never listened up to that day, emerging unscathed in 1997 with a reportedly all-acoustic endeavour. So much for belated originality and a good feel of the current trends on the scene, but three years later, the summer of 69… sorry, 2000 to be precise, three metalheads, including me, were sitting at a friend’s house listening to metal naturally; an important night by all means cause it was then that I discovered Torture’s “Storm Alert” and Savage Steel’s “Do or Die”, echoes from the past that I deeply revere, and Tourniquet’s latest at the time showing “Microscopic…”. The first two I had no idea whatsoever who they were, but once the Tourniquet pirouettes started, I had a sneaking feeling of deja-vu that I had heard this band somewhere although I was unable to spit out a name.

Said opus was a major statement of intent without sounding radically different from their early output; it’s just that these gorgeous melodies entwined with the labyrinthine song-structures and the hard-hitting decisions were simply too genuinely captivating to be completely ignored; so this album stuck with me prompting me to revisit their back catalogue. I bought the CD of the album reviewed here when it came out feeling quite confident about its contents. And my hunch was correct; the guys have done it again, not on the same grand all-consuming scale, but not too far behind either. The band fans know very well that to talk about homogenous articulate progressive thrash on a Tourniquet album would be a wishful thinking; the band have taken care of the other ingredients which happen to be power, heavy, and doom metal not to mention the pure progressive metal assistance. The title-track opens this diverse saga with melancholic nostalgic lead guitars which work just fine preceding engaging power/thrash topped by the strangely emotional inebriate tirades of Luke Easter the man outdoing himself on the excellent chorus, his colleagues helping any which way they can by also providing several speedy crescendos and contrasting doomy histrionics. “Restoring the Locust Years” is a much more immediate shredder the guys reminding of the 80’s US speed metal movement Easter pitching it higher, adding more pathos to the proceedings.

“Drawn & Quartered” has a most alluring melodic opening tractate the guys playing around with it, speeding it up on occasion before the actual odyssey commences with some impetuous thrashing presiding over the rest which consists of virtuoso wa-wa leads, a romantic balladic interlude, and inspired Shrapnel-like performance as a “dessert”. “A Ghost at the Wheel” is a morose doomster, but “Architeuthis” is a revelation with its superb melodic tunes and the vigorous riff-patterns which become more and more aggressive with time until the headbanging fest is ensured all over the melodic arrangements still circling around. “Melting the Golden Calf” is an officiant power/doom metal affair with a more lyrical Easter behind the mike pouring his heart out on top of the heavy volcanic riffage. “Convoluted Absolutes” isn’t the most dynamic track in the world, either, crossing trad doom with more energetic fast-paced excursions the interesting melodic finale a great help. “Healing Waters of the Tigris” enchants with the introductory Oriental acoustics which surrender to bouncy pounding rhythms the latter totally wiped out by a furious speedy “skirmish” that occupies half the playing time on this encompassing 10-min opus on which a sprawling progressive psychedelia is mandatory. “In Death We Rise” is a 7-min instrumental funereal doomy elegy which on a Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus album would have been the most fitting ending; here it slows down the whole carnival which kind of needed a speedy boost as an epitaph rather than a doom metal highlight.

Mentioning doom, one has to acknowledge the help provided by Trouble’s Bruce Franklin who duels throughout the album with none other than Marty Friedman himself, the guitar wizards having fun getting involved in this multifarious progressive fiesta. If the band had intentionally increased the doomy moments to honour Franklin, then it’s understandable as both outfits squarely belong within the Christian metal movement. Those ponderous condiments were missing from the preceding instalment whereas here they constitute an indelible part of the whole organism which refuses to embrace the more brutal thrash metal idea wholeheartedly. No complaints again as the guys have never been slaves to any more or less grounded expectations, and have always felt free to use whatever additives they might consider appropriate. If it’s doom, so be it; as long as the delivery fits the profile then all should be good; and, who doesn’t like mournful solemn dirges wrapping it on at the end of an engaging “rusty procession”…

A massive 9-year hiatus followed disengaging the band from the old school resurrection train. Just when the guys found their stride with two consecutive strong releases, this pause threw them out of synchronicity once again. Well, not quite as “Antiseptic Bloodbath” was a distinguished saga with more emphasis on speedy dynamics logically losing most of the doom and gloom along the way, strengthening the thrash connection as well. The same can’t be said about “Onward to Freedom”, though, which was soft friendly heavy/power metal for most of the time also diminishing the complex progressive configurations. Back to the very basics, even before the band’s time, this last so far coming was, opening the way back to the free ways of musical expression where there’s no room for moths, rust and other detrimental “tumours”.

A ghost of the past - 78%

Kalelfromkrypton, November 18th, 2009

Once ‘WMARD’ opens the album you can definitely say this is an awesome improvement over the last failures and utterly bad albums Tourniquet have been putting forth. This song, apart from having fast parts (very rare nowadays on their albums) has cool tempo changes and lots of riffs. The production is very good and there is a lot of variety. I’d dare to say that this is kind of like a mix between Slayer ‘Season of the Abyss’ era and the progressive aspects of Dream Theater. Perhaps a little ambitious but no one can deny the facts. This is modern speed metal performed in a very good way.

The problem I still have lies with two things: 1.The guitar solos are very rhythmic and not melodic or killer. I am not saying I want Yngwie’s solo-masturbation but remember Gary Lenaire’s soloing? Now those were definitely cool although there are indeed some cool solos here and there. 2. I still hate Luke Easter’s voice. It is too hardcore for a metal album. Not to mention that his vocal range is so little that he has to force his voice a lot to reach certain notes or to at least, fit the music, which he definitely does not at all. On the lyrics department, I recall they simplified things with Vanishing Lessons in order to appeal to wider audiences and gone were the medical allegories. However, since ‘Trivializing the momentous, complicating the obvious’ they started to write conceptual and very complex lyrical concepts again. I find it interesting and very appealing but these concepts are not for everybody who want straight-to-the-point songs.

‘Restoring the locust years’ is a mid tempo track and the riffs are very cool. The almost growled vocals fit very well but again, the regular vocals take away my joy over the music. I still think the guitar distortion sounds a little out of place and too modern, which affects the thickness and heaviness this album, could have. Aside from that, the song is actually very good. When we get to ‘Drawn and quartered’ we speed things up. Now here we find another problem with the new Tourniquet sound. The fast parts are too forced, too studied. You do not feel the sense of entertainment or aggression for that matter which was evident on Stop the Bleeding or Pathogenic. Nevertheless the song is very interesting due to the amount of elements present whereas we get violin solos, soft passages and the song builds up itself magnificent. The drumming textures and precision from Ted is another thing truly remarkable since he does not repeat itself (like one of my favorites: Donald Tardy, who lately does the exact same things over and over). Innovation is an important part and they know how to do it here with this album. It is obviously they are sacrificing aggression to put more emphasis on complexity, texture and innovation. The guitar solos in here are now cooler, reminding very much of Pathogenic’s second half song solos.

‘Architeuthis’ is a fast aggressive with mid tempo verses interlude but even for their standards today, it is very aggressive and the choruses are…well…shout instead of sung. On the contrary, ‘Melting the golden calf’ is a slow mid tempo track. I enjoy them both but the sheer difference between the two is notorious.

The last problem I have with this album is definitely ‘In Death we Rise’ which is too slow for my taste. I am a sucker for doom metal but being the metal band Tourniquet is, I find it pointless to write a funeral-doom song which slow things down dramatically and takes away, for me, the pure enjoyment of the previous songs.

I must say I am yet pleased with this album. It definitely takes time to dig into but it approaches to some reminiscence from the past. Aggressive in some ways, very technical, very progressive with a lot of elements to find and surprise you, considering this is supposed to be a heavy metal album and very well produced and performed.

Decent album could have been much better - 72%

Metalwontdie, June 25th, 2009

Quite a bit weaker than Tourniquet’s previous album Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm, it is a little thrasher, though the overall tempo is slower. The songs are averagely a little longer and somewhat less melodic but still a great album. Like Tourniquets previous release Microscopic for short, Where Moth and Rust Destroy is mainly a more extreme form of progressive metal with thrash parts and a bit of more traditional metal hear and there. Where Moth fails is that it isn’t nearly as entertaining, it has more filler, and lost that technical aspect that Microscopic had. If Tourniquet styled this album more on the lines of Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm and added more of their thrash metal past into this album it could have been great.

Where Moth and Rust Destroy while not being a bad album is only solid and certainly nothing special though it’s pretty unique sounding. Best songs are Where Moth and Rust Destroy, Drawn and Quartered, Architeuthis, and Healing Waters of the Tigris other great songs are, and the Doom Metal song In Death We Rise which even though it might seem like a Instrumental at first listen if you own the actual Album and you look in the booklet it has lyrics you just have to listen very carefully to hear the words. I recommend this to fans of Tourniquet and progressive metal only.

-8 points technical edge wasn’t present like on earlier works
-10 points gets boring in parts throughout the album
-10 has a lot more filler than on Microscopic

Is this band trying to be Rage? - 33%

UltraBoris, February 20th, 2004

If so, they are failing terribly. This is a modern power-metal album that seems almost like a shadow of the last few Rage LPs. Where Rage has kept itself vibrant and dynamic (mostly from the fact that at some point they were Legendary German Speed Metal, and they haven't forgotten it), this band just kinda plods along. In fact, that is what this album is: PLODDING. The vocalist sounds a bit like Peavy at times, but the riffs are just flat out uninteresting when all is said and done. Every once in a while, they pick up the pace, and bust into some solid power metal riffs, but for the most part they just throw together boring passages, separated by "random instrumentation interludes", for lack of a better term. There's the fiddle or whatnot in Drawn and Quartered, though most of the time, it's just badly done soloing.

I think when all is said and done, these guys are trying to be doom metal. But, Tony Iommi, this is not. The riffs are bland and pretty much seem like rehashes of stuff done before... a slightly slower version of the main riff of The Ripper shows up in A Ghost at the Wheel, for example.

Again, every once in a while, they speed things up, for example the middle section of Architeuthis (giant squid, for anyone wondering), where they sound almost EXACTLY like Rage's Unity or Soundchaser. Except again, where the vocalist gets really insipid. For example, there's a SPOKEN section, and then there's a yelling vocalist that just fucking sucks, and in the first song, the title track, the chorus is so forced, so completely uninspired... "Where moth! and rust! destroy!" That's great.

Oh and finally, the album is far the fuck too long. It's about 62 minutes or something, which really is not something that a band should try to do, especially when they can barely fit in 36 minutes of music. It's just too many bad ideas that are stringing the songs together. Either an uninteresting riff passage, or a bad, over-the-top bellowing/whiney vocal performance (healing waters of the Tigris, main chorus, for example), and in general it sounds like four people with four stomachaches attempting to create metal. Even when they speed up in this song, they play generic speed metal riffs, with AWFUL barked vocals and random melodic licks that just make no sense in the context of the song.

Oh yeah, and I'm not sure if the last song was meant as a joke? It sounds like a parody of Triumph of Death, and it just isn't funny. This is just a terrible album. Modern metal, suck my balls.