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Moth and Rust Destroy
Label: Metal Blade
Length: 9 tracks/ 59:13
After 13 years of making music, Tourniquet has established themselves as the premier veteran metal band in Christian music. It has been three years since the last release Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm and during that time the band has lost guitarist Aaron Guerra and picked up bassist Steve Andino. The vocals of Luke Easter and the drumming prowess of Ted Kirkpatrick are still, present, however and long time fans will have no problem getting hooked on the new album Where Moth and Rust Destroy.
One of the first things to note is that the album only contains nine songs. However, as anyone who is familiar with Tourniquet should know, those nine songs could very well provide as much music as most bands with 15 songs on their CD.
Tourniquet hasn't changed much musically over the past few years. Classically-influenced technical metal is still the game they play, and play well they do. The noticeable difference here is that the music is heavier, thanks to the low end brought by bassist Steve Andino. There are also some original sounds that the band hasn't used before. Frantic classically influenced drum beats with violin light up the beginning of "Drawn and Quartered" as we realize that Tourniquet is still doing something original. The opening of "Convoluted Absolutes" sounds like it could be a new P.O.D. song, but when the guitar solo begins it becomes clear that this is Tourniquet's brand of metal.
Luke Easter's vocals have only gotten better over the years. The vocal highlight of the album has to be "Melting the Golden Calf" as Easter sings: "Bring us your trinkets, your baubles of gold/ Join the debauchery, the young and the old" The vocals of "In Death We Rise" are barely audible over the dark, slow music, making the song all the more intriguing.
If there is a weakness on the album it's in the lyrics. On the title track "Where Moth and Rust Destroy" the audience itself is addressed: "If you will just incline your ear/ There is something you must hear/ Heed his words and you'll be free/ From loving things more than Me." These words are confusing in that it's not very apparent whose perspective the song is from. Songs like these make it sound like lyricist Ted Kirkpatrick was just searching for something to rhyme. The weak spot in the lyrics is that they are too dependent on rhyming and use words just because they rhyme, not necessarily because the fit the context of the song well. In this, it seems that instead of the lyrics being viewed as artistic poetry they are seen as a means of putting a message to the beautiful metal music.
The music of Tourniquet can be chalked up as nothing less than an incredible work of artistic skill. That the lyrics cannot be seen as having that same artistic capability is where the album falls short. Still, the music is so amazing that I would be remiss not to recommend this disk to anyone who appreciates incredible guitar and drums.
Trae Cadenhead 3/15/2003