Clockwise from top right:
Luke Easter, Ted Kirkpatrick, Gary Lenaire
Guy Ritter

Tourniquet were formed in California 1989 by Ted Kirkpatrick (drums), Guy Ritter (vocals), and Gary Lenaire (guitars). Tourniquet is one of the more well-known and popular Christian thrash bands for some time, and with good reason --they are simply excellent. The earlier albums focused more on faster thrash, while some of their later material is more power metal based, but no less heavy. The most recent albums, "Microscopic View" and "Where Moth and Rust Destroy" are their most technical and diverse album yet and a return to the mix of power-thrash and intelligent lyrics from their earlier albums.

2001 Reissue
Tourniquet - Stop the Bleeding
(Intense) 1990
Tourniquet - Stop the Bleeding (Pathogenic) 2001 reissue

1. "The Test for Leprosy" (4:39)
2. "Ready or Not" (3:30)
3. "Ark of Suffering" (4:13)
4. "Tears of Korah" (6:19)
5. "The Threshing Floor" (4:11)
6. "You Get What You Pray For" (3:23)
7. "Swarming Spirits" (3:23)
8. "Whitewash Tomb" [instrumental] (4:24)
9. "Somnambulism" (4:38)
10. "Harlot Widow and the Virgin Bride" (7:44)

11. "Ark of Suffering" [live] (4:39)
12. "The Test for Leprosy" [live] (5:19)
13. "Whitewash Tomb" [demo] (4:40)
14. "Tears of Korah" [demo] (6:31)
15. "Ark of Suffering" [demo] (3:56)
16. "Concert Intro 1999" [live] (1:25)

Tourniquet's first disc is much different from anything else they have done since. When I bought this disc as a new release, I was reminded of Mercyful Fate, especially in some of the vocals. The music, however, is much more technical and mixes in bits of speed metal, thrash, and even some slow Black Sabbath-like doom stuff while retaining a very melodic nature. Since this album never saw release in anything but Christian stores, it is the least known of any Tourniquet album, but in my opinion it is one of the best-if not the best Tourniquet album. Roger Martinez , front man for Vengeance Rising, is given the the producing credit on this album. However it's pretty well known tha Metal Blade's Bill Metoyer (alias Gordon Shumway) actually produced and mixed this album. The original is tough to find these days, but Tourniquet, in March 2001, re-released this disc with new artwork, tons of photos, and a bunch of live bonus tracks. KMG has also reissued this album, along with "Psycho Surgery," on a special 2-disc set, which unfortunately includes none of the original liner notes, photos, or artwork. (In other words, it's cheap!)

A video was done for the song "Ark of Suffering," which is an animal rights song. In the video there is graphic footage of animals in labs and meat houses. The video was banned by MTV as too graphic. It was later released on "Video Biopsy" and on "Hot Metal 4" video.

Darn, when KMG released their cheesy re-issues, I was able to ignore them since they contained no new material and the packaging was so darn cheap. Now, however, Tourniquet releases their first three albums with bonus tracks, killer packaging, and the disc is REMASTERED, using 24 bit technology with IDR (increased digital resolution). The songs are LOUDER and way more "up front"! I swear I had heard this album a million times over the years but never noticed the intricate double bass work and fast triplets in songs like "Ark of Suffering." The mastering alone makes these discs a nice addition to my Tourniquet collection, although there is no replacing the originals. The new packaging includes 12 page full color booklets with lyrics, new photos and new liner notes by Ted Kirkpatrick. The bonus tracks are all demo tracks or recent live recordings with Luke Easter on vocals.

Psycho Surgery 2001 Reissue
Tourniquet - Psycho Surgery
(Metal Blade/Intense) 1991
Tourniquet - Psychosurgery (Pathogenic) 2001 reissue

1. "Psycho Surgery" (4:14)
2. "A Dog's Breakfast" (4:27)
3. "Viento Borrascoso" [instrumental] (3:06)
4. "Vitals Fading" (2:46)
5. "Spineless" (5:12)
6. "Dysfuntional Domicile" (5:01)
7. "Broken Chromosomes" (5:21)
8. "Stereotaxic Atrocities" (4:21)
9. "Officium Defunctorium" (5:26)

10. "A Dog's Breakfast" [live] (5:34)
11. "Broken Chromosomes" [live] (6:56)
12. "Stereotaxic Atrocities" [demo] (4:27)
13. "A Dog's Breakfast" [demo] (4:38)
14. "Concert Intro 2000" [live] (:59)

Tourniquet 1991
Guy Ritter, Ted Kirkpatrick, Victor Macias, Eric Mendez, Gary Lenaire

In my opinion this is the classic Tourniquet line-up . Guy Ritter-vocals, Gary Lenaire-guitars, Ted Kirkpatrick-drums, Eric Mendez-guitars, and Victor Macias-bass. This album was the beginning of the long bizzare titles and the pre-occupation with medical terminology. Still, this is my favorite Tourniquet disc. "A Dog's Breakfast" has one of the coolest riffs ever. "Broken Chromosomes" is just plain cool. I'm not sure why I love this song so much, perhaps it's the cool vocals, or the awesome drumming and guitar playing. "Spineless" is a rap-metal song that features P.I.D. (1991! Before rap-metal was cool!) This entire album is one of the best power thrash discs ever, regardless of the Christian label that is often put on it. I have a crappy tape of this album as well that is signed by Ted Kirkpatrick.

Lots of cool bonus tracks on this one. I really dig hearing the pre-production demo sessions of "A Dog's Breakfast" and "Broken Chromosomes." Could have done without the "Concert Intro" or it would have been cool to put it before the live tracks. Well, I suppose I have to complain about something. Also note that the "Psycho Surgery" is now titled "Psychosurgery." Apparently Ted always felt that it should be one word, so now it is.

2001 Reissue
Tourniquet - Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance
(Metal Blade) 1992
Tourniquet - Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance (Pathogenic) 2001 reissue

1. "Impending Embolism" (2:05)
2. "Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance" (4:26)
3. "Phantom Limb" (5:41)
4. "Ruminating Virulence" (5:31)
5. "Spectrophobic Dementia" (5:16)
6. "Gelatinous Tubercles of Purulent Ossification" (5:12)
7. "Incommensurate" (5:48)
8. "Exoskeletons" (3:55)
9. "Theodicy of Trial" (4:29)
10."Descent into the Maelstrom" [instrumental] (1:31)
11."En Hakkore" (3:38)
12."Skeezix Dilemma" (10:02)

13."The Tempter" (6:10)

13. ""Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance" [live] (5:27)
14. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo/drum solo" [live] (10:30)

Heavier, faster, more technical and darker than anything Tourniquet had done before. Apparently Guy Ritter was unhappy with this new heavier direction the band had taken and decided to part ways in the middle of the recording. His vocals are on about half the material with guitarist Gary Lenaire taking over a majority of the lead vocal work. Still, this is one of Tourniquet's best discs, and probably their last great work for a long time to come as they would begin to experiment with their sound with each new album. Tempter is a Trouble cover that is on the Metal Blade Records version only.

Not as much bonus tracks to speak of on this one, but there is a killer five minute drum solo in "Bearing Gruesome Cargo." I wonder why Ted decided to release a track off "Vanishing Lessons" on this disc. Hmm...does this mean there will not be a reissue of "Vanishing Lessons?" the live version of "Pathogenic" is charged up and furious as well.

Recorded Live Vol. 2 Tourniquet - Intense Live Series Vol. 2 (Intense) 1993

1. "Phantom Limb" (6:28)
2. "Medley: Ark of Suffering/Sterotaxic Atrocities" (5:21)
3. "Whitewash Tomb" [instrumental] (4:22)
4. "The Skeezix Dilemma" (7:37)
5. "The Tempter" (6:11)
6. "The Messiah" (4:52)

This short "live in the studio" disc was part of a series that Intense put out in the early 90's. Tourniquet was in a transition period during the recording of this disc as they had recently lost their original vocalist and had not yet hooked up with Luke Easter. Guitarist Gary Lenaire took up the vocal duties for most of the songs. This was not unusual for him as he had shared vocals duties on all Tourniquet's former albums as well. The parts usually performed by Guy Ritter were sung by guest vocalist Les Carlson (Bloodgood). Having been a fan of both Bloodgood and Tourniquet for many years it was weird to hear Les singing Tourniquet songs. The tune he does the best at is, of course, Tourniquet's cover of Bloodgood's "The Messiah." However, Les pulled off all the songs very well, proving that he is a very talented and versatile singer. One of the best parts of this disc is the awesome cover of Trouble's "The Tempter." (Drummer, Ted Kirkpatrick, formerly a member of Trouble for a short time.) This same version of this song later appeared on the Metal Blade version of "Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance." Nice packaging that includes a bio of the band and session notes by executive producer Terry Taylor.

Vanishing Lessons
Tourniquet - Vanishing Lessons
(Intense) 1994
Tourniquet - Vanishing Lessons (Pathogenic) 2005 reissue

1. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" (4:36)
2. "Pecking Order" (5:53)
3. "Drowning Machine" (4:47)
4. "Pushin' Broom" (5:36)
5. "Vanishing Lessons" (4:22)
6. "My Promise" (4:31)
7. "Acid Head" (4:24)
8. "K517" [instrumental] (2:12)
9. "Twilight" (4:04)
10. "Your Take" (3:22)
11. "Sola Christus" (5:02)

12. "HHS2" (Handel Harpsichord Suite #2)" [instrumental] (1:28)
13. "Acidhead" [live] (4:57)
14. "Pecking Order" [live] (5:47)
15. "Vanishing Lessons" [live] (4:26)
16. "Drowning Machine" [demo] (4:27)
17. "Twilight" [demo] (3:57)

I would say this album is still as heavy as anything Tourniquet had done up to this point, and I would also say I like this album as much as anything Tourniquet had done. However, this was the beginning of a new direction once again, as Tourniquet abandoned the complicated lyrics and the technical power thrash that they had done before. New vocalist Luke Easter is a competent vocalist with a lower register voice than Guy Ritter's. I would also say that Luke's voice has slightly less range that Guy's. Actually Luke reminds me quite a bit of Anthrax/Armored Saint singer John Bush. Despite this "Vanishing Lessons" is a good metal album that has some great riffs. Also contained Tourniquet's first big Christian mainstream hit in the ballad "Twilight."

Tracks 13-15 were recorded live. Tracks 14 and 15 were recorded at Cornerstone Festival 2002, Tracks 16 and 17 are pre-production demos for "Vanishing Lessons". Track 12 is probably the coolest of all the bonus material as it is an insane drum solo similar to the album track "K517". The cover art, done by Rexorcist, is actually better than the original. The booklet contains photos, lyrics, and liner notes by both Luke Easter and Ted Kirkpatrick. The disc is also remastered giving it a clearer, crisper sound.

Mortification/Tourniquet - Collector's Edition CD Single (Intense) 1994

1. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" (4:35)
2. "Acid Head" (4:23)
3. "K517" (2:09)
4.-8. Ted Kirkpatrick talks"

1. "Your Life" (4:15)
2. "J.G.S.H." (:29)
3. "Love Song" (4:03)
12. "Steve Rowe talks" (1:59)

A cool little collector's split disc. Mortification being another of my favorite bands. The Mortification songs are all from "Blood World" and the Tourniquet songs all from "Vanishing Lessons." The Steve Rowe interview is taken from the "Live Planetarium" video. Ted Kirkpatrick's short interview being the only thing on here that is new. Probably not a disc for the casual fan of metal, but a true jem for the Mortification or Tourniquet collector.

Tourniquet - Carry the Wounded (Intense) 1995

1. "Carry the Wounded" (5:01)
2. "When the Love is Right (to Lizett)" (4:41)
3. "Oh Well" (2:33)
4. "My Promise" (3:17)
5. "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" (3:50)

A short little (under 20 min.) EP that Tourniquet took a lot of heat over, due to it's somewhat mellow contents, as compared to past Tourniquet discs. Song 1, a good mid-paced Tourniquet song; Song 2, acoustic love ballad written for Ted's fiance; song 3, Fleetwood Mac cover; song 4, acoustic version of a ballad off "Vanishing Lessons" complete with violins; song 5 a slightly commercial mid-paced Tourniquet song. Didn't go over to well. Tourniquet lost some fans on this one. Still, I like it. It's an EP. EP's usually have B side material, and that is exactly the kind of stuff on this disc.

Tourniquet - Live in Concert 1996 (bootleg)

1. "Acid Head/Test for Leprosy" (9:57)
2. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" (6:00)
3. "Vanishing Lessons" (4:36)
4. "Broken Chromosomes/Ted Kirkpatrick drum solo" (12:50)
5. "Phantom Limb/Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance" (7:54)
6. "Spineless/Ark of Suffering" (19:57)

Recorded live on the "Vanishing Lessons" tour, this CDR bootleg is pretty rare. As with most bootlegs, the production is pretty thin. This is not one of those discs that you'd want to pull out and listen to daily. The vocals are very loud and on top of the music. New vocalist Luke Easter, pulls off some songs perfectly, but on others, like "Acid Head" he is very strained and out of key. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" is one of the better vocal performances. Another problem with this bootleg is that tracking is not done correctly. The first two songs are track 1, etc. Ahh, what did I expect from a bootleg, at least they spelled the names of all the songs correctly. The highlight of this cd is finally getting a Ted Kirkpatrick drum solo on compact disc.

The Collected Works Tourniquet - The Collected Works of Tourniquet (Intense) 1996

1. "Perfect Night for a Hanging" (5:05)
2. "Vanishing Lessons" (4:18)
3. "Pathogenic Occular Dissonance" (4:26)
4. "Twilight" (4:02)
5. "Psycho Surgery" (4:14)
6. "You Get What You Pay For" (3:22)
7. "Acidhead" (4:21)
8. "Broken Chromosomes" (5:20)
9. "Viento Borrascoso" (3:08)
10. "Carry the Wounded" (5:01)
11. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" (4:37)
12. "The Skeezix Dilemma" (9:52)
13. "Ark of Suffering" (4:15)
14. "The Hand Trembler" (7:55)

This is a great compilation featuring at least one song from each of Tourniquet's releases plus two new songs. The two new cuts are excellent, progressive power thrash. This is the best I have heard come out of Tourniquet since "Pathogenic." Both songs are stinkin' heavy and feature monster guitar tones. With the exception of the ballad "Twilight," the whole disc is one feast of speed metal and technical thrash. After the commercially disappointing "Carry the Wounded," I was excited that Tourniquet were again writing heavy material. The two new songs were supposed to be a promise of what was to come. What we got instead was:

Tourniquet - Crawl to China (Benson) 1997

1. "Claustrospelunker" (4:18)
2. "Crawl to China" (4:28)
3. "Enveloped in Python" (4:00)
4. "White Knuckliní the Rosary" (4:10)
5. "If I Was There" (5:56)
6. "The Tell-Tale Heart" (5:14)
7. "Bats" (3:58)
8. "Proprioception: The Line Knives Syndrome" (5:01)
9. "The Kicking" (3:44)
10. "If Pigs Could Fly" (4:38)
11. "Crank (The Knife)" (4:15)
12. "Stumblefoot" (3:40)
13. "Imaginary Friend" (3:59)
14. "Going, going...gone" (6:05)
15. "America" (3:00)

Ted Kirkpatrick signature drum stick

I have a hard time believing this disc was produced by metal guru Bill Metoyer as "Crawl to China" is barely a metal album. I had hoped this disc would be as heavy as promised, but rather what we got was an attempt to please a wide variety of people by doing a wide variety of music. There are some cool songs on this album like "White Knucklin' the Rosary" but overall it was quite disappointing. Of note, drummer Ted Kirkatrick is now the only remaining original member of Tourniquet as guitarist Gary Lenaire left to join former vocalist Guy Ritter in his new band Echo Hollow. I have an "exclusive pre-release picture disc" version of this album. A good friend went to see them live before this album was officially released and they had a few of these discs for sale. Knowing what a Tourniquet fan I was, she picked me up a copy and had them autograph it for me as well.

Acoustic Archives Tourniquet - Acoustic Archives (independent) 1998

1. "Viento Borracoso" (2:51)
2. "Vanishing Lesson" (5:19)
3. "Claustrospelunker" (4:05)
4. "Bearing Gruesome Cargo" (4:54)
5. "Phantom Limb" (6:00)
6. "Bats" (3:23)
7. "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" (4:13)
8. "Twilight" (4:02)
9. "If Pigs Could Fly" (5:01)
10. "Trivializing the Momentous, Complicating the Obvious" (6:36)

Vince Dennis

This little independent cd, released exclusively through the band, is a limited edition release, hand numbered and each one autographed by a member of Tourniquet. My copy is 0764 and autographed by guitarist Aaron Guerra. The first nine songs on this disc are acoustic renditions of Tourniquet songs from just about every era of the band. These acoustic versions are very well done and show the diversity of talent this band has. Song ten is an excellent heavy "plugged-in" song that is suppose to be a promise of what is to come. Let's hope so, as this songs is heavy and much better than anything on "Crawl to China." The cover on this disc is the worst cover I have seen in a long time. I should also mention that bassist Vince Dennis has recorded with Steel Prophet.

Tourniquet - Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm
(Metal Blade) 2000

1. "Besprinkle in Scarlet Horror" (7:40)
2. "Drinking from the Poison Well" (7:33)
3. "Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm" (6:14)
4. "The Tomb of Gilgamesh" (7:36)
5. "Servant of the Bones" (4:56)
6. "Erratic Palpitations of the Human Spirit" (6:26)
(Owww! Hand cramp, hand cramp. What's with these song titles?)
7. "Martyr's Pose" (4:19)
8. "Immunity Vector" (5:11)
9. "Indulgence by Proxy" (5:56)
10. "Caixa de Raiva" (4:12)
11. "The Skeezix Dilemma Part II
...... (The Improbable Testimony of the Pipsesewah)" (9:59)

Drummer Ted Kirkpatrick is the only surviving original member, but the sound is still unmistakable Tourniquet. This album is actually a return to the more technical power thrash (speed metal?) of old, proving that Tourniquet has finally began listening to the fans who have been screaming for this for years. Ted-niquet even going so far as to do "The Skeezix Dilemma Part 2," a continuation of a song from "Pathogenic.""Microscopic View," is their most technical and diverse album yet. Kudos! (Hey Ted, how about writing some song titles that we can actually remember?) Killer guitar work as usual by Aarron and Ted.

Ted Kirkpatrick live at Cornerstone 2002
photo by Jake P.

Aaron Guerra live at Cornerstone 2002
Photo by Jake P.

Where Moth & Rust Destroy
Tourniquet - Where Moth And Rust Destroy
(Metal Blade) 2003

1. "Where Moth And Rust Destroy" (7:15)
2. "Restoring the Locust Years" (3:30)
3. "Drawn and Quartered" (8:11)
4. "A Ghost in the Wheel" (4:19)
5. "Architeuthis" (6:52)
6. "Melting the Golden Calf" (6:53)
7. "Convulted Absolutes" (5:38)
8. "Healing Waters of the Tigris" (9:32)
9. "In Death We Rise" (7:02)

I have been a Tourniquet fan since the beginning. Over the years they have released album after album, some of which amazed me, others which were a bit more disappointing. Tourniquet has never been a band that tries to make the same disc twice. However, despite the variety of sound and style from album to album, they always manage to retain their identity. The main reason for this is found in drummer/guitarist/songwriter and soul original member Ted Kirkpatrick. Despite having liked each and every Tourniquet CD to varying degrees, I think that "Where Moth And Rust Destroy" has to be their most complete, most immediately likeable release and my favorite album since their Intense Records debut. "Where Moth and Rust Destroy" incorporates everything from their past albums and even adds in some new influences, like the slow doomy sludge of the closing track. Actually, "Where Moth and Rust Destroy" is the album I was expecting and hopping for after "Collected Works." Everything is in place; the trash metal influences, the classical influenced songwriting, the excellent riffs and rhythms, the crunchy guitar tones, the skillful playing and some of the best vocals Luke Easter has pulled off since "Vanishing Lessons." (Although I must admit I still miss those haunting falsetto vocals from the debut.) All this doesn't even take into account the shredding lead work of Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) and Bruce Franklin (Trouble), the speedy violin work of Dave Bullock and the over all great recording and mix by Bill Metoyer. I probably could spend an enormous amount of time going track by track through this disc, as each song has it's own personality. However, a few standout cuts are the awe-inspired "Healing Waters of the Tigras" which starts off with an acoustic Mid-Eastern sounding intro before delving into a progressive thrash riff. Despite this, however, the chorus is melodic and memorable. Try turning this song off without it echoing through your brain for hours. In like matter "Drawn and Quartered" starts off with some beautiful violin and guitar harmonies before delving into another groove based thrash metal feast. This song's about the bloodlust of Nero and other Roman emperors who threw Christians to the lions, and the courage the Christians displayed in the face of death. "Architeuthis" is another song worth mentioning for it's infectious musical hooks and gang vocals. Love the violins in this song. Architeuthis is the giant mysterious squid. "In Death We Rise" is a doomy sludge fest that is unlike the rest of the album as the slow, plodding tempo contrasts nicely with the uptempo songs on the rest of the album. This song also features some fascinating, yet mournful violin work and speaks of the promise of God to be with us, even in the presence of death. "Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world!" One negative comment about this song, I don't understand what the point was of mixing the vocals so far back behind the music. With that minor exception, I can find no fault in the CD at all. Even though "Where Moth and Rust" clocks in at almost an hour, I still am left am wishing there was more at the end of the disc. "Where Moth and Rust Destroy" is without a doubt one of the band's finest releases and one of the best metal releases of this millenium.

Autographed 8x10 promo photo.

Ted Kirkpatrick at Cornerstone California, Sept. 2007.
photo by Scott Waters


Antisepti Bloodbath Tourniquet - Antiseptic Bloodbath (Pathogenic) 2012

1.   Chart of the Elements (Lincchostbllis) (6:39)
2.   Antiseptic Bloodbath (6:12)
3.   The Maiden Who Slept in the Glass Coffin (7:29)
4.   Chamunda Temple Stampede (5:20)
5.   Flowering Cadaver (5:20)
6.   86 Bullets (5:13)
7.   Duplicitous Endeavor (5:02)
8.   Lost Language of the Andamans (6:57)
9.   Carried Away on Uncertain Wings (4:52)
10. Fed By Ravens, Eaten By Vultures (8:09)

Tourniquert guitar pick

"Antiseptic Bloodbath" is Tourniquet's eighth full-length studio album and their first since 2003. Since that time, the band parted ways with Metal Blade Records and other than doing a handful of shows was mostly MIA. However in late 2010, the band announced a Kickstarter project to fund a new album. The album was fully funded by January 2011 and "Antiseptic Bloodbath" was released in the Summer of 2012, first as a digital download then as a CD. Despite the long period of time between albums, "Antiseptic Bloodbath" picks up exactly where the band left off.

Tourniquet has long been a project of drummer Ted Kirkpatrick with several lineup changes in their 20+ years of existence. Longtime vocalist Luke Easter remains and guitarist Aaron Guerra has returned as well. However, it's very obvious when listening to this album who does much of the writing. The music is driven by technical and sometimes odd percussions and drum patterns. It's well known among fans that Ted also plays guitar, but from listening to any Tourniquet album it's easy to see which instrument he favors. Ted is a percussive beast, and that beast is unleashed on "Antiseptic Bloodbath". The music as technical and progressive. In general the songs are mostly long, the shortest song being just over five minutes long. Don't expect to put this one on and start singing along immediately. The songs are built around complex rhythms and classical influences, not catchy choruses or hook-laden riffs. As with the last few Tourniquet releases it took several spins to really begin to appreciate the subtleties in the music. Adding to the excitement of this release is a large list of well known musicians laying down some choice chops including Karl Sanders (Nile), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), Santiago Dobles (Aghora) and the legendary Pat Travers, who lays down some guitar leads on the title track.

Lyrically Ted continues to use the medical terminology to hammer home his points about faith and his personal convictions. This time around there are even more references to 'animal welfare' than in the past. Ted has never been shy about his love for animals and his hatred for their abuse, but he makes it abundantly clear on this album. It's even echoed in the controversial cover art.

It's dark, it's heavy, it's complex, it's Tourniquet.

Onward to Freedom Tourniquet - Onward to Freedom (independent) 2014

1. Onward to Freedom Prelude (:39)
2. Onward to Freedom (5:39)
3. The Slave Ring (5:14)
4. The Noble Case for Mercy (3:11)
5. Let the Wild Just Be Wild (5:05)
6. No Soul (4:43)
7. If I Had to Do the Killing  (4:45)
8. Virtual Embryo[instrumental] (:57)
9. Stereotaxic Atrocities (4:49)
10. Animal Crossing at the Rainbow Bridge (1:49)
11. Drowning in Air (6:26)
12. Cage 23 (4:41)

Originally billed as another Ted Kirkpatrick solo album, "Onward to Freedom" was released independently as Ted Kirkpatrick Tourniquet. The band is known for both their Christian stance, their medical terminology in the lyrics as well as their outspoken voice against animal abuse. While previous albums had  that focused on that subject matter. This time, however, drummer and songwriter Ted Kirkpatrick devotes the entire album to the subject. On my first couple listens it actually the subject matter became a bit tiresome, though you certainly cannot fault Ted for sharing his concerns and passion for life.

Musically Ted tries a bunch of new tricks on "Onward to Freedom". The biggest is the array of guest artists including Michael Sweet (Stryper) on vocals and lead guitar, Doug Pinnick (King's X) on vocals and guest guitarists Marty Friedman (Megadeth/Cacophony), Chris Poland (Megadeth), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Tony Palacios (Guardian), Rex Carroll (Whitecross/King James), and Aaron Guerra (Tourniquet). Other guest vocalists include Mattie Montgomery (For Today), Gabbie Rae, Kevin Young (Disciple), Blake Suddath (Your Memorial), Nick Villars (Sleep Star Ignition), and Luke Easter (Tourniquet), plus narration by Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner. Fortunately some of these guests work out brilliantly, with their styles blending well with the dark, heavy music that Ted cranks out. (Ted plays the role of guitarist and drummer on this album.) The title tracks starts with a classical piano prelude before bursting into a chugging mid-tempo thrash riff. Micheal Sweet's vocals on this track are fantastic, though the short metalcore vocal part by Mattie Montgomery in the middle of the song sticks out like a sore thumb and detracts from what is otherwise a killer song. As well, Doug Pinnick on "No Soul" sound fantastic. "The Slave Ring" is a heavy and aggressive track with Matt Montgomery once again shouting through the mid-tempo riffing. This song features Chris Poland ripping out a fiery yet melodic guitar solo that is the highlight of the song. Unfortunately, once again, the metalcore style vocals detracts from what could have been a great song.

With the fourth track "The Noble Case for Mercy", Ted tried to drive home his thoughts on animal abuse with a 3 minute, spoken word sermon on why humans must have more respect for animals and their right to be free. Frankly, after hearing it the first two times I tend to skip this track as it just kills the momentum of the album. Likewise, "Cage 23", a song about domestic animals in cages and being euthanized comes across as a preachy sermon rather than a song. Oddly the song "Stereotaxic Atrocities" from Tourniquet's magnum opus "Psychosurgery" album gets a remake here. The song choice is obvious since it is an animal rights song, but they don't really make the song better or add anything important, other than current Tourniquet vocalist Luke Easter changing up the vocal melodies slightly.

There are things I enjoy about this album but there are also things I do not care for. The metalcore bits are not my thing though I suppose it might turn a few fans of "modern" bands like For Today onto Tourniquet. Breakdowns and a guy screaming at me like an irate principal at a delinquent student is best left for the hipsters and metalcore kiddies. Overall the album is just all over the place musically and is not something I can sit and enjoy from beginning to end, which is how I tend to listen to music.

Also see- The Doom In Us All - A TRIBUTE to Black Sabbath

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