Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm

Tourniquet - Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm ©2000 Metal Blade
1. Besprinkled In Scarlet Horror
2. Drinking From The Poisoned Well
3. Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm
4. The Tomb Of Gilgamesh
5. Servant Of The Bones
6. Erratic Palpitations Of The Human Spirit
7. Martyr's Pose
8. Immunity Vector
9. Indulgence By Proxy
10. Caixa De Raiva
11. The Skeezix Dilemma Part II (The Improbable Testimony Of The Pipsisewah)

It's one thing to be a satanic band - Satanism in sum and substance is a big joke and I do not take the imagery or the "religion" seriously in the least. However, what are sadder are Christian bands like Tourniquet, who feel compelled (by God?) to evangelize their all-too earnest beliefs on what I see as a largely atheistic metal community. Granted, they have a freedom to believe what they want, and they ought to be permitted to speak what's on their minds, but so long as the Christian Right is kept out of mainstream American politics, I have a right to ignore and ridicule their Bible-thumping. God willing, this right will remain for perpetuity. Pun intended.

Religious preferences aside, Tourniquet isn't all that bad. Ted Kirkpatrick is an accomplished lyricist, and the music is an interesting crossbreed of Slayer and hardcore, with some delectable double bass drumming provided by Mr. Kirkpatrick himself. The vocals, however, would make even Jehovah retreat back behind the pearly gates; they are so absolutely appalling that they could conceivably make the Tower of Babel collapse a second time. My God, Luke Easter needs no less than deus es machina if he is to ever become a half-decent, B-rate vocalist.

The preaching begins with "Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror", which sounds like Slayer with a thinner guitar sound. Awful, categorically awful vocals make you want to run to the nearest Catholic church and atone for your sins; the hardcore shouting style sounds weak and pathetic, quite honestly, and don't get me started on Easter's "clean singing" attempts. A sweet, innocent flute passage towards the end evokes a pleasant folksong atmosphere, and the folksong-style singing is actually passable here. The lyrics take a not-so-subtle jab at death metal imagery. "Drinking from the Poisoned Well" is a heavier sermon than the previous homily, and includes some well-crafted In Flames-sounding melodic guitar lines. Pitiful attempts at growling hurt the song measurably, and it sounds as if it could use some more bass guitar. To nit-pick, "Drinking…" would probably be better off if the last two minutes of the song didn't exist. The title track has some more bad singing and Biohazard-style rap-shouting, and also tends to drag its feet towards the end. Proponents of Creationism may very well make this their theme song. "The Tomb of Gilgamesh" commences with (gasp) a capella singing, with the guitars thankfully coming in to carry on the vocal melody. Nice guitar melodies, and violins make a cameo appearance during the middle, playing a very familiar tune, which I can't nail down at this time. "Martyr's Pose" begins with an acoustic, and "Immunity Vector" is probably the best track of the album, by virtue of the vocalist's non-appearance. It has an ambiguously Oriental sound, and the jazzy flute playing is definitely a snazzy moment. "The Skeezix Dilemma Part II", closing in on ten minutes, is a mini-epic of sorts, a tale that seems to be a David-Goliath allegory.

The lyrical content should be fairly clear to you by now, so I will refrain from commenting further on them. Anyway, if you don't mind terrible eardrum-shattering vocals or blatant Christian proselytizing, Tourniquet's Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm may be worth your while. I think I'll avoid all subsequent releases from this band, however.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 03/2000

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