Tourniquet was one of the bands that really got me into heavy music. Where Moth and Rust Destroy still blows my mind, this many years later (though I think it’s impossible to choose a favourite Tourniquet album). There is something very different about this band; the complex, technical songwriting, and awesome symbolism and use of metaphor got me reading and thinking about lyrics more than I probably ever had before. And the fact that they’re unafraid of 10 minute long songs is wicked cool.
Primary songwriter and legendary drummer Ted Kirkpatrick has repeatedly been voted “favourite drummer” in HM Magazine’s Reader’s Poll, and has been featured a couple times in Modern Drummer Magazine. Aside from Tourniquet, Kirkpatrick has released a few solo albums that show his diverse musical talents, ranging from stoner rock layered behind animal sounds as “vocals”, to his drum track over some favourite classical music selections, and even an album where he supplies the soundtrack behind famous voices reading the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
The list could go on and on about who this man has performed with and how many he has influenced, but let’s talk about another passion of his – Kirkpatrick is a known lover of creation and an advocate for animal welfare. These two passions have met many times, where animal welfare has been a topic of several Tourniquet songs beginning with “Ark of Suffering” from Stop The Bleeding. Of that song, Ted says, “We had no idea it would have such an impact. I wrote the lyrics to reflect what God had in mind for the proper treatment of his beloved animal creation and how far we are from it. Since then, Tourniquet has been an active voice for animal welfare.” Songs like “Stereotaxic Atrocities,” “86 Bullets,” and numerous others have followed. To learn more, you can visit the Animals page on the Tourniquet website.
Continuing this effort is the upcoming album Onward to Freedom, due out November 11th. Last week Tourniquet posted a lyric video of the title track. This killer track features guests Michael Sweet (Stryper) on vocals and lead guitar and Mattie Montgomery (For Today) supplying vocals as well. It’s a mesmerizing combination of classic Tourniquet sound, but with Sweet’s more 80’s inspired brand of metal, and Montgomery’s part brings a brutal edge. I knew Mattie had to be jumping in when I could feel a breakdown coming on. Check out the video here:
This album features an impression collection of guests collaborators. Of course the other Tourniquet guys, Luke Easter (vocals) and Aaron Guerra (guitar) will be on the album, as well as guest vocals by, among others, Dug Pinnick (King’s X), Kevin Young (Disciple), Blake Suddath (Your Memorial) and even Ed Asner delivering a spoken narration. Guitarists include Chris Poland, and Marty Friedman (whom you may recognize from Megadeth), also Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Tony Palacios (Guardian), and Rex Carroll (Whitecross).