Review Summary: A slightly technical thrash masterpiece... full of speed riffs and double bass and infectious breakdowns and grooves and solos and intelligent lyrics.
To review this album is an intense pleasure. I've been a Tourniquet fan for about 15 years now, so I'm very familiar with what they do. The album "Psychosurgery" is a magnificent album. It is a thrash masterpiece, hands down. To me it ranks with the thrash four from the late 80s and early 90s, namely Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. The solos are rampant, the guitar work is extremely creative, the drums are technical and brutal, and the vocals are quite unique to say the least. Let's not forget the lyrical content, which touches upon deeeeeep subjects, be they spiritual or practical, and in usual Tourniquet fashion, based on a Christian bias. I hope the readers of this review are open-minded enough to venture onward.
"Psychosurgery" was released in 1991 (with a remaster in 2001), and was a modern transition from their more power-metal influenced album "Stop the Bleeding". If I could compare it, I would say it is most like a Christian version of Megadeth's "Rust in Peace". Yeah, it's that good.
The opening title track is a monster. It starts with an odd violin intro, then straight to the riff-fest! Double bass and fills break into fretboard mastery as the main riff takes over. The song has many breaks and tempo changes, even a brainsaw. The lyrics have great medical terminology and spiritual substance. Totally killer. Totally.
The song "A Dog's Breakfast" is another gem. It opens with psychotic dual harmony guitar licks and fast china cymbal rushes... followed by a chug chug palm mute session followed by an almost southern style Dimebagesque groove and then back to the mayhem speed riffing. The song addresses many different religions and is very interesting from a theological perspective.
Another highlight includes "Viento Borrascoso" (Devastating Wind) which is a ferocious instrumental filled with maniacal drumming and even an intensely beautiful acoustic guitar section. "Dysfunctional Domicile" deals with divorce, and highlight "Broken Chromosomes" deals with mental retardation. Vocalist Guy Ritter excels on the latter, providing insane vocals coupled with spoken word and passionate singing. And continuing with drummer Ted Kirkpatrick's love for nature, the song "Stereotaxic Atrocities" deals with the slaughtering and testing of animals for humanity's gain. The album ends with "Officium Defuntorum", a sludgy dirgefest about the actions of Jesus.
The remastered version has some demos and live versions which are cool, and is worthy for the improved sound alone. If you like what Dave Mustaine did with Megadeth's older stuff, well this is equally good. The clarity of the production is fantastic, and the atmosphere is awesome.
I can't think of anything at all that detracts from this recording, aside from the rap intro to "Spineless" and faith-based Christian lyrics. But even those lyrics shouldn't be so much of a turnoff, considering that much of metal blatantly bashes Christianity and promotes gore and the myth of Satan. To me, the myth of Jesus should be viewed as no different, and perhaps even in a positive light to uplift your thoughts. Please check out this disc, you'll dig it.