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Tourniquet is a Christian Thrash Metal band from California, USA, formed in 1989 by drummer Ted Kirkpatrick, vocalist Guy Ritter and guitarist/vocalist Gary Lenaire. The band primarily performs a mixture of Thrash, Neoclassical and Progressive Metal, and often incorporate "non-Rock" influences into their music such as classical and world music.

Ted Kirkpatrick had previously played in the Chicago Doom Metal group 'Trouble' on their Run to the Light tour. The group was one of many bands who were, at the time, affiliated with a church group called Sanctuary - the rock and roll refuge in Los Angeles. Since the release of their debut album, Stop the Bleeding, most notably their song "Ark of Suffering" (and its accompanying music video), the band became well known for their stance on animal rights.

Not to be confused with the Evanescence song or the Marilyn Manson song.

Current members:

  • Ted Kirkpatrick - drums (1989-)
  • Aaron Guerra - guitars, backing vocals (1994-2002, 2004-2008, 2008-)

Former members:

  • Luke Easter - vocals (1993-2015)
  • Steve Andino - bass (2002-2008)
  • Vince Dennis - bass (1998)
  • Victor Macias - bass (1989-1996)
  • Gary Lenaire - guitars (1989-1996)
  • Erik Mendez - guitars (1990-1993)
  • Guy Ritter - vocals (1989-1993)


  • 1990 - Stop the Bleeding
  • 1991 - Psycho Surgery
  • 1992 - Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance
  • 1994 - Vanishing Lessons
  • 1995 - Carry the Wounded (EP)
  • 1996 - The Collected Works of Tourniquet (Compilation)
  • 1997 - Crawl to China
  • 1998 - Acoustic Archives (Compilation)
  • 2000 - Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm
  • 2003 - Where Moth and Rust Destroy
  • 2012 - Antiseptic Bloodbath
  • 2014 - Onward to Freedom (as 'The Tourniquet Ark')
  • 2018 - Gazing At Medusa

Tropes associated with Tourniquet

  • All Drummers Are Animals: Could easily apply to Ted Kirkpatrick
  • Animal Motifs: Snakes, cattle, birds, locusts, you name it.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Spineless" from Psycho Surgery features members of a Christian Rap group called P.I.D. (Preachas in Disguise)
  • Big Rock Ending: "Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm", "The Tomb of Gilgamesh"
  • Bookends: Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm is bookended by some Ominous Pipe Organ
  • Cherubic Choir: Antiseptic Bloodbath opens with one
  • Christian Metal
  • Classical Music Is Cool (See also Rock Me, Amadeus!)
  • Cover Version: Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" on the Carry the Wounded EP.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Lampshaded on "Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror".
  • Darker and Edgier: Microscopic View of the Telescopic Realm, Where Moth and Rust Destroy, and Antiseptic Bloodbath could be viewed as this compared to the rest of the band's catalogue. If not the music itself, then definitely each aforementioned album's front cover.
    • The songs "The Hand Trembler" and "Perfect Night for a Hanging" from The Collected Works of Tourniquet are reportedly regarded by many of their fans to be the heaviest songs Tourniquet have ever written.
  • Epic Rocking: Longest songs being "The Skeezix Dilemma" (10:00), "The Skeezix Dilemma Part II" (9:58), and "Healing Waters of the Tigris" (9:31).
    • Several of their songs since Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm span between 6-8 minutes long.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Immunity Vector" into "Indulgence by Proxy"
  • Genre Roulette: Tourniquet have, on varying tracks, implemented Groove Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Doom Metal, Neoclassical Metal, Classical Music, Rap Metal, Funk Metal, Alternative Metal, and Folk Music into their traditional Thrash Metal sound.
    • Crawl to China is notably Tourniquet's most stylistically diverse and experimental album.
  • Harsh Vocals
  • Heavy Metal
  • I Am the Band: Ted Kirkpatrick (See also Revolving Door Band)
  • Instrumentals: "Viento Borrascoso (Devastating Wind)", "Descent Into the Maelstrom", "K517", "Immunity Vector". Tourniquet's instrumental tracks often more strongly invoke Rock Me, Amadeus! moments compared to the band's other material.
  • Large Ham: Luke Easter
  • Lead Drummer
  • Lighter and Softer: The Carry the Wounded EP is this to Tourniquet's other material, as well as the Acoustic Archives compilation, which consists of acoustic versions of select Tourniquet songs, with the exception of "Trivializing the Momentous, Complicating the Obvious".
    • "If I Was There", "Bats" from Crawl to China
  • Longest Song Goes Last
    • "Harlot Widow and Virgin Bride" - 7:45
    • "Officium Defunctorum" - 6:26
    • "The Skeezix Dilemma" - 10:00
    • "The Skeezix Dilemma Part II (The Improbable Testimony of the Pipsisewah)" - 9:58
    • "Fed by Ravens, Eaten by Vultures" - 8:09
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "The Tomb of Gilgamesh"
  • Meaningful Name: From Tourniquet's Facebook page:
    - a surgical device for arresting hemorrhage by compression of a blood vessel...
    - a lifelong spiritual process by which a personal God, through the atoning blood, death, and resurrection of His only Son -Jesus Christ- can begin to stop the flow of going through life without knowing and serving our Creator. HE IS OUR TOURNIQUET."
  • Mood Whiplash: Invoked in "Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror" with a relaxed flute-led folky outro.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Psycho Surgery saw the band distancing themselves from their original '80's metal influences to more strongly emphasise the band's classical influences, as well as experimenting with other styles such as Rap Metal on "Spineless".
    • Vanishing Lessons opted for a much less technical, more accessible musical approach. Following that was Crawl to China, which is notably more diverse and experimental than other Tourniquet albums.
    • The Carry the Wounded EP that was released shortly after Vanishing Lessons, as well as Acoustic Archives, are significantly Lighter and Softer examples.
    • Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm saw a return to the progressive, technical Thrash Metal sound that was initially abandoned after Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance.
  • Progressive Metal
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    • "PLEASE! HEAL! ME!"
  • Recurring Riff: "Drinking from the Poisoned Well" and the intro to "The Skeezix Dilemma Pt II"
  • Revolving Door Band: Ted Kirkpatrick is the only consistent member of the band. Onward to Freedom is essentially a solo project put out as a Tourniquet release, although it still features brief cameos from Luke Easter and Aaron Guerra who have both appeared on most Tourniquet albums since Vanishing Lessons.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: Ted Kirkpatrick is very heavily influenced by Classical Music and often incorporates classical elements into Tourniquet's music on tracks such as "Tomb of Gilgamesh", "Immunity Vector" and "Drawn and Quartered".
    • "K517" is a rendition of the eponymous "Sonata in D Minor" by Domencio Scarlatti with Ted drumming over harpsichord.
    • Ted's solo album titled "In the Shadow of the Masters" features him drumming over excerpts of classical pieces by the likes of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, and Bach to name a few.
  • Sequel Song: "The Skeezix Dilemma Part II (The Improbable Testimony of the Pipsisewah)"
  • Special Guest: Since Where Moth and Rust Destroy, Tourniquet have involved many guest guitarists in their music, most notably Marty Friedman, as well as Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Karl Sanders, Santiago Dobles, Chris Poland, Rex Carroll (Whitecross), Tony Palacios (Guardian), and Michael Sweet, most of which were also on Onward to Freedom.
    • P.I.D on "Spineless"
    • Steve Rowe of Mortification on the title track of Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm
    • Onwards to Freedom has a rotating cast of special guest vocalists including the aforementioned Michael Sweet, Mattie Montgomery (For Today), Nick Villars (Sleep Star Ignition), Gabbie Rae, Doug Pinnick (King's X), Kevin Young (Disciple), and Blake Suddath.
    • Tim "Ripper" Owens, briefly former vocalist of Judas Priest and Iced Earth, was recruited as the band's guest lead singer for Gazing at Medusa. Deen Castronovo also sings on the album's title track.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Pastor Bob Beeman (founder of the ministry "Sanctuary International") provides spoken word for the last track on Antiseptic Bloodbath. Actor Ed Aster and Nickelodeon personality Ashley Argota also provide spoken word on "The Noble Case for Mercy" and "Cage 23" respectively from Onward to Freedom.
  • Thrash Metal
  • Title Track: There's one on every album except Stop the Bleeding.
  • Unplugged Version: Acoustic Archives