Tourniquet band has been around for more than two decades and has released a total of thirteen albums, excluding Ted’s solo projects, DVDs and old VHSs. The excellence of their music is undeniable, combining a wide range of metal sub-genres with technique which results in high quality technical metal anthems. For those who follow them its known Ted’s passion for Christianity and animals that he manifests in the form of lyrics to his compositions; and the last “Onward to Freedom” it’s no exception, filled with music created for “those who don’t have a voice”.
Has I’ve said before, the quality of the band is unquestionable but for this album Ted invited some first-class musicians/singers to play along. I dare to say that this release stands a mark in metal albums; establishing a comparison somewhat it resembles Live Aid and Save the Children project. In this case it’s a constellation of metal/rock stars all together in an awareness campaign for the defense of all animal species.
Apart from the message and the entire story around this conceptual album it’s irrefutable the quality of the compositions. Again, Ted and company bring us high quality arrangements combined with high-end performers that make this project even better, taking it to the next level in terms of musical contribution.
Summing all up, this is one of those releases that should be in every heavy music fan shelve. There’s no way to deny its quality along with a message everyone should bear in mind.
Onward to Freedom Tracklist:
01. Onward to Freedom Prelude
02. Onward to Freedom (featuring Michael Sweet and Mattie Montgomery)
03. The Slave Ring (featuring Mattie Montgomery, Nick Villars, and Chris Poland)
04. The Noble Cape For Mercy (featuring Ed Asner)
05. Let the Wild Just be Wild (featuring Gabbie Rae, Nick Villars, and Rex Carroll)
06. No Soul (featuring Dug Pinnick and Bruce Franklin)
07. If I Had to Do the Killing (featuring Kevin Young and Aaron Guerra)
08. Virtual Embryo
09. Stereotaxic Atrocities (featuring Luke Easter and Marty Friedman)
10. Animal Crossing at the Rainbow Bridge
11. Drownling in Air (featuring Blake Suddath, Nick Villars, and Tony Palacios)
12. Cage 23 (featuring Gabbie Rae and Ashley Argota)
Lineup: Ted Kirkpatrick – drums, bass, keyboards, all guitars except guest guitar solos as noted in track list
Guest vocals: Michael Sweet (Stryper), Dug Pinnick (King’s X, KXM), Mattie Montgomery (For Today), Gabbie Rae, Kevin Young (Disciple), Blake Suddath (Your Memorial), Nick Villars (Sleep Star Ignition), Luke Easter (Tourniquet)
Guest lead guitars: Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Michael Sweet (Stryper), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Rex Carroll (Whitecross), Tony Palacios (Guardian), Aaron Guerra (Tourniquet)
Guest narrations: Ed Asner (legendary Hollywood actor and seven time Emmy Award winner), Ashley Argota (Disney Channel TV star)