If you’ve heard Tourniquet’s “Crawl To China” album and wondered what’s missing, you’ll find the answer here. The answer is simple, Gary Lenaire and Guy Ritter. That’s not to say that Tourniquet will not forge a new sound or create a new following, but it is rather a simple fact that Guy and Gary were a key part of Tourniquet’s success.
Listening to Echo Hollow is like discovering a new group and rediscovering an old group at the same time. Present are those unique vocals that both Guy and Gary do: Guy’s insane lunatic vocals (think Renfro from Dracula) and Gary’s angry vocals. Present, too, is Gary’s guitar, particularly on the title song, “Diet of Worms”, “A Fool’s Errand”. These songs are somewhat like the songs on “Psychosurgery”. That’s not to say that these guys have sought to simply recreate the Tourniquet sound without Ted Kirkpatrick, rather, it means that we are familiar with these guys as they play new music. Actually, there are songs on this disc which sound nothing like Tourniquet: “Thursday”, “Sad”, “Take My Shoes”, and especially, “Through the Veil”, which is a rather Stevie Ray Vaughn-like tune with heavy metal .
About the lyrics, the character of Martin Luther is quite appropriate for heavy metal, I’d say that Luther was very heavy metal for his day. Luther, for instance, to the songs of his day, often bar songs, and rewrote lyrics that praise God. Heavy metal takes a style of music which is often considered “outside the church” and uses it to glorify God. Also, Because Luther was a man of conscience, he couldn’t go along with the practices of the Roman church that he felt was wrong. That’s what the title song is about; Luther was dragged before the Pope and an ecclesiastical council in the German city of Worms (/vorms/). In a similar way, groups like Echo Hollow must make their music and sell it outside the “accepted norms” of the Christian music world. (How about doing Deitrich Bonhoeffer next?). “Thursday “ is a song about how today’s generation has rejected God and makes an allusion to “Pascal’s wager” which is summarized in the liner notes of this CD. “Sad” has a similar theme while “A Fool’s Errand” is aimed at misguided Christians. Those familiar with U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” will flip at this one as it is both true to the song and yet reinterprets it. I have been a U2 fan for 15 years and I love this version. It is awesome. Finally, as noted above, the CD ends on a worshipful not with “Through the Veil”. In short, this is recommended listening!