on November 6, 2011
This is one of the best albums I have heard this century. I am not going to bore you with details as to who does what or who was influenced by whom. I just want to tell you, that as someone who is more interested in the listening, than the bands background, this is a fabulous album. I been into prog-rock for 40 years the very 1st album I bought was Fragile by Yes and there are now around 100 prog-rock albums in my collection. Wintercoast is up there with the best of them. This is an album that needs to be listened to from start to finish and with a fair amount of volume.
Take a listen . . .
on August 31, 2010
One thing which becomes apparent as we start listening to this music is the spectrum of influences affecting various members of this band. The scope seems to be pretty unprecedented. Without a doubt there are strong progressive rock roots visible here; the passages of Yes, Marillion, Genesis, Pink Floyd but the guitar riffs, the style of drumming, the bass lines all remind us more of Deep Purple, Metallica, Dream Theatre and Deftones or Korn. In Touchstone it all comes together quite well. At first the music might appear to consist of two competing trends confusing us a bit, but after a while it all blends well and the style of Touchstone feels great. We could notice the apparent similarities with the music of Evanescence but I like Touchstone much more. I actually find more in common with Mostly Autumn, a jewel bursting with spirit (much lighter in tone), and although to a way lesser extend I sense the soul inside Touchstone as well. That spirit so rarely enveloped in such hard and heavy envelope is what makes Touchstone exceptional to me.
Wintercoast could end up being one of the most interesting songs of 2009. It is very original in approach and delivered with quite a range and level of skill. Piano led melody brings gorgeous vocals from both, Kim Seviour and Rob Cottingham. The song progresses beautifully through the massive bass and drums, and the guitar solo which comes next could have came out of the Stairway To Heaven or Child In Time.
Strange Days and Voices and Joker In The Pack and Original Sin are all ok songs but not nearly as strong as the title song. Solace, although I understand the message, could have been delivered in a different, more interesting way. It really gets a little boring and silly. A few of these above songs feel like Kim's pop songs remodeled to suit the new massive tone objectives. The following songs, Zinomorph, Line In The Sand and Witness are not as strong as Wintercoast but they are all very good and in my eyes they help to elevate this album to a 5 star level.I have a feeling that we have not heard the best album of Touchstone yet and that they posses all that is needed to be able to compose and deliver some more great music very soon.
And if you get the feeling, for instance while listening to Zinomorph that you hear passages you recall from Abacab remember that it must be harder and harder not to run into such problems for bands. Actually, the idea of pulling musical moments of value (both melodic and sentimental) and delivering them in different envelops I am not opposed to at all. When I listen to Touchstone I am most reminded of the music by Born For Bliss, but I can bet that these guys have never heard Frank Weyzig's music and we are just dealing with a clear coincidence and similarity of song building styles.
on August 16, 2010
Touchstone is one of the best young new progressive rock bands to come out of Europe in the past few years. Fronted by an incredible female vocalist the band deliver a modern take on progressive rock with a slight hint of metal. The album is a concept piece although what the story exactly is does not jump out at me. All the instrumentalists are top notch with plenty of crunchy guitar and soaring keyboards keeping things moving along. Touchstone reminds me a lot of a slightly heavier Mostly Autumn. This is the first Touchstone album I have heard, but I am eager to explore more of their catalogue.
on May 9, 2010
Take Pat Benatar, give her a smoothie to sip on and then a little Mostly Autumn mixed with some Uriah Heep (melodies) and add Fleetwood Mac but eight times heavier and wahla you have touchstone.
As stated before in my Discordant review, I got a copy of Discordant Dreams after I heard a sample through Classic Rock. By the way it still is the greatest when it comes to samples and of course so is Classic Rock Prog.
But back to this amazing album. Unfortunately the drummer left, after this album, but then so did the female vocalist prior to Discordant Dreams and Kim (her successor) is just great. So New drummer as we say in this new age...be better and we know you will be, as this band is now on a roll!!
It is a fine and deeper thought out album than DD and I like the direction the band are going, more progressive, less commercial yet attractive all the artist have moved up five notches on this album and the bassist has added touches that were not in DD so this album gets 10. What is exciting they are new and getting better and like Rush humility is evident in the bands acceptance for "Better".
Besides, Classic Rock have them in every issue so get your copy.....and If Amazon don't have one for you there own site will deliver...as will Touchstone
PSSSST By the way they are on Facebook
In my tag I have added some "new" bands that may tickle you fancy.