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Touchstone - Wintercoast CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.70 | 59 ratings

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3 stars TOUCHSTONE have invited approriate support for their new concept album 'Wintercoast'. Wellknown actor Jeremy Irons contributes some narration for the opening spacey Prelude ... and the 'hidden' track Postlude - surprisingly missed (or probably with intent) when manufacturing the sleeve notes. Okay, both occasions might be controversial. Old-fashioned or ambitious? Never mind - no more no less nice wondrous gifts I would say - maybe symptomatic for the approach to offer some surprises.

Way more important though is the album's title song which holds a symphonic/neo prog touch supported by Rob Cottingham's lush keyboards. As for the contrary Adam Hodgson is partially playing a really sawing metal guitar. A song with many variants where additionally nice polyphonic female/male vocals are worked in - well done! Strange Days carries on in a more popular AOR outfit then - with a quite attractive arrangement nevertheless.

The following Voices appears as another album highlight - an interesting song arranged with two faces so to say. On one side we have a catchy grooving behaviour - apart from that they are also drifting into balladesque shallow water over and over headed by the charming voice of female singer Kim Sevior. Original Sin provided with a nice chorus and the dreamy Solace - this are more mainstream tinged songs again. Solid but can't really thrill me - additionally to name the commercially trimmed Zinomorph.

Both sections of Whitness are evolving back to obvious prog territories - just like a little epic if you like. As for the first part the band serves an impressing atmospheric mood initiated by a special synth and drum arrangement. Later they are changing to a classic neo prog outfit within the next part. A charming song showing many variations, even including a short piano interlude.

TOUCHSTONE are stylistically offering a little of each with their new album. My feelings are ambivalent a bit - too polished, radio-friendly here and there for my taste. No doubt - 'Wintercoast' is consisting of well produced catchy songs. Musicianship is top-notch as might be expected from this experienced fellows ... all the more if supported by John Mitchell. Fans of melodic rock music, partially provided with accentuated metal edges, will be pleased with this album I'm sure.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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