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Touchstone - Wintercoast CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.71 | 59 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Crossover prog meets culture!

Yes, the introduction to this fine LP, Prelude, is voiced by none other than revered English thespian, Jeremy Irons, and a recent interview in Classic Rock Presents Prog explains how they managed this.

Touchstone are one of a new wave of British female fronted prog bands, in this case Kim Seviour, whose vocals are, I'm glad to report, absolutely spot on and a joy to listen to. They had a spot at this years Power Voltage festival, and it is to be hoped that they won a few friends and fans, because they deserve it on the basis of this album.

The band have, rightly in my opinion, been placed within Crossover Prog for the purposes of this site, because this album could perhaps be better described as a mix of traditional classic rock, with pop/rock and prog tendencies. For no better example, listen to the title track itself, which weighs in at over 10 minutes in length, and has some mighty fine guitar, bass, and keyboard riffs interspersed within lighter, proggier moments. I wouldn't, by the way, describe it as overly AOR, just more classic rock.

On that basis, it works very well. Strange Days is a good example of this, with a pulsating guitar riff, and some very good singing by Seviour and Cuttingham. The latter's keyboard work is also very effective throughout.

Highlights of the album are: Solace, which relaxes down the heavy riffing for a superb vocal and dreamy song, and also allows Paul Morrghen to shine on his own with a very good, melodic, bass line, and the "epic" two parter The Witness, which is probably the proggiest on the album, and features some work very reminiscent of Marillion in their early days. It also features a lovely piano solo.

So, this is an album to enjoy, and is very good at what it does. Not essential by any means, but my opinion is that they will improve vastly with their next release if they could concentrate more on the prog than the riffy rock side.

Three stars, and a strong one at that.

lazland | 3/5 |


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