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Touchstone - The City Sleeps CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.87 | 86 ratings

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4 stars Touchstone belong to that school of British prog that includes the likes of Panic Room and The Reasoning. In other words accessible and melodic prog with female vocals. The City Sleeps is their third album and very good it is too.

Female fronted prog bands haven't exactly been in short supply in the UK over the last decade but fortunately Touchstone are able to stand head and shoulders with the best of the bunch. Kim Seviour may not have the vocal range and playfulness of Panic Room's Anne Marie Helder but is nevertheless in possession of an impressive voice with plenty of her own character to set her apart from the crowd. Keyboard player Rob Cotingham also shares some lead vocals and is himself an impressive enough vocalist but Seviour has the edge, his own style being a little too clean cut for my taste. The band all play well with a highly proficient and solid rhythm section laying the foundations for neo prog style keyboard work and largely heavy guitar parts which often ventures in metal territory. This is perhaps what sets Touchstone apart from the rest of the UK female fronted crossover prog bands - being the heaviest and most metallic but equally sharing an ear for strong melody. This they demonstrate throughout The City Sleeps and while no track screams absolute classic the consistently high level of songwriting makes it a winner.

Prior to this release my only exposure to Touchstone was a few tracks given away on Classic Rock cd's which admittedly hadn't set my pulse racing. However having bought The City Sleeps and been able to listen to it as whole rather than random snippets has given me fresh interest to visit their previous two albums.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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