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Touchstone Wintercoast album cover
3.70 | 65 ratings | 10 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (1:23)
2. Wintercoast (10:39)
3. Strange Days (4:05)
4. Voices (8:11)
5. Joker In The Pack (6:11)
6. Original Sin (6:18)
7. Solace (4:01)
8. Zinomorph (7:52)
9. Line In The Sand (5:36)
10. The Witness Pt. 1 (4:16)
11. The Witness Pt. 2 (8:11)
12. Postlude (1:06) - not on reissue
13. Zinomorph [Radio Mix] (4:38)

Total Time: 72:27

Bonus tracks on 2012 reissue:
13. Shadow (live) (6:06)
14. Joker In The Pack (live) (5:47)

Line-up / Musicians

- Kim Seviour / vocals
- Rob Cottingham / vocals, keyboards, Fx
- Adam Hodgson / guitar, Fx
- Paul "Moo" Moorghen / bass, backing vocals
- Alasdair Melville / drums

- Jeremy Irons / narrator (1,12)
- John Mitchell / guitar solo (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Hodgson

CD Heavy Right Foot Records ‎- HRF 007 CD (2009, Europe)
CD Steamhammer ‎- SPV 260122 CD (2012, Germany) With 2 Live bonus tracks recorded at High Voltage Festival, London 2010 (and omits "Postlude")

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy TOUCHSTONE Wintercoast Music

TOUCHSTONE Wintercoast ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TOUCHSTONE Wintercoast reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
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.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars After the great first album Touchstone wanted more and comming with a second album issued this year and named Wintrcost. Another goody from the band but not as magical and inventiv as the first one. Another case when a band turns into a more metalized outfit but keeping the eclectic and crossover moments here and there. In places this album sounds like a real progressive metal release, some parts are very rough ony the warm parts of duo female/male save the album to bean usual one. The more mainstream elements are added here not far from AOR but are well incorporated with the rest, giving in the end a progressive rock band well structurated and with great musicians. Some great moments are on tracks like Zinomorph, the mellow Solace or Line In The Sand, the rest areok, nice produce album with good pieces but not as great as the debute. Still a good album who desearves 3 stars for sure, fans who enjoy progressive rock with a more harder edge in place will love this release and the first one aswell. Good band with a bright future ahead, but the only thing must do is keeping the atmosphere and brilliant ideas as on Discordant dreams, if the next one is like this second entry in prog rock realms, maybe I will not be so enthusiastic any more.3 stars , good but non essetal. On first track the spoken words are provided by famous british actor Jeremy Irons, great voice for this kind of aproach.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars It was very hard to rate this album. After all, Touchstone is not your average prog band of the day. Although their sound is hardly original, they do have a unique combination of elements that make their music stand out. Itīs not common to see nowadays an english band working with such melodies and in the melodic/hard/heavy rock format. They have excellent hard edged guitar riffs placed together with very fine and subtle keyboards, both very good male and female singers and a strong and tight rhythm section. To top it all, this is a concept album of sorts.

Wintercoast is their second efford and shows quite some improvement when compared to the debut. All the tracks are good and I always hear this CD from start to finish without skipping a single track. Even if the album is long (72 minutes), Touchstone was able to produce a work that has no fillers. The songwriting is definitly one of their strong points together with the fine musicanship of all involved. Kim Seviourīs vocals are more on the forefront this time and this is a plus (although Rob Cuttinghamīs pipes are good too). Of course the prog element is present here, but only in small doses so I guess this album will not be of interest for those looking for long suites, explicit displays of virtuosity and anything vaguely īavant guardī. Still, they do very well what they do, And if you like great melodic songs, good and impassionate perfomances, tasteful arrangements and lots of conviction, you can jump right in!

If PA was a melodic rock or AOR site then Wintercoast would get a 4,5 or even 5 star rating. But for a prog site a 3,5 rating is more fitting.

Review by lazland
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.

Review by stefro
4 stars One of the leading modern progressive rock outfits, British group Touchstone have started to turn more than just a few heads recently thanks to their gutsy brand of metal-spiked neo-prog. The sleek and confident sound exhibited on their three studio albums is made all the more striking by the presence of female lead vocalist Kim Seviour, whose fractured vocals appeal to fans of both classic and metal prog, Touchstone are a unique beast indeed. Formed around keyboardist Rob Cottringham during 2001, the Hertfordshire-based group took a little while to get going, releasing the EP-length 'Mad Hatters' in 2006 before the following year saw their debut proper, the impressive 'Discordant Dreams', make a big splash in the prog community. However, whilst 'Discordant Dreams' featured some splendid moments, 2009's 'Wintercoast' would be the album in which Touchstone's genre-blending style fully matured into something rather special. With Seviour(vocals) and Cottringham(keyboards, vocals) now backed by Adam Hodgson(guitar), Al Melville(drums) and Paul Moorghen(bas), 'Wintercoast' charts a powerful course through a thoroughly contemporary progressive rock landscape whilst also encapsulating elements of folk, classic rock and power metal into their highly anthemic sound. The opening, ten-minute long title-track proves a perfect introduction to the group's multi-layered sound, Hodgson's quickfire riffing providing the rock-solid foundation for Seviour's angelic vocals to soar gracefully over as the track starts with bang before gently slowing down to allow Cottringham's nicely restrained synthesizers their turn to shine. It's a truly epic beginning, and one that skilfully ties disparate sonic ingredients together without crowding out the catchy melodies that form the very core of Touchstone's approach. Elsewhere, the excellent 'Strange Days' - a kind of shorter, sharper version of the album's opener - exudes chest-thumping classic rock power with Seviour's singing now underpinned by Cottringham's own surprisingly tender vocals, whilst both 'Zinomorph' and 'Line In The Sand' provide yet more helpings from the same sleek formula. Occasionally the power of Hodgson's razor-sharp guitars does overpower Seviour's folk-tinged style, yet for the most 'Wintercoast' provides stark evidence that the mixture works. The smart move was the group's decision to incorporate a classic rock veneer, thus balancing out the prog-and-metal elements in almost perfect harmony. As a result, Touchstone's second album proves a real anthemic winner stuffed with power- prog ballads, ballsy rockers and deceptively intricate instrumental flourishes, the whole topped of by Kim Seviour's dynamic-yet-gentle vocals. Wrapped in a slickly-wrought crystal clear production, 'Wintercoast' ranks as one of modern progressive rock's true originals. Very impressive indeed.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I recently saw Touchstone at the Assembly in Leamington Spa, where they were supporting Arena. Having come back from there and bought this album almost straight away, it has featured heavily in my listening ever since. Standout tracks for me are the excellent title track, and" Witness" Parts 1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#595374) | Posted by steve-s332 | Saturday, December 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album won the top honor in my best albums that I discovered last year. Touchstone's music is an awesome juxtaposition of symphonic progressive melodies and soundscapes featuring the angelic, sweet vocals of Kim Seviour with the aggression of guitars and drums that edge toward metal and ... (read more)

Report this review (#442797) | Posted by BobVanguard | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For several weeks following my purchase of this album, it dominated my listening, with each repeat adding new depth to my unserstanding and appreciation. Musically, the CD is excellent, with energetic interplay in the vocals, good and variable pacing throughout, and some real first- rate musici ... (read more)

Report this review (#283467) | Posted by rod65 | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Wintercoast is one of those albums which took me a long time to appreciate, which is the case with most, but I eventually grew to love it. The crunching guitar riffs bring an epic feel and the vocals of Kim Seviour are magnificent. I'm not usually a huge fan of the female vocalist, but Kim i ... (read more)

Report this review (#269025) | Posted by lozc636 | Sunday, February 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have lived with this CD since its release in may 2009 and it is one of those rare CDs that gets a listen to one a regular weekly basis Whats so good about it? For a start the production is brilliant, top class, every note is crystal clear, a band on top of their game and progressing in eve ... (read more)

Report this review (#250670) | Posted by Chriz | Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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