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Subsignal - Touchstones CD (album) cover





3.88 | 223 ratings

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5 stars We were waiting for it! And Subsignal gave us the evidence that the Sieges Even experience is not over. The two skippers, Arno Menses (voice, and what a voice) and Markus Steffen (guitar), in 2007 changed the whole lineup, both from a personnel and instruments point of view adding the keyboards, and they brought us on their new pathway by means of Beautiful and monstrous, dated 2009. But it was an interlocutory album; we felt that despite Menses and Steffen were happy with their work. How could they be not? It is definitely very good stuff indeed. But now we are in front of the acid test for the Bavarian band and the promise, anticipated on their site and on Youtube, has been maintained. Melancholic, innovative, emotional and highly melodic, Touchstones is a masterpiece of symphonic prog-metal although the band is classified as neo-prog. The 12 tracks, with an average duration below 6 minutes, are all terrific. Besides, keyboards (above all the piano) have added breath to the melodies. In their former experience, only by means of guitar and bass they had been able to reach such results. The band easily and carelessly leaps and hops to and from hard (i.e. Feeding utopia) and melodic (i.e. Wingless) songs so naturally that one appreciates them at the first listening. The best song to me is My Sanctuary, a piece that summarizes the Menses/Steffen concept of a prog-metal song reminding the former experience. This is followed without any gap by her "tough sister" Echoes In Eternity, hard enough but with many cantabile moments. This is the way Subsignal work: they confine the listeners to an angle and all of a sudden they give them a way out, the lead them on a dark river that gradually narrows to end up in a bright and sounding waterfall. An album hitting not only the guts but also the highest part of the brain with his continuous variations in theme and settings, with his almost impressionistic pictures, with his unexpected changes. Progressive rock lovers can find a lot in this album, more than expected. And we must thank Subsignal since they are welcome also to "prog dummies" with their fancy atmospheres, their beautiful music.
bigmo | 5/5 |


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