Everyone who found Dark Angel made by The Reasoning a real killer album has to check out the latest album of Touchstone. Their musical style is very much alike. Both bands have male and female lead singers in their line-up and they both mix wonderful progressive rock music with metal and folk elements. I know that many of our readers like this blend of musical styles.
Touchstoneís third release Wintercoast is a very professional album. It was a real treat for me. You never suffer a dull moment during the seventy-two minutes and all tracks have a very high quality level. Adam Hodgson knows how to play a heavy guitar riff, but he also knows how to make his instrument sound melodious. Singer Bob Cottingham not only has a nice voice, but he also knows how to play a perfect solo or to create atmospheres and tension with his keyboards. Paul Moorghen (bass) and Al Melville (drums) form a perfect and tight rhythm section both in the slow pieces and in the speedy and up-tempo tracks. However, I admire the bandís female singer the most. Wow! What a voice Kim Seviour has! I think many bands would like to have her in their line-up. She easily sings the raw up-tempo material as in Strange Days or Zinomorph, but also the more relaxed and mellow pieces of which Solace is a great example. On this track, her voice sounds sensitive and sometimes even emotional.
Writing and making good music is one thing, but recording it properly is another. Luckily, the production of this fine album is clear and transparent. The band asked John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites) to do the mixing. Besides, as a guest musician Mitchell plays a guitar solo on Witness. The well-known actor Jeremy Irons was willing to do the narration in between the songs. I have to admit that I wasnít familiar with the previously released albums of Touchstone. After listening to this very fine album, however, Iím very curious to check out Mad Hatters and Discordant Dreams as well.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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