Touchstone – “Wintercoast” REISSUE (2012)

Label : SPV/Steamhammer

Review by Tony Cannella

The U.K. progressive rock outfit Touchstone’s second full-length album “Wintercoast” was originally released in 2009. Now, thanks to SPV it has received the re-issue treatment. Two live bonus tracks complete this 80-minute journey of classy, melodic, progressive rock. This was the second album to feature Kim Seviour and she is fitting in quite nicely at this point and has become firmly entrenched as the female voice of Touchstone. Her style meshes nicely with the David Gilmour/Roger Waters-esque vocals of keyboardist Rob Cottingham.

“Wintercoast” starts with a “Prelude” featuring narration from world renowned actor Jeremy Irons. This is a great starting point and segues into the epic “Wintercoast”. It’s somewhat of a rarity when the longest song opens an album but this 11-minute track is a great choice. Throughout the album there are plenty of shifts in tempos and atmosphere. From the Van Halen-ish opening guitar riff of “Strange Days” to the moody “Original Sin”, there is a little bit of everything. Other highlights include: “Voices”, “Solace” (a great, haunting ballad), the symphonic prog of “Line in the Sand” and the two part opus “The Witness Part I and II”. “Wintercoast” is concluded with two live songs “Shadow” and “Joker in the Pack” raps things up nicely. Out of all of their albums, I think “Wintercoast” may be their most ambitious and therefore challenging albums to listen to, but once it is allowed to grow, “Wintercoast” fits right in there with the rest of the Touchstone catalog.

Rating – 83/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Prelude
  2. Wintercoast
  3. Strange Days
  4. Voices
  5. Joker in the Pack
  6. Original Sin
  7. Solace
  8. Zinomorph
  9. Line in the Sand
  10. The Witness Pt. I
  11. The Witness PT. II
  12. Shadow (Live)
  13. Joker in the Pack (Live)

 

Line Up

  • Kim Seviour – Female Vocals
  • Rob Cottingham – Male Vocals, Keyboards
  • Adam Hodgson – Guitars
  • Paul Moorghen – Bass
  • Alasdair Melville – Drums

 

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