Label : SPV/Steamhammer Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Fans of symphonic Prog rock and metal have got a band that they can really sink their teeth into. They are Touchstone from the U.K. and they have just released their 4th full-length album titled, “The City Sleeps”. Touchstone is no doubt influenced by many of the great prog bands of seventies, but they add enough modern touches to make them relevant in 2011 and beyond. “The City Sleeps” is chock full of progressive, musically involved epic numbers combined with solid metal guitar riffs. Touchstone is fronted by the duel male/female vocals of Kim Seviour and Rob Cottingham. The pair makes a nice duo and the vocals are split pretty evenly. The opening track “Corridors” is a cool opener that displays the bands polished prog metal sound. The next track is the excellent 10-minutes of pure, epic prog nirvana, “When Shadows Fall”. “These Walls” and “Throw Them to the Sky” are next and they are both shorter songs with enormous mainstream potential (in my opinion). In particular, “Throw Them to the Sky” is my favorite song and one that is a good starting point for anyone interested in checking out Touchstone. In addition to some solid vocals, great songwriting and melodic songs, there is also plenty of dazzling keyboard work courtesy of Rob Cottingham throughout. Other highlights include: “Sleeping Giants” (another excellent, melodic track), “Horizons” and the 11-minute “The City Sleeps”. While Touchstone can be considered a prog band, without a doubt, they are not bound by the limitations of the genre. Sure they have those long epic numbers that are often associated with prog music, but they also know and understand the value of a good 3-5 minute song that really grabs the listener. But at the end of the day, Touchstone is a prog band, and a damn good one at that.

Rating – 87/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Corridors
  2. When Shadows Fall
  3. These Walls
  4. Throw Them to the Sky
  5. Sleeping Giants
  6. Good Boy Psycho
  7. Horizons
  8. Half Moon Meadow
  9. The City Sleeps
  10. Corridors Epiphany
  11. Throw Them to the Sky (Radio Edit)

 

Line Up

  • Kim Seviour – Lead Vocals
  • Rob Cottingham – Lead, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Drum Programming & SFX
  • Adam Hodgson – Guitars
  • Andre P. Moorghen – Bass & Backing Vocals
  • Henry William Rogers – Drums

 

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