metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk




  TOUCHSTONE
'Oceans Of Time'
(Hear No Evil Recordings/Cherry Red Records)
Release date: 7th October 2013


Michael Foley


michael foley

Pin It
Share |


touchstone

The latest Touchstone single, 'Flux', is a tasty little morsel to be sure, however like all lite-bites it does not satisfy ones hunger, and so let's stuff our faces on the main course, their fourth studio album, 'Oceans Of Time'.

Are we going to enjoy a Nigella-esque sensuous feast for the soul, which will leave us smiling and satisfied, or will we be doubled up over the loo, after enduring the aural equivalent of a Fanny Cradock creation? Pull up a chair, pour the wine and your Rock & Roll waiter will guide you through the menu.

Along with the hook filled hard rock songs, and contemplative slower numbers that are the core ingrediants of the Touchstone sound, a few unexpected flavours have been added to spice up the recipe, giving this new album a refreshing flavour from the very first song onwards.

Article continues below...

   


Take opening number 'Flux' for intance; it's a lengthy prog-tinged rock song, featuring a lovely slower tempo middle section, and is the kind of quality piece that Touchstone excel at. What gives it a refreshing twist is the addition of very contemporary techno/dance influenced sounds, especially in the opening bars.

I don't expect to see Touchstone banging out choons at the next rave party, but little touches like that do give this album a sonic texture that will make it more accessible to listeners beyond the prog and metal crowd.

touchstone

For another break from the norm do check out 'Fragments' which mashes Middle Eastern themes, treated vocal from Kim Seviour, metalllic guitar courtesy of Adam Hodgson, plus a drum pattern that Bill Bruford would be proud of, and it works brilliantly. Little sonic surprises like this pop up throughout the album, although the overall sound is still definitely Touchstone.

Fans of previous Touchstone albums, 'Wintercoast' and 'The City Sleeps' will be pleased to learn that the song 'Oceans Of Time' is a sequel to the title tracks of those two works, whilst previously explored themes are continued on 'Shadow's End', which is the concluding part of the Shadow Trilogy, started on debut album 'Discordant Dreams'.

It's this kind of long term view that makes their work so fascinating. The majority of acts treat each album as a self contained entity, whereas Touchstone are happy to revisit and develop themes previously experimented with on earlier albums. Each album works as a stand alone collection of songs, but listen to all four back to back, and one can hear that each album is continuation of its predecessor, despite the constantly evolving musical palette employed by the band.

In fact one song here, 'Solace', is remake of a tune previously heard on 'Wintercoast', which the cynical may say is just lazy, although I reckon it's reprised here because it's subject matter gels well with other songs here. I find it to be superior to the fine original take, having as it does a much fuller sound both in terms of production and musicianship.

The producer is John Mitchell, known for his work with likes of Funeral For A Friend and You Me At Six, who through his sumptuous production has done a superb job of highlighting the strengths of the songs, along with the individual talents of the players. The music on 'Oceans Of Time' is much more guitar driven to than on previous albums, with Adam Hodgson playing like a demon throughout, and proving himself to be one of the best players out there right now.

Hodgson might be the prominently featured musician here, but all the band play and sing superbly on this album, with bassist Paul Moorghen and drum thumper Henry Rogers combining together to bring a powerful and intelligent foundation to the music. Keys are provided by band founder Rob Cottingham, who conjures up some startling and inventive sounds, in parts reminiscent of his solo LP 'Captain Blue', especially on the more pop and techno infused influences that cheekily pop up through the course of the music.

Lead singer Kim Seviour excels herself on this album, with the most expressive singing of her career so far. She brings a haunting, chilling quality to the slightly sinister 'Solace', whilst on the heavy numbers such as 'Shadows End' she displays a range and power worthy of any Scandinavian Metal Siren.

Kim has always sung well, but on this collection she reaches new heights of confidence and emotion. The male voice heard on the album is that man Cottingham again, and he too sings excellently, both in harmony with Kim, where their two voices combine beautifully, and as a lead singer in his own right.

I've listened to this album about a dozen times (at least!) while writing this, and I have not tired of hearing any of the songs. 'Oceans...' is packed with songs, that are hook laden, intelligent and memotable, with none that could be described as weak, although obviously some tunes are proving to be real standouts, especially the hard rocking 'Through The Night', and the epicly magnificent title song.

I'd love to hear this one performed on stage, where it deserves to be their 'Stairway to Heaven' or 'Matty Groves', not that it sounds like either of those classics. That it bears comparison with records of that calibre, says a lot about the quality of this song.

I hoped that 'Oceans Of Time' would prove to be satisfying, especially after having my appetite whetted by the single of 'Flux', and I can confirm that the main course of this particular feast is as delicious as that morsel promised it to be, so it's going to be washed down with five full foaming pints! Now pass the cheese board please, Nigella. Nom, nom, nom!

Track List:
1, Flux
2. Contact
3. Tabula Rasa
4. Fragments
5. Spirit Of The Age
6. Shadow's End
7. Solace
8. Through The Night
9. Thunder & Crickets
10. Oceans Of Time

Band Lineup:
Kim Seviour- Lead Vocals
Adam Hodgson- Lead Guitar
Rob Cottingham- Keyboards & Vocals
Paul Moorghen- Bass
Henry Rogers- Drums


beerbeerbeerbeerbeer





29.8.13


Pin It
Share |








 

sabaton SABATON RELEASE THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'CAROLUS REX'
Sabaton hit the UK shores in a co-headline tour with Alestorm in February and March...

cairo son CAIRO SON RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'DEVILS TONGUE' ON FEB 22nd
The single is taken from the album 'Storm Clouds', released on March 14th...

rebelles THE REBELLES RELEASE 'ALL THE YOUNG DUDES' SINGLE ON MARCH 18TH FEATURING IAN HUNTER
The track is taken from the forthcoming debut album. "Expect to hear a punk attitude draped in silk with a few sharp edges..."

donovan DONOVAN TO PLAY 70TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT AT LONDON PALLADIUM
The flag bearer for all things psychedelic will celebrate his early bohemian roots...

kiss KISS EUROPEAN TOUR CANCELLED?
German and Italian dates have been removed from the official website...

stone free STONE FREE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LATEST LINE-UP ADDITIONS
Additions include Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Symphonic Live, Michael Monroe, Jackaman, Therapy, Jared James Nicols and more...

last great dreamers LAST GREAT DREAMERS TO PLAY UK SHOWS IN FEBRUARY
Last Great Dreamers jumped at the chance to take a break from writing their third album to get back on the road for a few dates...

motorhead DOWNLOAD TO RENAME 2016 MAIN STAGE AFTER LEMMY PLUS LOTS MORE MOTÖRHEAD NEWS
Where the band's name previously appeared on the billing, there is now a graphic of Lemmy's hat...

zakk wylde ZAKK WYLDE TO RELEASE 'BOOK OF SHADOWS II' ON APRIL 8 2016
Wylde's first solo release for 20 years will be followed by a wave of tour dates to be announced soon...

status quo STATUS QUO TO RELEASE ANOTHER TRIO OF DELUXE EDITION ALBUMS
These carefully curated special releases are to be issued by Universal Music on Friday 25th March...

hrh doom stoner HRH DOOM vs HRH STONER ANNOUNCE MORE BANDS
Angel Witch, Electric Citizen and Black Spiders head up another batch to be added for this October...

the defiled THE DEFILED ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR MAY
The Defiled will play as support to In This Moment, also in May...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON RELEASES REISSUES AND NEW ALBUM
The four re-imagined albums include previously unreleased tracks and penned essays from Robinson himself...

crowbar CROWBAR ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The run of twenty dates includes a UK appearance at Desertfest...

ben poole BEN POOLE CONFIRMS NEW ALBUM 'TIME HAS COME' AND UK TOUR
"I hope it'll please the blues-rock guitar fans, but also have the depth and maturity to appeal to an audience beyond that..."

desertfest DESERTFEST BERLIN 2016'S LINE-UP IS ALMOST COMPLETE
The first running order has been released, along with a limited number of day passes...

anneke van giersbergen DUTCH LEGEND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN BRINGS HER ACOUSTIC SHOW TO THE UK
Six solo dates in April have been arranged before Anneke returns to the studio...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL X ANNOUNCE FIRST 15 BANDS
Ugly Kid Joe, Ratt, Glenn Hughes and Living Colour head the vanguard for this year's 10th anniversary...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR LAUNCH PLEDGE CAMPAIGN FOR SECOND ALBUM
There are a number of exclusive offers for Pledgers, including the chance to perform on the album...

valerian VALERIAN TO RELEASE 'STARDUST REVELATION' ALBUM
With a burgeoning Metal scene in Indonesia, the band have been working hard on their first full length album...

terry horbury vardis A MEMORIAL CONCERT AND BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR TERRY HORBURY OF VARDIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2016
The unmissable event features a host of very special guests and all proceeds will go to Terry's chosen charity...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE THE END OF ELECTRIC SHOWS
"There's more to come from us in the years ahead, but we won't tour the electric set ever again..."

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'CRADLE THE RAGE' & MARCH TOUR
Support for the ten date UK tour comes from Colour Of Noise...

bonfire BONFIRE CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW DOUBLE ALBUM 'PEARLS'
The classics are being re-recorded in Italy, with completely new arrangements...

hostile HOSTILE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY KK DOWNING PLUS EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
'The New World Disorder' is set for release via Gasworks Music and will be available on March 1st 2016...

rambliin man GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE 3, SEBASTIAN BACH AND THE CADILLAC THREE AMONG THE LATEST BATCH OF NAMES TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
Purson, Inglorious and The Zombies will also join the Kent festival this coming July...

the enid THE ENID RELEASE DUST ON 1ST APRIL
'Dust' is the final part of the stunning trilogy following 'Journey's End' and 'Invicta' and will be performed around the UK over the coming months...

sanguine EXCLUSIVE: SANGUINE PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME' PRIOR TO RELEASE OF SECOND ALBUM 'BLACK SHEEP'
The sci-fi spectacular is directed by Tyson Wade Johnston and its premiere can be seen exclusively on MetalTalk right here...

steelhouse festival STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MORE BANDS
Hey! Hello! featuring Ginger Wildheart, Blues Pills and Vega have been added to the line-up of this year's Steelhouse Festival in Hafod-y-Dafal in Wales...

jeff healey PROVOGUE RELEASE LOST JEFF HEALEY ALBUM TO COMMEMORATE HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY
These tracks were painstakingly restored and brought to life bringing into focus Jeff's unique and special gifts as an artist...

heretic order THE HERETIC ORDER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'THE DEATH RIDE BLUES'
The Heretic Order have announced a co-headlining UK tour in February with I.C.O.N...

mortiis MORTIIS ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
"It's about time we came back to the UK for some shows. See you in May, you bastards..."

zoax ZOAX ANNOUNCE SPECIAL ONE OFF LONDON SHOW
Catch Zoax in Camden on February 23rd where they will premiere some new songs...

antimatter ANTIMATTER ANNOUNCE RARE UK DATES
Antimatter will play two further dates on 'The Judas Tour' in Bristol and Manchester in March...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN PASSES AWAY AGED 68
Ex-Dio and Rainbow and current Last In Line bass player Jimmy Bain has sadly passed away aged 68...

rhapsody of fire RHAPSODY OF FIRE WILL COME TO INDONESIA FOR THE FIRST TIME
On the 'In To The Legend Asian Tour 2016', Rhapsody of Fire will stop in Jakarta on March 8th 2016...

steven tyler AEROSMITH'S STEVEN TYLER ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE 'RED, WHITE & YOU'
Steven Tyler continues his foray into country music and reveals his latest track...

the treatment THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE APRIL /MAY UK TOUR
The Amorettes will be special guests on all fourteen UK dates...

soto SOTO TO RELEASE SECOND ALBUM ON 1ST APRIL 2016
Soto will debut live during Feb 2016 with a string of East Coast US dates and a European debut in April with a short run through selected cities and countries...

temperance movement HEAR THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT LIVE AND ACOUSTIC AT DEEZER, PARIS
The band dropped into Deezer headquarters during a stop on their current tour promoting new album 'White Bear'...

jezabels CANCER TREATMENT FORCES THE JEZABELS TO CANCEL WORLD TOUR
"The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love..."

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE INTIMATE SHOW AT LONDON'S 100 CLUB
All ticket-sale profits will be going to Childline/NSPCC. Tickets for the special one-off show go on sale on 22nd January...

freddy lim HEAVY METAL STAR ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN HISTORIC VICTORY
Freddy Lim, the long-haired, tattooed front man of Taiwanese Black Metal band Chthonic wins a seat in parliament...

hrh doom stoner HRH ANNOUNCE NEW DOOM & STONER SHEFFIELD TRIP
Candlemass, Orange Goblin, Torche and Raging Speedhorn lead the vanguard for HRH's new event...

the mission THE MISSION ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The tour starts in Dublin on October 1st and includes O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on October 8th...

cop uk NEW ALBUM FROM C.O.P. UK 'NO PLACE FOR HEAVEN' IS OUT ON 29TH JANUARY
C.O.P. UK will immediately follow the release by hitting the road for a European tour with Helloween...

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE 2016 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: MOTÖRHEAD DRUMMER MIKKEY DEE JOINS BAND
2016 is a year that includes a couple of important anniversaries in the history of Thin Lizzy...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'BLUES OF DESPERATION' IN MARCH 2016
"You'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments..."

cairo son CAIRO SON 'STORM CLOUDS' ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW CONFIRMED
The launch party will be held at Nambucca on March 18th...

stormbringer STORMBRINGER ADD NEW DATES TO FEBRUARY SHOWS SUPPORTING THEIR NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD AND RUST'
Check out the dates plus the videos for 'Bad Blood' and 'Rust' right here...

sanguine SANGUINE UNLEASH THEIR VEGAS SPECTACULAR WITH NEW VIDEO FOR 'PRETTY GIRL'
"The lyrics reflect my frustration that women are not meant to be both pretty and strong...but it's more of a 'fuck you' than a complaint..."

glenn frey GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Glenn Frey, the founder member and guitarist of The Eagles has sadly checked out...

dale griffin MOTT THE HOOPLE DRUMMER DALE GRIFFIN PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Dale "Buffin" Griffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and prolific session producer...

stiff little fingers STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Support will come from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts ...

inglorious INGLORIOUS CONFIRMED FOR SWEDEN'S STOCKHOLM ROCKS FESTIVAL 2016
Inglorious and Grand Magus are the first bands to be announced for 2016...

wishing well WISHING WELL FEATURING GRAHAM BONNET RELEASE 'HIPPIE HEART GYPSY SOUL'
"We wanted something extra to boost the album and when we wrote 'Hippie' we instantly realized that Graham would be a perfect vocalist for the song in many ways..."

sabaton SABATON REVEAL THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'RESIST AND BITE' TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING LIVE RELEASE
"We recorded two shows in case one is not enough for you..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE
'Metal Resistance' is released worldwide on April 1st before their headline Wembley show the next day...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD: THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
We hope to see Phil and Mikkey back in full-time action as soon as possible, as well as Fast Eddie...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANTLY BONKERS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'END LEVEL BOSS'
The fan favourite will finally appear in the live show for the remaining shows of the 'Boldly Going Anywhere!' tour...

life of agony LIFE OF AGONY SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS
'A Place Where There's No More Pain' will be released later in 2016...

metal church METAL CHURCH ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM 'XI'
The band's 11th studio release marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe...

twisted sister NEW EUROPEAN RELEASE DATE AND NEW COVER ARTWORK REVEALED FOR THE MOVIE 'WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER!'
The documentary is a mesmerizing and wickedly funny story of a 10 year odyssey to overnight success...

saxon SAXON TO RELEASE 9 ALBUM VINYL BOX SET
This spectacular package is a must have for Saxon fans and collectors and will be released in March...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE DAY SPLITS
Saturday night headliners, running order and set times for Scotland's premier rock and Metal festival will be announced in February...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY TO PLAY CHARITY GIG AT THE BORDERLINE ON JANUARY 24th
All proceeds of this special appearance will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust...

trivium TRIVIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SOME SURPRISING CHOICES OF VENUE
None of the regular main cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are included on this jaunt...

yes YES TO TOUR UK AND EUROPE IN APRIL
The set will include 1971's 'Fragile' and 1980's 'Drama' in their entirety...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN ANNOUNCE UK AND IRELAND TOUR IN MAY
Blind Guardian will be playing a spellbinding 150 minute long set every night – these shows are not to be missed...

fish farewell FISH ANNOUNCES APRIL HEADLINE TOUR DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Another final chance to see 'Misplaced Childhood' in full following the recent sold out run and including the rescheduled European shows...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH INCANTATION
Be sure not to miss this killer package of total Death Metal sovereignty...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR CHINA FOR FIRST TIME IN THEIR CAREER
Iron Maiden will visit China in April 2016, once their set list has been submitted for approval from the Ministry Of Culture...

3 doors down 3 DOORS DOWN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'US AND THE NIGHT' OUT MARCH 11th
"It's truly been a labour of love and we can't wait to get these songs out to our fans around the world..."

prong PRONG RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON FEBRUARY 5th
'X – No Absolutes' is packed with the band's trademark driving riffs and pinpoint-precise grooves...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT HEAD OUT ON TOUR WITH DEVILSKIN
Skarlett Riot will be main support to Devilskin for six UK dates in February...

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery