Rating:
N/A
Subsignal - Touchstones
4 October 2011


01. Feeding Utopia
02. My Sanctuary
03. Echoes In Eternity
04. The Size Of Light On Earth
05. As Dreams Are Made On
06. Wingless
07. Finisterre
08. The Essence Called Mind
09. The Lifespan Of A Glimpse
10. Embers Part 1: Your Secret Is Safe With Me
11. Touchstones
12. Con Todas Las Palabras


Subsignal strikes again! This all-star progressive band is still referred to as Sieges Even part two, so whether you choose to see Touchstones as the second Subsignal album or the fourth Sieges Even Menses/Steffen-era album, it is doubtless that this is the most coherent one of the bunch. And coming from the person who loved The Art Of Navigating By The Stars to death, it's quite a recommendation, considering the fact that the aforementioned release turned a lot of heads by defining their dreamy, elegant prog rock/metal style.

Now that I've tossed some names and gotten everyone except the genuinely interested people confused, let's move on to what got me into this band: the emotion. The eye-catching aspect of their music was always the soft atmosphere Markus Steffen (guitar) weaved into the songs and the brilliant vocal interpretation of Arno Menses, and on this release it is brilliantly matched by the efforts of the remaining band members. The result is nothing really technical but most definitely prog. The almost-too-soft moments are wonderfully paired with ones that make me feel like a stone dropped in my stomach, and the overall feel is melancholic, distant, almost nostalgic, although the album ends on a very positive note with "Con Todas Las Palabras", which pretty much sounds like it was written back in the Sieges Even era.

But the ending track isn't the only familiar thing around here - there is always a sense of intertextuality present when you're dealing with the two bands. Touchstones refers to Sieges Even more than anything else, whether via lyrics ("a sense of change", "walk with me/towards the knowing river/let the waters wash/wash away this slow disease inside of you", "ride the lonely sea spray" from the top of my brain) or in a more subtle fashion (the riff in "Echoes Of Eternity" mirrors a riff on the first track of Subsignal's debut, which is lyrically somewhat of a continuation of a Sieges Even song).

The lyrics are once again one of the more important things to look out for. The ones written by David Bertok are more or less your typical prog preachings, but Markus Steffen proves to be a brilliant lyricist once again - one could say the words are a notch above the images. Stories of loss and grief, balance between the global and the personal, hardships of a man compared to hardships of our entire race - our burden, "boulder" as Steffen puts it - take the center place for the fourth time and yet sound as new and touching as they were on The Art Of Navigating By The Stars.


Band profile: Subsignal
Album: Touchstones


 



Written on 30.12.2011 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



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Milena - 31.12.2011 at 00:56  
MoraWintersoul review disclaimer: Yes, I do get overexcited about a band when it has Markus Steffen in it.
Troy Killjoy - 31.12.2011 at 02:45  
No interest in this whatsoever, but I did enjoy the review.

You prog babes seem to have that effect on me.
Milena - 31.12.2011 at 02:46  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 31.12.2011 at 02:45

No interest in this whatsoever, but I did enjoy the review.

You prog babes seem to have that effect on me.

We're fab.
metaleaterr - 31.12.2011 at 09:53  
Good Review..Excellent progressive metal!
Merchant of Doom - 31.12.2011 at 13:54  
Aaaaaaaaarrrgh!
Milena - 31.12.2011 at 13:56  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 31.12.2011 at 13:54

Aaaaaaaaarrrgh!

Did you step on a lego?
Merchant of Doom - 31.12.2011 at 14:05  
Written by Milena on 31.12.2011 at 13:56

Written by Merchant of Doom on 31.12.2011 at 13:54

Aaaaaaaaarrrgh!

Did you step on a lego?


I wish! I had to put them in my ears...
Milena - 31.12.2011 at 14:07  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 31.12.2011 at 14:05

I wish! I had to put them in my ears...

Geez dude, you should really avoid stuff I review in the future, especially if the prog is soft
Merchant of Doom - 31.12.2011 at 15:10  
Written by Milena on 31.12.2011 at 14:07

Written by Merchant of Doom on 31.12.2011 at 14:05

I wish! I had to put them in my ears...

Geez dude, you should really avoid stuff I review in the future, especially if the prog is soft


yeah, I know, my fault, really....
tea[m]ster - 01.01.2012 at 06:19  
Nice job...as usual...

Maybe some peeps don't know who Subsignal are or Sieges Even for that matter, so I'd throw in a sentence like this:
"For fans of neo-prog, bands such as Rush or newer Fates Warning and even prog-rock specialists like I.Q. and Spock's Beard, Subsignal is band you should check out"
Milena - 01.01.2012 at 07:13  
Written by tea[m]ster on 01.01.2012 at 06:19

Nice job...as usual...

Maybe some peeps don't know who Subsignal are or Sieges Even for that matter, so I'd throw in a sentence like this:
"For fans of neo-prog, bands such as Rush or newer Fates Warning and even prog-rock specialists like I.Q. and Spock's Beard, Subsignal is band you should check out"

Thanks dude! I kinda explained it in the previous reviews so I didn't wanna bother with it this time around, just briefly mentioned
tea[m]ster - 01.01.2012 at 19:35  
Written by Milena on 01.01.2012 at 07:13

Written by tea[m]ster on 01.01.2012 at 06:19

Nice job...as usual...

Maybe some peeps don't know who Subsignal are or Sieges Even for that matter, so I'd throw in a sentence like this:
"For fans of neo-prog, bands such as Rush or newer Fates Warning and even prog-rock specialists like I.Q. and Spock's Beard, Subsignal is band you should check out"

Thanks dude! I kinda explained it in the previous reviews so I didn't wanna bother with it this time around, just briefly mentioned


I'd hate for this album to get unnoticed! Such a terrific album - I've listend to it at least 10 times thru now and I'd say my favorite track is "The Size Of Light On Earth".
Milena - 01.01.2012 at 21:10  
Written by tea[m]ster on 01.01.2012 at 19:35

I'd hate for this album to get unnoticed! Such a terrific album - I've listend to it at least 10 times thru now and I'd say my favorite track is "The Size Of Light On Earth".

I prefer Wingless, Finisterre and Con Todas Las Palabras. Why not try writing a guest review? This band needs all the pimping it can get, progsters can be lazy sometimes
Troy Killjoy - 01.01.2012 at 21:18  
Written by Milena on 01.01.2012 at 21:10
...progsters can be lazy sometimes

That explains why the music is so boring then.

ba dum tss / bloody face
Milena - 01.01.2012 at 21:21  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.01.2012 at 21:18

That explains why the music is so boring then.

ba dum tss / bloody face

I meant THE FANS, myself included. I'd never give you that rage comic bloody face, I''m a very nice girl
Dark Blood - 01.01.2012 at 22:27  
Very nice review Mora, and it really got me interested in the album. Listening to some songs on the net and I'm liking what I hear so far. And it fits your words perfectly. Definitely something to check out.

Thank you for the review.
Milena - 01.01.2012 at 22:48  
Written by Dark Blood on 01.01.2012 at 22:27

Very nice review Mora, and it really got me interested in the album. Listening to some songs on the net and I'm liking what I hear so far. And it fits your words perfectly. Definitely something to check out.

Thank you for the review.

Well thank you very much, always a pleasure to introduce people to nice new bands!
Panterica - 03.01.2012 at 21:19  
Will be checked immediately
Panterica - 03.01.2012 at 22:01  
Listening to Beautiful and Monsterous and enjoying every moment. Thank you for the introducing.
NocturnalStalker - 04.01.2012 at 18:59  
Sieges Even, you say? Can't pass this one up!
Beautiful review, by the way, Mora. Your love for the band's music flows through it.
Milena - 04.01.2012 at 21:55  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 04.01.2012 at 18:59

Beautiful review, by the way, Mora. Your love for the band's music flows through it.

Thank you very much. Glad you called it love and not fangirl-ism
Milena - 04.01.2012 at 21:57  
Written by Panterica on 03.01.2012 at 22:01

Listening to Beautiful and Monsterous and enjoying every moment. Thank you for the introducing.

No problem!
Troy Killjoy - 04.01.2012 at 21:58  
This review reeks of fangirl-ism.
Milena - 04.01.2012 at 22:05  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 04.01.2012 at 21:58

This review reeks of fangirl-ism.

Yes, and I will not be shamed. I'd scream my lungs out on their show, throw teddy bears and other fuzzy animals on stage, buy the T-shirt with whatever money I have left and bore them to death with questions when they come out of the venue afterwards. Cause this band speaks to me.
Troy Killjoy - 04.01.2012 at 22:07  
I just wanted to say it since you were so happy nobody else did.
Milena - 04.01.2012 at 22:09  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 04.01.2012 at 22:07

I just wanted to say it since you were so happy nobody else did.

They don't call you the Killjoy for nothing but I don't mind it, since it's the truth. I didn't tone down intentionally, since they say enthusiasm is contagious, if I can "infect" people with this band, I'll be the happiest person on this planet.
tea[m]ster - 05.01.2012 at 03:18  
Quote:
Quote:

Yes, and I will not be shamed. I'd scream my lungs out on their show, throw teddy bears and other fuzzy animals on stage, buy the T-shirt with whatever money I have left and bore them to death with questions when they come out of the venue afterwards. Cause this band speaks to me.


EPIC!
Chrischa - 06.01.2012 at 13:32  
Written by Milena on 04.01.2012 at 22:05

Yes, and I will not be shamed. I'd scream my lungs out on their show, throw teddy bears and other fuzzy animals on stage, buy the T-shirt with whatever money I have left and bore them to death with questions when they come out of the venue afterwards. Cause this band speaks to me.


Good for you! There is nothing wrong with loving something and standing up for it! And I'll be right there with you because no band has hit me this hard in years. Their music is brilliant. We'll drown them in teddy bears.
Milena - 06.01.2012 at 18:20  
Written by Chrischa on 06.01.2012 at 13:32

Good for you! There is nothing wrong with loving something and standing up for it! And I'll be right there with you because no band has hit me this hard in years. Their music is brilliant. We'll drown them in teddy bears.

I just saw this is your first comment, and, well, awwww :3 if they don't stop by close any time soon, I'd do an epic road trip for them. Here's hoping we can drown them in teddy bears sometime.
K†ulu - 31.01.2012 at 21:08  
Wow, such a deep analysis of the lyrics and music in the context of Sieges Even and Subsignal. This also reminds me to listen to The Art of Navigating by Stars...
Milena - 31.01.2012 at 23:24  
Written by K†ulu on 31.01.2012 at 21:08

Wow, such a deep analysis of the lyrics and music in the context of Sieges Even and Subsignal. This also reminds me to listen to The Art of Navigating by Stars...

I'm a sucker for good lyrics, especially when they're so personal but yet fit into my own world. It's like breaking into the artist's mind but rediscovering parts of my own at the same time; I hope to meet the man behind them someday.

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