Album Review : Touche Amore – Stage Four
15th September 2016, 13:00
Posted by Tristan

Acting as a conduit music can be one of the most powerful tools into the study emotion that we as humans have created. Conveying sentiments varying on their intensity, in an instant a familiar sound, song or lyric can conjure up a memory from a past long forgotten. Used no doubt as a coping mechanism music can also be a vessel for creative output that has given us pained, honest and truly wounded visions into the human soul. Opening this door into the human psyche Touche Amore beckon us forward into the study of grief that is Stage Four.


  1. Flowers And You
  2. New Halloween
  3. Rapture
  4. Displacement
  5. Benediction
  6. Eight Seconds
  7. Palm Dreams
  8. Softer Spoken
  9. Posing Holy
  10. Water Damage
  11. Skyscraper

Length: 34:00
Label: Epitaph Records
Release date: September 16th 2016
Delving extensively into the labyrinth of loss Stage Four deals directly with the loss of singer Jeremy Bolm’s mother in 2014. Creating a truly pained canvas in the form of vocals from the likes of “Water Damage” where the singers contrite lyrics are overflowing in delivery. The half sung half spoken lyrics echo a sense of utter disbelief and exasperation. Constrasted against the wistful lead lines from guitarists Nick Steinhardt and Clayton Stevens give a sense of melancholic refrain across this canvas of dejection. Intricately crafted lyrics bring hugely intimate moments in Bolm’s life and his relationship to the fore. “Benediction” is coated in the vintage wallpaper adorning a house full of memory. Capturing a single moment that, though insignificant to the common man is intensely emotional.

Here is where Touche Amore thrive, in this universe of earnest intensity the likes of single “Palm Dreams” are at once just as beautiful as their are glum. Coupling the metaphorical idea of dreams with the idea of what could be seen as a nightmare is nothing short of spectacular. Jarring chords and well placed drums create a sense of urgency in “Eight Seconds” as we are detailed in a bittersweet living the dream sense. Describing the disorientation of understanding “Displacement” recalls the initial wave of confusion following any form of crisis which with its genius dynamics plays on the sonic senses.

Daydreaming hues of “Rapture” recall a relatable childlike sense of nostalgia making the listener infinitely welcomed yet highlighting that crack in the sky moment where life is fractured. Ending on the poignant finish “Skyscraper” bringing female vocals into the fray creates a solemn yet evocative post scriptum. Tying the two caustic and often jarring elements together the band work brilliant portraying a beautiful, honest and truly vulnerable study into the process of grief. Creating more than an epitaph to Bolm’s mother whilst being infinitely personal yet incredibly relatable. No doubt in part to the universal nature of death and its consequences for us not only as humans but throughout the relativity of life. Stage Four is an absolutely masterpiece bringing a fierce sense of emotion to a beautifully eleoquent yet oximoronic canvas that everyone should hear.

A pained look into the world of grief, Stage Four is a beautiful window into the soul. Creating a tangible sense of emotion that is affiliated to humanity Touche Amore have brought a humble yet passionate piece of art to the masses.