Exposé Online banner

Outer Limits — Stromatolite
(Musea FGBG 4719.AR, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Stromatolite Cover artLast we heard from this 80s Japanese symphonic band was their 1987 live album The Silver Apples on the Moon, following three studio LPs, not counting a posthumous release of early archive material released in the mid-90s. Two things I remember most about these albums was the great cover artwork, and the loud in-your-face singing by lead vocalist Tomoki Ueno that seemed to undermine the fine progressive rock that the rest of the band was presenting. So what of this reunion album after a 20 year absence? Five of six original members are on board, and guess who’s not here? Vocal duties are now shared among the five remaining instrumentalists (keyboards, guitar, bass, violin and drums), with a full six of the ten tracks being completely instrumental. The vocals (lyrics are mostly in English) are now more in line with the music and not overpowering, as they tended to be before. These guys have certainly not forgotten how to play over the years; their sound is still lush, symphonic, overtly melodic and pleasantly colorful, with searing crimsoid guitars and powerful solo flights of violin and keyboards, all supported by an ace rhythm section supportive of the overall effort. And they sound up to date, not just old guys rehashing the past. All said, a welcome return; hopefully this is a new beginning, and not just a one-off.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Outer Limits

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Petrophonics – Ever since I first heard this band back in the early 80s, I’ve been fascinated by their style: rock instrumentation playing challenging music which is not based in the conventions of rock and roll,...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues