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

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Bob Lind - Elusive Butterfly - The Complete 1966 Jack Nitzsche Sessions – In the early sixties at the height of the folk boom, Denver based singer/songwriter Bob Lind was regularly working the coffee houses in the area, and later (as the local folk scene dried up) moved to...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues