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Outer Limits (Japan) - 1987/1999 - "The Scene of Pale Blue"
(61 min, Musea)


1.  Marionette's Lament 7:03
2.  Mixer 5:39
3.  Platonic Syndrome 7:30
4.  Antipodean 12:09
5.  The Scene of Pale Blue 20:30
6.  Pteridophyte 8:28

All tracks: by Outer Limits.


Shusei Tsukamoto - keyboards
Takashi Kawaguchi - violins
Takashi Aramaki - guitars
Tadashi Ishikawa - basses
Nobuyuki Sakurai - drums
Tomoki Ueno - vocals

Synopsis. I still receive from time to time albums released in the past millennium, and I think my reviews of those of them that are well known to the Progressive Rock lovers (at least to the most of them) shouldn't be necessarily as large and detailed as those on the recent releases. During the 'dark decade' of the 1980s only three countries (IMHO) kept the banner of the international Progressive Rock movement really flying, namely: the USA, USSR, and Japan. All four of the albums that Outer Limits had released in the second half of the 1980s (through the "Made In Japan" label) are real masterpieces of the Classic Symphonic Art Rock genre. However, the third album by this band, "The Scene of Pale Blue", I regard as the best of them. (By the way, to my great surprise, the recent promo package that I've received from Musea contained an original Japanese version of this CD). The album is featured by six long tracks, only two of which are instrumental pieces. However, complex, diverse and highly intriguing arrangements, consisting of the masterful guitar, violin, and keyboard solos, and fantastic interplay between them as well, are displayed throughout the album. The work of both of the bosses of the rhythm section and vocals by Tomoki Ueno are also outstanding. Finally, I'd like to say that, in my view, none of the other Japanese singers, apart from Tomoki Ueno, has good pronunciation of English lyrics. In all, Outer Limits were, and still are, one of a few of the best examples of Japanese Symphonic Progressive. Last year, the band reincarnated (or reunited, if you will) with their classic line-up and toured in Japan, which was their first live performance in the last eleven years.


1985 - "Misty Moon" (Made In Japan / Musea)
1986 - "A Boy Playing the Magic Bugle Horn" (Made In Japan) 
1987 - "The Scene of Pale Blue" (Made In Japan / Musea)
1989 - "The Silver Apples on the Moon" (Made In Japan / Musea)
1993 - "Outermania" (Belle Antique)

VM: September 9, 2003

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