Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Ryo Okumoto

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ryo Okumoto Coming Through album cover
3.39 | 23 ratings | 5 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Godzilla vs. King Ghidarah
2 The Farther He Goes, the Farther He Falls
3 Slipping Down
4 Highway Roller
5 Free Fall
6 Coming Through
7 Close Enough
8 The Imperial

Line-up / Musicians

- Ryo Okumoto
- Neal Morse
- Glenn Hughes
- Bobby Kimball

Releases information

CD InsideOut IOMCD 110 (EU, 2002)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy RYO OKUMOTO Coming Through Music

More places to buy RYO OKUMOTO music online

RYO OKUMOTO Coming Through ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RYO OKUMOTO Coming Through reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Ryo Okumoto is of course the keyboard player for SPOCK'S BEARD. He released this album the same year "Snow" came out, so he and his SPOCK'S BEARD band mates who all help him out here (including Neal Morse) must have been very busy. Man there is a long list of guests here. Most I don't know although Steve Lukather and Glen Hughes are names i'm familiar with. This is a pretty good album that could have been very good. What I mean is that there are two amazing tunes that show what could have been, but the rest doesn't do a lot for me.

"Godzilla Vs. King Ghidarah" is one of those excellent tracks. An instrumental with keyboards, drums and bass only yet this thing is a real treat. It opens calmly enough with some atmosphere but soon we get some great sounding organ and chunky bass lines. It actually turns jazzy at one point with piano. Nice. "The Farther He Goes,The Farther He Falls" has some good contrasts and a guitar solo from Lukather. "Slipping Down" has some vocals from Bobby Kimball and some backing vocals too. Horns before 3 minutes followed by some excellent guitar.

"Highway Roller" is one I don't like at all especially the vocals from Glen Hughes. "Free Fall" features some nasty bass from Dave Meros with keyboards. "Coming Through" is a mellow, ballad-like tune with Neal Morse singing. Not a fan at all of this one either. "Close Enough" is the other track that shines. It's actually worth buying this album just to hear this 19 minute track. Bobby Kimball is really good on vocals here, in fact two other of his TOTO band mates help out with Lukather on guitar and Phillips on drums. This song is just a ride with some nasty organ and powerful sections along with atmosphere. A complete blast. "The Imperial" is the closing instrumental and my third favourite. Mellotron and piano mostly. It's Ryo all by himself.

A mixed bag with some real highs and lows makes this a 3 star album in my opinion.

Review by progrules
3 stars It's funny to see mr. Okumoto included on our site for I suggested him some 20 months ago and he was rejected because he wasn't prog at all. Never mind, I could easily say I told you by now but I'm a good sport, I can take it. Enough with the silliness, time for the review now. I have to be honest and have to admit I mainly suggested Ryo Okumoto because he's after all the keyboardist of Spocks Beard and I happened to own this solo release. To say this is pure prog isn't easy to tell really because it's a mixed bag of more than one style. Therefore I can relate to the fact the teams placed the man in the eclectic category.

First track is immediately one of the most progressive songs in my view. Godzilla is an all instrumental energetic fusion track with lots of interesting shifts, all in all a mix of rock and jazz. 3,75*

Next is The Farther he goes ... is more of a AOR kind of rock song, nice and heavy with vocals by his SB companion Nick D'Virgilio, who also does the drums of course. Nice guitar work as well by the famous Steve Lukather. So no downright prog in this case. 3,5* though

Slipping down is another accessible rocking tune with vocals by another famous Toto boy: mr. Bobby Kimball. The song is a bit less captivating than previous in my opinion. 3,25*

Talking about famous boys: Glenn Hughes is vocalist on Highway Roller so it's not really surprising this has some resemblance to the more commercial side of Deep Purple. 3*

Free fall is a lot calmer than previous three and returns to the fusion style of the opening track. This time Ryo is accompanied by his team mates of Spock's Beard. Nice stuff, 3,5*

Next up is the title track and this the ballad of the album. Vocals by Neal Morse who also does quite a lot of lyric writing on this album. 3,25*

Close enough is the track that is stuck in my mind from the period I used to play this album quite a few times. Along with opening Godzilla this is the most progressive of all tracks. Also the longest song so not really a big surprise it's pretty progressive. Probably the reason Ryo is included in the end. Good composition though not really mindblowing all the way through. 3,75*

The Imperial closes down this solo release and is more or less an average track compared to the other ones. Nice instrumental, 3,25-3,5*.

And this last score is about what the album is worth to me, somewhere between 3,25 and 3,5 stars but by no means a truly excellent album, more of a nice intermezzo in Okumoto's successful career in Spocks Beard. Recommended for fans of this band and maybe also for fans of Toto and Deep Purple. By the way, my version also contains a nice DVD about the making of ...

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Even if about half of the Spock's Beard are playing in this album, this hasn't anything to do with their music. What happened is that Ryo Okumoto is free to express his music and this is very impressive even if "colder" than the usual Spock's Beard material.

The first track opens with a movie-sountrack-like orchestral section (performed by keyboards) that after a couple of minutes turns to funky-jazz, in a word: FUSION.

The second track is not instrumental and is a bit closer to Spock's Beard even if the funky element is still more than present, specially in the bass line. A very good song on which every instrument have its room. On the final part it turns to rock with a great guitar solo and the tempo doubled by drums and bass.

A choir opens "Slipping Down". This song could have been played by David Gilmour on About Face, as it's more or less that kind of funky-rock of which Blue Light is made of, and this is not a bad thing, specially in the short organ solo. Suggested for a travel by car.

Maybe Ryo had the same thought when he entitled the track 4 "Highway Roller". This is pure funky. Just a little too hard for a 70s disco. However this seems to come directly from the 70s.

Back to fusion with Free Fall. A bit more oriented to the jazz side than the funky. An excellent track specially from a technical point of view.

"Coming Through" is a slow melodic song, maybe too mellow but some passages are very interesting. So mellow but not trivial.

The longest track (about 19 minutes) is "Close Enough".. Let's say that it's close enough to Spock's Beard and is probably the only real progressive track of the album. The singing has something of Greg Lake, so it's probably not a coincidence if the organ has an Emerson sound. This is in any case a complex track with many different parts and moments.

The closing track is a piano-based short suite somewhere between classical and new age. music.

It's an highly enjoyable album, well played and with some interesting ideas. Between 3 and 4 stars, I'm rounding to 4 as a price to his career.

Review by ozzy_tom
4 stars "Coming Through" is a 4th solo album recorded by prolific Japanese keyboardist Ryo Okumoto who is well known from American symphonic prog band Spock's Beard. However his first 3 albums (all of them released in 1980) are very little known (probably pressed only in Japan), so "Coming Through" is often regarded as his "proper" debut. During recording of this album, Ryo already had 7 years long experience as a retro-keyboards player of "Spock's Beard" (and soon after became the only player of this formation due to Neal Morse quitting) so it's not a surprise that music on this disk have few similarities to that band's output. But despite these similarities and guesting presence of many Spock's Beard's musicians, "Coming Through" shows us more diversity than you would expect. Ryo thankfully sticks to 70s vintage equipment as he used to do in SB, but he mix many different music genres untypical for SB's records here and makes this album a real treasure for keyboards-based rock fans like me.

Let's check all of those 8 songs included on the album one by one:

1. "Godzilla vs. King Ghidarah" - first track is an instrumental which begins with mysterious sounding synthesizer waves. After a minute or so Dave Carpenter starts to play some unusual deep/low sounding acoustic bass lines which are surprisingly very audible (compared to most of modern music where bass is completely buried in the mix). But the real deal begins when Ryo "invites" us to listen to some truly gritty Hammond organ solos which are truly fantastic and always highly melodic & enjoyable (no silly meandering here). Besides, in the middle of the track Okumoto has great and relatively long jazzy piano section, which is followed by another mind-blowing organ solos and short bass spot. Near the end his Hammond starts to sound more and more wild and gritty along with some crazy effects in Emerson fashion. Overall it's a really good jazz-rock instrumental which almost never lose its direction into some pointless free-jazz "torturing".

2. "The Farther He Goes, the Farther He Falls" - this one is a completely different story. Thanks to more straightforward, song-based structure and presence of Spock's Beard musicians: Dave Meros (bass) & Nick D'Virgilio (drums & vocals), this track reminds me of some simpler, hard rock compositions recorded by Spock's Beard after Neal Morse left. But it doesn't mean that it's bad, not at all! In fact it's a very enjoyable track which can be described as mix of hard rock, heavy prog and some funky, bouncing rhythm. Ryo Okumoto plays another swirling organ solos here, while Steve Lukather (from Toto) shows some great technique in guitar one.

3. "Slipping Down" - it's another hard rock song but this time with Bobby Kimball (from Toto) on vocal duties (however D'Virgilio still plays drums and Meros plays bass here). I also like this one, it reminds me about Deep Purple Mark III output in fact but it's slightly heavier and not so funky. Ryo's Hammond organ solo is a top notch as always and Mero's bass solo is also very remarkable. Backgroundish brass arrangements (Andy Suzuki / tenor saxophone, Doug Webb / alto saxophone, D. Jon Papenbrook / trumpet) also work surprisingly well. I only strongly dislike this ugly background vocal (Michael Mishaw) during refrain, sounds so goofy...

4. "Highway Roller" - 3rd and last hard rock song on the album, this time with Glenn Hughes as a lead vocalist. As "Slipping Down" sounded a bit like Deep Purple Mark III, "Highway Roller" sounds completely like re-incarnation of that band. The same soulish, screamy vocalist, similar funky beat & Blackmore-like guitar presence (again in courtesy of Steve Lukather). However it sounds rather generic and uninspired for me. Maybe I just heard such kind of songs too many times in the past, or maybe I'm just not happy that Ryo seems to occupy only background stage with his trademark organ playin' here, anyway I don't like this one too much. Nothing offensive but also nothing to be excited about. However remarkable fact is that drums in this song are held by Ryo's son - Sage Okumoto.

5. "Free Fall" - Ryo comes back to high-energy jazz-rock from the beginning of this album! However this instrumental seems to a bit more disjointed and free-jazz inspired, it's still a decent composition based on crazy Moog synthesizer rides, ripping guitar tones (played by another Spock's Beard fellow - Alan Morse) & ultra-loud bass lines. Okumoto's Hammond solo in the middle sounds like taken directly from Gerard's album, it's just as flashy & speed-up like Toshio Egawa's performances. Japanese style of organ solos I suppose... It's interesting that all SB members (except Neal Morse) are playin' in this one, but overall "Free Fall" doesn't resemblance almost any similarities to this band's regular output.

6. "Coming Through" - it's a very pleasant and up-lifting ballad sang by former Spock's Beard leader - Neal Morse. As most of Morse's soft songs (which he recorded quite many during his solo career) it doesn't have too much in common with typical progressive rock staff and it's more pop-oriented, but I really have nothing again one or two such songs on prog album. Okumoto plays mellow piano, mellotron and synthesizers while Michael Landau creates weeping sounds on his guitar here. Not bad at all. I'm convinced.

7. "Close Enough" - we had jazz-rock instrumentals and heavy prog/hard rockers and mellow ballad...and now's coming the best composition of the album, truly symphonic, 19 minutes suite called "Close Enough". The suite begins with enigmatic sound effects probably inspired by similar intro in Yes' "Close to The Edge" classic, but after awhile our ears are attacked by ranging Hammond organ solos/riffs and this time we feel this fantastic "Tarkus"-like atmosphere (main organ riff is just unforgettable!!). Next "section" is more vocal oriented and however Bobby Kimball's voice isn't anything special for me, I have to admit that he doesn't distract me from great experience of listening to this staff. About 7th minute of the epic, tempo slows down and we can enjoy more ballad-like style fragment which is driven by soft piano, waving Moog synth effects and Bobby's vocals which seems to be more suitable for this kind of music. Then Ryo proceeds to rather slow-tempo but truly crazy organ solo where he "discovers" many unusual sounds which this instrument is capable to produce. Magic moments! After that tempo speeds-up again until about 12th minute when we have some kind of culminating instrumental crescendo & Kimball screams his head off, but after that Simon Phillips plays some brief drum solo which is followed by the best Hammond solo in Ryo Okumoto's career! It's just one, long and unstoppable organ madness with terrifying mean & gritty layers which punch your ears like stomping mammoth (oh man, what a bad allegory I wrote here ;-). To extend your musical orgasm this solo is culminated with this fantastic ripping riff from the beginning of the suite! Brilliant! In the end vocalist sings refrain few more times and composition ends as it started with some sort of reprise of synth, piano & mellotron effects from the beginning. Similarities to "Close to The Edge" are evident of course but it doesn't change a thing that "Close Enough" is a real classic of symphonic progressive rock. You just need to hear it before you die :-). I can only add that guitar duties are share between Alan Morse & Michael Landau here, but it doesn't really matter 'cause Okumoto's organ chops & Moog runs are the real deal on it.

8. "The Imperial" - album finishes with very mellow and slightly over-long instrumental track where we can hear only Ryo, his piano, mellotron & couple of synthesizers. Quite nice ending and good relax after highly dynamic "Close Enough" epic.

To sum up: "Coming Through" is a real gem of 70s sounding keyboards-led prog-rock. Ryo shows a huge amount of diversity playing all kinds of music styles (jazz-rock, symphonic prog, hard rock, ballad, neo-classical) and instruments (organ, piano, mellotron, Moog, ARP & digital synthesizers), so I can recommend this album not only to Spock's Beard's fans but all fans of retro-prog with more modern feeling. And I don't have to even stress that it's must-have for all organ-led music maniacs out there too.

In fact XXI century brought us quite many good albums recorded by keyboardists' who previously gained much experience playin' in respectful prog-rock bands. So if you like this Okumoto's output, I also recommend you to check such releases as: Don Airey "A Light in the Sky", Lalo Huber "Lost in Kali Yuga" and Guy Leblanc's "All The Rage".

BTW if you're Ryo Okumoto fan I suggest you to check also another symphonic/neo prog band featuring this musician, called "K2".

Anyway the highlights of this album are: "Close Enough" & "Godzilla vs. King Ghidarah", while "Free Fall" and "The Farther He Goes, the Farther He Falls" are pretty close to be classics too. But overall whole album is a classy offering.

4,5 stars from ozzy_tom

Review by kev rowland
3 stars So, following on from Neal and Nick's solo albums, Ryo has now decided that it is time for his new album. Ryo's solo recording career goes back as far as 1980, and this album is an attempt to revisit some of the songs that he has written over the last twenty years. While Ryo alone wrote three, four were composed with Neal Morse and Nick wrote the last. As well as employing the services of these two as vocalists (and Nick as drummer along with Simon Phillips and his own son, Sage) Ryo has also used the services of Glenn Hughes, Bobby Kimball and his wife Linda Green-Okumoto. Bass was provided by Dave Meros (he only needed Alan Morse to get the complete set) and Kenny Wild (who Ryo has been working with as part of Natalie Cole's band), while Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and Jun Sumida provided guitar.

This is not an album that would initially be recognised by anyone as being by Spock's Beard apart from possibly that he has enough nerve to start the album with an eight minute instrumental, and also includes a nineteen minute piece with Neal singing. Songs such as the pop rock of "The Farther He Goes, The Farther He Falls" and the initial menace of "Slipping Down" shows that Ryo has a strong understanding of melodic rock, with a Floydian edge. Strong Hammond style organ is featured on "Highway Roller" and the distinctive vocals of Glenn Hughes fit in so well that this song would not sound out of place on any of Glenn's solo albums.

Overall an album that is there to be enjoyed, just don't expect a Spock's Beard outing but there again Ryo has little input to the writing of that material so possibly that should be expected.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of RYO OKUMOTO "Coming Through"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.