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Outer Limits - Stromatolite CD (album) cover

STROMATOLITE

Outer Limits

 

Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 61 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Last week a friend told me that Japanese progrock legend had made a new album, I couldn't believe my ears and I was really delighted, what a pleasant progrock surprise. I am a huge fan of their last studio album The Scene Of Pale Blue (1987), the title track contains one of the most compelling Mellotron drenched parts in progrock history, check it out fellow progheads!

So nearly twenty years later the new album Stromatolite has been released in the almost original line-up, only a new singer. From the very first moment on this CD I am very impressed and enjoyed their distinctive 'Holy Trinity' of sumptuous keyboards, fiery guitar and sparkling violin in an often compelling blend of classical and symphonic prog with hints from King Crimson and UK. Especially the six instrumental compositions sound very alternating and dynamic and carry me away to Prog Heaven like the opener Cosmic Velocity delivering a surprising break with fiery and blistering Fripperian guitar work and flashy synthesizer flights, Algo_Rhythm C with beautiful violin play, bombastic Hammond organ blended with propulsive guitar riffs and a wonderful grand finale with Outer Limits in full splendor, the exciting highlight Spiral Motion featuring a pipe organ that duels with guitar, violin and Stick, wonderful Mellotron waves and several majestic bombastic eruptions with pipe organ and finally the alternating songs Pangea with orchestral keyboards, fiery guitar, sensational synthesizer runs, some wailing violin and a compelling final part, quite classical oriented. This CD also contains two solo works: in Caprice we can listen to a powerful and vivid violin solo and Organ Small Works No. 4 features a strong build up and lots of variation with the pipe organ. Four pieces contain vocals, I prefer the captivating track Constellation with excellent work on violin, keyboards and guitar, the vocal harmonies remind me of Yes. I am only not very pleased with the final song Lunatic Game, despite the great vintage keyboard sound, because to me it sounds a bit too polished, like USA progrock band Glass Hammer. My conclusion: a great comeback album, as if Outer Limits had recently made The Scene Of Pale Blue!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

erik neuteboom | 4/5 |

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