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Episode Starlight Tales album cover
2.77 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ship (4:34)
2. Grey Matters (5:04)
3. Bobby In The Bushes (5:01)
4. Pinnacles (5:58)
5. Edge Of The Sky (14:51)
6. Barriers Of Attitude (3:20)
7. Dead Fish In The Tank (1:40)
8. Hesperates Rising (24:18) :
- a) Arrival
- b) Moments Not The Mind
- c) Transformation
- d) Future Shock
9. Wind And Watering (0:49)

Total Time: 65:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Roe Tyler / vocals, flute
- Tom Finch / electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Nick Peck / keyboards, vocals, co-producer
- Don Tyler / bass, 12-string guitar, vocals, co-producer
- Gary Scheuenstuhl / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Alabaster Communications ‎- ALB37330-1 (1993, US)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
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EPISODE Starlight Tales ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (75%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EPISODE Starlight Tales reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars A bit better than the first one (mainly because of more mature songwriting and soundproducing), "Starlight Tales" is made in the same way - YES meets RENAISSANCE and a dozen of other less obvious influences.The only major flaw is epic's instrumental part - way too long and boring.I'd prefer it to be on 10-12 min shorter.

This album mainly recommended to all prog-collectors and Sympho-Prog maniacs,but it's good anyway.Enjoy!

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars The second Episode album is quite a bit like the first, although this one consists primarily of two lengthy works and a handful of shorter, simple accompanying tunes. The singing is also a bit more restrained than on the band’s debut, with piano and other keyboards tending to dominate for the most part.

“The Ship” is a nice folk-like tale about a boat on a mystical journey of sorts, and has a nice kind of lumbering rhythm to it but not much else. “Grey Matters” is quite similar but with a less-clear lyrical theme, and “Bobby in the Bushes” is just filler.

“Pinnacles” is thick with loopy harmonizing vocals and plenty of acoustic guitar and keyboard effects, but again the lyrics are rambling and abstract, and lacks any real spark.

“Edge of the Sky” consists a long, drawn-out keyboard orgy composed (not surprisingly) by the band’s keyboardist Nick Peck. Despite the relative scarcity of vocals, this doesn’t really qualify as either a symphonic epic or a jam session, but rather sounds like a moderately free-form attempt at an instrumental story-song, although the point of the story is kind of lost on me. There are some decent drum passages and like I said, plenty of keyboards and piano, but the whole thing seems to lack any real focus and doesn’t really achieve any kind of real meaning.

“Barriers of Attitude” sounds more like a late eighties soft rock tune, with only a short instrumental keyboard passage to really distinguish it much. The singer sounds a bit like Joan Baez at times, further affirming my impression of these guys as some aging flower- power children.

In a similar vein “Hesperates Rising”, the other long track that occupies about half the album tells a tale about another moon rising up in the Earth’s sky and sort of challenging humankind to clean up their act, or something to that effect. The whole point of the story is a bit hazy, and the song transitions through a number of movements that seem to evolve, but the whole thing rambles on much longer than seems necessary and fails to really capture the imagination. The production is quite good for such a minor label and the individual members are all excellent musicians (although the drummer has a bit of a tendency to plod along at times), but I wouldn’t rank this among the better epic- length symphonic works in history. It’s interesting at best.

Maybe it’s just because I got both of Episode’s albums at the same time (downloaded directly from their web site – nice to get free music directly from the band at least), but this one seems to be quite a bit more disjointed than the first album. I get the impression this is just a collection of things the band put together in the four years between when the first and last album released, which would make sense I suppose.

I can’t really recommend this one, especially if you had to buy it. But since the band offers it free from their web site, I suppose they deserve some credit for being accessible and accommodating at least, so I’ll say 2.4 stars and will probably check out some of their videos on the site as well.


Review by Neu!mann
3 stars These little-known Northern California proggers hit their creative peak with their second (and last) album in 1993. They later appeared on the ProgFest '94 double-disc (performing a nicely informal cover of PINK FLOYD's "Echoes") before disappearing into undeserved obscurity.

Too bad, because this effort showed a lot of potential. The music is less piecemeal than it was on the band's 1989 debut, with longer instrumental passages displaying a greater level of confidence and ambition. The two multi-movement suites ("Edge of the Sky" and "Hesperates Rising") are by necessity more episodic in form (no pun intended), but each one flows with more organic unity than you might expect, and both pass the first test of any true epic by never sounding padded for the simple sake of length (even over the whopping 24+ minutes of "Hesperates").

There's a not-unpleasant time-capsule quality to this album. Listening to it is like re- discovering a long-lost band from Prog's mid-'70s Golden Age, which in a sense is exactly what Episode was, only twenty years too late. Dismiss them if you will as lightweight American cousins to YES (a tag they likely would have outgrown in another album or two), but they were never too derivative, except perhaps in the ersatz Roger Dean cover art and typography.

And there's certainly no excuse anymore for not being familiar with their music. Keyboardist Nick Peck has made both Episode albums freely available for downloading on his web site (accessible directly from their Prog Archives page), a selfless gesture so at odds with the usual crass demands of e-commerce that it deserves a hearty cyber-pat on the shoulder.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Episode was a band sorely in need of a good producer. There musicianship was superb, there songwriting good, and sometimes great. But always, when I listened to their recordings, did I find something was lacking. Often, the production seems to take away from the music. Particularly, on what sounds like strong passages in the music, is weakened by thin sounding instrumentation. The vocals, even more so. Many of the song are diluted by a lack of vocal production. While the singers certainly sound talented, and have fine voices, they come across as thin in the mix.

That said, I enjoy this band's music quite a lot. They write in a classic symphonic prog style. Nothing new and exciting, but definitely tasteful and pleasant. It's too bad they never got the attention they deserved.

Standout tracks here are the two epics, Edge Of The Sky, which originally appeared on a cassette release with a nice cover of Pink Floyd's Echoes, and Hesperates Rising.

With better production, this could easily have been a 4 star or better release.

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