Outer Limits - The Scene of Pale Blue. 1987 Japan

Outer Limits - The Scene of Pale Blue. 1987 Made in Japan

CD reissues: 1988 Made in Japan; 1999 Made in Japan; 1999 Musea (France)

Release details: Single sleeve cover housed in a fine cover with a cool painting from a renowned Faerie artist. The first CD followed shortly thereafter. A decade later, fresh demand brought about dual releases in Europe and Asia. I bought the LP not long after it was released, and picked up the Musea CD sometime in the 2000s as a supplement. The CD has two bonus tracks, and you need to be careful when evaluating the album proper, as they not appended to the end in the traditional manner. See my notes below. Though I still own both copies, I have decided to part with the LP, which I'll be selling this Fall.

Notes: The CD starts off in that typical brash, digital 1980s way the Japanese are famous for. I was beginning to question why I liked this album at all, as many of those 1980s Japanese prog bands have fallen into the sell bin over the years. Ah, but 'Marionette's Lament' is from a single, and not the LP proper.

Once we get to 'Mixer', we are off and running with The Scene of Pale Blue. And on this LP, verse their earlier stunted works, Outer Limits provides us with plenty of long exploratory instrumental parts. And a willingness to break out the old equipment, like the mellotron for example, which was still unusual in those days. Some of the heavy angular guitar / counterpoint parts recall mid-70s King Crimson. Lead violin and old school rhythm guitar flesh out the sound nicely. Unfortunately the band brought back the silly low singing voice on 'Anti Podean' and those sections have to be considered a lowlight. A fine album from the late 80s Japanese symphonic progressive scene.

Oh, and the CD also includes the fine 8+ minute fusion-oriented bonus track 'Pteridophyte' taken from the 1990 Made in Japan compilation called Out of Works. I would consider this track essential listening.

Comments