Exposé Online banner

Episode — Starlight Tales
(Alabaster Communications ALB 37330-1, 1993, CD)

by Mike Borella, Published 1994-02-01

Starlight Tales Cover art

I've been listening to Episode for quite a while and patiently awaiting this disc. They live in the Bay Area, so I see them around at shows, and have been asking them for the last year and a half about when this disc was coming out. For this reason, and the fact that I do enjoy some of their earlier music quite a bit, it is painful to write this review. Yes, Starlight Tales is progressive rock, and has a couple of good moments. However, the disc is 65 minutes long and the good moments get swallowed by too many average ones. Episode approaches progressive rock with Yes and Floydian influences, but lose much of their "progressive-ness" by trying to be accessible. Their talent is wasted on the pop-song structures and simplicity that plague most of the shorter tracks on this disc. The second track, "Grey Matters," and the fourth, "Pinnacles," are examples of this – songs that would fit MTV circa 1985. The production leaves much to be desired, as it buries Tom Finch's guitar from most of the tracks. Drummer Gary Scheuenstuhl, keyboardist Nick Peck, and bassist Don Tyler are accomplished players of their respective instruments, but don't display their skills well enough to warrant their share of the mix. Overall, the band's songwriting has improved over their amateurish debut cassette, but has few strong moments. One of them is the track "Edge of the Sky," a 15-minute masterpiece in the classic symphonic vein, which was originally released in 1991. Excellent. "Hesperantes Rising," a 24-minute piece, shows some promise but the rest of the disc is mediocre pop-prog at best. The vocals, shared by all members but revolving around Roe Tyler and Nick Peck, tend to turn some people off. They are a bit weak, but I don't find them as intrusive as some do. Episode has committed the cardinal sin of not playing at least close to the limits of their abilities. As a result, this very promising, talented band has yielded a weak release. I still feel they have tremendous untapped potential, but I seriously doubt that we'll ever hear it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 2, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Episode

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - No Commercial Potential... and Still Getting the Ladies – In some respects, Djam Karet can be viewed as a band with a split personality. Sometimes they are a tightly rehearsed unit performing composed music; sometimes they are purveyors of ambient...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues