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Mystery - Mystery CD (album) cover





3.84 | 13 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Debut EP

While the Canadian band MYSTERY from Quebec may be best known as the band where Benoît David would be stolen from and recruited to replace Jon Anderson for Yes' 'Fly From Here,' the band actually started all the way back in1986 by Michel St-Père when he was a sound engineer at Studio Illusion. While starting out under the moniker Century it was changed due to another band owning it and it took several personnel changes before the chemistry would click that led to this debut EP being released in 1992. This one is a bit of a rarity as it was the only one that wasn't released on the Unicorn Digital label with only 500 copies having been printed. But the YouTube gods have been kind with these sort of rarities.

The band started out with a typical neo-prog type band with emphasis on pop oriented melodies wrapped up in the typical symphonic rock of the subgenera. While Benoît David wouldn't become the lead singer until the band's revival in 2007 on the album 'Beneath The Veil Of Winter's Face', in the beginning Gary Savoie was the lead vocalist however on this debut EP, he would also share those duties with Raymond Savoie who would sing on 'In My Dreams' which is the only track off this EP to end up on the debut full-length release, however starting with their debut album 'Theatre Of The Mind,' Gary would be the sole singer.

This debut album by MYSTERY is a dreamy symphonic rock album with catchy melodies, well constructed tracks that utilize the neo- prog typical traits of high register vocals, dramatic compositional constructs with soft passages and arpeggiated guitar sequences that build up to hard rock payoffs and with guitar solos and dramatic crescendoes that find resolution. Of course it's all dressed up with heavy keyboard laden atmospheric accompaniments but is yet one more band to show how the sub was evolving into its own right into the 90s after the major success that Marillion experienced in the 80s.

In some ways, MYSTERY proves more than most neo-prog bands that the basic sound was a more prog infused version of some of the arena rock of the 80s with bands like Journey, Survivor, Asia and GTR coming to mind where they keep all the prog sensibilities yet expand the compositional heft to encompass more sophistication. Yep, i like this one. Neo-prog is very dependent on all the individual factors coming together even if they're predictable. I find the guitar tones and style mixed quite well with the drumbeats and both Savoies (who i can't really tell apart) have quite pleasant vocal abilities that fit really nicely into the genre. St-Père also dishes out some decent guitar licks and the percussion isn't too wimpy which does happen in this sub. This is a great debut by one of neo-prog's lesser celebrated bands.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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