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Mystery - The World Is A Game CD (album) cover

THE WORLD IS A GAME

Mystery

 

Neo-Prog

3.98 | 289 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Another Mystery

The World Is A Game is the third album from Mystery since they reinvented themselves in the new millennium (their fifth album overall). With the previous One Among The Living, they established themselves as a respectable member of the astonishing Neo-Prog revival of recent years (with bands like IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, and many other classic Neo-Prog bands, all releasing new albums that surprisingly outshined what the same bands did in the 80's, and newer bands like Arena taking the Neo-Prog sound to altogether new heights). Mystery, hailing from Canada, was not initially part of this movement (they began in the 80's as a mildly progressive Hard Rock band, often reminding of a more progressive Journey), but with albums like One Among The Living (that featured guest performances by John Jowitt and Oliver Wakeman) and the present one, they seem to have moved closer to it. This is especially true of The World Is A Game, which will surely appeal to Neo-Prog fans. (Fans of Yes will also inevitably be drawn to Mystery, due to the fact that vocalist Benoit David was recruited to replace Jon Anderson - to which he has a similar voice - a few years ago and recorded the album Fly From Here with Yes.)

While not as memorable as One Among The Living and Destiny?, The World Is A Game can be said to be Mystery's most consistent and mature album yet. They now seem to have found their identity and do not stray outside of their comfort zone. This makes for an album with few surprises, but also without any embarrassments. I find it a very pleasant and enjoyable listen. Like on previous albums, there is a nice variation between acoustic (piano and acoustic guitars) and electric elements (symphonic synths and soaring lead guitar). The melodies are somewhat Beatles-esque at times, while a few riffs approach Black Sabbath territory, and some Yes-like harmonies. (A curious feature is that the epic Another Day includes a brief passage that is disturbingly similar to Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath!)

Recommended in addition to all of Mystery's previous albums, but not their best in my opinion

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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