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Mystery Redemption album cover
4.15 | 122 ratings | 10 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Behind the Mirror (6:46)
2. Redemption (6:36)
3. The Beauty and the Least (9:15)
4. Every Note (6:01)
5. Pearls and Fire (12:43)
6. My Inspiration (8:24)
7. Homecoming (5:10)
8. Is This How the Story Ends? (19:11)

Total Time 74:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean Pageau / vocals
- Antoine Michaud / keyboards
- François Fournier / bass, keyboards
- Jean-Sébastien Goyette / drums
- Sylvain Moineau / guitars
- Michel St-Pere / guitars, keyboards

Releases information

Label: Unicorn Digital Inc.
Format: CD, Digital
May 15, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MYSTERY Redemption ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MYSTERY Redemption reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The foremost attribute to success and glory, whether in sports, academics, culinary arts, business, relationships and of course music, is consistency. Many famous chefs have lost their Michelin stars because they wandered off course (pun intended) or modified their 'raison-d'être' that made them famous in the first place. Yes, be adventurous but if you alter the ingredients, please remember to rebrand it under a different name. No such mysterious concerns with Mystery, a now iconic Canadian band from Quebec that has consistently delivered a pantheon of albums that just keep their style firmly focused and honed like the shining razor blade of a rapier.

Seeing a band in a concert setting certainly helps in evaluating the personality of a band. I recently attended their home show in Montreal a month ago and that had to be one of the finest, most professional concerts I have ever attended (and I have seen many, including legends like Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Focus, King Crimson, Zappa as well as Fish, Roxy Music, IQ, the Flower Kings, PFM, and many, many others). Led by master guitarist Michel St-Pere, the first impression that hit me very hard was the genuine enthusiasm displayed by this veteran crew, not just with the audience but mostly with each other! They obviously deeply enjoy their craft, a concert that visually offers little artifice but loads of unfettered charisma. Their stylistic hallmark signature remains firmly entrenched in crafting absolutely divine melodies that impact the soul upon first listen. Having a mercurial singer in Jean Pageau, whose athletic stage gymnastics are only surpassed by a truly astonishing voice, both rich, powerful, and clear as crystal. Michel is joined on guitars by French ex-pat Sylvain Moineau who also exudes a palpable desire, keyboardist Antoine Michaud adding immense symphonic depth, Francois Fournier providing the low-end guidance, permitting beastly drummer Jean-Sebastien Goyette (a true revelation live, Quebec's version of John Bonham, I kid you not) to pummel that bombast into celestial mode. They presented a few songs from their new album Redemption, which will now be reviewed accordingly.

No beating around the bush, as "Behind the Mirror" explodes out of the gates with a riveting display of colossal melody and rock-solid pace, with a divine chorus stamped with classic prog excellence, as all the elements explained above coalesce into this catchy, typical Mystery brand of genius. Instantaneously detectable and swiftly delectable for evermore. "Hold onto your Freedom", indeed. A classic. The title track just keeps the emotional pedal at full throttle, but in a gentler style, as the clanging guitar weavings intersperse within the ambitious drumbeats, as the double chorus builds gradually (I am a total sucker for that kind of dual elevation). Tectonic sonic mountains and valleys make this one hell of an emotional ride, with tormented and vibrant lyrics about salvation ("Shall I be sorry until the end of time?"). A classic. The hauntingly magnificent "The Beauty and the Least" is the proverbial power ballad, quite reminiscent of one of my favourite Mystery tunes "The Sailor and the Mermaid", even the titles sound like close cousins. The passion, atmosphere, and the melody (PAM) is off the charts, with a little old school Genesis mid-section led by Fournier's bass doing a fab Mike Rutherford, acoustic guitars emulating ticking clocks, a slippery electric guitar solo, the whole just revving up into this gigantic eruption of sweltering symphonics, provided by Michaud and his keyboard arsenal. Nine minutes plus of lethal prog. A classic. A superb, thoughtful, and sensitive love ballad appears on "Every Note", certainly targeting hopeless romantics like yours truly. Aural divinity is to be found in another chorus that is just plain jaw-dropping in its straightforward delivery and yet convincing emotion. Pageau certainly can hit the high notes without any hesitation or holding back. It seems effortless and it is. A classic. Another extended piece, running over a dozen minutes, "Pearls and Fire" reverts to more overreaching bravado that is their claim to fame, the lyrical content aimed now at the difficult road of male puberty when forced to live without a father figure. There is also a historic slant as the main protagonist (Leo) a goes off to war, to prove his worth and that "his father wasn't right". He must literally soldier on and fight. A tortuous guitar solo is illuminated by a searchlight, immune to the flak, as it builds up into a furiously wild machine. The extended instrumental work confirms the impeccable chops this band has in spades. This is exuberant, in your face, electrically powered prog. Pearls and Fire. A classic. Back down to earth into the softness comfort of a classic love song with a heartfelt delivery, an ode to one's muse, a romantic expression of soulful union, that special someone who has your unconditional back. Though far from a commercial sounding track, the track does offer an honest accessibility that should never be dismissed as fluff. Its carefree, inspired (sic) and impressive, as the immense and intense melody is wrapped in a perfectly executed arrangement (in prog, that generally means tons of choir mellotrons, LOL). Mystery is my inspiration. A classic. The eventual goodbye is appearing on the horizon, so "Homecoming" serves as the reminder that soon, 'You finally wake up from your slumber' and return to the routine of life purified, waiting for another thrill or joy to satisfy your cravings. A classic. The curtain drops with a 19 minute + colossus "Is This How the Story Ends?" and possesses all the characteristics of a progressive rock epic, taking its time to develop, hone, focus, swerve, rise and then dip, on a thrilling musical roller coaster. The main melody is then indelibly stamped on the proceedings so as the undoubtedly establish the backbone on which everything else holds together. This is the kind of old school prog moment, earphones firmly screwed in, where you take the booklet and follow the storyline on the lyric sheet, oblivious to the outer universe and just dream on with no restrictions or distractions. The various chapters fit into a comfortably numb pattern, like the whispering early section being a sheer delight, as the arrangement picks up steam like a locomotive that is rapidly losing its breath. Hey aqualung! Pageau certainly has the lungs to keep shoving melodic air into this furnace of a song. Raging twin guitars reign supreme as Michel crisses and Sylvain crosses with devilish precision, JS bashing mercilessly his certifiably abused kit. Enough said. A classic. This is not how the story ends , I hope and I pray.

I try to avoid repeating myself as much as possible, which is why I constantly search for synonyms in my writing style, but Redemption is an outright CLASSIC. Not a single wasted or useless second. There is ultimately no mystery here, it's just Mystery.

5 Salivating Salvations

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Québec's NeoProg masters are back with their thirteenth album since 1992 and fourth studio album with the same lineup.

1. "Behind the Mirror" (6:46) it's been a while since I've heard Mystery's sound this thick, this heavy. It feels good. Solid. But not enough flash and dynamic change (except for from the drummer and bass player). Quite a solid song--one that reminds me of all that I love about NeoProg and Mystery in particular--but one that also reminds me of just how difficult it is to deliver perfect heart-melting melodies and/or chord progressions. (13.25/15)

2. "Redemption" (6:36) the incredibly full and deep bass is the key to the "new" sound. (8.875/10)

3. "The Beauty and the Least" (9:15) from the opening notes and chords one can sense that we're in for some of Mystery's very best song-crafting. The bass is, again, very full and heavy beneath Jean's melodies and the rest of the band's great chord progressions. The guitar solo at the end of the third minute, though brief, is among Michel St- Pere's best--and he is definitely one of the best--but this is quickly moved away from into a more pastoral weave of multiple guitar and keyboard arpeggi. Michel starts to wind up again within and over this two-chord passage, striking some truly epic bursts and moments. In the second half of the sixth minute, the band switches chord motifs--goes for a heavier sound--as drummer Jean-Sébastien Goyette gets to really shine within the walls of glorious sound. The eighth minute reveals a more 'tron-dominated Genesis-scape before emerging into what feels a classic Mystery "reveal" with Michel and Jean rising above the dense and beautiful heavy prog soundscape. Mystery doing what Mystery does best. (18.75/20)

4. "Every Note" (6:01) two chorus-treated electrified 12-string guitars provide the background support for Jean to sing a heart-wrenching vocal--whichis understqandable considering the wording of this powerful love song. But, despite continued amazing musical background throughout, I feel that Jean's investment in his message loses some of its depth and/or sincerity in the middle (but, thankfully, he regains a bit of it in the final climactic 75 seconds). Great music--especially the guitars--but the drumming feels a little over the top. (9/10)

5. "Pearls and Fire" (12:43) a "coming of age" story about a boy that is counseled by his parents to hold back his tears in order to "be a man" who then ends up joining the military to continue to prove his manhood. The ensuing description of Leo's war experience gets quite graphic as he is "caught in the crossfire" during a particular battle. The instrumental passage that follows this revelation is the best on the album so far. Prog at its best. In the sixth minute we come out of the mayhem of battle into a space of silence--used to sing about Leo's death. These are the kinds of passages in which both Jean Pageau and Mystery excel: encasing scenes of emotional weight in stunningly gorgeous music. The eighth minute, then, shows the band exploring some electronically-framed spurts of heaviness, coming out with a passage of keyboard-soloing over prime NeoProg. At the nine-minute mark we switch to a heavier version of a previous motif for some electric guitar soloing weaving in and around Jean's singing. (Man this guy can sing!) The sudden switch at 10:35 to a more 1980s sound palette and motif is short-lived, a bridge to another round of the current heavy motif, but it returns each time Jean takes a break from singing. The lesson of "Pearls and Fire" is that no one can really control the outcomes/consequences of a young man's dreams. A very good though not really ground- breaking or earth-shattering epic of highly professional, proficient, masterful heavy NeoProg. (22.5/25)

6. "My Inspiration" (8:24) opens with arpeggio-picked multiple guitars like a setup for a heavy ballad. Jean joins in over the guitars and keyboard synth washes and tuned percussives while drums and bass hold back until the chorus. The drums and (awesome) bass remain for the rest of the song as Jean sings with no little emotion about his "inspiration." Several of the brief instrumental bridges in the mid-section feel quite Wind and Wuthering-era GENESIS-like (which is exactly one of the foundational definitions of NeoProg, isn't it?) Beautiful, dreamy, magnificent, pompous and bombastic. (18/20)

7. "Homecoming" (5:10) cool change-up with a multi-voice choral approach to the vocal deliveries over the opening 90 seconds. A long and heavy instrumental passage follows. The vocals rejoin (some solo Jena, some choral-crafted) with some excellent RICHARD WRIGHT-like keyboard work before Michel's guitar takes over. Very nicely (and differently) crafted song. (9.25/10)

8. "Is This How the Story Ends?" (19:11) opens with a couple of minutes of excellent msuic with the rhythm section feeling so tight, so polished, that I'm reminded of Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford at the absolute peak of their skills/powers. The instrumental passage beneath the dramatic narration in the eighth minute is among those sublime high points of Mystery's career. The final three minutes are about as classic 1976 GENESIS as one can get--so heavily dripping in Mellotron and bombast. (35.25/40)

Total Time 74:06

In my opinion drummer Jean-Sébastien Goyette and bassist François Fournier make up the best rhythm section Mystery have ever had and this, their seventh album and ninth year together, serves to capture their finest performance. I can listen to this music/album over and over in large part due to the amazing performances of these two. (Jean comes in a close second). Unfortunately, I think Michel extraordinary guitar skills never really hit the highs of previous albums--though they are always of the very highest caliber of skill and appropriateness. (It must be so hard to continually have to either reinvent your self/your style or try to top your shining moments from year to year, album to album--especially over a 30-year career and over 11 albums. The only other guitarists I've known to accomplish such a feat are Jeff Beck, Nick Barrett, and maybe Steve Hackett.) There are many pleasing, great moments of guitar play, but none so memorable of those I still get chills from during One Among the Living, World Is A Game, and Delusion Rain.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of NeoProg--narrowly missing "masterpiece" status (though, who knows what further/future familiarity while reveal).

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars Mystery has been around for many decades and is still alive with the singer Jean Pageau who took the place of Benoit David in 2015. Michel St-Pere is still the leader and main composer of the songs on this 9th studio album. The opener "Behind the Mirror" put us in a familiar territory of heavy symphonic prog rock, melodic and catchy with a big production and where we are treated with a powerful bass and some addictive guitar playing by Michel St-Pere. "Redemption" has a nostalgic atmosphere led by Jean Pageau, it evolves in a little crescendo with symphonic arrangements. After the guitar-oriented song "The Beauty and the Beast", the song "Every Note" is a ballad Mystery style not of a Pop kind... "Pearls and Fire" is the first epic song that shows all the trademarks of the band with explosive guitar and keys solos, a solid rhythm section, and some change of pace to let all the players shine. The next 2 songs are not as intense and are showcasing the voice of Jean Pageau and some melodic guitar parts again. The last epic and final track at 19 minutes bring back some fire in the music from the start with many breaks where we have some acoustic guitar parts from Michel. I enjoy the little menacing tone of voice break at the 7-minute mark just before the multipart vocals appear, and the rest of the band joins to an intense second half that reminds me of the music that has been made before by more AOR bands like Saga and Styx. And the "story" ends with some fireworks before a piano passage, a long track displaying all of the ingredients that made Mystery what it is in 2023. This is not the album of Redemption for Mystery but an evolution of something that has grown in strength over the years.
Review by kev rowland
5 stars I have been reviewing guitarist Michel St-Père's band for quarter of a century now, and there is no doubt in my mind that the third iteration of the band is the finest yet. Singer Jean Pageau sounds like he has been there forever, having long moved past the efforts of those who wanted to compare him with previous incumbent Benoît David (of Yes fame), while Sylvain Moineau (guitar), François Fournier (bass, keyboards) and Jean-Sébastien Goyette (drums) are all here for their third album and Antoine Michaud (keyboards) has returned for his second so there is now strong continuity. Here is a band who are confidence in what they are doing, clear in their direction and with the ability and strengths which enable them to continually deliver.

This is soaring progressive rock, symphonic with swathes of keyboards, yet with a twin guitar attack which enables them to provide bite and power. Then at the front they have one of the finest singers around in Pageau, who can soar on high notes or be quiet and gentle as the mood dictates. It may have been five years since the last studio release, but there have been some live recordings to keep the fans going, and they have spent their time well in honing yet another masterpiece. There is a wonderful use of dynamics throughout, mixing the use of electric and acoustic guitars, changing the pace, all of which enables the listener to feel they are being taken on a journey of discovery, never knowing quite where they will be taken in the next few bars. It is a very album to listen to and enjoy the first time of playing with the hidden depths only really becoming clear when it has been listened to multiple times. It is soothing, packed full of harmonies, and there are times when the sweetness becomes almost too much but then a guitar breaks through with a real edge which transforms what is being played.

It is the contrasts which keep the listener coming back for more, and the nuances here and there which are a delight. Jean-Sébastien can be rolling around the kit or spend an inordinate amount of time on a hi hat, while François could spend most of his time in the background, or provide some dynamic leads, Sylvain and Michel may be both gently picking or the chords can be sharp and the solos taking us in new directions, Antoine holding it all together and then at the front is Jean who is always in total control. The music moves in waves, bringing in drama or levity, and one is helpless apart from keeping the headphones on and falling into the wonderful world of Mystery. This is yet another wonderful album from the Canadians which is absolutely indispensable to anyone who enjoys this style of progressive rock.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars I think in terms of the evolution of progressive rock, neo-prog has had quite the interesting development, beginning in the 80s as a synth based cross between the sounds of new wave with symphonic prog of the 70s, into very stylized collage of symphonic proginess, doses of metal, and focuses on electronics. I do admit the genre is still a bit underdeveloped on my listening part. I have listened to the big dogs like Marillion, IQ, Arena, plus some other groups like Galahad, RPWL, and of course Mystery, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert on the genre unlike prog metal or retro prog. I have been slowly but surely getting accustomed to the genre, and during the late portions of this year I thought to give some groups a bit of a looksee to engross myself in their styles. One such band is the Canadian based Mystery!

This year they released their 8th studio effort, that being Redemption, which has come about five years since their quite popular Lies And Butterflies. Earlier this year I had already heard a Mystery album, The World Is A Game, which I didn't quite care much of to look more into the band. However I did get interested in Redemption after hearing how good it was supposedly, so I decided to check it out (a little late to the party though) and it certainly turned me around to really enjoying this group.

The sound of Mystery is quite unique for neo-prog, utilizing the sounds of Rush and Styx as a basis, rather than the more common UK-based prog of the 70s. This mostly goes for Jean Pageau's vocals I think, as he does have a similar sounding singing voice to that of Geddy Lee, though definitely a lot less high pitched. I know not many like these types of vocals, but I personally dig them as they quite fit in this more hard rocking approach to progressive rock.

I will also say the instrumentation here is very solid. While they certainly do not reach the same highs as say IQ or Galahad, they do have their own flavors they are working with, creating a great, jammy sound in their own little styles that work really well in their favors. I personally love the guitars of Sylvain Moineau and Michel St-Pere. They have a lot of personality in their playing, definitely shown on tracks like The Beauty And The Least, Behind The Mirror, and Homecoming, having this nice, sharp, but somehow also kind of mellow tone in their playing. Their solos are also quite great, really dig the one on Every Note in particular. Really tasty stuff I think.

Though, I am gonna be honest the two longer tracks are kind of unnecessary I think. They're not bad or anything, it is just they feel more obligatory. Pearls And Fire is certainly the more enjoyable out of the two I think, being a lot like a track from an Asia album almost, having this nice synthy hard rock sound that drives the piece forward. However, I just think it could be trimmed a bit, with the middle section feeling like it goes on a bit too long, with the guitar solo also feeling dragged out a bit. Certainly not a bad track but one I won't listen to very often. Also, the epic here, Is This How The Story Ends?, just kinda feels like it is just there for no real reason? If that makes sense? Do not get me wrong, this is a really nice prog epic, and certainly does have moments in it that I really appreciate, but at the same time it feels like since One Among The Living the band has been pumping out epics after epics, and they have started to feel more de rigeur with each listen, even more than The Flower Kings and their long tracks. These tracks do not dampen the experience too much for me to think any less of the album, but I feel like having one album without a 15+ track might be needed soon.

Song wise, my favorite track here is absolutely Redemption. It has this wonderful energy that kinda contrasts with most of the album. It feels like a Galahad track almost, but with a more introspective outlook. This is where I think the guitars really shine, creating these moody, heavy scores that reach very stylish peaks. Also Jean's vocals here are immaculate, having this almost arena rock energy that works really well. I think Redemption really captures the beauty progressive rock can hold, being both vibrant and brimming with energy, but also spooky and very thoughtful. Amazing stuff.

Redemption is a bright look at what Mystery can really sell in terms of their music, and the album that led me to being a fan of their work. Check this one out if you particularly like harder neo prog like Arena or Galahad. I assure you it will be worth your time.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars Canadian band Mystery released their eighth studio album 'Redemption' in 2023, adding up another valuable piece of music to their incredibly consistent discography. A band that is currently quite recognizable within the progressive rock community, Mystery have actually been around since the second half of the 80s, however, releasing their first studio album in 1996. For a history that has lasted for more than thirty years, naturally there have been numerous lineup changes, with guitarist and founding member Michel St-Père being the sole constant one for all these years. And in 2023, with a solid lineup that has been around for the last decade, Mystery present a fantastic follow-up to their 2018 album 'Lies and Butterflies', a record that still resonates strongly with many people who are familiar with it, which is what will probably happen with 'Redemption', too.

While their style may broadly be described as neo-prog, they do take in some influences from symphonic rock and hard rock, but the thing with Mystery is that one always knows what to expect, to a certain extent, and they have become incredibly consistent and excellent at delivering precisely this brand of very emotive and melodic neo-prog, full of cinematic guitar playing, thoughtful lyrics, and warm, lush and beautifully produced soundscapes, necessarily being able to deliver both the memorable hooks and the long, intricate epic pieces, always bringing in some great vocalists, including Jean Pageau, the one singing on 'Redemption'. As for the songs and the album, this record has been recorded over the course of five years, carefully crafted by honing some old recordings of songs left unfinished, or by introducing entirely new material of gorgeous and intelligent modern prog rock - all of the band's qualities are gorgeously displayed on songs like track one, 'Behind the Mirror', which is a melodramatic and dynamic piece, with smart bass playing and lovely sweeping guitars. The shadowy undertones added by the keyboards surely enhance the atmosphere not only on this song, but on the entire album all throughout.

Then comes the emotive splendor of the title track, a more haunting piece featuring a great vocal performance by Pageau. 'The Beauty and the Least' is a mini-epic clocking in at around nine minutes, with Mystery slowly building up a tense fabric of soundscapes, climaxing in a dramatic instrumental section unfolding in the second half of the song. 'Every Note' is a lovely ballad-type entry from Mystery, something familiar for them, as they manage to write memorable shorter pieces, in which they never compromise the usual richness of the music that is associated with them. 'Pearls and Fire' is a 12-minute composition going through multiple movements, simply a neo-prog delicatessen. 'My inspiration' is a hopeful and more playful piece that occasionally could remind someone of IQ, or another great band from the higher ranks of neo-prog. 'Homecoming' displays a welcoming, warm playing, topped by the excellent vocals and the great hooks. The 20-minute-long closing piece 'Is This How the Story Ends?' is a stylish outro for a fabulous album in which a very experienced band decidedly displays their craft of composing textured and memorable progressive rock defined by strong melodies and playful sonic intricacy.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Long time reader of this forum as I have always enjoyed researching and viewing others opinions on my eclectic heroes. However THIS release has such a hold on me that I decided to finally register and offer my views rather than just take! My first Mystery tune that grabbed my attention was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2967596) | Posted by Southern Star | Wednesday, November 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Mystery is a veteran French-Canadian Progressive rock band, formed by multi-instrumentalist (guitars, keyboards, bass) Michel St-Pere back in 1989, and with a changing backing lineup over the years. Their sound features a melodic symphonic prog approach with liberal doses of 80's AOR (Styx, Asia, Ru ... (read more)

Report this review (#2936017) | Posted by BBKron | Tuesday, June 27, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My first foray into the band Mystery was with their last studio album 'Lies and Butterflies'. After that I soon collected the Mystery back catalogue in full. What did I find? A band that is solid, tight, atmospheric and intelligent lead by the talents of Michel St. Pere. Now they have released ... (read more)

Report this review (#2930230) | Posted by Drmick1971 | Saturday, June 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars MYSTERY created in 1986 by Michel St-Père, a new impetus in 2000 with the arrival of Jean Pageau replacing Gary Savoie. From an AOR style to STYX, KANSAS evolving towards art-rock on RUSH and SAGA, focusing on solos and acoustic atmospheres, breaks and catchy melodies for a progressive rock form ... (read more)

Report this review (#2919553) | Posted by alainPP | Monday, April 24, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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