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MYSTERY

Neo-Prog • Canada


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Mystery picture
Mystery biography
A project of French Canadian guitarist/lyricist/producer Michel St-Père, MYSTERY took form in 1986 as a six-member outfit. They released a self-titled album in 1992 that generated quite some interest across Canada. Unfortunately, a year later, their drummer Stéphane Perreault lost the use of both his legs; but his strong determination and passion for his craft inspired him with a new and unique approach to drumming: he became one of the first drummers to play from a wheelchair without the help of any pre-programmed sequences. In 1995, St-Père founded label Unicorn Records under which the band released a second album titled "Theater of the Mind" and which boasted airplay both in North America and Europe. In 1998, they released their last and most progressive album todate titled "Destiny?", which features six guest musicians. In 2000, a compilation CD was released that marked the end of a chapter in the band's history, as it also features their vocalist and long-time buddy Gary Savoie who has now left the band.

Over the years, MYSTERY's style has evolved from AOR (STYX, ASIA) to more adventurous art rock like that of RUSH and SAGA, but featuring delicate acoustic passages not normally heard from these two. Their music is based on St-Père's guitar play, which is well executed yet appropriately restrained, while the keyboards remain in the background. MYSTERY won't dazzle you with technical prowess but you will appreciate their strong melodies, outstanding vocals (Gary Savoie is often compared to JOURNEY's Steve Perry), elegant arrangements and attention to detail. Their compilation CD "At the Dawn of a New Millenium" is made up of remastered tracks of their three albums and is a fairly good sampler of their répertoire for those wanting to get acquainted with the band.

Recommended to fans of SAGA, KANSAS, JOURNEY, RUSH and to fans of melodic rock in general.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

Mystery official website

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Buy MYSTERY Music


Delusion RainDelusion Rain
Import
Unicorn Digital Inc 2015
Audio CD$11.43
$12.94 (used)
Tales from the NetherlandsTales from the Netherlands
Import
Unicorn DIgital Inc. 2014
Audio CD$21.46
Theatre of the MindTheatre of the Mind
Import
Unicorn DIgital Inc. 1998
Audio CD$17.38
$109.56 (used)
All I Ever Wanted (Devotion)All I Ever Wanted (Devotion)
Single · Import
Xtravaganza 2002
Audio CD$0.32 (used)
The World is a GameThe World is a Game
Import
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2012
Audio CD$12.05
$15.62 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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MYSTERY shows & tickets


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MYSTERY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MYSTERY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 46 ratings
Theater of the Mind
1996
3.38 | 56 ratings
Destiny?
1998
3.78 | 144 ratings
Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face
2007
3.95 | 240 ratings
One Among the Living
2010
3.99 | 257 ratings
The World is a Game
2012
3.98 | 118 ratings
Delusion Rain
2015

MYSTERY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 14 ratings
Tales from the Netherlands
2014

MYSTERY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MYSTERY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 12 ratings
At the Dawn of a New Millenium
2000
4.00 | 6 ratings
Unveil the Mystery
2013

MYSTERY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 10 ratings
Mystery
1992

MYSTERY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Delusion Rain by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 118 ratings

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Delusion Rain
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by pepe saco

5 stars Before the year finishes, we have the pleasure to hear this great canadian band through its last work ¨Delusion Rain¨. A spectacular production by the lead guitarist Michel St-pere with the new voice of the group Jean Pageau. A disc of high inspiration, with outstanding melodies and instrumental arrangements wich delights us at every step we listen to the album. The band display a modern progressive rock of great quality, with fine moments regarding the melodies of some songs in contrast with others in wich the group goes further in an enjoyable and powerfull instrumental compositions. This band has become through the years one of the best in the world, showing a great evolution in its work with this magnificent album. I am not the one to analyze the songs one by one: this is your task, to discover the wonders the piece has itself. This is a privilege that each listener has and that I should not take away from you. What I can say, actually, is that when you leasten to the album you will touch the sky with your hands.

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 Delusion Rain by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 118 ratings

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Delusion Rain
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars The band music has improve a lot since their debut. This time, they have a new singer, Jean Pageau. What strikes me at first listening to this album is the prefect production. The sound is clear and loud which each instrument bursting in the speakers. After a Pink Floyd intro, the self-titled song see the emergence of the acoustic and electric guitar succeeding each other with plenty of guitar solos of the master of his instrument, Michel St-P're. The heavy bass sound and the overall music remind me of the Neo-Prog band Pallas, influence that reoccur at some place throughout this album. In the song "If You see Her", there is some nice keys/guitar interplay and the pattern of the first song is repeated. The epic "The Willow Tree" is the highlight of the cd with a song that start as a ballad, then shift to a fast tempo and a long instrumental passage. The same themes are repeated like the ballad and the acoustic part, it's a back and forth of acoustic and electric moments. Before the end, I felt that some parts were too stretched out. In the last two songs we have the two opposite moods of the cd, the Pink Floyd delicate sound and the heavy sound of Pallas. There's some impressive musicianship here and the production make it well worth listening, but nothing new in this style of music and I always have the same impression after listening to a Mystery release, the songs are missing that spark or inspiration that could elevate the band to the level of the great bands.

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 The World is a Game by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.99 | 257 ratings

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The World is a Game
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I bought Delusion Rain and enjoyed it so much that I bought this one too. Mystery has been on my radar for a while, and I finally took the plunge. While I will work backwards through their catalog, I can say that this is just a perfect a Progressive Rock album. It comes with soaring guitars, stellar vocals, and amazing musicianship throughout. If you don't already own this, pick it up. I am sorry I did not get it sooner. Every track is excellent in The World is a Game, but the album ends with the incredible Another Day, almost 20 minutes of pure progressive bliss. This is a masterpiece of progressive rock that I will enjoy for years to come.

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 Tales from the Netherlands by MYSTERY album cover Live, 2014
3.94 | 14 ratings

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Tales from the Netherlands
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Vocalist Benoit David brought plenty of attention during his time with French-Canadian progressive rock group Mystery, coming to the band all the way back in 1999, yet only making his album debut on 2007's `Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face', going on to front three of their studio albums to great approval from fans of the group. However, the singer is probably more well known for joining symphonic prog legends Yes, controversially replacing Jon Anderson between the years 2008-2012, performing lead vocals on their 2012 album `Fly From Here' as well as a singing on several tours with that band. By 2013 he was himself replaced by Glass Hammer singer Jon Davison, but it's really Yes' loss. On this double CD live set, `Tales from the Netherlands', recorded at the Boerdirij Cultuurpodium in Zoetermeer on May 10th 2013, Benoit proves what a charismatic and captivating performer with Mystery he was, and now that he has also left this group, it serves as a fitting memento of his time with the band.

For those unaware of Mystery's music, the band perform a mix of intelligent and tasteful AOR with careful progressive rock flavours, preferring to focus on well-written song structures with strong melodies. Most of the proggier instrumental flourishes are tightly incorporated around the songs, very rarely self-indulgent or trying to show off, and never at the expense of the overall tune. This double set focuses on the albums that cover Benoit's time in the group, offering a mix of more compact pieces and lengthier epics that provide a good overview of their music, and it even makes for a perfect introduction to newcomers wishing to look into the band for the first time.

While the arrangements presented here don't differ greatly from the studio versions, there's an added vibrancy and energy to their delivery, especially noticeable in the way Benoit sings with such extra clarity and confident professionalism. With a gentle and warm manner when talking to the crowd in between songs, it's this very human and likeable personality that endeared him to Mystery fans. There's plenty of highlights throughout the two discs. The introspective and compassionate `Dear Someone' and the urgent `Wolf' (love Benoit Dupuis' frantic up-tempo synth burst throughout the instrumental break in the middle!) both have catchy choruses that permanently lodge themselves in your brain - trust me, they've been swimming around in my head for years now! The reflective qualities are all still present, but many sections of the twenty minute epic `Another Day' are given a harder- hitting and more muscular strength due to Jean-Sébastian Goyette's powerhouse drumming, and there's a beautiful dreamy outro as well to close the first disc.

Highlights of the second disc are the lengthy `Pride' that flies to the heavens with Michel St- Pere's soaring guitar solos. The ethereal fragility of the chorus of `Through Different Eyes' is the closest the band come to a Jon Anderson-like moment, but the rest of the twenty-two minute epic contains some very brooding, moody thick atmospheres and a grand symphonic synth finale, in addition to Benoit really showcasing his versatile vocal range. `The Preacher's Fall' is gutsy driving AOR stomper, Francois Fournier's bass purrs throughout album closer `Between Love and Hate', but the absolute standout track here is `Travel to the Night' that mixes a stomping AOR hard rocker with smooth harmonies, IQ-like organ stabs and endless tricky instrumental runs woven throughout.

For now, Benoit appears to have taken leave from music altogether, which is a definite shame for those who enjoyed his performances, but hopefully his time away to focus on other priorities in life will prove to be a rewarding experience for him. Jean Pageau has since been announced as the new Mystery singer, set to debut on their upcoming album in 2015, so he'll definitely have a tough time proving himself as a worthy successor to Benoit! But for now, `Tales from the Netherlands' is a perfect showcase for a special era of the band, it makes for the perfect farewell to Benoit David, and is simply a fine live album from a great progressive related band.

Four stars.

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 The World is a Game by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.99 | 257 ratings

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The World is a Game
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by Kevman28

5 stars I see many people on this site came to hear of Mystery through Benoit David's brief stint with Yes. My introduction was through a review in Prog Magazine, upon the release of 'The World is a Game'. I was hunting down some new bands to try and found the accompanying interview an interesting read. A quick trial run on Youtube, and the last 3 albums were on their way in the post! (btw, purchase them from their website. You will get them far cheaper than the likes of Amazon, and even those on ebay are dearer).

So, what do we have here then? If you like beautifully crafted songs that display a ridiculously high standard of musicianship, then this is for you. If you like romantically soaring guitars, with solos akin to the likes of David Gilmour which make the hairs on your back stand up, then this is for you. Mystery give a modern feel to their style of prog. If you like a prog ballad, then this is the best you will find. I can only liken them to cross between Sound of contact, Marillion (Clutching era) and 80's Floyd.

Benoit David has often been pushed aside as a stand in Yes singer, but that has done nothing but publicise Mystery, and thrust this fantastic music into the limelight. After hearing the new Yes album last week, they really should have tried harder to stick with him. I am so very much looking forward to the next Mystery offering. Benoit will sadly not be part of it since he parted ways in late 2013, however the real talent lies with genius Michel St-Père so expect more of the same. If the new singer is half as good then it'll be awesome.

A real jewel in any prog collection, and be sure to try 'One among the living' and 'Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face', both of which are from the second phase of Mystery's discography with Benoit on vocals. Actually, don't try them, just buy them and stop wasting your own time. Fantastic stuff.

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 At the Dawn of a New Millenium by MYSTERY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.09 | 12 ratings

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At the Dawn of a New Millenium
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Summing up the first era of Mystery

I normally don't rate compilation albums, but I am always ready to make an exception if there is some previously unavailable material featured. In the case of Mystery's At The Dawn Of A New Millenium, there is only one track that I hadn't heard before. This track (Cinderella) was originally featured on the band's self-titled EP which is now unavailable. The rest of the tracks here are all taken from the two first full-length albums Theatre Of The Mind and Destiny? For those (like this reviewer) who already have both of those albums, the present compilation album is of only minor interest. And for those who don't have these two albums, I would recommend to start with them instead of this compilation album. The best place to start with Mystery is with the excellent Destiny? and then move on to Theatre Of The Mind. Only after that is it worth to acquire At The Dawn Of A New Millenium for that sole track (unless, of course, you happen to own that rare self-titled EP).

Now, Cinderella is a good song in the same style as those of Theatre Of The Mind. It is by no means exceptional, but worth hearing if you are a fan of the Gary Savoie-era of Mystery. This compilation does a good job summing up this first era of the band's career, but as most "best of"-albums, it adds little to what is already out there. It is mostly excellent music, but it is all better heard in its original context.

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 The World is a Game by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.99 | 257 ratings

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The World is a Game
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by buddyblueyes

5 stars "Mystery Solved!" Is this Mystery's Magnum Opus? The previous release "One Among The Living" was a great album, but when under a magnifying glass this album takes it up a notch with grandiose arrangements and the complimentary, organic embellishments of Nick D'Virgilio's drumming. These songs ooze experience, maturity, tasteful playing. It's an album that you can find yourself enjoying with repeated plays.

The past year this reviewer has listened to the other Neo-Prog icons like, Izz, IQ, Sylvan and Marillion, but when the iTunes player calculated what albums got played the most, "The World Is A Game" (surprisingly!) was only bested by a couple prog artists from other genres, which means the 4 stars simply can't do the album justice as a rating. Definitely one of the better Neo-Prog releases in 2012!

Michel St. Pere and Benoit David are stellar songsmiths. Benoit, who replaced Jon Anderson in the band Yes for a spell, delivers a similar tone with commanding authority. The dynamic juggernaut of rhythm is provided by Nick D'Virgilio and bassist, Antoine Fafard. Nick's drumming is a unique contrast to the calculated, focused (and sometimes clinical) drumming on the previous release and adds just the right amount of organic spice to enhance the sonic stew. Marilene Provencher-Leduc provides a compelling flute in the opening track, which leads into "Pride," a bastion of symphonic prog. The bass pedaling about 10:50 minutes into the other epic song "Another Day" should get the nod of approval from fellow bass players. The chorus to many of the songs on "The World Is A Game" have (shhh, dare I say it') even catchier and more memorable hooks as well. It's music that is provocative, exciting, serene, compelling and comforting. Something worth returning to again and again.

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 The World is a Game by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.99 | 257 ratings

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The World is a Game
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Mystery begin the listening experience on "The World is a Game" with beautiful flute and acoustic vibrations on 'A Morning Rise, and then it launches into a heavy distorted guitar ringing out and some wonderful crystalline vocals on 'Pride', an 11:28 blockbuster. The guitars are aggressive and balance out the melodic singing and grinding keyboard pads. This is a fantastic start to one of the great Neo Prog albums of recent years. The musicianship is outstanding, helmed by Michel St-Père on guitars and keyboards, and enhanced greatly by Antoine Fafard's bass, often fretless, and additional acoustic guitars, Nick D'Virgilio's drumming (legendary drummer of Spock's Beard, Tears for Fears, Genesis, Big Big Train) and the lilting flute of Marilène Provencher-Leduc.

Benoît David is no stranger to prog (I still love his work on "Fly From Here") and he is back to his best with Mystery as lead vocalist. The high register is handled effortlessly, and it is such a pleasure to listen to. The lead guitar is brilliant throughout the album, the lead breaks are always something to look forward to. The guitar soars in places and often sounds like Latimer or Howe.

Following the mammoth mini epic is 'Superstar', a power ballad with towering vocals, and 'The Unwinding of Time' is a short break winding up a musical box, to make way for title track 'The World is a Game'. This begins with majestic staccato keyboard then settles into ballad territory before sounding more like the pomp of Yes.

'Dear Someone' returns to dreamy, gentle nuances, with Michel St-Père's Acoustics and Benoit's soft vocal touch. A howling lead guitar break swoons over in the instrumental section and lifts the song, though it goes on a bit too long and sounds like Europe, Journey or some other power ballad from the 90s. 'Time Goes By' feels like a symphony suite from a movie soundtrack. The vocals are well harmonised and the heavy duty guitar accentuates the melody. 'Another Day' is a colossal epic of the true prog kind, stretching out to a whopping 19 minutes, so this must be the ultimate Mystery epic. It promised much so hopelessly would deliver much. It begins with piano and very high pitched vocals. The lead guitar sustain is wonderful, those grandiose string bends are set off by cosmic Mellotron. A metal riff locks in and then a passage that harkens back to 'Locomotive Breath' by Jethro Tull, oddly enough, before returning to the main melody. The pace quickens into odd angular rhythms and then calms into angelic 'tron ambience. A Deep Purple guitar riff strikes the serenity, then a complete time sig change, shifting into a hypnotic piano motif, strong vocals with a Jon Anderson vibe. It is a masterful epic with all the right ingredients.

At the end of the album I am left with a profound feeling that I have experienced something dripping with passion and highly charged instrumentation, some of the best guitar and keyboard I have heard. All musicians are top notch and the vocals are incredible. The songs are not memorable but while the album plays, each track has a warmth and melody that caresses the ear. The album is certainly one of the better Neo Prog albums of 2012 and is recommended for those with a penchant for melodic prog with symphonic embellishments; a pleasant journey to the very end.

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 One Among the Living by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.95 | 240 ratings

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One Among the Living
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Produced during Benoit David's tenure as the lead singer of Yes, Mystery's One Among the Living is an album which is gets by mainly on the strength of David's vocal performance. It's not that he does anything hyper-original or unexpected with his vocals - there's no Mike Patton-esque versatility on display or Robert Wyatt-styled explorations of the potential of the human voice as an instrument in its own right - and for that matter, the music doesn't offer any major departures from prog rock as usual. However, what David does offer is a mixture of confidence and genuine emotional conviction. Rarely have I believed that a singer in prog has believed in the words he's singing to the extent I believe when Benoit David sings, despite some occasional Yes-esque obscurity. I don't always know what he's getting at but he always communicates what he feels - that's an achievement in itself, and I can see why he was seen as a safe pair of hands for Yes.

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 One Among the Living by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.95 | 240 ratings

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One Among the Living
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. Benoit David certainly made a name for himself when he became part of YES and in turn it's given his band MYSTERY a higher profile amongst Prog fans. This is a 69 minute concept album that I find has some real highs but it also like most concept albums of this length I find a lot of average moments where I lose interest. And while Benoit is one heck of a singer I do tire of his voice before this one ends. As others have mentioned there is an AOR element to what's going on here and the vocals are a part of that.

"Among The Living" is the short intro track that i'm not that fond of. "Wolf" is one i'm really fond of though. There's an emotion to this tune that really draws me in. Great chorus too ! "Between Love And Hate" is mellow to start with laid back guitar as the reserved vocals join in. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. I like the guitar here. "Till The Truth Comes Out" has some violin and flute early with atmosphere then the relaxed vocals come in. An emotional tune that is done very well. It certainly turns more passionate later on. Excellent song.

"Kameleon Man" features John Jowitt on bass and Oliver Wakeman gives us a moog solo. Despite this it's one of my least favourite tracks. We then get the over 22 minutes "Through Different Eyes" suite that is divided into six parts. Love the bass on the fourth section. "One Among The Living" opens with lots of atmosphere before the vocals arrive and the sound changes. This is like a reprise of the first track "Among The Living". It's okay. "The Falling Man" is darker and heavier than anything else on here. "Sailing On A Wing" is the uplifting closer that is well done.

A good album that I think fans of Neo-Prog as well as fans of concept albums will eat up with joy. Not quite my cup of java but there's no question this is a talented band. Well done.

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