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MYSTERY

Neo-Prog • Canada


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Mystery picture
Mystery biography
Formed in Montreal, Quebec in 1986

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 Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MYSTERY Music


Second HomeSecond Home
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2017
$12.48
$7.53 (used)
Delusion RainDelusion Rain
Unicorn Digital Inc 2015
$15.99
$38.75 (used)
One Among the LivingOne Among the Living
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2010
$12.65
$64.18 (used)
Lies and ButterfliesLies and Butterflies
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2018
$14.59
$20.62 (used)
Tales from the NetherlandsTales from the Netherlands
Unicorn DIgital Inc. 2014
$14.35
$15.98 (used)
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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)

3.28 | 68 ratings
Theatre Of The Mind
1996
3.45 | 76 ratings
Destiny?
1998
3.79 | 171 ratings
Beneath The Veil Of Winter's Face
2007
3.98 | 277 ratings
One Among The Living
2010
3.96 | 319 ratings
The World Is A Game
2012
3.98 | 240 ratings
Delusion Rain
2015
3.97 | 211 ratings
Lies And Butterflies
2018

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

4.17 | 29 ratings
Tales from the Netherlands
2014
4.46 | 23 ratings
Second Home - Live At Prog Dreams V
2017

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

4.15 | 15 ratings
Second Home - Live At ProgDreams V
2017

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

3.15 | 17 ratings
At The Dawn Of A New Millennium
2000
4.10 | 10 ratings
Unveil the Mystery
2013

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

3.89 | 17 ratings
Mystery
1992

MYSTERY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Theatre Of The Mind by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.28 | 68 ratings

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Theatre Of The Mind
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I keep being sent reminders of just how long I have been writing about progressive rock music, as here is yet another reissue of an album from aeons ago. Although looking at my records it appears I reviewed this 1996 debut at the same time as the follow-up, 'Destiny?', two years later (yes, I do realise that is still 20 years ago!). Mystery have changed somewhat over the years, both in personnel and in musical style, but guitarist Michel St-Père was driving them back then, just as he is now. Divided into two sections, "The Reality" and "The Dream", those who have only come across the band since 2007's 'Beneath The Veil of Winter's Face' will be somewhat surprised to realise that they started their recording career as a band who had far more in common with Styx and Journey than their far more progressive stylings, although they also make their presence felt.

Many people liken original vocalist Gary Savoie as having a very similar voice to Steve Perry, and it is something I also said back then, but listening to this album again after so many years what really struck me was just how bloody good it is. The best song is "Black Roses", which moves from gentle acoustic melodies led by a flute to Kansas-style rock, but there is movement throughout the whole album, with fluid arrangements and a band working really well together. It is easy to listen to, without ever falling into the trap of being easy listening, and feels fresh and invigorating.

In 2017 the 16 track audio tapes were restored and transferred in digital, and then completely re-mixed by Michel St- Père while respecting the original performance of the band also featuring Gary Savoie, Benoît Dupuis, Michel Painchaud, original artwork created by late drummer Stéphane Perreault and mastering by bassist Richard Addison. I have been a fan of the band for twenty years, yet I had forgotten just how enjoyable their debut album is. It may be scorned by prog purists, but in reality there are only two types of music in this world, good and bad, and this more definitely is the former.

 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I enter the first listen of any new MYSTERY album with no expectations. I am always surprised by the rich and consistent sound the band has used over the course of its career. This is the first time that that sound may be feeling a little old, a little tapped out.

1. "Looking For Something Else" (16:54) opens with crowd cheering and clapping before a "door-shutting" noise and acoustic guitar harmonics section and acoustic piano section ensue. It sounds like diddling around on stage while the concert fans empty from the stadium. After about 90 seconds the little impromptu rift is taken over by the full electronic band. Impressive cohesion, however, after another two minutes of this single arpeggio riff being repeated and bashed about, I find myself looking (hoping) for something new, a shift or variation. The music does empty down but flute and piano and acoustic guitar perpetuate the riff while Jean Pageau enters to sing. Piano and acoustic guitar continue to carry "the riff" while the instrumental lineup and dynamics go through some shifts. Chorus. Electric guitar solo. Return to full band and vocal push of "the riff." In the seventh minute things lay back again, though the bass remains thick and there is still an occasional power chord, so that Michel can really sink his teeth into a long guitar solo. It's okay; nothing very new or super-exciting. And yet it continues. For four minutes. Synths take a laid back turn in the lead. When things finally settle down in the eleventh minute, church organ leads us in, but then piano and acoustic guitars take back the lead in a soft, delicate "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph" section over which Jean sings. The King Crimson inspiration continues with flute and Mellotron (making it even more blatant) until things explode into full "orchestral" mode at 13:25. Nice vocal, nice lead guitar solo follow (still following the "Epitaph" melody lines). It's different enough that I can let go of the blatant "lift" of the music. Plus, the players feel so emotionally connected to this section. It's pretty damned good even if it is borrowed. Great drum and bass play throughout. (9/10)

2. "Come To Me" (5:17) sounds too much like a WHITESNAKE song. Too filled with sonic and structural clichés; one or two catchy riffs or chord progressions do not make for a great song. (7/10)

3. "How Do You Feel?" (4:53) pretty chords gently played by multiple guitars and keys set up Jean Pageau for an emotional vocal--which he delivers in spades. Perfect power, perfect melodies, perfect lyrics. Great guitar work in the rhythm and solo departments throughout. A MYSTERY masterpiece. (9.5/10)

4. "Something To Believe In" (7:34) Oh, oh! A Colin Tench song! At least, that's what the opening suggested. The stripped down, country-rock verses bely something a little different but not far off my original impression. Man! Michel St-Pere can play guitar! Maybe even better than Colin could! Drums are a little too busy for my tastes, don't really work in this mix. Electric piano arpeggi segue into a new section with a bit of a classical feel--even guitars and flute maintain that feel. But then a power chord from the electric guitar serves notice of a return to rock 'n' roll. Joe Walsh-era EAGLES come to mind here. (7.5/10)

5. "Dare To Dream" (6:54) Synth-strings note and dated electric piano chords open this slow song before cymbol play and guitars join in to support the vocal. Again, the song stays in such conservative, formulaic territory that I find myself disappointed, even turned off. Great little guitar solo at the very end of the second minute. Both the verses and choruses are failing to bring me in. I'm so sad! Nice instrumental section in the fourth minute and usual great lead guitar solo in the fifth. Sensitive scaled back section in the sixth minute over which haunting synth solos. Vocals return in harmonized multiplicity but they aren't grabbing me! Such ambivalencies! (8.5/10)

6. "Where Dreams Come Alive" (7:26) electric guitar and electric piano arpeggi provide an opening background over which Michel's lead soars for a few seconds before we switch into second gear with chunky plucked bass line and syncopated drumming. The vocals enter over this. It's not working. Guitars and keys join in and still it's not quite clicking on all cylinders. Michel's occasional flourishes on lead guitar are magical but once again they cannot float or fly a poorly constructed ship. I would like to see more future compositions using more of Jean Pageau's flute. (8.5/10)

7. "Chrysalis" (15:08) opens softly before bursting into a long introduction of a theme that feels familiar from one of the previous songs. Things then quiet down in the second minute for some nice acoustic guitar work. A minute of this with support of synth washes and we're finally introduced to the vocal. There's a BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Spectres feel to this one (more specifically, "I Love the Night"). Song builds in the fifth minute and then breaks down for the delicate, heart-felt "Butterfly, spread your wings and fly" section. Then a sudden shift takes us into a heavier, metallic section of power chords, searing guitar, and almost growling vocal narration before Jean's more-projected vocal soars in the foreground. At 8:35 the dominant riff shifts to bridge us to another delicate, dreamy section (though a chunky bass continues at the bottom--as if to remind us that this is a scary story) with nice melodies from guitar and vocal. This is intermixed with alternating returns to the "Godzilla"-like guitar power chords. Even Michel's guitar solo over this heaviness has a Buck Dharma sound and feel to it! The twelfth and thirteen minutes maintain a nice albeit still heavy chord progression beneath which the drummer has some show-off time. Then we shift into a heavy yet full-orchestra feeling final section over which powerful Jean's vocal carries us to the delicate end. (8.5/10)

Four stars; a nice addition to any prog lover's collection (though not as good as some of Mystery's previous releases).

 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars 2018 sees the band back with their latest album, and for once there has been only a slight amendment in the line-up, with keyboard player Dupuis replaced by Antoine Michaud (who wasn't even a twinkling in his parents eye when the band started out!). Michaud first joined the band as replacement guitarist for Moineau in 2014 when the latter was unable to undertake a European tour, before then being contacted in 2016 and asked to join the band in a different role. With the band being the most stable in many years, it probably is little surprising that this feels very much like a sequel to 'Delusion Rain', but with the band understanding each other even better than before, and allowing themselves to relax into their roles.

Pageau is a wonderful singer, and with the confidence that only comes from successfully touring overseas, he really shines on this album. During 'Looking For Something Else' he produces an incredible performance, backed with only an acoustic guitar, while he then provides flute himself as the piano comes into play. Mature and simply beautiful, this is an accomplished performance, and as he cranks it up and the band kicks in, the following guitar solo is perfectly paced with huge drive, taking the song to a totally different level. That is one of the two long songs on the album, which bookend five somewhat shorter ones, all seven showing just how much Mystery have changed and grown since I first came across 'Theatre Of The Mind', released some 22 years previously. Of course, only Michel St-P're has been at the helm of the good ship Mystery throughout, and he has chartered a course through to a glorious album that I have enjoyed immensely.

 Delusion Rain by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 240 ratings

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Delusion Rain
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars When Mystery returned with their sixth studio album, 'Delusion Rain', in 2015 it was with a brand new band with the only survivor from 2012's 'The World Is A Game' being Michel St-P're (electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards). Ex-Yes singer Beno't David had been replaced by Jean Pageau, Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, BBT) had passed the drum stool over to Jean-S'bastien Goyette while bassist Antoine Fafard (Spaced Out) had made room for Fran'ois Fournier. The band had also expanded to a second guitarist in Sylvain Moineau, and a keyboard player in Beno't Dupuis, who of course had been with the band back in the early days.

The difference between this and the more recent albums, was that the band were again a band, touring and playing live as opposed to Michel bringing together additional musicians to record, and it really shows. There is a continuity and huge sound that was somehow missing from before, with swathes of keyboards and guitars coming together with a strong fretted bass and wonderful vocals. Mystery have had a few singers over the years, but it is possible that in Pageau they have the perfect foil to the music, which has moved into a more symphonic mode that from the neo-prog they are often tagged with. The word that kept going through my mind while playing this was 'maturity', as here is a band that isn't rushing through the music but instead has put together solid arrangements that enthral the listener who just wants to keep playing this again and again.

Michel's guitar is as strident and powerful as ever, while everyone is relaxed and in the mode, coming together in a fashion that only ever really happens when a band have been touring successfully. 20 years ago, Michel was the first person in the world I ever had an email conversation with, moving on from the postal service. I can see I need to send him another, congratulating him on an amazing piece of work, which should be in every proghead's collection.

 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review # 89. Almost a month ago, the Quebec-based Neo-Prog band Mystery, released its 7th studio album, which is the 2nd with Jean Pageau on vocals. Since I enjoyed all of their latest albums, (starting with Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face), I added this new album of theirs almost immediately to my collection.

The album opens with the 17-minute long Looking for Something Else, which is really something. Maybe it could be a couple of minutes shorter if they were trying to avoid the - unnecessary in some occasions - repetitive tunes, but it's ok; I can live with that. The album closes with another long song, the 15-minutes-long Chrysalis, which also could be a little shorter in my opinion.

Further than the 2 epics, 'Lies' include 5 more songs, all of them melodic and beautiful, in the usual style of Mystery. This time the band followed the same musical path and presented an album that will definitely satisfy their fans, and the fans of Neo-Prog as well. The voice of Jean Pageau is excellent once more and it matches perfectly with their music.

Lies and Butterflies is (in my opinion) a very good album, not only for the fans of Mystery or Neo-Prog, but also for people who can appreciate a melodic album, with beautiful and - on many occasions melancholic - tunes and easy going turns and twists. Without being something groundbreaking, it is a really enjoyable album. Give it a try!

Favorite songs (so far): Looking for Something Else, Something to Believe in, Dare to Dream, Come to Me. My Rating: 4 stars.

 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by gertjanvm

1 stars Mystery is a typical example of a band that leans back in satisfaction. The sales will be high, fans are adoring the band. It's understandable the band wants to retain this success. But to record an album with really 0.0 progression? Lies and Butterflies is no more or less than a long stretched version of the previous albums. A total lack of creativity, in my opinion. This is also apparent from the ever-repetitive tunes. In the first 4 minutes of the opening track, a simple tune is repeated 28 (!) times. And then the lyrics. "Come take my hand", "The world goes round and round". Come on, Mystery, you can do better, much better. A disappointing and boring album?
 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars "Lies and Butterflies" is the logical suite to "Delusion Rain" with seven tracks from 6 to 15 minutes. The line-up today is the most stable since the beginning. The band has never been so in control live, and this could have influenced their studio performance. The sound has never been so polished, the playing better and after listening to the cd many times, the songwriting of this one could be the best the band has released. The airy guitar of Michel St-P're is gorgeous as the magnificent flute and vocals of Jean Pageau. The music is going from the emotional ballad atmosphere to the heavy guitar riffs sometimes in the classic rock style. The Neo-Prog of Mystery delivers some long instrumental symphonic parts with orchestral arrangements, strong choirs, and beautiful piano lines. The album is not very different in terms of songwriting style from previous albums, but there's at times a strong melancholic mood and at other times a dark feel that grabs me a little more in this album. First, how enjoyable is the piano-acoustic guitar/flute break in "Something to Believe In". And what about the dreamy keyboards lines with a crescendo building up with the drums and the guitar in the song "Dare to Dream". In the suite "Where Dreams Comes Alive", it's time for the bass to steal the spot before the flute break where the music goes into a pure IQ style. The album ends up with a song of epic proportion starting with acoustic atmosphere first part and a heavy second part in an intense final section. Only the 5 minutes song "Come to Me" did nothing for me with is straightforward style. Solid 4.5 stars!
 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by Davidf60

4 stars This is the Canadian proggers' seventh studio album and second with vocalist Jean Pageau fronting the band. I thought their last album Delusion Rain was very good and Lies and Butterflies is a progression from that. It has seven tracks and total playing time of just over 64 minutes. The first and last tracks are both 15 + minutes long.

The first track Looking For Someone Else starts off like a live track with the audience clapping and shouting, but soon dies away thank goodness and the music gets going. To my ears Jean Pageau voice sounds impeccable. He can sing loud or quiet with equal clarity and feeling. The guitars, keyboard and drums really shine through and there quiet, peaceful and loud parts to this track, quite epic and Mystery at their best.

Next track, Come To Me starts off with some nice acoustic guitar and gradually builds to a crescendo near the end. Next it's How Do You Feel? Which is the shortest track. This is a ballad type song with some truly excellent guitar work and the first time I heard it I was blown away. This just might be my favourite song on the album. Something To Believe In continues with some excellent singing and the band giving their all. Dare To Dream is all about dreaming of a new life and thought it was a very well structured song. Continuing the dream theme next it's Where Dreams Come Alive, which is about daydreaming and at start of the song there is excellent bass guitar, very nice. Finally it's Chrysalis which is about a couple enjoying the delights of a forest and the life of a butterfly.

I found this Mystery album very enjoyable, with some excellent songs, well sung and backed by some first class musicians making it a pleasure to listen to. It's an easy four stars.

 Lies And Butterflies by MYSTERY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.97 | 211 ratings

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Lies And Butterflies
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by huge

5 stars What an excellent album - MYSTERY appear to have encapsulated all that has gone before and upped their game with this release, with a superb production that enhances the overall effect. Having read some of the reviews elsewhere I was really looking forward to this release, and it has not let me down. What struck me more was the taurus pedals given more emphasis which in turn appear to add a new dimension as well as the lush keyboards that one has come to expect, the 'jangling' picked guitar, the driving, the complex drumming and the familiar vocals. At times vaguely reminiscent of RENAISSANCE or STYX amongst others, an oddity though is the aural link to YES and FLY FROM HERE especially during the opening track... Whilst the opening 6 tracks fly past in their sumptuous glory, it's only the final track 'Chrysalis' that, in my opinion, falls short. This album certainly gets my vote for being the best release of the year (so far). A definite 5 star rating.
 Mystery by MYSTERY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.89 | 17 ratings

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Mystery
Mystery Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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