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Mystery - One Among The Living CD (album) cover

ONE AMONG THE LIVING

Mystery

 

Neo-Prog

3.99 | 290 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Mystery was actually my prime example of a faceless genre-band that knows precisely how to please its fans. My recent hunger for modern (neo)prog vinyls led me to investigate their discography once more when I stumbled upon 'One Among the Living' ? which by the way is their last album that was (sadly) not printed on a vinyl.

Sound-wise Mystery's 'One Among the Living' (2010) combines a classic AOR sound with modern neo- progressive music. The vocalist Benoit David rose to fame as lead-singer of a Yes tribute band and was asked to fill in John Andersons spot in Yes during their 'In the Present Tour' and the recording of 'Fly From Here'. At the heart of Mystery's music we find multi-instrumentalist and producer Michel St-Pere, who has worked with different line-ups to further the band since its conception. The album has a long list of guest musicians, but I would never have guessed it when listening to this very cohesive, professional and well though-out album.

On paper this could never have worked for me; part AOR sound, Yes / John Anderson style vocals - and no less then 70 minutes of it. Yet this album grabbed my full attention from the moment it started. An effect that reminds me of how hypnotized Arena's 'Contagion' still gets me. The often dubbed high-pitched vocals of Benoit in echoey landscapes create a real atmosphere. During acoustic moments it reminds me of that magical space-folk sound. Its great to hear such a great produced album that can summon that 'obscure' feel. The band can also rock out at moments, with guitars that have that Metallica twin guitar edge. On 'The Falling Man' the band goes as far to create a perfect neo-prog meets Black Sabbath doom track, which is chilling! Whereas the band at first glance sounds like an AOR group, this association starts to vanish when familiarizing with the record. Neo-prog records are seldom better then the detail of their production, and I would say this is one of the best produced - and detailed - records of the genre. All of the genre clich├ęs may be present, but the band treats them with awareness and usually comes up with an interesting twist. The ability to really grap a person with a performance surely is early Marillion's strongest asset, yet so many bands get lost in keyboard one keyboard part after another. Here almost all the songs have that quality to achieve individuality with strong performances of good melodic pieces. The album's mandatory epic 'Through Different Eyes' is a strong succession of songs. Furthermore, it shows proper restraint. The parts could work on their own and do actually improve in their successive impact.

Conclusion. Though this album by Mystery has received much praise at the time, it is actually overshadowed by its (to my ears) lackluster formula-prog successors. On this album Mystery (Michel St-Pere) showcases a deep 'knowing' and appreciation of the genre. The production sounds great in the living room, headphones - even in my small car. In my opinion 'One Among the Living' deserves to be mentioned along-side with the better works of Arena, IQ and Pendragon.

What about a vinyl re-release? Please..?

friso | 4/5 |

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