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Mystery - Redemption CD (album) cover





4.16 | 118 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
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.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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