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Mystery - Beneath The Veil Of Winter's Face CD (album) cover





3.79 | 174 ratings

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4 stars Mystery were a complete mystery to me (groan!!!) until a track from this, their latest album was included on a free cd with a recent edition of UK publication Classic Rock magazine. The track in question was Travel to the Night and I was immediately drawn to their melodic AOR sound with Prog overtones. Anyone who enjoys bands in the vein of Styx and Kansas should find much to enjoy here. I can also hear elements of Yes in their sound though more Trevor Rabin era than Steve Howe and the Yes comparisons continue with excellent vocalist Benoit David sounding a little like John Anderson at times. The band plays well though structurally the arrangements are not complex. Lush keyboard sounds are everywhere alongside powerful guitars helped by a good if slightly sugary production.

As I Am is a fine opener, quiet beginnings soon giving way to anthemic heavy riffy guitars, powerful drums, modern sounding keyboards and an instantly catchy melody. Though as already mentioned it's more AOR than Prog but there's enough going on here to keep it interesting. Without going into each track individually this trend continues pretty much throughout the album but a few longer tracks allow the band to stray more from the limitations of AOR. The best of these is Travel to the Night which is another instantly catchy piece padded out with an excellent instrumental section, keyboards and guitar, all played by mainman Michel St-Pere incidentally taking equal footing. Powerful stuff!

It's difficult not to like this album, so full of hooks and instantly enjoyable but you can't help feeling that it gives all its secrets in one go leaving the listener with little to discover on future listening. Still that's not always a bad thing and the sheer consistent quality makes it a pleasurable experience.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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