Mystery: Second Home
It's a travesty that over twenty years into their existence, Canadian progressive rock outfit Mystery are possibly best known for providing the vocalist who controversially replaced Jon Anderson in Yes, for what finally appears to be the last time. Sadly Benoit David's tenure in the band only lasted four years before health issues relieved him from duties in 2012. Sadder still he also moved on from Mystery a year later. The man coming in to drive the band forward was Jean Pageau, who did a sparkling job on the outfit's most recent studio album, Delusion Rain.
Second Home is Mystery's second live album, with both audio and visual options available. I haven't seen the DVD or bluray, but can attest that the lengthy double CD set of the band's 2016 show in Zoetermeer in the Netherlands is a jaw dropper. Unsurprisingly the band's only Pageau fronted effort features heavily, four of its six tracks part of the eleven song strong visual set and five of the fifteen songs on the audio version. However the band's most recent vocal recruit is quite stunning throughout, more than ably handling the originally David fronted cuts, such as "Another Day" and "Dear Someone", while the lengthy, epic "Through Different Eyes", from the One Among The Living album, is an absolute tour de force from man and band. One older song also appears in the shape of "Shadow Of The Lake", the Destiny? song the only selection from singer Gary Savoie's era, and again Pageau wins the day here too.
However Mystery are far from only being about the singers, the band's mainman, Michel St-Père turning in a sublime display of passionate fretwork, just as skilled at meandering through a stark, fragile soundscape as he is driving everything home with a splintering shot of hard hitting guitars. Having worked their way through numerous configurations over the years, it's also a pleasure to see the same band line-up that gave us Delusion Rain still in place for Second Home, second guitarist Sylvain Moineau, keyboard player Benoit Dupuis, bassist Francois Fournier and drummer Jean-Sebastien Goyette clearly loving every second of "If You See Her", "The Last Glass Of Wine" and "Wall Street King".
Renowned for their progressive fervour, the Dutch crowd don't let Mystery down, their enthusiasm matching the band's and helping to make Second Home become much more than just another live album. Instead this superb recollection of what was clearly a sublime night feels much more like an event in the same way that the classic live albums from the 70s so often did. In truth, praise doesn't come much higher than that. Faultless, but dripping with emotion and energy, the performances that welcome you into this Second Home are exactly what it takes to create a stunning live album, and that's exactly what this is.
1. Delusion Rain
2. Travel to the Night
3. If you See Her
4. Another Day
5. Wall Street King
7. The Last Glass of Wine
8. Dear Someone
1. Shadow of the Lake
2. A Song for You
3. Through Different Eyes
4. The Preacher's Fall
6. Till the Truth comes Out
7. The Sailor and the Mermaid
Added: August 18th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Second Home at Mystery online
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