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Mystery: Destiny? (10th Anniversary Edition)

Canadian progressive rock act Mystery released their second album Destiny? back in 1999, and it also happened to be the last with singer Gary Savoie. Destiny? basically helped launch Unicorn Digital for Mystery guitarist Michel St-Pere, a progressive rock label that still flourishes to this day. St-Pere was never really happy with the original mix of Destiny?, and after Mystery released their recent Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face, St-Pere decided to remix Destiny? and the 10th Anniversary Edition is now available for all to enjoy this album once again, or perhaps for the first time.

Mystery's music is a rich & symphonic blend of hard rock and progressive rock styles, somewhat like a mix of Yes and Rush, featuring lush keyboards, soaring vocals, crunchy guitar riffs, and memorable songs. The title track is a perfect example of their style, with Savoie's commanding vocals taking center stage over punchy guitar work and tasty keyboards. St. Pere's lovely acoustic guitar work adorns the ballad "Before the Dawn" as well as the intro to the mini-epic track "Queen of Varja Space", a song that quickly morphs into a metallic prog adventure not unlike what Rush was experimenting with on Hemispheres and Permanent Waves. The mysterious "Submerged" reminds of some of the material from Arena or Pendragon, only heavier, and the 15-minute " Shadow of the Lake" is pure prog-rock bliss, filled with sumptuous keyboards and plenty of aggressive guitar work. The addition of the bonus track "Heaven Can Wait" only makes this special album that much more enjoyable.

Basically, Destiny? is somewhat of a forgotten masterpiece, but now with this new reissue, it need not be lost in the vaults any longer. It's essential listening for fans of symphonic, hard hitting progressive rock.

Track Listing
1. Legend
2. Destiny?
3. Slave to Liberty
4. Before the Dawn
5. Queen of Varja Space
6. The Mourning Man
7. Submerged
8. Shadow of the Lake
9. Heaven can Wait (Bonus Track)

Added: January 19th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Unicorn Digital
Hits: 4771
Language: english

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Mystery: Destiny? (10th Anniversary Edition)
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-01-19 22:59:29
My Score:

And as the Blind open their Eyes,
Life appears the way it should be…

but for most of Us
it remains a Mystery…

Those words appear on the back of the CD booklet of Destiny? the Quebec band's third album. Until recently this band had remained a mystery to me but I am happy to report that has now been rectified. Mystery formed in 1986 by Michel St-Père. In 1995 Michel started Unicorn Records which has now become one of the major players on the progressive rock scene. The band released their second album Theatre of the Mind in 1996 and in 1998 followed it up with the release of Destiny?. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the album Michel wanted the album to sound the way it was meant to be heard, hence the remixed version I am now reviewing.

The line up at the time was Gary Savoie (lead and backing vocals), who is no longer with the band, Michel St-Père (electric guitars, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, classical guitar, bass, keyboards), Patrick Bourque (fretted and fretless bass guitars) and Steve Gagné (drums). There are also a number of guest musicians making an appearance.

The music on Destiny? touches on a variety of styles including neo, symphonic, and heavy prog. While all of the musicians display great skill it is the guitar work of St-Père that really steals the show and he provides some exceptional melodies. Whether its soft acoustic interludes, clean and crisp solos or crunchy riffs its all here in spades. The keyboards are mainly used to accent the sound and provide the necessary atmosphere. I love the clear sound the band achieves and the recording sounds great.

As far as comparisons are concerned, bands like Rush, Styx, Kansas and Journey immediately come to mind. Michel has an outstanding voice reminding me a little of Steve Perry. Perhaps that is where the Journey reference fits in. Mystery also have a few AOR moments that do indeed remind me of that band, but overall Mystery is much more progressive sounding.

While there are no weak moments, the album's best song is the fantastic "Shadow of the Lake", the album's epic at over 15 minutes and not one second goes to waste. Crunchy yet elegant guitar riffs, subtle atmospheric keyboards, and the excellent lead guitar of St-Père makes this a real treat for prog fans. I hear shades of Rush, Marillion and Floyd all wrapped in their own distinct polished sound.

Mystery are an excellent Canadian band providing us with their own fresh take on melodic progressive rock. Destiny? is highly recommended to fans of the bands listed and to anyone who appreciates well played melodic prog.

(originally reviewed for

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