Album number six, French Canadian Tour De Force Mystery has produced a scorching release. Neo Prog? Prog AOR? Well to be honest, this album is, all of the above; but still somewhat difficult to pigeon hole. This is the first album that features new vocalist Benoît David of YES infamy, but don't be turned off by that. This is a highly polished, well produced album that has got it all; swirling melodies, beautiful instrumentation, emotion and passion, lush and sultry soundscapes, but still offering the complexities of Prog.
The band consists of Michel St-Père (electric & acoustic guitars, bass & keyboards), Steve Gagné (drums) and Patrick Bourque (bass). The guest artist list is impressive comprising of such luminaries as Oliver Wakeman and John Jowitt amongst others. Still not taken?
From the outset of the opening track "Among The Living", Mystery set their stalls out. The album is just littered with drop dead luscious harmonies, which are really complemented by the backing musicians. Throughout the album, the music moves in the same direction until album closer "Sailing On A Wing", which is a darker sounding track. In general the album features a tone that is, both comforting and rewarding, even when the band present their twenty two minute plus epic "Through Different Eyes".
Close your eyes when listening to this album and you can pick out such influential bands as Mr So and So, Rush, Dream Theater; there is also some really nice sounding Steve Rothery style guitar work present too. Vocally David calls to mind, and this is a strange mix, but here goes anyway, Dennis De Young, Geddy Lee and a ballsy Jon Anderson; but still retaining an air of originality. You can see why YES employed him!
If you love well constructed musical passages that have crescendo's towering, swooping keyboard and guitar nirvana, being underpinned by a meter and timber that steps up to the mark, offering depth and articulation, then this is an album for you. This is an album that is both majestic and has ambition, pulling it off with both style and class. 2010 is turning out to be a good year for releases, especially in the Prog world; One Among The Living has just added itself to that list. This is a definite must buy release.
1 Among The Living
3 Between Love And Hates
4 Till The Truth Come Out
5 Through Different Eyes
- When Sorrow Turns To Pain
- Apocalyptic Vision Of Paradise
- So Far Away
- The Point Of No Return
- The Silent Screams
- Dancing With Butterflies
6 One Among The Living
7 The Falling Man
8 Sailing On A Wing