Send me to an uninhabited island with a reasonably ration of 3 cd’s and for sure, I will take “Lies And Butterflies”, from Canadian progband Mystery with me. The choice is obvious. This album has everything that makes my heart beat faster.
The high intense vocals of Jean Pagau, the melodic guitar by Michel St-Pére and the often bombastic guitar chords of Sylvian Moineau make me constantly forget everything around me. Just like the tinkling keyboards by Antoine Michaud and the dynamic rhythms by François Fournier and Jean-Sébastien Goyette do. They also slow down with perfect timed passages with dreamy flute, sparkling piano and clear acoustic guitar. All this takes me out of this world over and over again and color the picture beautifully. Moreover (and this might come handy if you are banished to an uninhabited island for the rest of your life) I can easily play this record hours in a row since the music never, but really never disappoints me. Send me away, preferably today .
Meanwhile I will make my preparations and read some info.
The development of Mystery as a band is unstoppable. “Lies And Butterflies”, their seventh studio record, is another step higher on the ladder then predecessor “Delusion Rain” (2015) due to the clever way the album is composed. The album shows that, despite of the complexity and epical material, it is full of appealing, but most of all catchy melodies. Especially the vocals are penetrating deeply. This can happen only because the musical frame is of unknown beauty.
I see myself wandering on the beach of my bounty island, listening to Looking For Something Else, the epic album opener. During almost 17 minutes the two parts (which are very much in line with each other, by the way) are melted together by a riffing middle section. This transition comes from an awesome guitarsolo by St-Pére. The theme that circulates the first half, comes in various gradations. It is all very tastefully dosed, both in intensity and instrumental. The sizzling repetitions are followed by the riffing intersection into the beautiful second half of the song in which Mystery sounds like the neoprog version of Kansas or even better Proto-Kaw. This song is a tremendous entrance, a pearl with eternal value.
Up next are five songs that vary in length between just under five minutes till seven and a half. They take you on a sonic hike that ends excellent by the fifteen minute song Chrysalis.
Come To Me is quite in contrast to the penetrating opening song and that only can be intentional. It’s classic rock with a progressive spicey layer. Not bad, though the nagging tendency is a pity. The ballad How Do You Feel is something to look forward to. Somehow I always see this song as the younger brother of The Sky Above The Rain by Marillion. The song is sensibly sung by Pagau while it is surrounded by all kinds of plucked and broken guitarchords. The keyboards sound orchestral and St-Pére plays the lead guitar rich an without merci.
Something To Believe In is the ideal song for the musical frame at a barbeque. The meal might be small (3 little fishes and a crab), the music is grand. In this typical Mystery song all available features of the band come forward and they also never fail in the next two songs, Dare To Dream and Where Dreams Come Alive. There is remarkably rhythm in Where Dreams Come Alive and the bass of Fournier is a real treat for the ears. The closing Crysalis is an artfully manufactured fence, made of melancholic neo-prog and indestructible progmetal.
“Lies And Butterflies” is an insatiable beautiful album that obviously sounds better through my Tannoy speakers than on whatever island. What a luxury. Take me away guys.
© Dick van der Heijde 2022