(All Album Reviews by shadow)
From the head and fingers of Michel St. Pere comes the fourth disc from Quebec neo proggers Mystery. About the only thing that keeps this affair from being a St. Pere solo project (he composed all music and lyrics, as well as covered all guitar and keyboard chores) is the participation of vocalist Benoit David. His presence dominates the vocal passages on BTVOWF, and so much does his tone and inflections resemble those of Dennis DeYoung that a knee-jerk reflex of “Styx!” is practically inevitable. Likewise, the recording quality has that colossal, wide spectrum breadth (alas, with a certain digital sterility) that producer Barry Mraz imparted to those classic Styx sides.
As righteous a record as BTVOWF already is, it sits on the fence of being a truly great album. Sure, they slyly throw in quotations from Kansas, Genesis, and Asia to prick your ears (you pick ‘em out—I won’t spoil the fun) but tend to amble on with the grandiose sonic wallpaper during certain intervals. The keyboards leap out of the speakers with a galactic wallop sure to please and tease Shooting Star and Zebra fans. Spaced Out leader and resident bass beast Antoine Fafard makes his mark on the hardest hitting tracks, although he doffed his most lethal chops at the studio lounge. And I wish St. Pere would have brought his guitars up more in the mix, particularly during the solos.
Attention to all fans of eighties stadium prog and lovers of that larger-than-life period radio aesthetic in general; THIS is your record for ’07.—Proglydite’s Child