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Album Reviews : Mystery – 2013

By on November 15, 2013

It’d probably be an understatement to say that Mystery is a young band. Having formed in 2010 when most of the members averaged between the ages of 12 and 15, they’re regardless one of those bands that bring back great memories for me. Of the times when me and my best mate growing up would listen to bands like Def Leppard and Bon Jovi and dream of being rock stars. They were simpler times, fuelled by the innocence of youth and a genuine love for this type of music. Mystery embodies this spirit in every way, no less for the fact they are still quite young. They remind me of the spirit of bands like Def Leppard, Skid Row, and Poison who started, much like Mystery, when they were still in their teens-to-early-twenties, and would practice together in dusty garages to the music they loved and grew up with.

Mystery’s debut album, appropriately titled ‘2013’, is unashamedly a portrait of the “hair metal” bands of the 80s. Channelling the likes of W.A.S.P., Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Skid Row, Mystery open on a great note with instrumental “2013: A New Dawn”. Playing with a sound that’s uniquely theirs, and with a youthful energy that comes naturally to kids of their age, it’s a great introduction to this young group of guys from Melbourne. However, I felt the transition between this opener and the next track did feel a little misplaced. It would have been better substituted for “Freedom” to assist with flow, I think. Granted, that’s only a minor gripe. While the album isn’t without its flaws, there’s a level of professionalism to Mystery not usually gleaned by bands so young, and many of the ‘flaws’ on this album can be put down merely to inexperience. The affluent spirit this band has means that they can deservedly stand on stage with the titans of rock and heavy metal that they’re so clearly inspired by and look up to. And, in fact, in their short career, Mystery has already toured across Japan, as well as playing at a number of American and European festivals alongside bands such as Dokken, Sweet, Manowar, and Steel Panther.

To describe Mystery’s musical style, think a band comprised of a young Steve Clark in his High ‘n’ Dry and Pyromania days, the vocals of Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), the drumming of Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), and the bass work of Bobby Dall (Poison), coupled with bleeding, catchy tunes. I assure you those comparisons aren’t me just being generous, either. The fret work and drumming is great across this record, and I challenge you to test whether these songs don’t get stuck in your head. Rooted heavily in both glam and heavy metal, other influences commonly cited by Mystery include Manowar, Iron Maiden, and Dio and examples of these bands can be heard on tracks like “Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever Be” and “Lost in Time”. As well as this, covers of Dio’s “Stand Up and Shout” alongside, interestingly, a heavy metal version of Men at Work’s “Down Under” both serve as great closers for the album.

I feel credit must be given here to Stu Marshall also, who not only took a chance on this band but served as their producer as well. The production on 2013 is fantastic and allows Mystery to really shine, with each instrument and vocal part blazing through with glam-soaked glory.

It’s light fun. And while many of the tracks on 2013 are enjoyable songs to listen to (just as glam metal should be), tracks like “Raise Your Fist, “On Fire”, and “Test of Time” glimpse an interesting side of this band, too. Fine solo’s by vocalist and lead guitarist Rocky Ravic flow throughout the release, and a great rhythm section courtesy of fellow guitarist Kristian Iaccino and drummer Tony Mlikota accompany the instrumentation. Mlikota no less blazes through his drum tracks, delivering a technical and awesome ride and shows the band to be beyond just a simple garage group. The bass lines of Josh Scarpaci, however, aren’t as noticeable in the mix as they should be. With “Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever Be” being a standout track on the album, alongside the aforementioned songs, it promises a bright future for Mystery. With further practice and exposure to the international scene, Mystery is steadily paving their way toward a great future in rock and metal.

Band: Mystery
Album: 2013
Year: 2013
Genre: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label: Majestic Entertainment
Origin: Melbourne
facebook.com/mysteryrocks

Track list:
1. 2013: A New Dawn
2. Raise Your Fist
3. Freedom
4. Nonstop to Nowhere
5. Test of Time
6. On Fire
7. Rock’n’roll Forever Be
8. Lost in Time
9. Stand Up and Shout (Dio cover)
10. Land Down Under (Men At Work cover)

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.