Symphonic, Technical
"Twenty years after his last solo LP, Ryo Okumoto comes back with a very good album which, for lack of originality, ticks all the boxes to satisfy the fans of melodic progressive rock."
CORTO1809 (23.09.2022)  
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If Neal Morse is a stakhanovist of production, multiplying projects and albums releases, we can certainly not say the same about his ex-companion in Spock's Beard, the keyboard player Ryo Okumoto. His last solo album dates from... 2002 ("Coming Through"). Twenty years during which the Japanese didn't stop composing, at his own pace. It took a meeting at the end of 2020 with Michael Whiteman, singer/bassist of the progressive band I Am The Manic Whale, for him to decide to give a successor to "Coming Through".

From the thirty or so ideas that Ryo Okumoto sent to Michael Whiteman were born the six tracks of the new album, "The Myth of the Mostrophus". Faithful to his friendships, Okumoto surrounded himself with the members of Spock's Beard for the two tracks that open and close the album. For the other four tracks, he calls upon three of the musicians of the super tribute band Progject and about fifteen other guests, among them Steve Hackett and, of course, Michael Whiteman.

The listening of the album does not feel this dichotomy, broadcasting during one hour a lively and shimmering neo-progressive rock. Most of the time very orchestral, the record is an anthology of what a progressive rock lover likes: multiplicity of themes, obligatory passage by uneven rhythms, nice balance between vocal and instrumental parts, open instrumentarium (flute, saxophone, violin, cello) bringing the necessary touch of lightness and plethora of keyboards and guitar soli played at a hellish speed.

If 'Mirror Mirror' privileges the demonstrative side to the detriment of the feeling and if 'The Watchmaker' holds more of the AOR typed Asia than of the progressive, too predictable one as the other, the four other titles reserve many moments of pleasure, to begin (or to finish) by the eponymous title 'The Myth of the Mostrophus'.

Evoking in turn The Neal Morse Band, IQ, The Flower Kings, Queen by the use of numerous choirs and of course Spock's Beard, "The Myth of the Mostrophus", if it doesn't show a great originality and doesn't avoid some emphatic passages, proves to be however very pleasant.
- Official website

01. Mirror Mirror (09:27)
02. Turning Point (06:53)
03. The Watchmaker (Time On His Side) (06:25)
04. Maximum Velocity (08:11)
05. Chrysalis (07:35)
06. The Myth of the Mostrophus (22:14)

Ryo Okumoto: Claviers
Jimmy Keegan: Invité / Choeurs
Alan Morse: Guitares / Invité
Andy Suzuki: Invité / Saxophone, Flûte
Dave Meros: Basse / Invité
Doug Wimbish: Basse / Invité
Jonathan Mover: Batterie / Invité / Percussions
Keiko Okumoto: Invité / Choeurs
Kevin Krohn: Invité / Choeurs
Lyle Workman: Guitares / Invité
Marc Bonilla: Guitares / Invité
Michael Sadler: Chant / Invité
Michael Whiteman: Chant / Guitares / Invité
Mike Keneally: Guitares / Invité
Mirko Demaio: Batterie / Invité
Nick D’Virgilio: Chant / Batterie / Invité
Randy Mcstine: Chant / Guitares / Invité
Raphael Weinroth-browne: Invité / Violoncelle
Steve Billman: Basse / Invité
Steve Hackett: Guitares / Invité
Ted Leonard: Chant / Invité
Toshihiro Nakanishi: Invité / Violon
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