Mystere de Notre Dame - s/t. 1996 Italy

Mystere de Notre Dame were like many bands of the mid 90s, and definitely engaged in a bit of Dream Theater worship. The chops weren't quite there, and the professionalism was B grade, but no doubt competent all the same. For the first 3 tracks, you will admire Mystere de Notre Dame, but a bit of deja-vu will come about soon enough, Then comes 'Dominus', and it's still Dream Theater - as found in the Twilight Zone. It's not on-purpose attention grabbing either, but rather a tad off-center. In this way Mystere de Notre Dame reminds me of those nutty German bands of the same era like Payne's Gray and Cant. It's as if the band knew they were sleepwalking, and needed to do something else - but weren't quite sure what to do. Was it their Italian heritage? Perhaps Semiramis was on their mind... By no means is this radical in the same way as fellow countrymen Garden Wall are, it's just...different. The album has received relatively low marks across the board on both RYM and Gnosis, and I figure it's because of the typical Dream Theater association, and the first 3 tracks don't help. But a deeper dive reveals something more. I wondered why I kept this CD all these years, and now I know. And I will continue to do so.

Personal collection
CD: 1996 Music is Intelligence (Germany)

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