Review RYO OKUMOTO ‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’

I always get a little hesitant when I read something like ‘…my own version of…’. On the one hand, this speaks of paying homage to a musical grandeur, and at the same time raises the question of why not just follow your heart and do what you enjoy.

Ryo Okumoto states “to produce my own version of Spock’s Beard”. Since the keyboardist has been a part of Spock’s Beard since 1995, the notion doesn’t come as a surprise. And considering that the progressive rock icons haven’t released a new album since 2010, the desire for a similar sounding record seems reasonable.

‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’ is not the first solo album of the keyboard player. Okumoto already has four albums to his credit, of which ‘Coming Through’ from 2002 was the latest album to reach the record stores.

And now, the Japanese musician follows up with his latest solo work, and what comes out of the speakers is well worth listening to. Certain parallels to the mother ship can not be dismissed and are as already mentioned not entirely unintentional. Nevertheless ‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’ offers more than just being another version of Spock’s Beard.

A major part in this are the singers Michael Sadler, Randy MvcStine and the already mentioned Michael Whiteman, who give the songs their own color and charisma. The album starts with ‘Mirror Mirror’ and has a spacey beginning. At the same time, coincidence or not, the song has the same title as the Star Trek episode in which Spock wears a beard. That fits.

In addition, the album has a 22-minute closer with the title track, which is the grande finale. Okumoto knows how to build extended arcs of tension and melody which are a main component of the gorgeous conclusion.

In contrast, songs like ‘The Watchman (Time on His Side)’ revive the prog brilliance of the 70s and remind me in parts of bands like Yes. Another splash of color is offered by the groovy ‘Turning Point’, enhanced by the bass playing of Living Colors’ Doug Wimbish.

On ‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’ are experts in their field at work. You notice and hear that from the first song to the last note. Fans of the multi-layered rock from the periphery of Spock’s Beard will certainly become enthusiastic about this album.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Mirror Mirror
  2. Turning Point
  3. The Watchmaker (Time On His Side)
  4. Maximum Velocity
  5. Chrysalis
  6. The Myth Of The Mostrophus

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: July 29th, 2022

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