Album Reviews

Ryo Okumoto – The Myth of the Mostrophus Review

Released by: Inside Out Music

Release Date: July 29th, 2022

Genre: Prog Rock

Links: https://www.ryookumoto.com/

 

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

 

Long-time Spock’s Beard keyboard player Ryo Okumoto makes a welcome return back to the solo game, all the way back from 20 years ago the last time he dropped a solo record. This feels like a Star Trek episode. I’ll explain later. Ryo wanted to create his version of Spock’s Beard, and hadn’t stopped composing for years. Luckily for him, he ran into “I Am The Manic Whale” vocalist/bassist Michael Whiteman. Ideas started flowing and he was brought on board to join his new solo venture as well as the other members.

But this was not the whole lineup, the album is packed with master players such as the great Steve Hackett and a slew of great session players the likes of Marc Bonilla, Mike Keneally, and Lyle Workman. Can the material live up to the markee lineup? Absolutely with the vocals being handled by Michael Sadler and Randy McStine as well as co-writer Michael Whiteman.

With Ryo’s background, you know what to expect. The style of music here will be your typical blend of Progressive Rock with tinges of metal in places. But as we like to note, best not to compare as Ryo has crafted his version of all the elements carefully crafted into what has become “The Myth of the Mostrophus”. Each unique contribution from all the musicians involved is what makes that album a complete work of art.

Photo: Alex Solca

The first song titled “Mirror, Mirror” a nice long epic groovy track that features some skill full guitar solo and high rising reprises during its venture, was aptly titled after a Star Trek episode of the same name.; Do you know the one where Mr. Spock has a beard? Nice one Ryo. The opening track is a nice way to introduce the rest of the songs. Another tune that stands out is the bass in “Maximum Velocity”, tempo changes here very fluidly and the vocals seem a tad more aggressive than on the rest of the album.

Who do you bring in to guest bass work if you are looking for an R&B Bass player who can play rock? The great Doug Wimbish from Living Colour of course. “Chrysalis” and “Turning Point” both feature Wimbish on bass. The tender caress intro into “Chrysalis” is beautifully done, as its slow tempo plays well into the record construct. The give-and-go rhythm in the last track “Turning Pont” is well executed, and the keys here are featured predominantly, whilst the instrumentation is superb for all musicians involved. The last few minutes are just fantastic groovy rhythm that dominates until it ends, vocals and chorus are top-notch here. Sounds like Styx on steroids. This 22-minute album title track Epic is majestic, to say the least.

The album seemingly ends too quickly, even though the 6 songs are usually misleading on any Prog record since they are usually lengthy numbers, but overall “The Myth of the Mostrophus” is a solid effort from Ryo Okumoto and with the guest lists of seasoned musicians, you have a pretty satisfying piece of music. Obviously geared at prog heads per se, but the music is not overly done and overly produce that takes away from the record. The production is top-notch done once more by a long time Spock’s Beard producer Rich Mouser. Check it out!!!.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Rating  7/10

 

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