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Mysterium Magnum

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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CD Label: Oxford Circus


  Jeff Cannata is a veteran of the art/prog rock genre. His new release Mysterium Magnum is a triumph in every sense of the word. Cannata has a multitude of talents at his disposal. He sings, plays guitar, bass, synths, percussion, drums, and in addition to that produces the album. Many veteran listeners may recognize Cannata from his Arc Angel days; well he just keeps getting better all the time.

The presentation of Mysterium Magnum is superb. The CD comes housed in an elegant digi-pack with a CD booklet and the artwork is typically artsy sc-fi, the kind you always love to look at and enjoy with art rock or prog releases.

The music is excellent and so are the lyrics. Cannata sings brilliantly and expressively throughout while offering great guitar work and layered keyboards that create a billowing cloud of sound that makes you float away. Along with the guitar that stings and bites at just the right times in between the lyrics, at times you will hear flutes intermingled to give it that mystical alluring appeal, its nearly hypnotic at times. This music will prompt you to see many visions and the lyrics will help that process along.

The sound and production on this CD is outstanding, I think it becomes more recognizable with each listen. I became more appreciative of every aspect of this CD after the third listen, and by the way, I feel like I am only getting started, there is a lot more to enjoy and absorb here.

I loved every song without a doubt but there was one that really moved me, "Tears For America." I felt saddened by this song because it was so true to life. Passages like this really got my attention-The third verse: Remember the days, there're far away/and we were invisible/Nothing to worry, nothing to fear, we were untouchable. Then the sixth verse: The tears of America, welling up inside/Like the soul of the mannequin/The heart is still alive. This is about our America, the country that suffered through 9-11 and currently a prolonged stay in the Middle East, amongst many other tragedies over the last few years. It hit home for this listener.

Not only are there powerful statements lyrically on this album, the music is a constant source of energy, inspiration, excitement, and in the end, truth about who we are as human beings on a planet filled with confusion and strife. Music again becomes the ultimate messenger and enjoyment is possible even if the subject may be dark at times, and that is most beautiful thing about music like this, if its done right like Jeff Cannata presents it, it then becomes something you want to experience all the time.



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