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Styx: The Mission (2017) - Back to the Future

Line-up / Musicians

James "JY" Young / lead vocals, guitars Tommy Shaw / lead vocals, guitar

Chuck Panozzo / bass, vocals

Todd Sucherman / drums, percussion Lawrence Gowan / lead vocals, keyboards

Ricky Phillips / bass, guitar, vocals

Nope! You’re not sitting in a DeLorean with Dr.Emmett Brown. Styx are back with a big, bold adventurous record called, The Mission. It’s a 14-track concept album that tells the story of the trials, tribulations, and ultimate triumph of the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033.

The Mission is the band’s 16th studio album and their first album with original material since the 2003 album, Cyclorama. Now, after a 14-year hiatus from making new music, you’d think that Styx would play it safe? Well the band has not only made an engaging concept album, which plays out like an epic movie, but they’ve successfully recaptured their progressive rock sound that made them superstars.

On paper, there is no reason for this project to work, but it does. This is an album that could have or should have been released anytime between 1975’s Equinox and 1978’s Pieces of Eight. From the theatrical feel, powerful lead and backing vocals, multiple tempo changes, passionate guitar playing; call it fate, the planets aligning or what you will, The Mission is everything a music fan could hope for, especially a Styx fan. It’s albums like The Mission that got the Aroundtable started in the first place.

The songs are sequenced perfectly and I felt that I was part of the crew on this mission to Mars. The whole album is great from start to finish, should be listened to with a good set of headphones in its entirety. Highlights include the kick ass lead single Gone, Gone, Gone, the sing along Hundred Million Miles From Home, the reflective Radio Silence, the prog rock classic Red Storm, and the inspirational The Greater Good.

Any one of these songs off The Mission could easily be placed into your Styx playlist and I assure some fans wouldn’t even know it’s a brand-new song. This is without a doubt one of the strongest releases from this line up. I’d easily place as one of the top 5 Styx albums in their already impressive repertoire. Heck, this is just one of the strongest releases from Styx. Period. And for those Styx purists out there, I mean no disrespect when I say, I don’t miss Dennis Deyoung.

So grab your headphones and sit back and get ready to go on a 43 minute thrill ride with Styx’s latest release. Album of the year? Mission accomplished.

Now someone please make this into a movie.

Songs / Tracks Listing

1.Overture 2. Gone Gone Gone 3. Hundred Million Miles from Home 4. Trouble at the Big Show 5. Locomotive 6. Radio Silence 7. The Greater Good 8. Time May Bend 9. Ten Thousand Ways to Be Wrong 10. Red Storm 11. All Systems Stable 12. Khedive 13. The Outpost 14. Mission to Mars

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