December 23, 2021 Styx – Crash of the Crown (Album Review)
An ensemble of trumpets gloriously heralds the triumphant return of Styx in the unveiling of their seventeenth studio album, Crash of the Crown, released on June 18, 2021 through Universal Music Enterprises.
Their first album in four years, Crash of the Crown is a follow up to the masterful The Mission, their first album in 14 years at the time. That in mind, while the lyrics were written prior to the onset of the pandemic for Crash of the Crown, they certainly have compelling relevance to the chaos found in today’s world. The lyrical prose in synergy with instrumentals that creates an aura of optimism and hope to dispel the overly pessimistic outlook of the current times.
Produced by Will Evankovich, Styx -, James “JY” Young (lead vocals, guitars), Tommy Shaw (lead vocals, guitars), Chuck Panozzo (bass, vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums, percussion), Lawrence Gowan (lead vocals, keyboards) and Ricky Phillips (bass, guitar, vocals) – combined their innate flair for words and painstakingly crafted 15 songs that stayed true to their Progressive Rock roots.
Just over 43 minutes of music, from the start die hard Styx fans will be swept away on a magic carpet ride to days when life was simpler and carefree. The music evokes a sense of familiar terrain to where you can kick back, mentally recharge and relive their childhood. Furthermore, the underlying themes of determination, self-reflection, and resolve wrapped in a lyrical blanket of positivity will appeal to music lovers of all ages.
For example, the opener, “The Fight of Our Lives,” springs forth energetically with an operatic flair like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The melody and Rock tempo certainly carries with it an anthem like quality. That said, it would be difficult to listen to this rousing piece and remain uninspired.
Overall, Crash of the Crown is best described as a collage of songs that is set on the frequency of ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going!’ Throughout the album Styx uses its crystal wand of sound to raise the vibrational level of human soul with inspirational lyrics. Truly a labor of love, the album showcases the musical talent of Styx and underscores the undeniable truth that the band has not lost its magical touch. This is the case with many pieces, including the title cut which starts off with a strong guitar melody blended with synthesizer sounds that animates the song’s lyrics -The truth will be the light through the darkness tonight.
The abrupt cessation of life as we know it has given many a musician a pause for reflection, and Styx nailed it in on the head releasing Crash of the Crown now. It is a majestic album that resonates with notes of hope and positivity that is amplified by an upbeat tempo and thought-provoking lyrics. to add to it all, the album cover is an artful rendition of the thematic mood of the music that will give you comfort. A band that has certainly forged ahead and shown the world that nothing will stop them, Styx continues to create dynamic music that is both fresh and familiar. That is why Cryptic Rock give Crash of the Crown 5 out of 5 stars.