Crash of the Crown is the follow-up to STYX’s 16th studio album, The Mission, which is a beautiful masterpiece in itself.
The self-titled debut album of STYX appeared almost 51 years ago. Many of you were obviously not born yet. In the late seventies and early eighties, STYX was a multi-platinum band with such hits such as “Come Sail Away,” “Too Much Time on my Hands,” ’Babe,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Lorelei,” and my favorite, “Renegade.”
James Young (guitar, vocals) and Chuck Panozzo (bass, vocals) are still the only original members, singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw has been part of the group since 1976, while drummer Todd Sucherman, singer/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan and Ricky Phillips (Ex-Babys/Bad English, bass, guitar, vocals) joined at a later stage.
Creatively, the band apparently felt great chemistry together since no less than 15 new songs were written and included on this album. As with The Mission it is noticeable that the songs are slightly compact. The 15 tracks clock in at only 43 minutes. Everything is short and crisp; proof that 3 minutes are all you need to wow an audience as long as the music is great.
Stylistically, the album is not far from its predecessor. Once again they show that they are masters of slightly progressive hard rock; a tribute to the days of hair bands and arena rock. The harmonies of Shaw, Young and Gowan are simply magnificent and they blend so perfectly. This is, no doubt, due to their years of performing together.
The album’s first song to be released, “Crash of the Crown,” is a studio original for STYX and a rarity for any band. It’s the first song by STYX to feature three lead vocalists. James Young begins the song, while Tommy Shaw takes on the soaring middle section and then Lawrence Gowan takes lead for the final verse.
Other notable tracks are:
“The Fight of our Lives” is an adrenaline fueled anthem that could be played at any Friday night football game wherever you live. “Hold Back the Darkness” is a beautiful song of love and redemption, with echos of Pink Floyd to boot. “Save Us from Ourselves” is a modern-day cautionary tale with sound bites from none other than Winston Churchill!
Those classic clean vocals can be heard in the beautiful up tempo rocking “A Monster”, “Reveries” and “To Those”.
“Our Wonderful Lives” is an acoustic blessing. Very positive, up-lifting message, and probably the only time you’ll hear a banjo on a STYX record. “Sound The Alarm” could have easily been a hit record back in the 70’s.
Crash Of The Crown is an album full of confident assurances and melodic insight to the human condition. I encourage anyone who’s a STYX fan, and anyone who’s never heard of STYX, to check out this album on your favorite streaming platform.
If you’re in the mid-east and wish to see them live, you can check them out in Bensalem, PA on Friday, May 5, 2023 at the XCite Center at Parx Casino and in New Brunswick, NJ on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at the State Theatre New Jersey.
More tour dates and tickets can be found here: