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Styx - The Grand Illusion CD (album) cover




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3.72 | 258 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
4 stars Prog, AOR, Hard Rock with keyboards? Who knows, the debate continues.

Styx have always been somewhat of a band without a home, too pompous and nerdy for the hard rock fans, but yet too mainstream for most prog fans. Well Styx has found a home in at least one prog fan's collection, and it can be said that this album, while not for strict prog purist as it requires somewhat of an appreciation of AOR and simpler structures to appreciate, contains some fantastic material with a very original sound. Nothing technical here, but the songs are well crafted and above the average AOR fan's head. Nothing ground breaking, but they are original in their output and not blatantly copying others band's sound as some newer bands heralded as genuine prog seem to pull off free from persecution.

The album basically consists of a ordinary beat keeping rhythm section, hard rocking guitar riffs and fast solos, combined with Deyoung's incredible sense of melody and keyboard work that's all over the place in a good way. The album remains pretty consistent throughout with the Deyoung tracks ("The Grand Illusion" "Castle Walls") being the standouts. The concept of superficiality and image is developed strongly but at the same time not being force fed down your throat.

Not an essential album but a great listen that will impress if you can go in free of some the prog snobiness we're so well known for.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |


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