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Styx - Equinox CD (album) cover




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3.50 | 194 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Equinox" marks Curulewski's swansong as a Styx member alter the irregular "Man of Miracles". Fortunately enough, "Equinox" finds the band bouncing back headlong for the progressive tendencies that had been cleverly displayed in the repertoires of albums 2 and 3 (particularly the latter, "The Serpent Is Rising"). While not matching the sonic power nor the compositional splendor of the "Serpent" album, "Equinox" still brings deeply interesting things for the average symphonic rock fan sensitive to the flavors of US-style melodic rock. After all, that's what Styx essentially was all about before "Cornerstone", a melodic rock band with easily noticeable prog traces and crafty musicianship beyond the average publicly successful rock band. Curulewski and Young return in full form to the use of elegance in their dual interactions when not soloing in ostentatious fashion; DeYoung is genuinely interested in exploring the colors and textures of synthesizers in many portions of the album's tracklist (occasionally, so is Curulewski). The album kicks off with 'Light Up', an intended anthem for the high spirit of rock, a celebration of what rock 'n' roll is all about when performed on stage. Catchy but not particularly special in art-rock terms, and the same can be said about 'Lorelei'. The symphonic elements becomes really patent for the first time in Curulewski-penned 'Mother Dear', a powerful track that can easily be described as "Masque"-era Kansas-meets-"Dark Side"-era PF. The contrast between the dual guitar driven passages and the dual synth sections is well managed, since the contrast in itself is not too pronounced. 'Lonely Child' is your typical DeYoung power ballad: well written, impressively arranged, something like 'Lady' with a heavier dose of Yessian ornaments in the intro and the last guitar solos, less piano and more featured acoustic guitars during the first sung sections. 'Midnight Ride' is a catchy rocker, entertaining and with excellent heavy leads by a Young gone wild. Equally urgent but a bit more sophisticated is 'Born for Adventure', a rocker that maybe demanded a bit more sophistication than the level actually delivered (I'm thinking of 'Earl of Roseland' and 'Jonas Psalter' as winners in comparison). The last two pieces seem to form a joint venture: Curulewski's 12-string guitar prelude (a-la Greg Lake's 'The Sage') properly generates the introductory mood for 'Suite Mother Blue', one of DeYoung's most sensitive politically charged songs ever. This antimilitaristic anthem states a call to conscience about the final farewell to overseas-oriented politics and a return to a serious approach to internal social issues from politicians and leaders. A beautiful end for a fine album; it is also an end to an era of musical exploration that was about to meet its central focus, but that was reserved for the first years of the Shaw-era. and other reviews than this one.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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