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Styx - The Serpent Is Rising CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 123 ratings

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2 stars Considered a career nadir by various members of the group, 'The Serpent Is Rising' seems to have had a rough deal over the years, not only from it's creators but also from both fans and critics alike. But it is easy to see why. Styx's third album for the Chicago-based Wooden Nickel label that nurtured them through their formative years, and their third overall, 'The Serpent Is Rising' should have seen the five-man outfit continue their rapid development, the album following on from the group's affable-but-ordinary self-titled debut and it's excellent 1973 follow-up 'Styx II'. Yet it wasn't to be. Still mining a distinctively eclectic sonic pathway made up of pacey blues-rock, prog-rock ambition and emotive pop balladry, Styx's sound is never less than colourful, yet they have never been a fully fledged progressive outfit, which may explain why this, their most progressively-inclined album so far, failed to match the reckless creativity of it's predecessor. With guitarist John Curulewski and vocalist Dennis DeYoung taking charge, 'The Serpent Is Rising' certainly doesn't lack ambition. What it does lack, however, are the memorable melodies and energetic ambition that served up such great tracks as 'Lady' and 'A Day', the two outstanding numbers from 'Styx II'. Instead, we have the rather weird 'Witch Wolf', the crudely-stitched pop-rock of 'Young Man' and the downright bizarre instrumental filler of Curulewski's 'Krakatoa'. Disappointing.


stefro | 2/5 |


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