One of the biggest surprises this year is clearly this new Styx release.
The last studio album “Cyclorama” was released back in 2003 and to be honest i was afraid this album would be one mission too far.
Having said this i quickly changed my mind during the first spin of the album (you need more spins to really find out all the twist and turn these musicians take during each song).
The Mission is a space concept album that starts with the progressive instrumental Overture which smoothly moves into Gone Gone Gone.
This song is a great high pace and very catchy rocker.
The song features some great guitar parts, powerful lead vocals here and ther supported by nice background vocals as well. Hundred Million Miles From Home is clearly influenced by The Beatles and Pink Floyd, a wonderful song.
Trouble At The Show has a more bluesy feel and just like Gone Gone Gone is very short in length.
Again great guitar work. But i don't like the blues vocals which is more like talking instead of singing.
Locomotive is an interesting song with a strong slow pace melancholic melody.
Fans of Deep Purple will love this song as well. Great writing skills and clearly one of the highlights on this nice release.
Radio Silence starts a bit lame to be honest, but this changes in the choruses, again Beatles and Deep Purple influenced here.
The 2nd part of the song is a lot stronger which saves it from being sacked by me.
The Greater Good s a fine sample a nice ballad with lots of potential except for the chorus which is just a bit boring. I love the guitar solo though.
Time May Bend is one of the weaker songs and has synth and gospelrock influences.
It fluently goes over into the next song being Ten Thousand Ways which to me can't be counted as a song. It's more like the outro from Time To Bend and the intro into Red Storm.
I love the way this song is composed, very epic,and experimental.
It has lots of different melodies, hooks heavy parts and fine acoustics as well.
This is by no doubt the best song on The Mission.
All Systems Stable only supports the theme of the album but is not really a song.
Khedive starts with a fantastic classical piano interlude and grows into a very Queen influenced song, with great guitar work and high pitch vocals.
Sadly this song is again very short which makes me think why they did this. This one really had potential of becoming a classic if they would have build in more length, melodies and hooks.
The Outpost, is a synth meets guitar driven rock song which is typical and classic Styx.
Not the strongest song on the album though.
Styx rounds up the disc with the title song Mission To Mars.
A nice song, typical Styx again.
I think Styx might have come up with the theme of this album after listening to David Bowie's Space Oddity.
A nice album with some good songs.
Will this album give this band a real comeback? I don't think so.
Quite a couple of songs are just not long enough being 2+ minutes in length or even shorter.
Three songs standout from the rest, being Gone Gone Gone, Locomotive and Red Storm.
Additionally i'd like to mention the quality in Khedive, of which i am sure Brian May would love the guitar work.