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Styx - The Serpent Is Rising CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 107 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Nothing is as bad as As Bad As This

After the, in my opinion quite strong, second album, Styx came up with this mixed effort for their third. It opens very strongly with three good songs in Witch Wolf, The Grove Of Eglantine and Young Man. It is clear already here that The Serpent Is Rising is more towards Hard Rock than previous albums. Both the guitars and the keyboards have a much heavier sound compared to that of Styx II. Young Man follows and is another good song with a very nice, surprisingly 'meaty' organ solo. Not quite Deep Purple or Uriah Heep territory, but mentioning these bands might still give you some idea!

As Bad As This follows and brings the album down. A lot! The extremely silly attempt at humour in the middle of this otherwise respectable acoustic song is so awful and out of place that nothing can redeem them from this musical atrocity. I really have a hard time understanding the motivation behind the inclusion of this. I'm sure it will please very young children, but no others will like it!

The album does not get back on track again until the very good title track after some rather uninspired Rock 'N' Roll numbers that reverts to the middle-of-the-road style of the debut album. The title track is once again in the heavier style of the appealing opening trio.

I own this album as part of a 2CD set called The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings comprising the band's first four albums. When I listen to the second disc (which is cleverly called Tails while the first disc is called Heads) holding the original albums The Serpent Is Rising and Man Of Miracles, I always feel that if they had only made a single album out of the best songs from these two albums they could have made a really good one. Keeping the very good songs Witch Wolf, The Grove Of Eglantine, Young Man and The Serpent Is Rising from this album and putting them together with the best songs from Man Of Miracles. These two albums have the same sound and both of them have some good material and sadly some quite awful material.

The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings is the recommended way to acquire these albums. As it stands however, the original The Serpent Is Rising album is worthy of only two stars.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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