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Styx Set To Launch ‘The Mission,’ First New Studio Album in 14 Years

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Styx‘s 16th studio album is signed, sealed and ready to go. The Mission, which will be released on June 16, is their first record of all-new material since 2003’s Cyclorama. You can watch the video for the first single, “Gone Gone Gone,” below.

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“The planets truly aligned for The Mission, and I couldn’t be prouder,” guitarist Tommy Shaw said in a press release. “It’s our boldest, most emblematic album since Pieces of Eight.” Keyboardist Lawrence Gowan added, ““The album feels simultaneously comfortable and new. It’s both entertaining and charming, and a natural progression of our sound.”

Shaw’s cosmos-themed language reflects the story line that he and producer Will Evankovich created for The Mission. It takes place in 2033 and deals with the first manned mission to Mars via Khedive, a nuclear-powered spaceship, underwritten by the Global Space Exploration Program (GSEP). The three singing members of Styx — Shaw, James “JY” Young and Lawrence Gowan — play the roles of the Pilot, First Officer and the Engineer, and the other three — Chuck Panozzo, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips — serves as the ship’s crew.

The Mission is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be a part of something unique and special that’s happening in real time right in front of you,” Evankovich said of working on the project, which took two years to record. “It is one of those albums that musically and cosmically showed you the next right thing to do every step of the way. I will forever be grateful and proud of what we did in this body of art.”

As Panozzo said, “The Mission is a sincere and honest representation of how Styx built upon where we were in the 20th century in order to go somewhere new in the 21st century.”

Shaw tells Billboard that he and longtime collaborator Will Evankovich had been working in secret – even keeping his bandmates in the dark – on songs for The Mission, a concept album about a mission to Mars, for some time now.

“We kinda snuck around for a long time. …The idea of me coming to everybody else and saying, ‘Look, Will and I have an idea for us to do an album about a mission to Mars’ wasn’t something I could confidently go in and talk about. I think everybody might have been overhearing little playbacks and this and that and the other and they were getting curious. I’m sure there were some discussions on the bus when I wasn’t around. There finally came a point where it was, ‘Let’s bring everybody in.'”

Styx will be touring this summer with REO Speedwagon and Don Felder. You can see all the dates here.

Styx The Mission Tracklist
1. “Overture”
2. “Gone Gone Gone”
3. “Hundred Million Miles”
4. “Trouble at the Big Show”
5. “Locomotive”
6. “Radio Silence”
7. “The Greater Good”
8. “Time May Bend”
9. “Ten Thousand Ways”
10. “The Red Storm”
11. “All Systems Stable”
12. “Khedive”
13. “The Outpost”
14. “Mission to Mars”

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