STYX — Man Of Miracles (review)

STYX — Man Of Miracles album cover Album · 1974 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Styx-Man of Miracles

After the masterpiece of progressive rock that was 'The Serpent is Rising', Styx must have been split between two sides of the rock spectrum. Two of their past three albums had all been great prog rock albums, Styx II being a bit weak, with two masterpieces surrounding it. One of the weaker parts of Styx II were the more radio-friendly rock songs like 'You Need Love', 'You Better Ask', and the song that got them popular, 'Lady'. I've always seen Man of Miracles as being torn between these two styles, and having only a few real noteworthy songs.

The two radio-friendly rockers that open up the album, 'Rock n Roll Feeling' and 'Having a Ball', are pretty mediocre and give the album a pretty bad start. Fortunately, the softer song that comes next 'Golden Lark' is quite enjoyable. It has very beautiful violin, piano, and DeYoung's vocals are very strong. 'A Song for Suzanne' is one of my favorites on this album, beginning with sounds of rain which really adds atmosphere. Very beautiful violin comes in before the piano fades in. The rest of the song is great and more hard rocking, but this beginning is what stands out for me. 'Evil Eyes' is a great bluesy prog song, with some great bass work by Chuck Panozzo that compliments one of Curulewski's great guitar solos very well. The finale, the majestic and grandiose title track, can't be forgotten. The drums build up to an epic organ and guitar blast. The song has great organ work and really hard rocking riffing, making it an instant highlight. Deep Purple fans will probably enjoy this song. The other songs, while not all bad, are nothing noteworthy.

Overall, it's a pretty decent album. It's on pretty much the same level as Styx II, but maybe a bit weaker. Unlike the debut and 'The Serpent is Rising', Styx couldn't really make up their mind about what they wanted to do. This album would be the final Wooden Nickel released album before signing on to a major label. The coming result would fortunately be a good one.

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