Fashioned from the same 70s-era prog-rock greatness as The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, The Mission, Styx's first new album in 14 years sees the band at their power-pop apex. Though it's been 45 years since the band signed their first record contract, they sound tighter than ever on their newest singles "Gone Gone Gone" and "Radio Silence," on what appears to be their most ambitious album yet. "The planets truly aligned for The Mission, and I couldn't be prouder," says vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw, who co-wrote the album's storyline with longtime collaborator Will Evankovich (Shaw/Blades, The Guess Who). "It's our boldest, most emblematic album since Pieces of Eight."
The Mission re-imagines the six-man Styx team as crew members on the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033. Prog and psychedelic rock have always been fascinated by the cosmos, and for good reason. With the hubristic force to explore the final frontier, trippy synths and existential lyricism, it's a timeless theme that transcends taste and trends. While the album's setting is on Mars, the recording was done closer to home, at Blackbird Studios, The Shop, and 6 Studio Amontillado in Nashville over a two-year period with the band's current line-up: guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, co-founding guitarist/vocalist James "JY" Young, keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, original bassist Chuck Panozzo, drummer/percussionist Todd Sucherman and bassist Ricky Phillips.
This two-disc package includes a CD of the original album, as well as a Blu-ray of The Mission mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound by Shaw and Evankovich accompanied by stunning visualizations for each of the album's 14 songs based on the album artwork. Other extras on the Blu-ray include: The Making of The Mission Documentary of exclusive interviews of Shaw and Evankovich, four music videos – "Gone Gone Gone" (official video), "Gone Gone Gone" (video created by NASA), and "Radio Silence" (live video from Syracuse, NY) – and three hi-res audio playback modes.