Album review: FICTION SYXX – Tall Dark Secret

MeldodicRock Records [Release date 21.08.17]

Fiction Syxx is the brain child of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Mark Allen Lanoue who has had these musical ideas for some time now. To help him realise his musical vision he is joined by guitarist JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), drummer Rory Faciane, bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm/Blue Murder) and on keyboards Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner/Graham Bonnet/The Babys).

Musically this a classy mix of progressive and melodic rock, ‘Given Sight’ is a perfect example with loads of keys, nifty guitar solos and Mark Allen Lanoue’s vocals topping it all off in style. The band that they remind me of most is Saga and like that band the keys and guitars lead the melodies and solos.

‘Play On Words’ is immense! The guitar solo shreds and then those keys come swirling in, add in a hook filled chorus and you have a winning combination. Eric Ragno really does get free reign on the keys and he comes up with fantastic ‘air keyboard’ moments throughout the course of the album.

The mellower moments work well including ‘Where We Belong’, a little bit of Styx in this one and that’s no bad thing! Another great keys solo on this one. They do drop in the odd straight ahead rocker in the shape of ‘Your Promised Land’.

Getting Tony Franklin and JK Northrup involved was a good move as both add their vast musical experience to the sound – listen out for a few of those Franklin funky bass runs.

Really hope that Fiction Syxx becomes an established band and they get out and play live, as based on this impressive debut album they will be something special live. Until then, enjoy this enjoyable album of melodic prog rock. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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