On their third album, Styx “continued to blend interesting conceptual progressive elements into their…first band-co-produced offering…Although Young had contributed significantly to Styx’ self-titled debut, his compositions were conspicuously absent from the Curulewski and DeYoung dominated Styx II...Young's upbeat and commanding opener Witch Wolf firmly re-establishes him as a formidable writer, not to mention an intricate and skilled instrumentalist” (Planer).
“While their progressive leanings would remain prominent in Styx’s musical evolution, …much of the disc is less arty and more straight-ahead album rock. Winner Takes All bears some stylistic parallels to Queen as both have a flair for the dramatic. 22 Years unquestionably foreshadows future Styx classics such as ‘Suite Madame Blue’ and ‘Rockin’ the Paradise’” (Planer).
“The distinctive dual-lead guitars of Curulewski and Young soar on the epic tale of Jonas Psalter, while the memorable syncopated melody from The Serpent Is Rising proves the quintet had not entirely abandoned their prog rock origins” (Planer).
“Similarly effective is DeYoung’s baroque-flavored introduction to the lithe and limber Grove of Eglantine. The unusual ending is a combination of disparate elements” (Planer).
“The electronic composition Krakatoa is a synthesizer progression from Paul Beaver and Bernie Kraus and was adopted by filmmaker George Lucas as the aural trademark of his THX theater sound system. It incongruously segues into a full 90 seconds of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, proving that the combo were still willing to experiment with their identity and the expectations of their audience” (Planer).