Long Beach-resident and musician Mark Allen Lanoue has an ambitious new project — a record deal for an album featuring some heavy weights from the metal scene, forming the group Fiction SYXX.
The 11-track LP titled “Tall Dark Secrets” is set for an August release on Melodic Rock Records.
Lanoue has been a singer and guitarist for rock bands, including Biloxi, Chasing Karma and Persian Risk.
With him in Fiction SYXX is Tony “The Fretless Monster” Franklin, who played alongside Jimmy Page in The Firm and also played with Blue Murder and Kenny Wayne Shepard; Nashville studio drummer and MIT graduate Rory Faciane; keyboardist Eric Ragno, who played with Joel Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet; and, Lanoue’s initial inductee into the lineup, multi-instrumentalist and guitarist JK Northrup, who played in King Kobra and XYZ.
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Other musicians who made guest appearances on the album are from the bands Firehouse, Nazareth, House of Lords and Trixter.
Lanoue shares lead vocals with former Krokus frontman Carl Sentance on the song “Larger than Life.”
There also is an appearance by local guitarist Andy Lee, who shared lead on the album’s last track, “Children of the Night.”
The first song written for the album was “Welcome to My Nightmare,” which is not a cover of the Alice Cooper classic, but rather is an original that Lanoue said establishes the essence of the album, which sways between album-oriented, melodic and progressive rock.
“It’s a moving window,” Lanoue said. “The final result is a mix of big choruses and guitar and the smooth movements of the fretless bass.”
The band’s name, Fiction SYXX, is a reference to the number 666 — which Lanoue said has meanings that are not just Biblical, but also have historical and mythological significance.
Lanoue, a self-proclaimed “non-judgmental Christian,” said his fascination with the number was drawn from his birth date — the sixth day of the sixth month in 1966, which is 6/6/1966.
“With that being my birthday, I lived with that aura,” he said. “You give someone your ID and they look at you like you’re about to light them on fire.”
Lanoue said there is plenty of spirituality in the album’s artwork that features elaborate works by “CAB” Carl Andrew Bleckmark, whose past work included art for Iron Maiden, as well as the track “Spirits Collide,” a song he wrote for a late family loved one.
Lanoue said the lineup lends something special to each song.
“It’s humbling. Some of these guys are heroes,” he said.
To date, there are no plans for touring due to everyone’s demanding schedules. Lanoue said there is a possibility that they could unite for some festival shows if the right opportunity presents itself.