Rush - Clockwork Angels review
|Release date:||June 2012|
03. Clockwork Angels
04. The Anarchist
06. Halo Effect
07. Seven Cities Of Gold
08. The Wreckers
09. Headlong Flight
11. Wish Them Well
12. The Garden
After 38 years since Rush's debut album, it's impressive how this band manages to stay so fresh. They have the ability to continue playing progressive rock music with so much intent, without emulating their old albums or rehashing their classics. Rush, decade after decade continue playing for their old fan base, but were able to captivate younger audiences. Their music is fresh, heavy, melodic, conceptual and rhythmic… and it is so good!! A great example of these adjectives is their latest album entitled Clockwork Angels.
I'm a huge fan of the band, I have listened their entire discography including demos, bootlegs, cover or live albums. I have been listening to Rush for quite a few years and the band doesn't stop impressing me. Year after year they are better, the Canadian natives made one of the most impressive progressive records of the decade with Snakes & Arrows and my expectation for the next release was enormous. Let me just say that my expectations took a severe beating: I didn't expect anything as good as this Clockwork Angels.
This is a conceptual album centered on a young man following his dreams, he struggles with inner and outer forces. This young man has an enemy: Watchmaker, an evil authoritarian presence who attempts to rule the world. Lyrically, Rush presents one of their best works of the last 20 years, the lyrics are so inspired, and are written by the magical hands of Neil Peart. This album will be novelized by Neil Peart and sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson, which says a lot about the high level of Peart's songwriting. Instrumentally, the band continues the direction of the previous album with great predominance in the amazing guitar riffs of Lifeson and acoustic guitars; Geddy Lee's voice is much more emotional than the previous album, and his bass compositions are the backbone of this album; Neil Peart's drum playing continue as perfect as always, with some heavy moments like in "Headlong Flight" or "The Anarchist".
This album is very complete and features every single characteristic that puts this band as the best band ever alongside Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. It can be extremely heavy in tracks such as "The Anarchist", "BU2B", "Headlong Flight" or "Caravan"; it can be soulful and extremely moving in tracks like "The Garden" or the heavy pop "Wish Them Well"; it can be intelligent and smart in "Halo Effect" or "Seven Cities of Gold". I can't forget the group performance: the band continues to coexist as impressively as 40 years ago, they couldn't be better! This album definitely has epics that will join the band's long list of great. Clockwork Angels's production is so tight, we can hear in perfect conditions Geddy Lee's bass without being topped over by Peart's drums and Lifeson's guitars, it makes a wonderful picture of inspired, heavy, melodic and soulful music.
All in all, Clockwork Angels is the result of musicians that know what they are doing. They don't live through their classics, they prefer to continue playing those classics and making more epics and future classics. The group performance is so energetic and inspired, the songwriting is off the chart and it has a concept that is rare to see in these days. Just like the previous album, Clockwork Angels has the ability "to fill up a room" with all its strength, emotion and melodic themes. The instrumental junction between the three members makes this album one of the top albums of the last decade and decades to come.
"I was brought up to believe the universe has a plan/ we are only human, it's not ours to understand." (The heavy riff of Alex Lifeson's guitar accompanying Geddy Lee's legendary voice makes this moment one of the best moments of the last 20 years of music.)
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