Initially thought of as a Canadian Led Zeppelin, Rush has proven over the last 38 years that they are much more than that. With the release of their new album, Clockwork Angels, Rush has also proven something else. That after 38 years creativity and musicianship can remain, and that they can yield a great product.
After five years without a new Rush album, fans will be happy when they purchase this 12 song magnum opus. The album shows Bassist/Vocalist Geddy Lee, Guitarist Alex Lifeson, and Drummer Neil Peart on top of their game. All 12 tracks on the album show these Virtuosos on top of their game. Also on top of their game is master producer, Nick Raskulinecz who helped Rush capture their best performances, and structured the tracks. The results of the awesome musicianship and great production lead to a listening experience that is very pleasurable.
The album’s first track, “Caravan” will leave the listener wondering what is to come next with it’s pounding rhythm and surprisingly punchy bass part. The song also features a very unique light and shade dynamic with a very heavy part and a beautiful slow part featuring guitars that sound like bells. The track also features an appearance of synth and keys that suite the atmosphere of the track. Next up is the track “BU2B” which opens up with eerie sounds, and then moves into a reverb and tremolo laden acoustic part. The brain then gets rudely awakened by an extremely heavy riff. Listeners should also take note of the extremely relevant lyrics. The title track “Clockwork Angels” follows, and is the third track on the album not to disappoint. Next up is the riff driven rocker “The Anarchist” which starts off with Lifeson and Peart who are joined shortly by Geddy Lee’s bass which is placed oddly in the mix as though it where the rhythm guitar part. The next track the listener will really take note of is the riff driven, “Seven Cities of Gold”. This track starts off with a funky bass line which turns into an all-out prog-rock riff fest.
My favorite song on the record is the ninth track, “Headlong Flight”. The song is a true journey that starts off with atmospheric noises that lead to a killer riff that is doubled by the bass. You can actually hear the bass in the mix which is one thing I really like about the song and Raskulinecz’s production style in general. Geddy Lee’s screeching vocals come in next. This is when you hear the traditional Rush sound that is so familiar to fans worldwide, yet this time it’s a little heavier and darker. At the 2:10 mark you get an interesting bluesy sounding break that is quickly comes to a close with the massive attack of Mr. Peart and Mr. Lee. The 4:20 mark comes next with an interesting vocal part that is followed by a quick drum solo this then then gets a heavy bass put over it. The final touch to this odd solo midsection is a guitar solo from Alex Lifeson. This is all followed by a giant chorus section, and an outro that leaves fans wanting more.
The avid listeners of Rush, along with newer fans will not be disappointed by this record. I can’t wait to see Rush live in a couple of months, as I am sure they will be playing some new material from this amazing album.
Check out the video for “Headlong Flight” Below: