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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.11 | 1934 ratings

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4 stars I stand atop a spiral of stairs....

When I first heard this album, I was 15 and I immediately got hooked on the hacking rhythm of 2112 Part V The Oracle, and the frantic screaming of the priests on 2112 Part II The Temples of Syrinx. I was an Iron Maiden and Metallica fan at the time, but the first step away from 80's metal was set.

Side one of the LP, or the first track on the CD version is burned into my mind forever , I can dream every note of the Overture and The Grand Finale. Only three instruments produce the whole sound of this track (apart from the short keyboard contribution in the intro). Rush was known to be a loud band long before they released an album, and with 2112 they had not yet lost that capacity - even though the suggestion to play it loud was no longer printed on the cover, as it was with their debut.

A Passage to Bangkok is sort of relaxing after the wall of sound that is the ending of 2112. It took a few years before I realised what the song was about, but it's an addictive track - pun intended. The riffs are catchy in a certain way, and Neil shows his interest in gadgets by adding some melodic percussion under the song's intro riff. The track Twilight Zone that follows is a tribute to the producer of the TV show of the same name, who died during the creation of the album. A very relaxed song, and far from complex track with a nice slow guitar solo at the end - plus haunting whispered backing vocals in the chorus.

The next two tracks are written individually by Alex and Geddy respectively. Lessons is a clean guitar tune, with lyrics that will bring back memories with every post-adolescent. Nice guitar work, in a rather plan rock song. Tears is the first and by my knowledge only Rush track that uses a mellotron, played by cover artist and multi-instrumentalist Hugh Symes. Apart from the mellotron, the song is played only on acoustic guitars, and Geddy proves that he can actually sing. I once danced to this song with my wife, which is rather unique for a Rush track I guess. Closing track Something for Nothing is, according to the biography Rush Chemistry by Jon Collins a message from the band, indicating that they have their goals set and realise after releasing the flopped Caress of Steel that they won't get there for free. A driving rock song, with lyrics showing the spark of wisdom that ignites in the musician's minds.

With this album, Rush sets the course for the next few years, as I learned years after I heard it for the first time, when I finally got interested in the stories behind the bands that I liked. As for progressiveness, the epic 2112 leaves no doubt, the shorter tracks are still more straight forward heavy rock songs in the style that the band started out with. Because of this, the album doesn't deserve the full 5 stars on the ProgArchives scale, that the title track by itself would get without a doubt. Alas, 4 stars it is, including an extra half for the use of a mellotron.

Angelo | 4/5 |


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