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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Building on the epic foundation created by "2112" and expanded on by "Farewell...", "Hemispheres" goes for broke and creates what is easily the band's most sweeping and well-composed extended song: "Cygnus X-1 Book II". More so than most of their other early, "out-there" songs, this epic is truly fantastical, with Peart's lyrics telling of the eternal struggle between mankind's passions and reason. Nietzschean parallels aside, the lyrics are usually somewhat silly sounding; however, somehow Geddy can make singing about Olympian gods very cool.

More so than every before, "Hemispheres" sees the band really pushing their virtuosity and songwriting to its limits; the extended epic is about as symphonic as rock can get (without a keyboard player), while the excellent "La Villa Strangiato" is a 10-minute showcase of the group's masterful playing (even better live!). Fan-favorite "Trees" is just as good, but "Circumstances" slips back into their old style and comes across as a little too shrieky-- especially when compared to Geddy's more restrained vocals on the rest of the album.

A few minor complaints aside, "Hemispheres" remains the peak of Rush's epic output, but is less accessible than "Farewell...". All of the songs hold up to repeated listening and are a tremendous example of the bands talent in their early years.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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