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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.28 | 859 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rush ends the tough 80s on a high note.

Though it may not be their best album, this is definately an album that is highly underrated and outspoken. Granted, it is very much more poppy than Rush's previous work, but it still has a very experimental side that is what has always kept the band pressing foreward. Continuing with a sound reminecent of "Power Windows", Hold your Fire is a rollercoaster of midpaced, slow, and all around dark-to-bright songs. But, as with all Rush albums, that normal heavyness is still around, but now in a different form.

Great right from the start, FORCE TEN is a noteable track with a very prog feel, from the echo of Neil's intro drums you're blasted with a kind of transformed sonic force that the band is used to dishing out. Other tracks on the album have this same effect, LOCK AND KEY is a great (lost) Rush song dominated by Geddy's haunting vocals and synthesizers. As for the more midpaced tracks, PRIME MOVER is definately the best, offering a great mini-pseudo-epic that is more soft sounding than some of the other material on the album. MISSION follows in suit, another great track, which is amazing live, especially on the recent Snakes & Arrows tour. The album slows down a bit in some parts, TIME STAND STILL is a great, well done pop song (and no, that's not Geddy, there's a woman performing on the track with them), SECOND NATURE is a bit weaker, but is good none the less.

A couple of songs that seem to have a sound unique to this album give off mixed vibes. As far as the good vibes go, TURN THE PAGE is a great, quick, Rush song, also great live ("Show of Hands" 1988). HIGH WATER is also a great track, as Rush never seem to disappoint with album codas. Where the album seems go lose my attention a bit is the almost cliche TAI SHAN. While this song has that unique sound of the album it's a bit of a let down. A bit on the slow side for my liking, this is also a track that I (as stated before) find a bit cliche, with having some typical oriental flutes grace the track, which isn't a bad thing, if done propperly, and this is not. The track does feature some relaxing vocals and lyrics, but this album would ahve been better with another song in it's place.

This is an album I used to have mixed feelings about, at first it was my least favorite of the Rush discography, but after it stagnated on the shelf for some time it seemed to have aged well, and when I got around to giving it a second chance it quickly became (and remains) one of my favorite Rush albums after the classic era. Definately Rush's best after Signals and before Counterparts. 3.5 stars, great album, but not essential to those looking to avoid 80s prog.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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