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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.54 | 1205 ratings

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5 stars Probably the most uncommercial of all the Rush albums. To the point where the resulting tour was nicknamed the Down the Tubes tour. But along with Hemispheres & Grace Under Pressure, this is a fave of mine. And not just among Rush albums, but among my whole collection. My brother had picked the Archives 3 Lp set (Rush, FBN, & CoS). Our gang had already gotten into All the World's a Stage, and I was curious to see what else this band had in 'em. Side one starts off with a winner, an all-time Rush classic - Bastille Day. It gave off the same exhilarating bang that Anthem had on FBN. Big chords, riff after riff, it still gives me chills when I listen to it, and I still love playing it on guitar. I THink I'M Going Bald is rightly described as Rush's last real Rock n Roll song. In a way it brings back for one last time Lifeson's big Les Paul tone from their debut. Lakeside Park, though sounding thinner than on All the World's a Stage, was an early example of Lifeson's propensity for using unsual chordings, suspended, 12th fret ... why play the G here, if I can get this effect by playing it at the 7th fret. Necromancer, however, is where Rush goes prog big time. Yes, FBN had its' moments of progginess. But you could still argue that Rush was a hard rock / heavy metal band. Necromancer took them beyond just Zep & Blues riffing. Atmosphere, multi-part suite, narrative, instrumental swings from moody dark backing to overwhelming riffage. Now they were starting to put words & music working together. OF course, the second side (for those old enough to remember vinyl) is where Rush stake their first prog claim to glory. Having immersed themselves in bands like Genesis, Gentle Giant and other prog giants of the day, you can see Rush taking the first steps in establishing their own style. Changing tempos, abrupt chord changes, quiet to loud, back to quiet, riffs that sounded like the metal equivalent of Genesis's Watcher of the Skies, with the same arrangement matching the lyrics' message to the musical backing. As with many developing bands (another 70s relic, nurturing a new act until they hit their stride), Rush would learn to better edit themselves, concentrate on establishing the melody or riff beyond the 4 bar section. Indeed, 2112 is the result of this album's experimentation. So if you love 2112, CoS is a perfect match if you're looking for more.
debrewguy | 5/5 |


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