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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The most progressive and arguably best effort from the Canadian prog power trio.

Hemispheres takes up where the previous stellar album A Farewell to Kings left off with the band's sound a great mix of influences at this point, the hard rock sound of their past is only briefly touched upon in 'circumstances', their lighter folk sound that was quite evident in A Farewell to Kings is relived in the trees and both are great little songs but what this album is about is the epics, 2 of the best songs of the bands career.

The title track is a direct continuation of the final song of the previous album (if only by name - Cygnus X-1 book II) and is in my opinion the best song of their 30 odd year career, very progressive, musically very strong and varied in dynamics and emotion. One of the things that clicked with me about this song that made me realise the amount of genius that went into creating it is that each of the riffs in the introduction before the vocals come in is revisited and pretty much transformed into it's own part of the song, it's like a synopsis of the song in the first 2 minutes. Something of note here is the lyrics, in the past the lyrics on RUSH epics had been to put it bluntly cheesy, but here the stories of solar federations, black-holes and magic are replaced with a mature tale revolving around Greek myths. There really isn't a weak moment in the 18 odd minute track, if anything it only gets better as it goes along, ending triumphantly then passing on with a nice little acoustic outro.

La Villa Strangiato is something of a departure from anything RUSH had done up to this point stylistically, being a 10 minute long big band inspired instrumental and all and it certainly paid off in spades. Lifeson in particular shows his skills and comes to the fore which is quite a feat considering his wingmen are 2 of the greatest and most influential musicians of contemporary music. The solos here are a particular highlight, very dynamic and with great emotional impact and the swing riff that comes along during the latter half of the song is a masterstroke.

Hemispheres is an essential album for any prog fan, my only problem with it is that there aren't more songs on it.

FruMp | 5/5 |


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