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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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5 stars Beaten to the post as my favourite Rush album by only A Farewell to Kings. Hemispheres was the follow up to that release and is most notable for the side long (on the original vinyl version) continuation of Cygnus X-1 and probably their most complex instrumental piece, La Villa Strangiatto.

Getting back to Cygnus X-1 Book II this 18 minute piece to my ears is one of the bands finest moments, heavy Rock based Prog of the highest order. Strong melodies and fantastic musicianship throughout which starts with a great instrumental workout before the Vocals come in. If I have a complaint and I hasten to add it's just a minor quibble, it's that for the most part the music of this track is one paced apart from a lull just after the halfway mark for part V Cygnus, Bringer of Balance and the final acoustic section of part VI, The Sphere, A Kind of Dream. Alex Lifeson plays an excellent guitar solo here and on a track of such length it would have worked well to have fitted another one in earlier on but I guess you can't have everything.

What makes Hemispheres so good though is that the other 3 tracks are equally as good as Cygnus X-1 Book II. Circumstances and The Trees are both fairly short tracks but Rush prove with admirable ease that you don't need necessarily write an epic to get lots of tempo/ time changes going on.

Finally we come to perhaps their most celebrated (and my favourite) instrumental, La Villa Strangiatto. The band must have worked really hard to write and play this masterpiece. An acoustic intro gives way to the main riff and from there goes off at many tangents to great effect. All the band play superbly here but special mention must go to Lifeson for his stunning guitar playing.

Overall then, another classic Rush album that can sit up there with the best Progressive Rock by themselves or indeed any other band.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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