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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2484 ratings

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5 stars Rush's follow-up to the A Farewell to Kings masterpiece was, well... another one. Hemispheres continued where A Farewell to Kings left off, most notably with the conclusion of the Cygnus X-1 duology. On Cygnus X-1 Book II, instead of the sci-fi storyline from Book I of being crushed by a black hole, the storyline shifts to Greek mythology. Our explorer re-enters midway through the song, body-less, but spirit intact in a mysterious land. Here the explorer experiences the Apollo/Dionysus dichotomy of a society struggling between heart and mind. Neil Peart is quite the writer and I often have wondered what it would have been like if he had written lyrics for Yes.

The Trees is one of Rush's most popular songs, telling of a fable with oak and maple trees competing for sunlight. Many Rush fans have often taken this song to be allegorical with the oaks representing the United States and the maples representing Canada, describing their occasional politically strained relationships (perhaps also with regard to cultural dominance issues too). I can understand this interpretation, but putting that aside, the lyrics are exceptionally well done prose.

The album ends with a stunning instrumental, La Villa Strangiato. This has to be considered one of the top 10 best prog rock instrumentals ever composed. The guitar work and complex rhythms on this piece are simply astounding.

Easily a five-star masterpiece. Many consider this about as good as A Farewell to Kings. Some, like myself, think it is slightly better. You can't go wrong with this one. An essential must-have.

progaardvark | 5/5 |


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