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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.54 | 1190 ratings

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3 stars The Necromancer is the definite highlight of the album. The intro soundscape of deep slowed-down voice narration and backwards guitar squeals create a very dark and ominous atmosphere. Then comes a section of slow throbbing metal that reminds a bit of Zeppelin's darker work. The song gets even heavier later on with a devastating bass line complimented by excellent Sabbathy guitar solos. The individual sections of music are more early-Heavy Metal than Prog, but the song's epic structure and many diverse climates and themes definitely plants this song firmly in the Heavy Prog category. This is their best early epic by far.

The Fountain of Lamneth is another excellent epic. It is on par with the 2112 suite and only slightly less convincing thanks to a couple of lesser parts (the Didacts And Narpets section is pointless in my eyes). There is great guitar playing all over this track though: from quiet, lilting acoustic passages to heavy riffs and scorching solos. This is the Alex Lifeson show! All the best aspect of early Rush are displayed in this song.

Many people mention Bastille Day as one of their best early Hard Rock songs, but it fails to grab me. It may have worked better on the Fly By Night album. I rarely listen to this track, usually skipping all the way to The Necromancer.

Lakeside Park has a nice floating nostalgic feel to it, and is the best straight-forward rock song on the album. Still, it would have worked better on Fly By Night.

I Think I'm Going Bald sounds like a complete filler throw-away track and I skip it nearly every listen.

All in all, this album showcases the best AND worst of what Rush were about on their first four albums. It's definitely a step up from Fly By Night and foreshadows the complexity of future albums. I would recommend it to most Prog fans only for The Fountain and The Necromancer with the rest being non-essential take-it-or-leave-it material. I can only give this record 3 stars (really a high 2.5 rounded off).

AdamHearst | 3/5 |


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