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Rush - Fly By Night CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.37 | 1250 ratings

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4 stars They came riding from the North, ready to do battle with the notion that progressive rock was a dying art form. No disservice to JOHN RUTSEY, but new drummer/lyricist NEIL PEART was the missing chink in this power trio's armor, as "Fly By Night" makes plain. This is a firestorm of a record, with music delivered in great chunks of hot metal: the epic "By-Tor and The Snow Dog", the searing "Beneath, Between and Behind", et al. PEART's drumming, sometimes treated with an echo, is the perfect foil to LEE's impassioned (if awkwardly high register) vocals and Lifeson's gargantuan guitars. At this stage, RUSH hadn't incorporated the standard LEE/LIFESON/PEART credits for their music, allowing various members to pair off in songwriting (including a song written completely by Lee, "Best I Can"). The title track, which served as the album's single, is as catchy a song as they've written over their career (the style is reprised on "In The End", my personal favorite on here). The LED ZEPPELIN comparisons still hold on a few tracks, notably "Making Memories", which sounds like an outtake from "Houses of the Holy" (or a southern boogie band, given LIFESON's leads). The band also slips into GENESIS territory on the delicate "Rivendell", with LIFESON stretching out the guitar notes a la STEVE HACKETT.

"Fly By Night" may find the band groping for their own voice, but what I hear is a band throwing down the gauntlet and challenging for their own fiefdom in prog rock's storied land.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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