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Rush - Caress of Steel CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.54 | 1367 ratings

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4 stars Presupposed by the band to be the big breakthrough album, Caress of Steel finds Rush in a transitory period. As evidenced by the major changes heard between Rush and Fly By Night, as well as a change in the band's drummer, Caress sees Rush increasingly losing its Zeppelin influnces and taking on its own unique geek-fantasy-prog rock that we all know and love.

Caress' five tracks show that Rush, although capable of great musicianship, is still fumbling for a musical idenity. Somewhere between Zep jams and fantasy prog we find gems such as Fountains of Lamneth, Rush's first side-long epic, and beasts of ugliness such as the band's infamous I Think I'm Going Bald. Personally, I enjoy Bastille Day, the album's short opener, The Necromancer, and Fountains of Lamneth. For those of you who like some good ol' distorted guitar jam on your prog toast, then this is definitely the sandwich for you. Although The Necromancer and Fountains have great moments, Rush wasn't fully able to grab on to an epic as an entire musical piece as opposed to a collection of separate songs spliced together... even 2112 and the later Hemispheres, although Hemispheres improves upon this, are similar in structure. Certainly Panacea and Bacchus Plateau make fine songs on their out of context of the epic, even though there is a continuous story that holds the songs together. Besides this, Necromancer and Fountains are fantastic. Peart's lyricism is astounding as usual, even way back when in 1975, particularly so on Fountains. Fountains tells the story of growing up and learning how to live in the form of a journey to a mystical Fountain perched atop a mountain that lies across a vast ocean. Fountains is, no doubt, a song written by Peart but strongly influnced by his favorite auther/philosopher Ayn Rand, an influence that holds strong in Rush's catalogue up into the mid-80s. In typical prog form, The Necromancer is the story of the Fellowship travelling into Mordor, a Tolkien story that has probably been told in several hundred ways by several hundred prog bands. All said, Caress shows Rush in their early days, warming up for their actual breakthrough album, 2112.

Sweetnighter | 4/5 |


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