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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover

CARESS OF STEEL

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.54 | 1205 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

PsychicVacuum
5 stars Rush's second album "Fly by Night" had some hints of prog but "Caress of Steel" is where they truly dove headfirst into progressive rock. This is definitely their most underrated release, with a lot of people saying the epic tracks are too long but I've always really enjoyed this album.

"Bastille Day" is the album opener and what an opener it is! The energy in this song is incredible with it's instantly memorable hard rocking guitar riffs and amazingly tight rhythm playing from all 3 of the guys. The intensity lets up a bit for the choruses and the bridge but kicks back in for Alex Lifeson's awesome (as usual) solo. Killer track and one of my favourite short Rush songs.

"I Think I'm Going Bald" continues the hard rock theme with it's meaty guitar lines and lyrics that are sometimes humorous but witty and relatable for probably anyone who's over 20 or so. Another very solid song.

Track 3, "Lakeside Park", is a much more laid back affair with mostly clean guitars and sentimental lyrics about the carefree times of youth. Another theme that's very relatable for almost anyone. Stellar playing on this song too which demonstrates Rush's ability to take it down a few notches when they want to while still retaining great hooks and musicianship.

"The Necromancer" is the final track of side one and the first epic song of the album, clocking in at 12 and a half minutes. I think I've loved this song since the first time I ever the amazingly beautiful and melancholic guitar intro. Probably one of my favourite riffs ever. The narration sets a very bleak and foreboding tone before the drums kick in. After a couple minutes we get to a cool start/stop riff with nice guitar fills, then out of nowhere explodes a completely blistering extended solo from Lifeson. The rhythm underneath then switches to a great fast bass riff with the always superb drumming from Neil Peart to anchor it. The final section of the song is very uplifting with major guitar chords fitting the theme of the triumph of good over evil.

Side 2 is taken up by the band's first side-long track, "The Fountain of Lamneth". Even diehard Rush fans seem to be divided on this track and it is the main point for the controversy about this album in general. I won't go into a lot of detail describing it since there are so many parts to it but in my opinion this song is just about as good as "2112" with a great variety of moods ranging from very gentle, pastoral passages to melancholic and heavy as well. Above all however there are a ton of awesome guitar riffs. My favourite is probably the one that first appears at 5:20 and sounds like it could be taken striaght from an Opeth song (obviously the other way arounf though!). There are a few sections of the song that I'm not crazy about but there are very few prog epics I've heard (and I know quite a few) where I can honestly say I love every part. This one would not be in my top 5 favourites or anything but it's still very good.

Overall, this album gets much more flak than it deserves. It's not my absolute favourite Rush album but I still love it and I think anyone who is into prog should disregard the low rating here on PA and at least give it a chance.

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

PsychicVacuum | 5/5 |

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