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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.53 | 1175 ratings

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The SaidRemark
3 stars 3.5 Stars really.

This is another good release by Rush, musically comparable to the previous album, "Fly by Night." The only reason I rate it lower is because it falls far short of the type ambitions the band was obviously trying to achieve.

The first three songs are all classic Rush tunes (with the exception of "I Think I'm Going Bald," which is in fact just as good), none of which would have sounded out of place on the previous release. "Bastille Day" is traditional hard rock with lots of stop-and-go action and more of Neil Peart's trademark Franco-Canadian heritage celebration. "I Think I'm Going Bald" is another one of Geddy Lee's good old-fashioned rockers with much less convoluted lyrics; it's good for a chuckle the first time around, and a decent song in general. "Lakeside Park" is probably the best of these first three tunes, a hard-rocking tune that turns into a ballad at the end, where Alex Lifeson multi-tracks his guitar to sound very nifty. This is a sound that would later become typical of Rush.

"The Necromancer" is probably the best song on this album, not a straight forward rock tune like the previous three, but rather a showcase for the band's instrumental skills. With only a few short lyrical passages over its 12 minute length, it relies on extended guitar solos to carry it. Divided into three distinct shorter sections, the song does not drag despite it being essentially a collection of jams. Lifeson's solos do not disappoint, they are both technically proficient and melodic. Though the cohesion of the three sections isn't that great, it is forgivable, and nowhere near as much of a burden as it will be on the following song.

"The Fountain of Lamneth" is where this album starts to fail a bit. Don't be fooled by it's great length - the song is little more than five separate and unrelated songs played one after another with absolutely no transition. The cohesion of this would-be-epic is destroyed by the fact that it doesn't feel at all like one piece of music, save the reprisal section at the end. All six parts of this song are good, even the drum solo self-indulgence of "Didacts and Narpets." The 3rd, 4th, and 5th movements could all stand alone as great tracks, among the best on the album. The fact that they insist of being considered part of the same entity, while there is nothing bonding them, is what cheapens them for me.

In all fairness, this album is in the same league as it's predecessor, "Fly by Night." It is only held back by the failure to realize their ambitions at crafting these epic length numbers. This was something that bands like Yes and Genesis had perfected years before with tunes like "Close to the Edge" and "Supper's Ready," but Rush would not compose a comparable piece until the "Hemispheres" album.

The SaidRemark | 3/5 |


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