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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover

CARESS OF STEEL

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.54 | 1199 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars After two albums of relatively straightforward material Rush decided to follow their calling by expanding their composition into something different and although progress is generally a good thing it takes time to adjust and create masterpieces.

By this time the band had already mastered the 4 minute format with compositions like Bastille Day and I Think I'm Going Bald showing this clear improvement. The latter has received mixed reactions from the audience but as long as your mind is set at a straightforward rocker then this performance should definitely do the trick. Lakeside Park isn't really anything too spectacular for my tastes and the track usually passes by unnoticed without making me feel one way nor the other about it.

The band plays it really cool during the album's two longer performances and it's easy to assume that they are really competent in compiling this type of 10+ minute material. Unfortunately once the listener tries to break down the compositions into different sections it becomes clear that Rush is not yet there in the song writing department. I have really tried to enjoy the two longer tracks on the album but it's clear that the comparison to 2112 is non-existent and have it not been for that composition and other great 10+ minute pieces that the band had offered its audience over the years then I would most probably have given these two a bit more credit. The sound production and mixing definitely leave a lot to be desired of but these are far from the biggest flaws that this material can be blamed for. Although I give The Necromancer an advantage the composition takes a lot of time to take off, but once it does we actually get 3 exceptionally groovy minutes of music. It seemed that Rush just didn't know how to make the transition work to the next section since the music just fades and we get another narration. This might have worked if only the next part of the song was anything to write home about, which is really not the case. Towards the 7-minute mark we get another sloppy transition to the upbeat instrumental section that could have easily been worked into the previous part of the song's structure. This part incidentally reminds me a lot of the Yes track Heart of the Sunrise. The outro section almost makes me believe that I experienced something quite spectacular since it's a very deservingly nice melodic ending to a disjointed mess of a composition.

The Fountain Of Lamneth suffers from the same problems as The Necromancer but on top of that we also get almost double the track length which makes things feel tedious after about ten minutes. On a plus side, the main riff featured throughout the composition is quite memorable but it doesn't really justify me listening to this mainly acoustic performance just to get a few glimpses of it here and there.

No matter how I twist and turn my words this album will still remain a fans only release since Rush has both done better and more dynamic progressive rock classics towards the second half of the '70s. Caress Of Steel was definitely a step forward in the right direction that would rightfully payoff once the band finally achieved their breakthrough with the next release.

**** star songs: Bastille Day (4:37) I Think I'm Going Bald (3:38)

*** star songs: Lakeside Park (4:08) The Necromancer (12:29) The Fountain Of Lamneth (19:58)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |

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