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Rush - Caress of Steel CD (album) cover

CARESS OF STEEL

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.53 | 863 ratings

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RMR
3 stars 3.5 really

One note on the title before we get into the content. For the longest time, I didn't really get the title, and I guess I had never really put any thought into it because it seems obvious now. You have two words representing the two styles of the album, also representing the two epics of the album. "Caress," being the softer side and applying to "Fountain," and "Steel" being the harder side and applying to the "Necromancer". At least, that's my take on it.

Let's do the shorter songs first. "Bastille Day" is just plain awesome, and it rivals "Anthem" as their best short hard rock song, at least from the 70's period.

I used to like "Lakeside" a lot more than I do now, but it's still enjoyable, and if you're a fan of Geddy's voice, you'll love the singing? "Lakeside Park, willows in the breeze, Lakeside Park, so many memories". Works for me.

"I think I'm going Bald" just doesn't do it for me. The music is a step back to the style of the debut, and the lyrics are tongue and cheek. It's kind of like "Are you Ready Eddy" on "Tarkus". Some like it and say it's lightens the tone, but I just don't think it's necessary.

On to the Epics, "The Necromancer" is the heaviest song in their catalog, and I agree with the Sabbath comparisons especially in the "Under the Shadow" section of the song. Although the song isn't as memorable as some later Rush epics, which I like better, it still works. I could have done without the narration, which I rarely like in any song, by any artist, but I loved it when I was 14 years old, so who knows?

The side long track "The Fountain of Lamneth" is really the highlight of the album. Some claim that it sounds disjointed, but I think it works quite well. The only section that feels a bit out of place is the one minute drum solo, but it only lasts one minute, so there's not much room to complain.

Compared to "2112" and "Hemispheres" (Rush's other side long epics), this one's a lot different. Those two share the same structure and are much more aggressive than "Lamneth," which is much more lethargic and almost dreamy in nature. Although there are clear divisions between the sections, they are all similar and without a track listing in front of you, they all kind of blend together. It sounds very Rush, but at the same time, it sounds like nothing else they created before or after.

Overall, you have their softest and hardest pieces of music, you have two epics, a great hard hitting rocker, an average rocker, and a throw away track. Wouldn't be my first Rush purchase, but shouldn't be overlooked either. More at www.rushmusicreivews.com

RMR | 3/5 |

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