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Rush - Counterparts CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.76 | 856 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I'll be upfront and say that this is my favorite RUSH album of all time. GRACE UNDER PRESSURE and PERMANENT WAVES are close for me, achingly so, but this is the one that I keep coming back to. I've had it in my car now for several years and listen to it at least once a month, which is quite a lot as some of you with large record collections know (I figure most of us have fairly large collections in the prog world; it seems to come with the territory).

Why is this my favorite? Several reasons, actually. For once, while guitars had been making a comeback since HOLD YOUR FIRE in some capacity, they are back big-time here. This is guitar-driven music, every last one of them, and I love me some guitars. I'm a drummer, sure, but that's what I play; my drumming influences tend to be non-drummers. But what about the drums, talking about them? Well, they are deeper in grooves than they have been since the '70s, doing technical things (playing along to this album is VERY hard), but focusing on creating a deep sense of groove first and foremost. The bass does the same, focusing on deep, heavy grooves.

A brief aside: Where did these sounds come from? To me, it sounds like their time with two bands who took huge influence from them, PRIMUS and KING'S X, started to rub off on our boys. I figure they saw in those two bands the heavy metal and hard rock sounds and the groove they once had but had moved away from (not to ill effect, mind you) and decided to relive some past glory. Which I love.

Secondly, the lyrics here strike a beautiful poetic level that I last recall on HEMISPHERES. The lyrics here are rather indulgent and somewhat abstract at times while, at others, touching on very personal subjects, like "Nobody's Hero". Another brief aside: Bravo, Rush, for tackling gay rights and AIDS awareness on a popular rock track. They've always been pegged as a big conservative band due to their flirtation with Ayn Rand, but this puts those views in their place, while also being a very moving song.

Thirdly, they start touching on a couple genre notes that are very refreshing, like a country feel in "Cold Fire". It's a little hard to hear, but the way the chord progression goes feels very much like a country song married into some sort of heavy rock tune with prog acting as the glue. This album feels vital again, which ROLL YOUR BONES didn't to me, and I've found over time a personal connection with every single song here. This is a modern masterpiece and is where I recommend people enter in on Rush due to the way that it is not just hard rock, not just prog, not just pop rock, not just eclectic influences, but does all of those points and does them well to boot.

A masterpiece. Five stars.

Gorloche | 5/5 |


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