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Rush - Hold Your Fire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.28 | 859 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This may be Rush’s most synth-laden album, but it is still of excellent quality. One of the major complaints I have heard about Rush’s synth era is that Alex Lifeson had less to do. That’s not entirely true. Sure, he doesn’t play blazing leads or crunching riffs as he did in the early days, but he does play some excellent rhythm guitar during this era. Even still, a lot of his best solos were done through this time period so it’s not like he abandoned them all together. Don’t expect to hear classic progressive rock/metal when playing this album. It's definitely softer, but the depth of the music is great.

The opening track, "Force Ten", rocks the hardest here. The bass line is phenomenal, and overall the synth does not strike me as being as cheesy as it was in the past. "Time Stand Still" is probably the most ‘pop’ song here, but at least the lyrics are strong. It’s about wanting to slow down time to enjoy life a little longer. "Prime Mover" has yet another excellent bass line. I really wish more bands would use leading bass line like Geddy Lee does instead of just playing root notes. My favorite of the album is "Mission". It’s got inspirational lyrics about sticking to your dreams and goals in life, and it has great instrumental section near the end. A powerful guitar solo finishes off the track, and I think it’s one of Lifeson’s best.

I have spoken mostly about Geddy and Alex, but what about drum god Neil Peart? He’s not all over his drum kit like in the past, however he used electronic drums and percussion here, so his creativity is still evident. HYF has some of his best lyric writing as well. "Force Ten", "Mission", "Open Secrets", and pretty much every other track has well written lyrics. I’m not sure if there is an overall theme to the album, but a lot of the tracks have inspirational lyrics.

There are some weaker tracks here though. I’m not a big fan of the closing track, "High Water"; it just doesn’t come off as epic as a closing track should. Mission probably would have worked as a better closing song. "Tai Shan" is average but ok, as long as you don’t expect a usual Rush song. It’s mostly synth and mandolin, but no drums. It has grown on me with several listenings.

In my oppinion, "Hold Your Fire" marks the peak of Rush's synth-era in the 80's. Here it seems definitely matured in comparison with their previous album and works pretty well. Don't let the confusing low ratings fool you, this is one of the better Rush albums after their golden 70's era. Probably no comparison with the mighty Moving Pictures but definitely on par between Signals and Grace Under Pressure.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 83 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 4/5 |


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