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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover

HEMISPHERES

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.36 | 2341 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

MagicGALAXY
5 stars This album speaks to me. I had found Rush randomly upon searching more classic rock music to listen to. I started with the greatest hits album, and I ended up being amazed by all the songs. Before that, I had never come across a band that I thoroughly enjoyed. This band appeared out of nowhere. So I decided to spend time researching.

Long story short: Rush became my gateway drug to progressive rock as a genre. Geddy, Lifeson, and Peart are a real treasure to me. The more I looked into prog rock, the more I appreciated Rush's heavy prog ways in the 70s and early 80s. I started to listen to their albums in full, as well as other great bands, and wanted to find the best album, of a band I had concluded was my favorite. 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Moving Pictures, and even Caress of Steel had become big contenders.

However, when I had finally listened through *Hemispheres* all the way through, it changed everything.

1.) Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres

- Many have critiqued this track the most when comparing it to 2112. That 2112 is a better song. I think that is not completely ill-willed. 2112 is very good, and is probably the best Space Rock Opera. However, Hemispheres is really it's own category. It's much more of a journey of the mind, rather than an observation of a anti-individual society. The song lyrically is a metaphor. Apollo is pure reason, and Dionysus is pure pleasure. Cygnus is the balance found between them. The song carries the listener through this process in a brilliantly crafted way. Peart's lyrism is strong here and throughout this whole album.

The album starts with an exhilarating intro, as if throwing you into the space realm. The guitar riffs, the bass riffs, the drums, the mesmorizing synth wave. It carries you through man's attempted with following Apollo, failing, then going to Dionysus, only to fail again. The guitar riffs becoming ever more panic driven, with Geddy's vocals striking you with bright dismay at the current events. The story then reminds us of the previous book (The Voyage) as if we are drifting weightlessly in space. When we arrive to Cygnus' awakening, it is like an epiphany, and the light of a new born star in the galaxy hits our eyes. The realization that, "perhaps pure reason or oure pleasure is not what is right."

Once the gods acknowledge Cygnus and we blast off into space, we are suddenly greeted with an acoustic guitar, and Geddy's voice more calm and still. The lyrics here are especially important. It is not merely that we walk together with similar goals in mind, but we can all follow our own dreams freely. I personally think that this is to show that, even though we must follow truth and love, it is *our* truth and love. Find *our* balance. Our balance as individuals.

Perhaps the lyrism is a bit odd, I'll admit, but the instrumentation is stellar. 10/10

2.) Circumstances:

- I love this track. Everything is on the nose here, with instruments and lyrics (was that French I heard in the chorus!). While many find this track weak (it is fair to say that it is the weakest of the album), I find that it hits my buttons both lyrically and musically. 10/10

3.) The Trees:

- Lyrically thought provoking, with incredible acoustic work by Lifeson, and the ever talented Peart drums and Geddy bass work as usual. A observation of Maples and Oaks that makes you consider your thoughts on certain poltical ideas with a very evil twist at the end. A libertarian manifesto. The song is still quite pleasent to listen to with Geddy's voice starting soft and then becomes engaged in dialogue. A great song over all. 10/10

4.) La Villa Strangiato:

- This song changed my life. It made me pick up guitar and start playing it. Perhaps that is why I am biased and love this album so much. Sadly, while being my favorite, it is a double edge sword. The song was so difficult to make, as well as other parts of this album, it killed Rush's wants to make more epic style albums. Hence it was the last epic album. It is unfortunate, but Rush should not pressure itself like it did here, even if I loved it. It still blows my mind that three people did this song. This song is out of this world.

This 9 minute instrumental that kicks in is the ultimate Rush track. The power trio really showed it talent and musicianship with this track. From a beautifully breath taking flamenco inspired intro, to synthwave and the ever growing drum fills in the first 2 minutes, slaming into the epic. The guitar solo that Lifeson play is the best guitar solo I have ever heard. It is elevated higher from the amazing drum fills by Peart and the subtle synthwave through out its length. The great Jaco inspired bass riffs by Geddy show his wild side. The transitions between all these events is like watching a rock band doing jazz. Many parts of the song feel like jazz. The way the song ends certainly shows that to me, by ending with a great thud in *A Farewell to Things.* It gets a RUSH/10.

5.) Conclusion:

- The best Rush album hands down for me. Worth every minute. I can't highly recommend it enough for prog users and especially Rush fans that like prog. If you like synthwave and prog rock with heavy and jazz elements, this has a nice mixture. A great masterpiece of Rush, and certainly a great addition to any prog rock collection. I hope you enjoy!

MagicGALAXY | 5/5 |

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