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Rush Test for Echo album cover
2.89 | 942 ratings | 89 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Test for Echo (5:55)
2. Driven (4:26)
3. Half the World (3:42)
4. The Colour of Right (4:48)
5. Time and Motion (5:01)
6. Totem (4:57)
7. Dog Years (4:54)
8. Virtuality (5:43)
9. Resist (4:23)
10. Limbo (5:28)
11. Carve Away the Stone (4:05)

Total Time 53:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Alex Lifeson / electric & acoustic guitars, mandola
- Geddy Lee / basses, synthesizers, vocals
- Neil Peart / drums, cymbals, hammer dulcimer

- Peter Collins / co-arranger & co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

2xLP Atlantic ‎- R1 83739 (2015, US) Remastered by Sean Magee w/ Hi Res 24-bit Digital album

CD Anthem Records ‎- ANSD-1073 (1996, Canada)
CD Anthem Records ‎- 83739-2 (2004, US) Remastered by Adam Ayan

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RUSH Test for Echo ratings distribution

(942 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

RUSH Test for Echo reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Give this album another halfstar!!!!

For a long time , I thought Rush had folded up with this very unremarkable effort , that only real, confirmed , convinced , die-hard , avid fans should get an ear onto this before eventually before eventually investing in it.

This album is really tough on my ears , with endless power riffs , relatively common songwriting and all songs sounding alive. Surely Rush had decided to go back to their harder rock days , probably encouraged by Dream Theater's successes , but to me it sounds very uninspired , uninventive.

Good artwork sleeve , though , somehow reminding me of the Hemispheres days!

Review by chessman
3 stars Disappointing after Counterparts. Still some good songs on here though. Test For Echo, Half The World, Virtuality and the instrumental Limbo are all up to standard. But the rest are slightly tuneless and inferior to most stuff the band has written. it seems aimless. Maybe the band should not record an album until they have enough decent material available. With their history and fan base, surely the record company will wait until the band are ready!
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I confess giving Rush a miss after Power Wndows from 1985 and then a couple of years back I got a copy of Test For Echo. This was desperate times in the hope of getting convinced that to rekindle my investemnt in Rush from 1985 onwards let's see what they had to offer. Test For Echo was initially for me a nightmare, I am surprised that this release has slowly but surely grown on me though. An album that I once labelled as poor has actually turned out to be not that atrocious. Quite pleasant to the ear and in fact pretty darn good. Maybe it is because there is a dearth of classic bands left, maybe just because my mind was closed to modern day Rush. Thankfully I have had time to see the error in judgement.
Review by Menswear
3 stars This is BARELY 3 stars material, almost a collection item. Rush went back from a 3 year vacation where they should thought harder to make a better comeback. Because you don't get charm new fans with that kind of job. Why Rush lowered their scyscraper standards at this point? CounterParts had a much rougher and dirtier edge, which was the basic trademark of the album. But for Test for Echo, even the concerts were lacking sparks and energy. Maybe they didn't believe in their product at that time.

But on the bright side, Hugh Syme did an immaculate job on the cover art. Rush became at Roll the Bones somesort of a "cool inside booklet" band. The theme was the Great North with lots of cool Inuit references. Winter theme is a nice way to describe the album despite the lack of creativity of the songs. The song Driven fits pretty well and so is the Test for Echo song. The wrapping of the record is far superior and creative than what's inside. Guys, the cool booklet and art work is giving me hope that someday, I won't look down so much on the album. Man, "Rush art" is certainly a nice voyage in extravagant and imaginative the Floyd use to do. Cheers to Hugh Syme and the Boys for such exquisite and humorous job.

Anyway some songs are totally worth the try. Test for Echo for instance, is a nice post- prog exercise with cool toms rolls and bass subtilities. Driven, is for me, one of the best songs ever written by Rush. Driven is a great ride with tension and excellent guitar/ bass/drum interaction. Worthy of a definitive attention. It's catchy, heavy and satisfying. Check out also Time and Motion, it's a weird song and it's a heavy one also. My favorite would be Driven and Carve Away the Stone. Don't know why, that last song has all my sympathy an respect. It won't go through ages, but it will please your ears, I hope.

Anyway, do not start here for the 1990 and up might regret an album with only 4 or 5 ncie songs....because Rush is more than capable of an album of total killer and no filler.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I recall that this album managed to reach the Finnish top-10 charts as it was released! Maybe this kind of popularity and accessibility is one reason that why it is so hated in the (elitist?) prog community. I liked it! There are many different styles used in the songs, but the album sounds as a compact piece, and at least I enjoyed most of the compositions. If you liked "Counterparts" and "Vapor Trails", I recommend you to try listening this one!
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After the heavy Counterparts, Rush entered the studio again and created an album in the same vein. The only problem is that there seemed to be no true inspiration on this album. The music tends to be tedious and goes on, save a few good tracks. The lyrics blend mediocrity and are somewhat uninspired. The musicianship, however, is still top tier. Lifeson plays grungy and heavy parts combining with solos, Lee plays sophisticated bass lines and tasteful keyboards while singing at what seems to be his designated voice nowadays. Peart keeps the pace up with rough and agressive drumming, but writes seldom though provoking lyrics on this one.

The only tracks that are worth mentioning are Test For Echo, Driven, and Resist. Test For Echo opens the album, and has some genuinely heavy sections and some good lyrics (arguably the best on the album along with Resist). A great riff during the verses by Lifeson also keeps the originality level at a high. Driven adds a heavier twist to the action by combining a rising scale with some brutal 4th chords. Tasteful vocals by Lee and some precision drumming by Peart are highlights of the song. Resist is easily one of the most emotional pieces Rush has ever crafted. With some weeping guitar lines, and some melancholic vocals from Lee, and Peart's best lyrical contribution to the album, as well, the song has now become a live acoustic favorite.

Overall, there are some likable qualities to the album, but overall, it is marred by bland and mediocre lyrics, and uninspired riffs and song structures. 2.5/5.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The last Rush album for 5 years, "Test for Echo" was a disappointment (to put it mildly) to the majority of the band's fans, seen as it came out after one of their strongest efforts, the nearly perfect "Counterparts". I give it 3 stars on account of the few good tracks it contains, which are indeed worthy of mention even if they cannot completely rescue an album featuring the utterly awful "Dog Years", easily the worst Rush track ever - of which the less said, the better.

A real pity, as the album opens in style with the haunting, intense title-track: great lyrics and Geddy's priceless bass lines make it one of the best-ever openers for the band. "Driven" gives free rein to Alex's furious riffing, while Geddy sings splendidly. Unfortunately, things start going downhill from there, reaching a nadir with "Dog Years" . With this notable exception, though, many of the songs are not so much bad as nondescript. "Totem" has intriguing lyrics and a good closing section, "Time and Motion" is a heavier than usual effort (which I quite like), and the instrumental "Limbo", while obviously not on a par with masterpieces like "La Villa Strangiato" or "YYZ", features interesting basswork courtesy of Mr Lee. This leaves one of the album's standout tracks, the moving "Resist", whose lyrics pay homage to the sharp wit of the great Oscar Wilde ("I can learn to resist /Anything but temptation"), and which the band have taken to performing acoustically on stage (very beautifully, too). A final mention for the stylish, Eskimo-inspired sleeve with its cool blue tones and evocative stone figure.

After the release of this album (and of the subsequent triple live "Different Stages"), hard times were waiting for the band, especially for drummer Neil Peart. This not-quite- successful album risked being their last, which would have been a pity. Non-essential - though far from utterly disposable - is probably the best definition for "Test for Echo".

Review by Melomaniac
2 stars I am a die-hard Rush fan, close to being an unconditional fan... where it not for two of their albums : Roll the Bones and this one, Test for Echo. Apart from Counterparts, the 90's have to be Rush's least interesting period, and this album is the least interesting from that period. Only 3 songs I enjoy on this one : Test For Echo, Driven, and Time and Motion. Resist is way better acoustic, as played on Rush in Rio. This is also the case for TfE and Driven : both are excellent live numbers, as heard on Different Stages. The rest of the album, well, falls flat. Rush sounded like a band that were on automatic pilot with this album, slowly but surely drifting towards the end of their career (and God knows it came close, knowing the events in Neil's life). Even lyrically, the ever-smart and witty Neil Peart wrote righteous and cheesy stuff here (Virtuality and The Color of Right, and the awful Totem).

Fans will sure want to complete their collection buying this album, and others should stick with the live versions of the songs I mentionned earlier, as I think the rest of the album is far from necessary in anyone's collection.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Even though "Test for Echo" is not considered as the band's best album but I still consider this is a good album to have. With the inclusion of more synthesizer sounds since "Signal" album, "Test for Echo" tries to combine the band's old sound with modern sound, with a bit influence of Alternative music or AOR. Take the opening track "Test for Echo" (5:55) for example. It takes the ambient music with synthesizer and guitar work in continuous stream of music which is then followed with bass and drums in electronic sounds. It flows naturally with low to mid register notes of Geddy Lee vocal. Bass guitar is still being played as old style of Rush - which in a way has characterized the music of Rush. This opening track is an excellent in its tight compositions. If you love old style Rush you would hardly deny this.

"Driven" (4:26) has been played in many Rush live album versions and it becomes an important part of the show, obviously. The strong point of this track is in its rhythm section and soft guitar riffs combined with bass lines. Again, you can find interesting bass lines combined with all good drumming and synthesizer works. "Half the World" (3:42) tries to bring the music in its mild level with its guitar-based rhythm section in floating style. "The Color of Right" (4:48) sounds like a continuation of previous track especially on the way rhythm section is built and - of course the low to mid register notes on vocal line. (What a great strategy I can notice here - with the vocalist getting older, the band tries to avoid high register notes in its composition!).

"Time and Motion" (5:01) takes the music into more uplifting mode with the blast of music that combines guitar riffs and melodic synthesizer shot. "Totem" (4:57) continues the previous track style. "Dog Years" (4:54) is a rocker with faster tempo and higher register notes on vocal and nice guitar riffs. "Virtuality" (5:43) is another rocker with firmer guitar riffs than previous track. "Resist" (4:23) brings the music into a kind of ballad with nice guitar fills and rhythm section. "Limbo" (5:28) reminds me to the music style of "signal" album. "Carve Away the Stone" (4:05) concludes the album with medium tempo music.

Overall, this is a good album from Rush. Even though there is no distinctive difference between one track to another - all sound alike, I would say, but Rush manages the album in relatively stable manner. Forget about the old style of Rush music with subtle high and low differentiation, this album sounds much more modern in approach and style. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by 1800iareyay
2 stars Rush's worst album to date. Period. Even the synth-driven pop of the 80s was more inventive than this. The band really drops the ball here after the excellent Counterparts. However, just as Rush has never made a full masterpiece, so too have they not made a complete failure.

The title track is intense with some fabulous lyrics and great singing. Driven has some great riffing, though the live versions complete with a stunning bass solo is so much better. Limbo is an instrumental with some neat bass from Geddy, though it is vastly inferior to YYZ and La Villa Strangiato

Dog Years is awful, it is certainly the worst song here and one of the worst Rush tunes ever. Pretty much everything in between Driven and Limbo fails to excite, which the exception of the lyrically superb Resist.

This album would be the start of hard times for the band, particularly Neil Peart, who received a double tragedy that nearly ended Rush. Thankfully, this is not their swan song. Things would improve dramtically on Vapor Trails, though its production is awful.

Grade: D

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Keeping up with the rock, but slipping a little in quality, "Test for Echo" is a somewhat mixed bag of serious keepers with a few that'll leave you scratching your head. The lyrics are smart (as always) but the band's playing shows little inventiveness, making the album somewhat bland for periods.

The title track rocks hard, with Geddy's self-described "flamenco bass" sounding very strong, and while most of the songs have all three members on their game, they just don't catch one as much as with "Counterparts". "Resist" is rightfully one of the better songs on the album, with poignant lyrics and vocals; while I enjoy the superficially silly "Dog Years" and "Totem" as well.

As a whole, another one for the fans, but far from the group's weakest.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This was the first RUSH album since the "Signals" record that I actually bought soon after it's release. I had heard some songs off of the "Counterparts" album and was very pleased to hear they had gone back to the guitar driven music that I loved so much. I almost like this one as much as the "Counterparts" album, mainly because I listened to it so much back then. I liked it so much I am probably one of the few who actually has, and still wears a "Test For Echo" t-shirt. The picture in the liner notes where the song "Test For Echo" lyrics are located with the picture of the wolf howling and the moon in the background, that is what is on the front of my RUSH shirt. It has the concert venues and dates on the back. I wear it with pride. All the pictures in the liner notes are so well done by Hugh Syme, including the front cover.To quote Lifeson "I feel like we arrived with this record. There's a particular feel that I don't think we had before-a nice groove and a lot of really good RUSH songs."

"Test For Echo" is a great tune ! I like the way Alex breaks off into that uptempo melody (with Neil and Geddy) on and off throughout this song. This melody contrasted with the mellow chorus works well. "Driven" continues the contrast of the heavy passages with the acoustic mellow ones. Alex grinds away, and also gives us some screaming guitar solos.There is really a sonic assault to end the song. "Half The World" has this powerful undercurrent throughout of great bass and drum work. Alex plays mandola on this one."The Color Of Right" is an uplifting song for me with a tasteful guitar solo. "Time And Motion" has some scorching guitar and heavy drums follow. The drumming is a highlight on this powerful tune.

"Totem" is a song where Neil goes to great lengths to say he only believes in what he can hear and see. "Dog Years" has such a good intro of thundering bass and drums.The lyrics are silly but the instrumental parts are great ! "Virtuality" is another amazing, heavy song. I love the bass and drum work. Again a good contrast of heavy and light passages. "Resist" is so uplifting ! Neil was inspired to write this when he visited Scotland, and it's all about the people of Scotland so check out the lyrics. Geddy's vocals are so well done. "Limbo" has some fantastic bass in it. The vocal melodies in the background are a nice touch. "Carve Away The Stone" has some powerful instrumental work on it including a raw solo from Alex.

Favourite songs for me are the instrumental "Limbo" and "Time and Motion". For me this is close to a 4 star record and better than most of the synth driven records that came after "Signals". Highly recommended.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In the interest of full disclosure I've not been really rocked by a Rush album since Grace Under Pressure. I haven't owned every one of them since but in general much of what I have heard, while not bad, doesn't excite me.

While obviously well played and of high Rush standards, Test For Echo is like many of their albums of the last twenty years: not bad, but perhaps getting a little tired, a little formulaic, and a far cry from anything remotely resembling Moving Pics. I'm not saying they have to copy past glories but honestly...Dog Years? C'mon guys. "Limbo" is a pretty impressive track and my probably my favorite of this set, they seem to break out of it and let their hair down a bit. Not enough of course, but it does rock.

I think there are a few good songs here but I'd say most of the album is for big Rush fans only. I'd have a hard time recommending that a wide prog audience spend their hard-earned money on this album with so much great stuff out there.

The booklet is very nice with great graphics, lyrics, and charming photos of the boys in their youth. The cover art is also quite good.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Rush ends the 90s with a mixed effort.

Here is a good album, but not so much as good as Rush can do. Each song holds it's own, but therein lies the problem, as Rush has always really been an album band. Even on an album with plentiful singles (Moving pictures, for exapmle), the album still sounds like an album with a revolving theme and powerful songs. This album, however, just sounds like a bunch of songs without any real direction. Some of the tracks are fairly exceptional, TIME AND MOTION is a great track, as is HALF THE WORLD, the rest are good, but really without any direction.

Without much more to add, this album is mostly for Rush fans and those who want to hear some interesting experimentation. 2.5 stars.

Review by The Crow
3 stars What's the matter with this album, guys?

I really love this record... I have almost the entire Rush's discography, and I consider this is a worthy disc, full of energic songs, where the band sounded really alive and full of new ideas, adapting themselves to 90's sound... And this is not Dream Theater! The music is really far... Maybe some instrumental passages... But Dream Theater has always sounded a little Rush to me, the canadians are an obvious influence to these american's guys... So is not strange the tin relation between both bands. I find this discussión about Rush copying Dream Theater really silly!

Another great fact of Test for Echo is the production... Sensational. Every instrument sounds clear and perfect. Geddy's singing is also great, offering us the typical choirs of the later Rush's albums. The Lifeson's playing is more riff oriented, but still full of details, and this fact makes possible the strong Neil Peart's drums that we can hear throughout the album.

Best songs: Test for Echo (a presentation of the diffent direction abd style of the album...), Half the World (a song that givea us a glimpse of what Rush would do in future releases...), The Colour of Right (typical happy Rush's song...), Dog Years (great rock song), Resist (I love the mellow Geddy's singing here...)

Conclusion: an underrated album... Catchy, funny and different are some adjectives I could give. I really don't understand why a lot of people call this music rubbish... In my opinion Test for Echo is better than Fly By Night, Caress of Steel, Rush, Power Windows... And in terms of quality, is almost on the same level than the 11 years later Snakes and Arrows. A really worthy rock album, in conclusion...

My rating: ***1/2

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Just like the band's third era and "Hold Your Fire", I find that Rush's fourth era finds a great closure in the fourth and last item from that particular time, in this case, the "Test for Echo" album. The band had never given up on their art-rock basic intentionality, but definitely they were apart from the progressive rock structures that had become abundantly essential in their 77-81 albums and had been gradually decreasing in their 82-87 efforts. From the days of "Presto", it seemed like Rush had just become another hard rock band with a slightly superior level of musical complexity than others (the early grunge bands, the remaining hair-metal and AOR bands), yet losing some of the muscle and nerve that had become a sort of Rush-trademark. But alas, their 1993 release "Counterparts" found the band recovering themselves into harder and more complex terrains in the realm of rock. The same goes for "Test for Echo", an art-rock effort with noticeable (if not dominant) prog leanings and yet sounding very contemporary. All in all, "Test for Echo" manages to introduce a higher dose of complexity and a more interesting series of musical ideas. Getting started with a powerful opener such as the title track, one can tell that the entry is effective: catchy riffs, intricate rhythmic development, full exploding dynamics and that special magic that can only come from a perfectly amalgamated power trio like this. 'Driven' follows, bearing what is arguably the album's highlight in terms of writing and arrangements: the succession of 15/8, 14/8 and 6/8 patterns is both compact and fluid for a song that remains a bit commercial while being, mostly, cleverly complex. 'Half the World' and 'The Color of Right' are less impressive, but properly retain the stamina installed by the first two tracks. 'Time and Motion' stands on a heavy psychedelic ground, rocking steadily through its constant alternations between 5/4 and 6/8 tempos. There is a sense of constraint in the guitar arrangements, which allows the synth ornaments stay clearly audible in the mix. 'Totem' and 'Dog Years' rock really hard, but only the former feels really appealing to me; the other one is just a pretext to keep on listening with relative pleasure. None of them I find great, bit I do find 'Virtuality' great: its drive is on the commercial note not unlike tracks 3 & 4, but there is more to it, an effective exercise on pop-rock with a heavy guitar- laden twist and Peart's clever management of the otherwise ordinary rhythmic pattern. The Rush fan can't have enough of those syncopations, rolls and intruding cowbells, all of them Peart-style, pure and simple. In terms of commercially oriented rock, the band really nailed it on this one. 'Resist' is an acoustic ballad that partially hints at the softer moments of the band's late 70s era: the use of dulcimer and mandola among the acoustic guitar and synth layers feels adequate for the sort of quiet solemnity that the lyrics provide about the idea of dealing with the negative side of life with grace and character. and love. The instrumental 'Limbo', just like the one in "Counterparts", is mostly a pretext to do some jamming and state a simplistic, expanded architecture around it. These rushing guys have always been good at it and this track is no exception. The album is closed down by 'Carve Away the Stone', a sort of epitome that combines the moods of tracks 2, 3 and 6: it is powerful enough, includes some tempo variations, and also some catchy riffs. "Test for Echo" is a very good prelude to what perhaps is the best Rush live effort ever - "Different Stages". 3 ¾ stars for this one!
Review by MovingPictures07
3 stars An often-maligned album from Rush's 90s period... this isn't close to being one of their best, but it's still a pretty good solid hard rock effort that is more than your average rock album.

For some reason, I don't feel like a track by track analysis is appropriate here, and I'll just go over the highlights. My favorite is "Totem", with its brilliant lyrics and blend of acoustic parts and the more rocky tendencies that tend to be prevalent on this album. Great song! Another song that often gets way too much crap, even from Rush fans, is "Dog Years". There is plenty of solid instrumentation from the group here, with typical tight melodies and well-written, well-structured songs with insightful lyrics. "Resist" is a wonderful anthem, while the title track is a very effective opening. "Limbo" is another great instrumental similar to "YYZ".

This is a highly enjoyable release from the trio once again. It's very hard to rate and almost feels like a 3.5 or someone in between both of those ratings for me. However, it is a "good, but not essential" album because it's one of their least progressive outings.

If you're looking for straight-up prog, look elsewhere. If you're looking for awesome hard rock songs with some interesting instrumentation, however, it's hard to get much better than this.

Review by horsewithteeth11
3 stars Another Rush album, but where's the prog?

I know a lot of people claim that Rush lost their progressive ways after the Signals/Grace Under Pressure era of the band, although I happen to disagree. I honestly don't think that Rush abandoned being a progressive rock band, but rather that their sound has progressed throughout the various periods the band has gone through. However, I must admit that I don't think this album is particularly progressive. It sounds much more in the veins of hard rock. That doesn't mean however that I don't think this isn't a good album by any stretch of the imagination.

Rush is past the days of Rolling Bones, where they were moving from their synth period towards a more proggy hard-rock oriented period. This album is a black sheep among the latter period because of the lack of prog rock. However, it still has some very good songs, my favorites being Driven, Dog Years, Totem, Virtuality, and Carve Away the Stone. The instrumentation and lyrics are all still very good. If however you're looking to try some more modern Rush, don't come to this expecting to hear any prog, which I'm sure has disappointed a lot of people on this site. I'd like to give it more, but I simply can't justify more than 3 stars for this album simply because it's a good hard rock album, not a heavy prog album. If you want modern proggy Rush, look elsewhere.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My first Rush album (really!), and I've never tired of it. Each song is spectacular and colorful, even if almost all of them border on simplicity. The lyrics are some of the best of any Rush album. That's not to discount the impeccably good playing from this Canadian trio. The sound is crisp, rugged, and begs to be heard and reheard.

"Test for Echo" Loaded with Alex Lifeson's clean, chorused guitar and Geddy Lee's mellow vocals, the album gets underway. But it's scarcely thirty seconds before the Lee's bass and Lifeson's distorted sound come in and bring the music to heavy maturity. Lifeson's solo is well-crafted, but I believe he could have chosen a different sound. Also, I think Neil Peart's drumming is really muddy in parts.

"Driven" With a heavy guitar riff and funky bass riff, the most popular track from the album is in full swing. Acoustic guitar and synthesizer back up the lead-in to the chorus before the heavy guitars and drums return. Lee delivers a phenomenal bass solo.

"Half the World" A folksier rock song than the others, this has a catchy melody (and even catchier lyrics). It's clever, even if the music is pretty plain. The acoustic instrumentation adds variety, if only briefly.

"The Color of Right" Another more run-of-the-mill rock song, this keeps my interest far longer than what the typical rock band doles out. I've never not enjoyed it, so there's that; the harmonies are good, the musicianship is good, the lyrics are good- I suppose it's the composition itself that just doesn't stand out. I also feel that the arrangement toward the end is rather sloppy.

"Time and Motion" I have always held mixed feelings about this one. I feel the guitar work (especially on the solo) is rather sloppy and that the overall sound is far too noisy. On the other hand, the refrain is one of the best vocal melodies ever written in heavy progressive rock, and the bridge is so intriguing. It's honestly difficult to judge.

"Totem" Quasi-religious lyrics and a fantastic rhythm make this an outstanding track. Peart uses those toms to impart a slightly tribal feel, but Lee's vocals are at once boastful and mysterious. Lifeson delivers a proper solo for the chord progression, even if it is brief, giving way to the darkest part of the song.

"Dog Years" One of the heavier tracks, this one has some terrific, thought-provoking lyrics. The bridge is much softer, but builds exceptionally, especially with Lee's bass growling in the background.

"Virtuality" Rush keeps it heavy with yet another great song full of relevant lyrics, this time about the strange nature of technology and the interconnectedness of the informational highway.

"Resist" The electric guitars are toned down a bit to allow the piano sound and acoustic guitar room to breathe. The vocals are lovely, with inspirational lyrics that build into an impressive and encouraging conclusion.

"Limbo" The instrumental of the album has a ripping bass line to kick it off. Lee's vocals soar in the backdrop, filling out one of the band's more complex works in terms of arrangement. It's a sprawling piece of music, one that takes several listens to fully enjoy.

"Carve Away the Stone" The final song is another encouraging one. It features a simple blast of heavily distorted guitar chords with Lee singing, before an intriguing instrumental pre-chorus engages the hearer. While the lyrics promote self-sufficiency in overcoming obstacles, the instrumental jam in the middle just grooves on all fronts.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars What the heck happened here? When I first listened Test for Echo, I could not believe what I was hearing. I was literally speechless. Was this Rush? Or was it a really bad solo project? I looked at over the insert and all three names were present. Yes, this was Rush... But what the heck happened to them??

What we have here is a group trying to regain their former hard rock days (before Rush turned progressive) and absolutely failing at it. Probably the worst thing about it is Geddy Lee is still singing in the style he perfected in the 1980s up through the Counterparts album. That just doesn't work with this album at all. The guitar is on overload, and even though I admire Lifeson's abilities, I think he just lost it here. From time to time it is muffled and often sloppy.

One could only guess what Rush was trying to accomplish with this album. Even though their die-hard fans enjoyed their endlessly formulaic approach which started with Signals (and I too admired much of what they have done since Signals), maybe Rush was tiring of this approach. The song structures were still short, but the musical composition skills seemed to have been thrown out the window. I'm shocked. Maybe that's the effect they were aiming for? It worked on me, but in a negative way.

This one should definitely be avoided. For collectors and die-hard fans only. Two stars. Even Hold Your Fire is better than this. It's only saving grace is the neat album cover featuring an inukshuk.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At the time of this review, TFE is Rush's lowest rated album. I can't say I'm surprised by that as I would only rate Roll The Bones lower then this one. But at the time of its release I was very surprised and disappointed indeed. I had appreciated the "Rush-goes-grunge" style of Counterparts a lot and the few songs from TFE that I had heard on the radio sounded great. As it turned out, the radio station had clearly picked the only tracks worth hearing.

The opening track contains some great moments, especially at the start. Lifeson's 12 string picking and Lee's pensive vocals create a very spacey and warm atmosphere, it's immediately followed by a vintage Lifeson circular riff. The remainder of the song tends to drag a bit though. I think they should have cut this one down to under 5 minutes.

It is followed by Driven, another song that combines some splendid riffing with rather bland vocals. It's a complaint I have with the entire album really. Geddy Lee is simply not into it. He sounds tired and a bit bored frankly. Still the main riff is so powerful here that it saves the entire song. Then comes a blow, a nasty one. Half the World must easily be the cheesiest song ever recorded by Rush, or no, it must be the following one, The Color of Right, or no Totem, or no, sorry for all this confusion, it's definitely Dog Years that wins the "poorest Rush song ever" award.

The remainder of the songs are average at best, except for one. Rush managed to craft one song here that must be amongst their best since the material from Power Windows. Time And Motion is a powerful track building a strong tension and a weird alienated feel. Judging from Lifeson's Victor album, this must be clearly one from his hand.

Apart from a few tunes this album lacks the good songwriting that Rush had kept going for so many years. Better avoided.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Test For Echo' - Rush (4/10)

After such an unexpected triumph with 'Counterparts,' it was all anyone could do but hope for another album of the same calibre from this power trio. After a two year wait, 'Test For Echo' was released. Had I picked up this album when it first came out, I would have undoubtedly been much more dissapointed than I am. As it stands however, this is for all intents and purposes, a functional hard rock album. However, there is very little here to warrant much of a revisitation. There are a few tracks here that are very enjoyable, but the majority of the tracks adhere to a very by-the-numbers approach. To any lesser band, this might be an acceptable run of the mill piece of work, but for a band that has released such impressive material consistently over the years, 'Test For Echo' is that much more of a dissapointment. After giving this album a few listens, it's no wonder why the band decided to go on hiatus for so long afterwards...

On a more positive note, you can still certainly hear the musical skill of this group in the music, but it gets muddied over by comparatively mediocre songwriting. Disregarding the legion of forgettable tracks on 'Test For Echo' however, there are a few that really stuck out as being great. The first of these is 'Driven.' It is alot faster paced than the mid-tempo norm here, and has a very strong vocal delivery in the chorus. Some acoustic work in the pre-chorus also gives the song the added dynamic that most of the album simply lacks. Another great song (made even better by a beautiful performance of it on the 'R30' DVD) is the charming power ballad 'Resist,' which is a much more subtle piece of music than most of the 'rock' direction the album generally follows. Lastly is the instrumental 'Limbo,' which certainly doesn't come close to measuring up to the classic instrumentals of the band, but it's an atmospheric jam for the band, focusing on some great bass work from Geddy Lee.

As a whole however, the band revolves too heavily around the same tired guitar tones and riffs here. Very few of the songs have an identity of their own, and the album suffers as a result. This band rarely dissapoints me, but 'Test For Echo' easily qualifies as one of their worst albums to date.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Rush followed up the hard rocking "Counterparts" (their best album since the early eighties) with this mixed bag. It starts out promising. The first song, the title track, is as good, and a similar style as the previous album. It's followed by Driven, which has a great bass line and rhythm, but loses momentum in a humdrum verse section.

There are enough good tracks on this album to make it worth owning. Time And Motion, the instrumental Limbo and especially Virtuality are all excellent Rush tracks. And as usual, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are talented enough to make even the lesser songs listenable.

If you, like me, are resigned to Rush only inserting small flashes of prog into their music, then I would say you would appreciate much of this album.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Power blackout for Rush on another non-prog album.

"Test For Echo" is the last album I bought to complete the entire collection and I did not expect anything close to their classic of the 70s, but it is rather disappointing how the band lost the power of that era and shed their prog tendencies to embrace a cliched AOR hard rock vibe. The guitars clang and resound in a similar vein to "Presto" and "Roll the Bones", and the synth is kind of dominant sucking the power out of the band. There are ballads and mod tempo commercial sounding tracks, and the album does not have many heavy tracks, it all seems to follow a kind of mid range radio sound, the band had sold out again. The booklet is quite nice with some weird but fascinating art work.

"Counterparts" previously had shown how heavy and innovative the band could be and this followup should have taken this to heart and maintained the heavy complex approach. Sadly there is little on this that grabbed my attention and it is one of the most forgettable albums for Rush. As always there are highlights that save the album from complete obsolescence.

Test For Echo is a killer opener with a very cool riff and Lee sounds great. Driven is a solid rocker, and had a quirky amusing promo clip to go with it at the time. Half The World is not too bad with some inventive lyrics and catchy chorus. The next few songs are all very much the same structure and are very AOR in style. Resist is another standout track and Limbo is a great instrumental that always works well for the power trio.

Nothing else to say except I am glad the band branched out for a heavier sound on their next albums, in fact "Vapor Trails" buries this album for sheer quality and driving blasting rock, the band at their best. The fact that the album is way better than "Presto" or "Roll the Bones" earns it a 3 star rating, but only just by the skin of its teeth. It really is not one of Rush's greatest hours.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Time and motion

In my book, the early 90's is Rush's weakest period in the whole of their long career with 1991's Roll The Bones and 1993's Counterparts being two of the band's least good albums ever. 1996's Test For Echo was a breath of fresh air after these two lacklustre predecessors and a worthy album in its own right. The dense and murky production of Counterparts is thankfully abandoned here in favour of a more "open" and vivid sound and keyboards once again form part of the band's sound (although discreetly so). Many Rush fans seem to think that Test For Echo was disappointing in comparison with the previous album. For me, however, exactly the opposite is true. While Counterparts was very one- dimensional to these ears, Test For Echo is a bit more diverse and a more interesting affair. Indeed, it remains a bit of a mystery to me why anyone - especially Prog fans - would prefer Counterparts over Test For Echo. While Test For Echo is hardly a Prog album (Rush abandoned Prog countless years earlier), it does contain one or two nods to the band's classic period. Some people even claim that Rush were inspired by Dream Theater while creating this album, which, if it would be true, would be a very great thing indeed. But while they clearly had a major impact on the progressive Metal genre, Rush is neither Metal nor progressive on Test For Echo. Still, if there is any 90's or 00's Rush album on which they are trying to do the kind of things that should get noticed by the Prog fan it is Test For Echo.

The opening trio that includes the title-track, Driven and Half The World constitutes a good start to the album. The latter track is a somewhat folky tune that features a nice acoustic solo. The lyrics consist of some social commentary. Time And Motion is probably the track that inspired the idea that Rush is copying Dream Theater. It is a rather heavy affair with some sparse keyboard fills. I enjoy it, but if you expect anything like Images And Words, you will be seriously disappointed. Another track that certainly deserves special mention is the delightful, semi-acoustic, semi-ballad Resist which is one of the very few post-Moving Pictures Rush songs that really sounds like a classic. And this tune has indeed gone on to be a live favourite in the band's acoustic set. It is not 2112 or Hemispheres, of course, but it does hark back to the band's golden years and reminds of songs like Closer To The Heart and Different Strings. The wonderful expression "I can resist anything but temptation" that forms part of the lyrics is, however, not a Neil Peart original, but an Oscar Wilde quote.

While I agree that there are a couple of tracks in the middle of this album that can legitimately be called fillers, the album as a whole holds up quite well. It is hardly an album I will return to often, but it is one of the better latter-day Rush albums and certainly the best Rush album of the 90's. As many others have pointed out, Test For Echo also features one of Rush's best ever sleeve designs.

If you are at all tempted, it is not necessary to resist - this is a quite worthy release

Review by Warthur
3 stars Counterparts wasn't quite a return to form - when "on form" for Rush includes classics like Moving Pictures, 2112, and A Farewell to Kings, returning to it is a difficult proposition indeed and Counterparts didn't quite get there. But it was their strongest album for some time and had some pretty good songs, so Rush fans had plenty of reason to be hopeful about the followup. "Maybe," everyone thought, "this is it, the breakthrough, the comeback, the definitive blowing away of the cobwebs which puts Rush back at the top of their game."

Spoiler: it isn't. Test For Echo isn't a terrible album, but it doesn't feel very necessary either; musically speaking, it's essentially Diet Counterparts, a retread of that territory with the sound toned down a little and a bit less inclined to get heavy from time to time. If you liked that album, Test For Echo might do it for you, though I suspect many of those who embraced Counterparts will find Test rather lightweight.

If Counterparts didn't impress you or seem like much of a comeback, and if you absolutely cannot stand the lighter sound Rush adopted for their synth period (and which still stuck around in a less synthy way on Presto and Roll the Bones), then Test For Echo certainly won't win you over. That said, if you like the idea of something that sounds like an intermediate step between Roll the Bones and Counterparts in the heaviness stakes, then Test For Echo isn't half bad. I suspect it won't be many people's favourite Rush album, but I think it's possible to be too harsh to it, because it's not a total embarrassment either.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars Sonically, this is a masterful comeback. The songwriting is more or less back to the level I'd like from Rush, but what's most important to me is how this sucker sounds. The production is utterly fantastic, and an absolute treat for fans of Lifeson's guitar. Whereas in the 80's the band would have chosen to fill some of the space in the mix with synths, here they mostly fill it with guitar and more guitar. All of Alex's best tricks are on prominent display here, from mad soloing to powerful riffing to his hypnotic ambient style.

Even better, to me, is that, whereas the heaviness on Counterparts could seem a bit forced at times, with the extensive use of grunge tones, the heaviness doesn't seem awkward or discomforting at any time. Add in that there are several solid riffs here (and I still maintain that good riffs are the primary source of quality heavy music), and you have this listener's delight. Plus, Neil apparently took some drumming refresher lessons since the last album, and in the process revamped his style, providing some badly needed swing to his sound.

Once again, the two best tracks on the album come first, and they are awesome. The lyrics of the opening title track seem a bit on the raving nonsense side, which might turn off some people, but I find the main guitar pattern catchy and economical, and the faster instrumental breaks are simply breathtaking. As for "Driven," I think that even somebody who's not a Rush fan should this song at least a couple of times in their lives. The main rhythm guitar part is like NOTHING we've heard from Rush before, and the riff is just soooo good. And the middle jam, a classic Geddy/Alex duel the likes of which hasn't been heard from the band since "Working Man," whomps me into the ground each time.

As usual for Rush, the rest of the album doesn't live up to the initial onslaught, but whereas with most Rush albums this means a mix between average and poor tracks, here it just means a bunch of tracks that range from average to very good. I'd be hard-pressed to call a single of the remaining tracks bad, and the only major problem is that the songs blend a bit too much for my tastes (except for the closing "Carve Away the Stone," a good song that opens with a lot of power). The instrumental ("Limbo") is a little half-hearted this time around, and tracks like "Time and Motion" or "The Color of Right" will never strike me as particularly good, but I'm fine with the rest. "Half the World" and "Resist" are very catchy pop- rockers with notably good lyrics, "Virtuality" has some great riffage despite the incredibly dumb lyrics (Neil Peart, of all people, should not be writing about the internet), and even the oft-maligned "Totem" and "Dog Years" seem fine to me. Heck, I think "Dog Years" is waaaaaaaaaay underappreciated; if anybody needed to loosen up and write song lyrics that mention "doggy heaven," it was Neil Peart. The melody seems fine to me, too.

I guess what I appreciate most about this album is that Rush finally seemed to find a sound they were totally comfortable with. When I listen to Test for Echo, I never find myself thinking that Rush sounds like a bunch of old men on this album. They don't sound mellowed-out and boring (like on much of Presto and Roll the Bones) and they don't sound like mellowed-out and boring old men awkwardly trying to latch onto what the kids are doing (like on much of Counterparts). This should have been a great formula for Rush to use in dominating the remainder of the 90's, and only good days should have been ahead.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars In mid '90s I was already a big fan of the band, since discovering them in 1991 through Roll the bones album for the first time. I remember buying Test for echo when it hiting the shleves in 1996, and for sure I was not disippointed at all by the album sound or manner of composing. With this release Rush really wanted to go back to their roots of the '70s with a more edgy kind of heavy prog, the keyboards passages were left behind this time. Well, I really don't get it , what is so bad in this album, what is missing here that Test for echo is considered only for die hard fans. I really like this release, ok is nothing close to masterpiece or something alike, is not among best Rush albums, but has all the Rush ingredients. The heaviness is more evident here then on previous 2-3 albums is like a return to Caress of steel era or 2112 but less complicated manuvres are present or less elaborated arrangements like on those albums, but still solid I might say. Pieces like Test For Echo, Half The World, Time And Motion or Limbo are absolutly Rush it can be in sound, musicianship and all, no complains from me. Excellent art work, like on every Rush album btw. So, to me was and is a quite solid Rush album, I like it no matter what other said about it. 3.5 stars for sure.

Review by siLLy puPPy
2 stars It seems like one step forward and two back for RUSH on their 16th studio album TEST FOR ECHO. After a promising return to a hard rock sound that they had exhibited on their previous album, they decided to tone it down a bit again recalling the tepidness of their late 80s and early 90s works. I honestly don't know what to think about this album. First listen, hated it. Second listen, appreciated it a little more. Third listen, appreciated it but found it relatively boring. I pretty much stopped there as far as evolving any opinion about the musical content.

Although Neil Peart took drum lessons to learn how to incorporate jazz methods and the band plays well, the songs seem weaker and we basically get the same kind of alienating distant sounding distorted tracks that 'Counterparts' had to offer only the newly energized passion seems to be dampened quite a bit. It's an ok album that will neither offend nor excite which is too bad because I was hoping for a lot more after such a promising glimpse on the prior album. The art work is actually better than the music which incorporates the cultural ways of the native American Innuit of Northern Canada. Overall a big fat disappointment.

Review by Necrotica
3 stars Test for Echo marks Rush's last album before the tragedy that had befallen Neil Peart in which his daughter and wife died in a car accident, and at the same time, the album marks the effective end of Rush's era of more straightforward rock music. This specific sound initially emerged when Presto was released, using more traditional rock style to counter their previous synth-based pop elements with albums like Hold Your Fire. But I've gotta say, despite trying to get back to basics, these guys have made some pretty odd decisions in their 90s work. For instance, who honestly expected the rapping in the bridge of "Roll the Bones?" Or how about those funk guitar sections in the instrumental "Where's My Thing?" Well, Test for Echo also sees Rush test the waters of a few new sounds, but also scales things back to a surprising degree.

When you get down to it, this is probably the most conventional album the band have ever crafted. Sure, it certainly has its progressive moments (what Rush album doesn't), but much more emphasis is placed on both accessibility and atmosphere this time around. What definitely adds to its appeal, however, is the balance of moods and sounds displayed. Turn on the album and you're greeted first by the melancholic and textured title track. Take another stab at the record and you find the more upbeat and commercial rock number "Half the World." But as usual, the best songs here are the ones that go for straight-up complexity and focus on the band's instrumental interplay. "Time and Motion" is easily the standout track on Test for Echo as it combines some of Alex Lifeson's heaviest guitar work with Rush's typically unusual time signatures and an almost orchestral and cinematic vibe with the synthesizers. The lyrics, keeping in with this era of Rush's career, often focus on real-world scenarios and concepts; "Virtuality," for instance, addresses how relationships and overall communication are affected by the Internet, while "Driven" is what I can assume is about being in control of your own life during its ups and downs (similar to Incubus' "Drive"). Once again, Peart's lyricism is of a very high quality and still proves that he is just as good at depicting realistic subjects as he was with his more fantasy-based material of the 70s.

Unfortunately, the homogeneity of the album is the price one has to pay for these perks. There are some more experimental tunes on the record, but the overall bland sound of the whole thing makes the experience quite tiring after a while. Geddy Lee's voice doesn't really do much to shake things up either, being unusually one-note compared to his normal style. And therein lies the big problem with Test for Echo: no matter how much seasoning there is on an album, it doesn't do much to help when the core of the record is so uninteresting. Samey mid-tempo numbers like "The Color of Right," "Resist," and multiple other songs lead me to believe that perhaps the band members' hearts weren't fully into it this time. As for the more unusual tunes, "Dog Years" is probably the most notable for being so... odd. Between the punk-esque opening riff and the weird lyrics that relate to the title, I'm not exactly sure what to think of the song. At the very least, though, it helps break up some of the monotony.

Test for Echo is a bit of an oddity in Rush's discography. It's certainly not a bad record, but suffers from a serious lack of standout moments... not even standout tracks, just standout moments. If there were a few more songs like "Time and Motion" or "Driven," then this could have turned out to be one of Rush's finest records. But as it stands Test for Echo is just barely above average and can safely be considered the worst album the band have released. Luckily, 2002's Vapor Trails would see this legendary act reborn with a fresh new style and attitude, so things only went up from here.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Test for Echo" was Rush's first album in 3 years and they wouldn't release on until 5 years after. The band took a well deserved rest before releasing this one, and they returned to the studio feeling refreshed and positive. They would use Peter Collins once again to help produce the album. This time, however, they changed their song writing method. Alex and Geddy would write out the music and Neil would write the lyrics, as usual, but this time the basic framework of the music was written at the same time the lyrics were being written, and then they would try to fit the music to the lyrics, and then when they agreed on the combination, they would add all of the bells and whistles.

Alex always claimed that this was one of Rush's better albums and contains some of his favorite tracks. Unfortunately, most everyone else, mostly fans, didn't think so. Of course, it sold well, it is Rush after all. But, for some reason, this doesn't match up to the standard of Rush's other albums. It is probably more accessible than their other albums, but it also lacks a heart. It does start out well enough with the title track "Test for Echo" and "Driven", the latter becoming a concert staple that shows off Geddy's bass skills in an extended instrumental section. However, the quality of the music starts to fail in the next two sub- standard songs, "Half the World" and "The Color of Right". Although it might be true that some lesser bands and their fans would be happy with those songs, but Rush's standard had always been higher than this, and the songs become quite underwhelming compared to many of their other songs and albums. To me, the songs get to sounding to similar to each other. There are a few other bright spots on the rest of the album, but overall, this is an underwhelming effort that seems to be half hearted. Even the instrumental "Limbo" actually just consists of parts and pieces of other songs that never got finished.

Rush was in a more guitar-centered phase at this point, which had begun with one of my favorite albums "Presto", continued on one of my least favorites "Roll the Bones" and then another favorite "Counterparts" and finally ending that phase with this album. There are still bits of synth mixed in there on this album, but it is pushed way to the back of the sound. This phase worked well at times, and not so well like this time.

I put off reviewing this album for quite a while because the things I have to say about it pretty much reflect what other reviewers have already said, but since it has been a while since anyone has reviewed it now, I thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in. It manages 3 stars, but have we come to expect so much more from this amazing band.

Review by Hector Enrique
2 stars Test for Echo is probably the least lucid album on Rush's discography. There is no greater display of virtuosity, and a timid use of synthesizers, which gave each work of the band a unique atmosphere.The rhythmic melodies and bases were privileged, very dynamic and intense with the guitars, but in general without leaving the mold. Due to this, the progressive component has a smaller presence, following the path of the previous works.

It's worth noting the intensity of the initial Test for Echo, the bass and guitar lines on Driven, and the elaborate Resist, the best on the album in my opinion. The rest of the material maintains a discreet level, without going further. Very little for the great musicians who are canadians.

After the Test for Echo, the band took a 6-year break until the next job, Vapor Trails, due to the painful family tragedies of Neil Peart, which even came to question the continuity of the group.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Rush would wait until 1996 to put out their next album, Test for Echo. The title track opens the album, and it's not very good. I give Lifeson credit for trying something a little different in his playing style. He utilized harmonics and some ugly, metallic chords, but he couldn't quite pull it off. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904247) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album has already been thoroughly eviscerated by other reviewers, so I'll be succinct here. This is a strong example of a band writing on autopilot, recycling songwriting tricks prevalent throughout their previous efforts with the assumption a winning formula will do the work for them. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#959268) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't get the hate for this album - it was, like the previous one, a warm shower after the freeze that set in in the mid 80's. I've read some reviews where some think that Rush were emulating Dream Theater here and I simply don't get that either as they are nothing like similar on this album ... (read more)

Report this review (#940447) | Posted by sukmytoe | Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Two and a half stars. First off, I am a huge Rush fan. There are no albums by this band that I don't love. Except this one. Mind you, not all of it is bad. Parts of it are great. There is still great musical interplay between Geddy, Alex and Neil but there is too much blandness and truly awful ... (read more)

Report this review (#906944) | Posted by ster | Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

1 stars After the promising Counterparts, Test For Echoes doesn't live up to the same potential. It's simply messy, overly loud, and lacks any great melodic ideas. While I appreciated the alternative sound in their previous effort, this time around it is somewhat of a turn off. This is probably the band' ... (read more)

Report this review (#771355) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, they really pulled things together for this album. Test For Echo was their strongest effort in a long time, bringing back the consistant songwriting quality of albums like Signals, Hold Your Fire, and Roll the Bones, and returning to a more guitar dominated sound but with a few synth ga ... (read more)

Report this review (#639546) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Thursday, February 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Test For Echo is... I guess it's considered one of the weaker albums by the majority of people, or even the worst of Rush's huge collection. I can't really tell if this is the worst Rush album of all, (if there's even a bad Rush album out there) but I can certainly say that I enjoy this album ver ... (read more)

Report this review (#636492) | Posted by Çâh | Monday, February 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Why the hate? This album is great! Don't let the haters fool you, even if not strictly prog, this album is a great rocker that is certainly more pleasant than albums such as Hold Your Fire and Signals. I'd put it at about equal to Counterparts and Vapor Trails and better than and Snakes and ... (read more)

Report this review (#627081) | Posted by Apollo2112 | Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Hmmmm....... I was positive raving about this album when I got it on it's release date. But a lot of water har run into Loch Life since then. This is the final Rush album before the big earthquake that hit Rush and in particular; Neil Peart. It could easily had been the final Rush album too. Rush ... (read more)

Report this review (#597360) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my opinion (obviously), out of all the 18 studio albums Rush have put out, there are only four good records. I mean really, really good; classics. They are Caress Of Steel, 2112, A Farewell To Kings, and Hemispheres. It's no accident that they are all consecutive, from 1975 through 1978. Like ... (read more)

Report this review (#586399) | Posted by Vaz | Sunday, December 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After a 3 year absence Rush finally delivered with an ok album. I'm sorry but this album doesn't do all that much for me but the few songs i remember are memorable and great tracks. The title track is a great song that i always go back to. Driven is a powerful track with a great riff and mood ... (read more)

Report this review (#463571) | Posted by criticdrummer94 | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After the release of Counterparts, expectations about a new album grew a lot. But what else further disappointment can be said about Test For Echo ? This album appears to me like Roll The Bones, with mainstream of musical approach that is not easy to identify. The problem here is that there ... (read more)

Report this review (#437419) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Friday, April 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think that many fans keep this as one of their weakest albums, and i actually understand why. It is bit boring in places, and it's not very progressive. I agree that it is one of their weakest albums, but still i give it 3 stars. This is very uneven album, because there are very great moment ... (read more)

Report this review (#419367) | Posted by Talybont | Monday, March 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album cannot decide if it wants to be the great COUNTERPARTS or the mediocre ROLL THE BONES, with songs splitting the difference between the two. Sometimes, this results in winners, like "Driven", which is one of RUSH's best songs and indicates that they REALLY like KING'S X, or the title tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#409675) | Posted by Gorloche | Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album will always be special to me, because it was the first rush album I heard. I had listened to some random tracks such as Tom Sawyer, Distant Early Warning among others. This album may not be as progressive as Hemispheres or as elegant as Moving Pictures but is still on hell of an alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#304434) | Posted by unarmedman | Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a Rush album that I once had and tried to get into many times but finally gave up on and traded it in. Nothing about this album grabbed me and no single track even stands out from the rest. They all seem to just flow into the next song with little distinction. Was Rush burned out and f ... (read more)

Report this review (#275827) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Test for echo is a big disappointment to me. Possibly their worst album (the only one). With the exception of Driven (and maybe Limbo and Resist), TFE is boring. Musicianship is weak and lyrics are uninspired. I would even say that several of Rush's worst songs are there : Half the World (boring and ... (read more)

Report this review (#260076) | Posted by fred9000 | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This may not be Rush's progiest record ever, but its an alright rock album. The lyrics on this album range from stunning and majestic to incredible terrible. Its too mcuh range in this album with the lyrics to make the terrible ones enjoyable. Geddy Lees voice has gotten alot better with ag ... (read more)

Report this review (#247647) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I think Rush reached to a point in the late 90's where the lack of creativity is shown in their music. Sorry, if I had to say that about a band which had made along many years the top billing in the progressive music world. And that remark came a short time after Counterparts album, whic ... (read more)

Report this review (#199031) | Posted by Sachis | Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Test for Echo is the last studio album from the bands 1990 releases I call their "Contemporary period". Albums included are Presto (1989), Roll the Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), Test for Echo (1996), and Different Stages "Live" (1998). Wow, after putting out an album every year for almo ... (read more)

Report this review (#182383) | Posted by Analog Kid | Saturday, September 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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