Rush – “Clockwork Angels”

Rush – “Clockwork Angels” (Anthem / Roadrunner)

Wow, considering I grew up listening to Rush, I never thought I’d ever be reviewing one of their albums – maybe there is a god after all LOL! For today’s metalheads, Rush may seem like a faint hark back to pre history, but if you were a kid in the late 70s and early 80s then albums like “2112”, “Farewell To Kings” and “Permanent Waves” stood alongside those of UFO, Priest and Motorhead as part of your staple diet! However, when they moved into softer rock and I erred to the dark side (i.e. thrash LOL) from ’83, I lost touch with these 3 plucky if eccentric Canadians (not touring in the UK didn’t help either eh boys) until their 2007 “Snakes & Arrows” tour when by chance I got a VIP ticket – still, it wasn’t the most encouraging performance leaving me (and probably the 3,000 other people) if anything hankering even more for those old classics. Five years on we have “Clockwork Angels” and despite the predictable big mechanistic prog inlay booklet – WTF – they’ve wow’d me again by going heavy this time! From Geddy’s hard twanging bass to Alex’s hard, squeaking guitars to Neil’s smashing cymbals for a mo I did a double take thinking I’d been taken for a ride by a cover band as even Geddy’s vocals were occasionally screaming LOL! But no, I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that messrs Lee, Lifeson and Peart have infused metallised rock into songs like ‘Carnies’, ‘Seven Cities Of Gold’ and ‘Headlong Flight’, thankfully dispensing with that (now old) ‘New World’ radio rock. But Rush being Rush, there’s still plenty of prog, ambient and bits of funk etc to make them as odd man out as they were before, all brought to fully bear by the usually superior levels of musicianship and production. Over four decades on, these guys show why they are still one of North America’s premier classic rock bands and if anything “Clockwork Angels” is an amazing return back to their rock roots that will reach out to both new and old fans: 40 million albums sold worldwide can’t be for nothing…..

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