Not a clockwork orange, but clockwork angels. Ladies and gentlemen, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are back after a five years gap with their 19th studio album, scheduled to be released on June 12. They play in this line-up since July 1974, having 38 years of impressive and spawning career.
Rush’s sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band, they possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum from which 3 are multi-platinum records – they sold over 40 million units worldwide.
They have been cited as major influence by various other artists and bands from Metallica to The Smashing Pumpkins and from Primus to Dream Theater and experienced different styles of Rock and Metal from their early Blues-inspired Heavy Metal through Progressive Rock and Electronic spiced, New Wave influenced Rock.
Their previous release, the 2007’s “Snakes & Arrows”, although it was
a spiritual journey and with a sound returning to the late 70s Rush’s albums such as “2112”, “A Farewell to Kings”, and “Hemispheres”, it was kind of disappointing – for me at least. That album somehow passed by leaving nothing behind, don’t matter how many times I tried to get under the surface, don’t matter how many times I had listen it, I can’t recall any theme, melody from it. I actually missed that modern groove and heavy sound of albums such “Roll the Bones” (1991), “Counterparts” (1993) and “Test for Echo” (1996).
This times they find the right path and the perfect balance between everything what ever Rush meant to their fans. “Clockwork Angel” have an incredible live groove, have that glowing, modern sound they delivered at the beginning of the 90’s and have those incredible complex, but brilliant Progressive Rock build-ups which make them famous in the 70’s and 80’s. This is definitively the perfect album for all and any of their fans, they finally managed to blend into one all their fabulous colors and sounds, subtle and inspired textures and intense Rock heaviness, they dig back to their roots, but sounds absolutely fresh and looking forward. Can get your own impression saying something – nice – on their Facebook page.
When I started listen “Caravan” I knew I’m gonna love “Clockwork Angels” and it’s gonna last for a while in my player.
01 – Caravan
02 – BU2B
03 – Clockwork Angels
04 – The Anarchist
05 – Carnies
06 – Halo Effect
07 – Seven Cities of Gold
08 – The Wreckers
09 – Headlong Flight
10 – BU2B2
11 – Wish Them Well
12 – The Garden
It may be hard to believe, but this is the first full concept album by the band.
Science fiction novelist Kevin J. Anderson, a long time friend of Neil Peart, announced that he would be writing a novelization of “Clockwork Angels”. He also revealed some information about the album’s concept: in a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.
Although the lyrics are mostly abstractions, so this might be another spiritual journey, a different path to go on for each and every one of us.
The music is something you should listen for yourself. I was stroked at first by how groovy is the drum partitura and how live, fat, warm and powerful it sounds. Then I read what Neil Peart revealed on his personal website and I understand. He said: “I played through each song just a few times on my own, checking out patterns and fills that might work, then called in Booujzhe. He stood in the room with me, facing my drums, with a music stand and a single drumstick—he was my conductor, and I was his orchestra… I would attack the drums, responding to his enthusiasm, and his suggestions between takes, and together we would hammer out the basic architecture of the part. His baton would conduct me into choruses, half-time bridges, and double-time outros and so on—so I didn’t have to worry about their durations. No counting, and no endless repetition.”
And the whole album sounds alive, breathing and powerful. Wow!