Clockwork Angels

1. Caravan
2. BU2B
3. Clockwork Angels
4. The Anarchist
5. Carnies
6. Halo Effect
7. Seven Cities of Gold
8. The Wreckers
9. Headlong Flight
10. BU2B2
11. Wish Them Well
12. The Garden

Alex Lifeson — Guitars, backing vocals
Geddy Lee — bass, lead vocals, keyboards
Neil Peart — drums, percussion

Rush (1974)
Fly by Night (1975)
Caress of Steel (1975)
2112 (1976)
A Farewell to Kings (1977)
Hemispheres (1978)
Permanent Waves (1980)
Moving Pictures (1981)
Signals (1982)
Grace Under Pressure (1984)
Power Windows (1985)
Hold Your Fire (1987)
Presto (1989)
Roll the Bones (1991)
Counterparts (1993)
Test for Echo (1996)
Vapor Trails (2002)
Feedback (EP) (2004)
Snakes & Arrows (2007)
Time Machine 2011 - Live in Cleveland (2011)


Produced by Rush and Nick Raskulinecz
Artwork by Hugh Syme

Released 12/6-2012
Reviewed 30/6-2012


The first thing that will meet you when first seeing the latest Rush album Clockwork Angels is a familiar thing, something we have encountered before in the long career of Rush. If you don’t have any clue of what I am talking about, I think you should brush up a bit on you Rush history. After all the are the greatest hardrock band from Canada and they have always been making excellent music which is why I could not help having expectations for this album. And I had already heard tracks like opening Caravan and BU2B when listening to the live album we saw last year, and at least Caravan was an excellent track. Clockwork Angels is the nineteenth studio album of Rush and it is the eighteenth with their present line up of Lifeson, Lee and Peart which is quite an impressive feat considering the fact that it is 37 years since they released Fly By Night which was the first album with today’s line up. A lot of happened during all those years of course, the band has gone through several phases and has always managed to come out strong no matter which direction they have taken their music.

Nowadays it is of the progressive hardrock direction they are doing their music which is well illustrated on the opening track Caravan which many of you probably have heard since quite some time as it was released quite a while ago just like BU2B the second track on the album which makes it open in a familiar way which could be clever. There are ten more tracks on the album following these two we already know and together all the twelve tracks plays for just around the hour and shows quite a bit of variety in stylistic terms. It is progressive with many atypical elements and time signatures but the album is still remarkably easy to access despite its complexity. You could say that they make the complexity of elements easy to understand, simplification maybe. Lee is recognisable with his high pitched voice although he sings in a bit more held back fashion, I think you could compare it to the style of albums like Moving Pictures or Vapor Trails. I don’t really think you can compare this album musically to any of the earlier even though you will of course recognise many of the elements used in this album from earlier works but it is a more evolved Rush we hear. The album is a conceptual one but the concept is not really something you take too much notice of while listening, but it gives the album a feel of the songs being more connected than on a regular album.

Clockwork Angels is one of Rush’s best albums to date, it has some amazing stuff like Caravans, the title tracks, Cities of Gold to name a few with the first one being in a class of its own sort of connecting all that is Rush for me in one song, I think besides Tom Sawyer the best ever song by Rush. Unfortunately the album also has some sleeping pills like BU2B which just doesn’t get anywhere and I think the band should keep the tempo up rather than go down in tempo because when they make slower songs they tend to sort of disrupt the album a little. Nevertheless, these are not as a big a niggles as they might be made to look like when writing about them and the album as a whole is a great adventure that shows not only outstanding musical prowess but also some outstanding musical thinking. It surely qualifies alongside albums like 2112, Moving Pictures or Signals, a top five album in the Rush discography I would say.

An impressive album by a band with an impressive musical history and I would say that my expectations were easily met as these guys clearly knows how to make impressive and amazing music and so they have done again with this album. It is an album that I believe will probably make it into my top ten list when they year is to be summarised, it is that good. Be sure to look it up.



Label: Roadrunner/Warner
Three similar bands: Saga/Dream Theater/Led Zeppelin
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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