Roadrunner Records (2012)
It wouldn’t be fair to merely write ‘It’s freakin’ Rush!’ and prove you need to buy this. For comparison’s sake, “Clockwork Angels” rivals much of their mid to late 70’s output, when Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart seem to be at their creative peak with their knowledge, construction skills and out of the box pushing of any progressive hard rock parameters. The 12 songs on this album give the listener 65 minutes of stripped down, three piece mood moving music. Some parts of “The Anarchist” and “Headlong Flight” rival the best space/time travel moments within “2112”, as Geddy seems to have an attacking nature to his notes, offering the bottom end thickness for Alex to roll comfortably over the top of. Geddy’s voice may not necessarily get to the helium highs, but he’s still pushing himself to sustain what he can with confidence and power.
“Seven Cities Of Gold” is the current masterpiece for me, with all three members locking into this hypnotic groove and each getting ample chance to extend the main riffs with their own little nuances, twists and turns to make an instant body moving experience. The recording has a liveliness to it not heard in quite a while – the band appear genuine in their intent to keep the creativity flowing until they no longer feel inspired. Even when they add a string section to the closing third of “The Wreckers”, it doesn’t sacrifice from the pure emotion of Alex’s riffing.
You can’t hit out of the park all the time when you’ve been recording albums since 1974. We as Rush fans know that they’ve recorded enough special albums and songs through the years to forgive any left turn indiscretions they may have made not to our liking. “Clockwork Angels” will be held in high regard by multiple generations of Rush followers- not just in 2012 but probably for the rest of their career.
Rating: 5.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe