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Monday, June 1, 2009

Rush - Snakes & Arrows

2007 was a magical year for the Canadian Prog Metal trio Rush in full magnetic power. It had been a while since Rush released a studio album since Vapor Trails and their 30th Anniversary Tour and the R30 DVD, but with the release of Snakes & Arrows, it remains one of their finest albums since 2112, Signals, and Permanent Waves.
The lyrics from Neil Peart are definitely on the top of Rush’s game. Dealing with excuses from Religious bullshit on; Armor and Sword, Workin’ Them Angels, and Faithless, he acts as an intercessor to the issue on Religious worshipers to God and Jesus Christ and acting to say what is going wrong with the situation with lyrics including: ‘Confused alarms of struggle and fight/blood is drained of color’ and then later on the struggling to go up above the clouds and the damage is too disturbing with; ‘No one gets to their heaven without a fight/the battle flags are flown/at the feet of a god unknown’ and ‘Sometimes the damage is too great/or the will is too weak/what should have been out armor/becomes a sharp and burning sword’
What I loved about Neil’s rants is that he’s absolutely right on what is happening. If you don’t like what he’s saying, than don’t listen to them or the music itself, but if the music seems a little political, they could give the band a huge massive attack they couldn’t destroy. It’s almost the middle finger to the issue. Depending whether you agree or disagree with the way Neil’s lyrics, it might contain some controversial taste on the debate. If it wasn’t for Rush, we wouldn’t even be here today.
The opening introduction of Far Cry which was released as a single before the album came out during the Summer of 2007, is heavy guitar riffs and the pounding drums that sounds like a race car that won’t stop going fast around in circles, is the instant fundamental track. It’s also the prototype of Rush’s career: A cross between Test for Echo and Circumstances, lead vocalist and bass guitar player Geddy Lee’s high-pitched vocals added a taste of color that would make you cry for joy, well sort of, the stealthy manner of the first track.
During the ‘70s, Rush always has a taste of doing some epic prog instrumentals that seem very heavy and a taste of the folk music turned metal. This time, they brought it back from the dead. The 6-minute track, The Main Monkey Business has very similar touching taste that remains a tribute to the Moving Pictures album with its hard rocking guitar sounds done by Alex Lifeson who’s doing a cross between Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin that is almost dangerous but very experimental. Malignant Narcissism is Geddy Lee as he does some heavy fuzztone fusion like bass work on his trademark Fender Jazz Bass, and then comes the Folk music turned into Sabbath’s Laguna Sunrise which is definitely on the top of Rush’s favorite instrumental tracks, Hope starts off with an acoustical lukewarm guitar solo done by Alex Lifeson as he puts the heavy licking solos away for now the way that Zep would do every performance as they would sit down and do a magical bluegrass sing-along song that would have audiences stomp their feet to. But the real grinders are the mind-boggling tracks such as; the blues turned power metal turned sinister track on The Way the Wind Blows, the soothing melodic rhythm on The Larger Bowl, and the atmospheric tension of haunting menaces on Spindrift. All in all, Snakes and Arrows is their greatest comeback and the best of the best Rush albums they’ve done. And the meek shall inherit the earth for the Temples of Syrinx. The prog metal gods are back in a big, big, BIG way!

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