In 1976, the virtuoso Canadian trio RUSH, consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, keys, vocals), Neil Peart (drums) and Alex Lifeson (guitars), had written an over 20 minutes lasting Prog Metal suite titled “2112” and they had proven, that they have the skills for longer songs. With “2112”, their fourth album, RUSH reached the commercial breakthrough.
“Hemispheres” was released two years after that and it demonstrated impressively the compository and soundtechnical maturing of them like it was already known from “A Farewell To Kings”. All songs are written from Lee and Lifeson and drummer Peart has written all lyrics as ever and they are as always very contemplative and society criticizing. The Prog Hard Rock Suite “Cygnus X-1 Book II / Hemispheres” shines with a well-done work out of the musical themes. The trademark high pitched voice, the lively bass, the precise, inventive drumming and the many time changes create an unmistakable sound picture. The sparsely synthesizer parts serve furthermore as accentuation of the guitar.
Typical RUSH is, that while the solos in the normal songs are always subordinated to the song itself, they clearly show their individual skills in the instrumental “La Villa Strangiato”. So the end of “Hemispheres” consists of skilled guitar and bass parts, frenzy drumming figures and an impressing musicianship of the trio. And also the cover shouldn’t be forgotten – ingenious...
This is only one of the many classics of the Canadian Gods RUSH, whereby I prefer the Pop period in the 80s. So, Metal and Prog fans, who like it a bit harder, should check out “Hemispheres”. (Online June 19, 2004)