RUSH – Clockwork Angels

RUSH - Clockwork Angels
  • 7.5/10
    RUSH - Clockwork Angels - 7.5/10


Roadrunner Records
Release date: June 12, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Canadian Progressive Rock legends are back with their 20th studio album titled Clockwork Angels. This album has been in the works for quite some time as recording began in 2010. However, constant touring commitments kept the work on the album delayed. Rush has once again managed to recreate sounds from their 1970s masterpieces as they did with their previous highly acclaimed release Snakes & Arrows. There is even a reference to the 2112 album on this album’s cover art; note the displayed time of the clock (9:12 or 21:12).

Rush has always possessed the unique gift of being able to develop and cultivate their sound over the years. For a trio to have this kind of chemistry for nearly forty years is truly an art within itself. Most can agree that latter day Rush is just as powerful and fiery as their early recordings and their talent is unprecedented. Clockwork Angels is a fearless trip of musical diversity. Each track has something a little different to offer the listener and each is filled with tons of passion and electricity.

Geddy Lee’s vocals are rich and spiritual throughout the entire album. The inspiring and stimulating effects he portrays are unparalleled. Many of his contemporaries that have been actively performing since the 70s have a rough hewn and haggard vocal performance. However Lee has managed to keep his pristine voice intact through the use of a strict diet and care to maintain his vocal demands. Obviously this has paid off with benefits; one listen to the track “BU2B (Brought Up To Believe)” and the lushness of his talent shines through in droves.

Tunefully, each track on Clockwork Angels contains a different type of musical style and theme. Some tracks like “The Anarchist” and “Headlong Flight” contain very prominent effects of previous Rush recordings. While other tracks like “The Wreckers” and “The Garden” could be mistaken as traditional Indie Rock songs by some random band. It’s clear to say the album does not have a straight forward conventional Rush sound, and by not maintaining a clear theme throughout the album there is a sense of being lost trying to follow the various musical directions.

One thing that is consistent throughout the entire album is a significant decrease in musical indulgence; the musicianship is downplayed considerably. Not that Rush has anything to prove in that department, but many fans have come to expect the band to “school” other Prog Rock contemporaries with their enormous talent. The subdued premise seems to lead the compositions as “ordinary” and simply not up to par.

Although certainly not their strongest effort, Clockwork Angels does manage to provide a few glimmers of light which can be added to their arsenal of classic songs. However, the album falls relatively flat overall and does not live up to expectations. Rush has fallen into the trap of the greater longevity of a band, so goes the critical rate of their performances. Rush will continue to march on and captivate their audience for many years, as they are still one of the best in the business, and always will be.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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