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Hemispheres - Rush
Member Name: xBorgx
Hemispheres - Rush
Advantages: A great addition to the Rush collection
After the fantastic 'A Farewell to Kings' album, Rush were left with the quest of continuing on from the 10 minute epic song of Cygnus X1 from that album. How could they top that? And at the end of the song it did say To Be Continued, so that is what they set out to do. The result was an even more epic 18 minute sequel which filled the whole first side of the vinyl edition way back in 1978. Hold on, you might all be crying... who is this Rush you speak of... what kind of music do they play? Well, they are a band who were formed in Toronto and have gone through various styles of music, but have never lost their rock roots. This album in from their Prog Rock phase... or perhaps it is more of an end to that era.
The band consists of -
Geddy Lee - Vocals, Bass and Keyboards
Alex Lifeson - Electric and acoustic Guitars
Neil Peart - Drum and Percussion
The first track is the aforementioned sequel to Cygnus X1, Hemispheres.
It literally explodes into life with part one, 'Prelude.' This is Rush on top form with fantastic interchanging riffs, both loud and gentle. Hemispheres, the track, has an actual story to it. In the first one our hero travels on a rocket to the black hold of Cygnus X1 and this is all about what happened when he got there - basically he meets the Greek gods of ancient times. In part two we meet 'Apollo,' then in Part three 'Dionysus.' But war is raging as per Part four 'Armageddon.' In Part five our hero is reborn and the gods proclaim him as being 'Cygnus' the god of balance. In part Six all is unified in a perfect 'Sphere.' This is just a brief synopsis of the story. The track basically rocks on until Cygnus, which is a great part of the track with a fantastic build up. Over all a worthy follow up to Cygnus X1.
Next up we have Circumstances, which is a fantastic rock song and was released as a single. Then we have The Trees, which is a favourite of most Rush fans. It had a gentle acoustic intro and then things get louder. It is the story of life in the forest and how the oaks have all the sunlight, whereas all the maples form a union to demand equal rights. It is all quite daft, but shows Rush's funny side as well.
The last song in the excellent La Villa Strangiato. This is an instrumental song that showcases the bands talents with guitar and drum. It is actually based on some nightmares Lifeson had been having. Proclaimed as an 'Exercise in self-indulgence,' it comes in several parts with titles such as 'Never Turn You Back on a Monster,' and 'A Lerxst in Wonderland.' 'Lerxst' is Lifeson's nickname. Listen out for a truly amazing guitar solo in the middle. The band still play this live.
This album saw the beginning of an end to Rush's sci-fi and fantasy based writings. The next album Permanent Waves was more like Circumstances and dealt with present day stuff... Overall, though, it is a great one to add to the collection and a nice one to start off with if you have never heard much of them before and want to have a look.
It is hard to believe it is over thirty years old, but like most Rush albums... it is timeless... and retains its crispness due to Rush's distinctive sound.
Summary: A classic.