Clockwork Angels

Continuing the “slow” start…

Been really busy over the last few weeks so blogging has not been high on my agenda. That probably won’t change much over the coming months as the new house build nears completion. But I thought I’d make a little time for a couple of posts, starting with the very important announcement that the new Rush album, Clockwork Angels is bloody brilliant!

As you would expect from Lee, Lifeson and Peart the musicianship is formidable and the compositions tight. In keeping with their last few releases it is also a very powerful beast, driven by guitar, bass and drums. There are other instruments in the mix too, of course, but it’s the main instruments of this extraordinary trio that come to the fore. And especially the drums.

Something is different about the drumming on this album that, for me, stands out right away. It strikes me that there is a kind of relaxed vibe about Neil Peart’s playing this time out, something organic and almost … earthy? Something that seems to add an extra dimension to the overall sound, making it more expansive and open. This something is perhaps best explained by the words of the man himself in an article posted on his official web site (www.neilpeart.net) back in January of this year, At The Gate Of The Year:

In recent years I have been working deliberately to become more improvisational on the drums, and these sessions were an opportunity to attempt that approach in the studio. I played through each song just a few times on my own, checking out patterns and fills that might work, then called in Booujzhe. He stood in the room with me, facing my drums, with a music stand and a single drumstick—he was my conductor, and I was his orchestra.

You really should read the whole of that article by the way. It is enjoyable, amusing and informative and also explains the source of producer Nick Raskulinecz’s nickname.

What else can one say?

Well, it’s worth pointing out that Clockwork Angels is a concept album telling the tale of a young man’s journeys in a steam-powered fantasy world and reports suggest it will be made into a novel by Kevin J. Anderson. It also features the songs Caravan and BU2B, which have featured as part of Rush’s set list during recent tours. So I shall be looking forward to hearing these again, along with more from the album when Rush return to the UK in May 2013.

And, as I wrote above, it’s a bloody brilliant album not to mention accessible, melodic, heavy and an essential addition to any serious music collection.

Oh, aye, and apparently the clock featured on the cover should be read in 24 hour form.

In the unlikely event that you didn’t know as much, you can follow Rush on both Twitter and Facebook.

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