It’s been more than 30 years since Canadian rockers Rush released their concept album 2112. The album featured the 20 minute “A” side opus of the same name, and it’s also been more than 30 years since they released another concept album.
On Father’s day I was treated to the musical notes of the band’s powerful return with of all things a new concept album called “Clockwork Angels.” The album concept is about a young man who is on a quest to follow his dreams. During his quest, the young man finds himself caught between the powerful forces of chaos and order. The young man finds himself traveling a steampunk world that’s full of pirates, and incredible locales, precision crafted flying machines made of metal, and all the while there is a certain clockmaker who is trying to impose his precise and exacting will over this strange world.
Clockwork Angels is Rush’s 20th studio album, and is the follow up to their 2007 release Snakes & Arrows. The band once again returned to the studio with Nick Raskulinecz who worked with the band on Snakes & Arrows. Band and producer entered Blackbird Studios in 2010 with their producer to begin recording the songs “Caravan” and “BU2B”that would eventually appear on their new album.
The band was also on tour between 2009 and 2010. The band’s Time Machine tour featured Rush playing the whole “Moving Pictures” album in its entirety to the delight of their world wide audience. The band went back into the studio in 2011 to finish the recoding chores for the album that would eventually become Clockwork Angels, and eventually see release on the 12th of June of this year.
After listening to Clockwork Angels a few times, if I compare it to its 1976 predecessor the most obvious thing that I noticed is the sense that this is a band that really has matured as musicians.
The band’s overall mastery of their instruments is very impressive. Hearing that mastery on a recorded album is fantastic, but to witness that mastery in a live venue is just a total mesmerizing event to be a part of. As a fan I cannot wait to see the band perform these songs live on their upcoming tour, and I know I’m not the only Rush fan that feels this way.
30 years plus and counting and this trio of three friends from Canada continue to create the kind of music that you would expect to hear coming from four or more performers, and they just keep astounding us with their nightly performances. Long live the kings of prog music, long live Rush.