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Suffice to say, this has rejuvenated my love and excitement of Rush; the band that got me into rock and prog in the first place. I always figured Rush would be making an album after the previous 'Snakes & Arrows' but I also figured it would have the same modern rock sound they have been pursuing for the past few years. This is something different though; the modern sound is still there but it's cranked up to make it heavier and more progressive.
After a sequence of ambience, the title track's proggy main riff kicks off and leads into a pretty standard Rush song structure. It's easy to notice that this is quite a bit heavier than the Rush we came to know on 'Snakes & Arrows' and there's quite a bit more ambition in terms of the time signatures. This is very guitar based until the chorus where the 'I can't stop thinking big' hook takes over, backed by some ethereal playing at the hands of Lifeson.
The second song here (titled an abbreviation of 'Brought Up To Believe') is probably the heaviest Rush has ever gotten. The main riff sounds akin to djinty math metal, which really blew me away. Unlike a band like Meshuggah however, Rush carries this technicality and makes a real song with it. This really ends up being Geddy Lee's song; his vocal melodies shine here as does his bass, which really gets a chance to be heard throughout all of the heaviness.
Despite this is only a two song sneak preview of 'Clockwork Angels,' Rush has amazed me with this. Most bands of their age and seniority generally take a dive downwards and end up only recording mediocre material to cater to their dwindling, aging fanbase. 'Caravan' and 'BU2B' have proven to me that this band is certainly not out of the picture, and are only continuing to explore different aspects of their music together.