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Do not expect another 'Moving Pictures' but do expect a form of Rush which maintains it's old style while continuing to add new elements. Rush's newest release is far from what you would consider a 'classic' but may be considered a 'favorite.' The amount of instrumentals may leave you flustered, but the amount of good material is very high. Rush continues it's consistency while other group's fail to deliver after their prime. This aspect makes Rush better than most bands who lack in releasing good albums one after another.
After the first listen of this album I said to myself that it was a good album and I was not dissapointed but I realized it followed the trend of many less popular Rush albums, that being one or two hit songs and a lot of similar sounding alright songs. But upon my second listen I realized this was not the case. 'Snakes and Arrows' is an achievement which is better than many of their other albums. This may be hard to believe but I would rather listen to this album than '2112' or 'Fly By Night.'
This disc contains some of my favorite Rush songs. It really is, for a band that's far past it's prime, an amazing release. It sounds less grungy than "Vapor Trails" yet less progressive than "Farwell To Kings" or "Hold Your Fire". Yes, there are many instrumentals, but they are all pretty good, and don't overstay their visit.
My favorite song is "The Way The Wind Blows". It starts with Soft thumping drums, before bluesy, shredding guitar comes in. The riff is very heavy and pushing while the vocals recall songs like "Tom Sawyer" and "The Spirit Of Radio." The songs pushes into six and a half minutes and is really in my top 5 Rush songs.
Another really good songs is 'Far Cry' that also has a very heavy riff, but is a little more jamming and fast paced. The chorus is very catchy and the song is also a very strong track. 'Armor And Sword' is another longer song that is very enjoyable. It begins very laid back with the line, "The snakes and arrows a child is heir to, are enough to leave a thousand cuts." When the line is done the song gets massive an epic.
Rush is at the top of their game. When I saw them in concert for this album Neil Peart delivered and amazing, over ten minute long may I add, drum solo. They can still jam with older songs like 'YYZ' and Geddy Lee can still sing "The Spirit Of Radio' like he did in 1980. Unlike other groups Rush is still as good as they were when they were young and I await future releases from this band.