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The Spirit of Progressive Metal - 99%

Five_Nails, September 22nd, 2009

With many of their greatest hits as well as some rather obscure songs, Rush overflows their compilation album, “The Spirit of Radio” with some of the most defining songs in not only their history but the history of progressive rock/metal. Where many say that the lines between metal and rock and roll were skewed with the rise of mallcore (NU metal to the mainstream, but not metal in reality) today and the previous popularization of glam (again not a true metal genre) in the 1980s, they seem to forget that progressive rock/metal band, Rush was one of the first bands to truly skew the lines between metal and rock contributing greatly to the sub-genre of progressive metal. Most consider Rush to be one of the most influential bands in rock and metal in general, and still many others like myself are casual fans of Rush’s very poetic approach to reality and addition of synthesizer as well as different traditional instruments to the template began by bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath.

Opening with the low and gritty riff of “Working Man”, Rush immediately sets this compilation off right. All the hits are here, “Limelight”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Closer to the Heart”, “Freewill”, and “Fly by Night” but there are also some obscure songs that this compilation turned me on to. Songs like “The Trees”, “Red Barchetta”, and “New World Man” show some of their less popular but most interesting songs. Where some songs take a psychedelic tone, like in “New World Man” and “2112 Overture/ Temples of Syrinx”, and “Tom Sawyer”, other songs employ the heavy bluesy tones like in “Working Man” and “Limelight” bringing in a diverse mix of different tones, emotions, and sounds. Rush definitely knew how to ensure an album was never boring, and with this compilation, it sounds as though they were re-inventing the wheel with every song.

For a Rush compilation, this is just about perfect, but since I don’t believe in giving a “best of” a perfect score, I’ll give it as close to one as I can. Rush has always been one of my favorite progressive bands, and this compilation is great for both hardcore and casual fans of Rush, and a must have for any progressive rock/metal fans out there.