Definitely my favourite Rush album; Hemispheres is a superb classic album from the Canadian band and can genuinely described as epic, a word that is often over-used but in this case I feel appropriate.
The album contains the concert classic 'The Trees,' which is a truly fantastic song with intelligent songwriting and memorable melodies. I defy you to listen to it for the first time without singing it in your head for weeks afterward!
As if that wasn't enough, it also contains the diverse instrumental track 'La Villa Strangiato,' which of course is a stone cold classic beloved by all Rush fans; the multi part instrumental influences bands as far as Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, Tool and even Mastodon.
The least know song on here, 'Circumstances,' is still great, catchy and memorable, even if at times it seems to be ignored or overlooked.
The reason to buy this album however is for the side-long almost-title track 'Cygnus X-1, Book 2: Hemispheres,' which in my opinion is one of the greatest songs ever written. Sometimes among Rush fans there is argument as to whether it is better than 'Cygnus X-1, Book 1,' or not, or even whether their other side-long suite '2112,'eclipses it, but I feel it beats both if only by a whisker. (Both are undeniable classics after all.)
The track, representing half an album's worth of music is full of creativity, astounding musicianship and brilliant recurring themes tied together nicely. There is so much to like all packed into the one grand track.
The haunting segment where Geddy sings `I Have memory an awareness but I have no shape or form...I have passed on to Olympus,' often sends a chill down the spine.
The lyrics are fantastic throughout in fact; the music is furious, almost mind bending prog-metal... with heroic sounding guitar solos, great synths and of course one of the world's greatest drummers. To top it all off, Geddy Lee the bassist/singer puts down the performance of his life. As I've already stated, it is simply one of the greatest songs ever written.
To summarise; this is the best Rush album there is in my opinion, which is a big statement considering the wealth of classic albums that Rush have in their catalogue, and I would honestly say that it is possibly one of the greatest albums their is.
Standing proud beside classics like 'Dark Side of the Moon,' 'In The Court Of The Crimson King,' and 'Close To The Edge,' you cant go wrong with Hemispheres.