I must say I didn't expect that much from TFE, partly because of the reviews, and partly because I've had Rush on 'ignore' since 1988, due to a steady decline in quality beginning with Grace Under Pressure (just my opinion). But having heard (and loved) Snakes and Arrows, I thought I really should check out some of their other 'late' output to hear what I've been missing.
I've not given this a whole lot of listens, (as I've also been trying out Roll The Bones and Presto, and some Billy Cobham for when I get all Rush-ed out), but the first five tracks have been on five or six times, and they are excellent, compelling, complex, hard-edged, melodic, intelligent modern heavy/rock/prog/metal. In short, they are unmistakably 'GOOD' Rush. Nobody else does it like this. So why the moaning? Vertigo is scary, especially the spiralling, up-and-up chord progression, Driven is good to it's name, hard and relentless, and Time and Motion is the precursor to 'Spindrift', off Snakes and Arrows: nicely dark and dischordant.
If you liked 'Snakes', get this: it's closer to their most recent work than Vapor Trails.