Top positive review
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"To Walk The Caves Of Ice..."
on 10 September 2011
It starts gently, acoustic guitar strings opening the first track, sweeping from left to right channels, accompanied by a soft keyboard melody, glockenspiel and birdsong that bursts effortlessly into A Farewell To Kings - medieval in feel and infused with a melancholic yearning, the middle section is delicate and heavy at the same time, ride cymbals ping, bass weaves up and down and Alex Lifeson simply makes his guitar sing but best of all, it all sounds so effortless. This opening splendour leads us to the dark, mystical and intricate beauty of Xanadu - a masterclass of atmospherics and composition. This is a wondrous Rush album and easily one of their finest moments, you really get the sense of adventure and experimentalism that fired the band at this bold new phase of their recording career. The timeless Closer To The Heart proving that Rush can create a perfectly crafted song under the three minute mark and still showcase their developing musicanship. Madrigal, whilst melancholic and quiet, displays another rare short song that is both calm and evocative and always makes me think of some ancient, otherwordly winter, all burned broken trees and cracked earth, a tired horseman with splitting boots, contemplating the absence of a lover.
Cygnus X-1, closes the album in a brilliantly eerie and fearless manner, it is at once dark and brooding, slow and pulsating, it builds and builds into a spiral of chaos then leaves the listener in a soft, space-like and contemplative mood. In places, there is a real feeling of menace and of mystery. Kings is a unique and complex album, full of interesting ideas and truly exciting compositions. This is essential listening for lovers of intelligent music and fully deserves a place in the sacred halls of progressive rock. This is classic Rush.