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on 5 June 2016
Incredible that a band who have been going over 40 years should produce 2 albums of such quality in this and Snakes & Arrows, which for me are their best ever work.
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on 29 May 2017
Great item
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on 20 June 2016
fantastic a great buy
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on 24 February 2013
An excellent album by one of my favourite bands. I'm so looking forward to seeing them in Birmingham soon !
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 October 2013
I've been a Rush fan since the gods only know when. About Hemispheres I think, so that'd make it about '79 (I can even remember the record shop, no longer there, that I bought it from after having fallen in love with my brother's copy). With such a huge catalogue of studio albums & so many fond memories to battle against, any question of "Best album?" will draw a variety of responses from long-term fans, but this album has pretty much everything that Rush have ever done on it - pace, change of pace, foot-tapping rhythm, weird stories, power, subtlety, social commentary, each instrument (including Geddy's voice!) coming to the fore at different times without ever over-powering the others; I could go on...

If I had to pick a Top 5, it probably wouldn't be very controversial. 2112 would be on everyone's list, Hemispheres on an awful lot, and Vapor Trails too (oh, man, that opening thunder!!) ; Moving Pictures perhaps passes the previous two for most, and Angels, of course, would be the fifth. I'm not one for "Best / Favourite" much. I tend to be "I like this because... but I like that too, and also..." But Rush just about snag best band ever, and out of all their albums, I reckon Angels just about sneaks it from 2112, though I'm sure many would disagree.

Now, come on lads, when's the next one due? And don't forget, you've got to top this one!
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on 8 November 2012
Ok...I'm quite young to be a "die hard" Rush fan. I'm 22 and only discovered them after buying Moving Pictures on a whim last year, but I can safely say in the year since then they have become one of my very favourite bands!

I now own nine of their albums, most of them being their 70's output, and I love that side of their career! I haven't heard much else outside of those releases, but I loved what I knew enough for me to buy the Classic Rock fan pack the day of it's release!

The moment I played this album I fell in love! The whole album is simply gorgeous...it has this wonderful sense of fun and the musicianship is second to none! I haven't been playing these albums of Rush for decades, so I am not as familiar with them as much as a fan from the seventies would be! But to my ears, Clockwork Angels sounds like a classic along the lines of 2112, Fly By Night or Moving Pictures.

Every song on this disc is a winner, but for me, Caravan, BU2B, Clockwork Angels, Seven Cities of Gold, The Wreckers, Headlong Flight and the sumptuous lyrical masterpiece The Garden stand out as definitive highlights!

For me, as a new fan, this is up there with their best stuff. I think it builds onto the work of Snakes and Arrows wonderfully, and to think this album was made by a group of men old enough to be my father, well I'm captivated and delighted! To my ears, this album has the energy of a debut album. The only thing that betrays that is the quality of musicianship and the strength of the songwriting.

I won't touch upon the concept behind the albums theme, or pick out the finest moments of each individual player (whoda thunk Rush was a trio? This sounds like an orchestra of rock musicians!), as for me Clockwork Angels is more than a story, and more than the mere sum of its parts. It's the best elements of a classic summer blockbuster gathered together into audio form. It's without a doubt the most exciting album of 2012, and I cannot see how anybody could be disappointed!

Album of the year, and one of the best albums I've ever heard in my life!
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on 11 June 2012
2012's Clockwork Angels is the new concept album from the legendary Canadian band Rush. It is the band's nineteenth studio album of original material (twentieth if you count the covers album Feedback) and follows up their last two albums in bringing out the more Hard Rock/Metal aspects of their sound. It takes Snakes And Arrows' variety and Vapor Trails' power and combines them into a very strong album indeed, one that isn't ever dull or plodding. It can be bought now as a digital download, now in a special fan pack edition of Classic Rock Magazine that comes with a Keychain, Poster and links to online bonus content or later on its own in either CD or Vinyl format. The story that it tells is also available separately as a novel if you want to take things even further.

If you have already heard `Caravan' and `BU2B,' which were released a full two years earlier than the record was, then you should have some idea of this album's musical direction already. The songs have since been re-recorded to fit in better with the rest of the album though, so even if you've played them to death already, you won't feel cheated that they are part of the album.

Despite concentrating on the band's heavier side, the album is still very dynamic and varied. Sometimes things will be melodic and sweet, sometimes there are synths and keys in there, sometimes you'll hear little touches that remind you of Hemispheres and A Farewell To Kings and then of course sometimes you'll hear more of the direction from Snakes And Arrows' and Vapor Trails' heavier moments. The opening to `Carnies' even has a big fat riff that could almost fit on a Monster Magnet or Down album.

Each song on Clockwork Angels contains a lot of different parts; you could hear a funk-like break down in one track, an acoustic intro in another, some proggy feedback scrapes in another and straight rock beats in yet another, or you could hear all of that and more within one single track.

Highlights include the closing track `The Garden' which opens with acoustic guitars and has a grand orchestral feel in places, as well as the amazing single `Headlong Flight', which mixes variety with focused hard rocking (similar in a way to `Far Cry' off the last album but with more parts packed into it) and the fun track `The Anarchist' that really takes off in a neat passage that revolves around tom-rolling.

As a general rule, I always find that the best Rush songs are the ones where a lot of time has passed without you knowing it, for example a five-minute track that feels like it is only two-and-a-half minutes long; and the worst ones were the ones where a lot of time passes without enough ideas used to justify the song lasting as long as it actually does, for example a six-minute track that could have worked a lot better as a three minute song.

The best thing about the whole Clockwork Angels album for me personally, is that every song justifies its own length. When this plus is added to the superb musical direction (I prefer the band's heavier side personally), the superb production and the as-always superb musical and vocal talent on display, it makes for an absolutely captivating record that hits hard on first listen and has a lot more to offer on subsequent spins as well.

Then on top of that, you have the interesting steam-punk story to get to grips with across each early listen, which just adds yet further intrigue and replay value. It would be tempting to say that this is almost guaranteed to be loved by any Rush fan, but then you have to consider that their audience is so wide and diverse and their catalogue is so varied that pleasing any one type of fan may cost another type of fan to loose interest.

If you are an early-prog or synth-pop fan first, and a Rush fan second however, if you hated Vapor Trails and the heavier parts of Snakes And Arrows and are generally the type of person who hates all Metal, then Clockwork Angels may not be for you. I can see how it may be leaning a little heavily on one aspect of their sound and that maybe that's the one part of Rush's style that you don't personally enjoy. Maybe even the conceptual nature of the record or the variety within each track isn't enough to save it for you, if you simply don't like Rush when they get all loud and distorted. If this describes you, then my advice would be that maybe you ought to give this one a miss.

Otherwise however, this is a pretty essential album and no matter the size of your Rush collection, this should probably be a part of it.

In summary; Clockwork Angels is a strong and fresh album, it is energetic, entertaining and focused, it is heavy rather often and has enough ideas per song to justify each song's length. It just sounds vital and has enough depth to reward repeat listens. Overall, its a pretty top-notch release and it's definitely something you should consider getting if you like Rush, especially if you like their heavier side.
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on 4 October 2017
After several spins I'm growing to like this album I did slaughter this on my first review but Im feeling kind of guilty now so im changing from 1 star to 3
It's by no means a good album but it does have its moments as a latter day rush album its ok compared to some
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on 26 November 2012
I adore this band and have been listening to them and going to see them play like forever. They are, in many ways the reason I became a musician. They sowed those seeds in me when I was like 10 years of age and like Jack's beanstalk they just grew and grew.

With this caveat in mind I must say that for all the creative and musical genius that has so obviously been poured into this entire album, and at every stage, from concept to mastering it remains flawed, perhaps fatally by the lyrics or more likely the choice of scenarios to turn into songs from the overarching steampunk tale of journey and discovery (upon which, this album is based).

One of the reasons 2112 was such a massive success was that the story, the lone underdog battling against an overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive totalitarian system even unto his death was something that millions could appreciate, simply put, it resonated and the final "ATTENTION ALL PLANETS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION - WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL" was the masterstroke of a genius at home with his craft. Our hero had not died in vain, his single lonely plaintiff cry for help had been heard after all and his death was anything but a meaningless tragedy. This was storytelling at its simple best. A beginning a middle and an end, hubris and nemesis in the classic Greek tradition wrapped up in 20th century musicianship and creativity of the absolute highest order.

CLOCKWORK ANGELS has the same musical creativity and a breadth of ability no band on the planet can match, from a "libretto" point of view however, this is where the comparisons stop. We start off with a young man seeking a different life, he goes on adventures, though most often we are left in the dark as to what those adventures actually are, he has tragedies and eventually he ends up back where he started, tending his garden. All the songs work as stand alone pieces as one would expect, the musicianship and pure craft alone makes sure of that but this isnt an album of stand alone pieces like SIGNALS or POWER WINDOWS this is a high concept album with an overarching storyline and should be experienced as such. Instead we have a strong beginning, several middles and an "end" which is so flaccidly anti-climatic as to be the lyrical equivalent of an anti-viagra tablet. When the Elder Race overthrew the Solar Federation I punched the air and yelled YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! When this album ended I went "Ummm... ok...!" I get what he's on about, I understand the references, I just think it could have been written... better.

That said... I love this album, it kicks butt and does so with a righteousness no other band can even come close to and I love it despite the lyrical and storytelling failings. That much of it is also painfully autobiographical endears me even more to Mr Peart and I hope that with this outpouring his cathartic healing process nears completion.
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on 12 August 2015
This album has brightened up my summer and has been listened to endlessly over the past month. Whilst I admired the more recent albums, all of which include some high-quality song writing, I felt they were not quite up to level of most of the earlier albums (no matter how much this might be endlessly disputed). So a new album by this genius Power Trio at such a late phase in their career would surely contain nothing more than some good-old honest, if somewhat laboured, craft?

Wrong. How wrong. This is one of the strongest, boldest albums they have ever produced and the dynamism and breadth of the writing has given me the most enjoyable eargasms of an evening. There is so much nuance and vitality to this album - verses with polymorphic and intricate harmonies, choruses of towering muscularity, instrumental playing of the highest virtuosic order. Not forgetting, of course, The Prof’s typically cerebral, existentially-troubling lyrics that underscore the tunes. Then there’s the profundity of some of those more tender moments – The Garden is up there with Tears, Madrigal and Different Strings in terms its ethereal dreamscapes and provides a poignant ending to a triumph of an album.

It is truly remarkable that a band approaching their sixties can produce an album of such originality and stature and pull it off with the energy and abandon of a bunch of seventeen year-olds jamming in their parent’s garage. They may not illuminate the concert stage for much longer, but on this form there is no reason why they cannot produce several more albums of similar impact. I very much hope they do.
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