RUSH — A Farewell to Kings (review)

RUSH — A Farewell to Kings album cover Album · 1977 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Rush - A Farewell to Kings

"A Farewell to Kings" is the fifth studio album from hard rock/progressive rock band Rush. "Caress of Steel" had shown Rush first appear with their complex epic heavy rock style, which was continued to a greater extent with the following album "2112". However, "A Farewell to Kings" marks a new era for Rush, as the album sees them incorporate a plethora of instruments going beyond the standard rock instruments as well as a bit more of a spacey sound.

The album isn't a stark difference though, as it does continue some of the sounds of the previous album, such as the space rock elements. It acts as a lot more than a background minor element here though, the album having an overall spacey atmosphere to it. It's most notable in the two epics, 'Xanadu' and 'Cygnus X-1', which continue similar lyricism to the 2112 suite. Before Metallica popularized classical intros to heavy albums, Rush opened up the title track with quite the serene classical guitar intro.

While the rest of the shorter songs are great too, especially the underrated 'Cinderella Man' with it's menacing opening riff and great solo, the real main event are the two epics on the album. 'Xanadu' is a killer hard rocking space epic that begins and ends like a soundtrack to a Sci-Fi film. Peart's philosophical lyrics really shine here, relating to man's search for immortality and the consequences that would come with it. It's hard to pick favorite albums, but it's even harder to pick favorite songs. However, without a doubt, 'Cygnus X-1' is one of my all-time favorite songs. It simply gets everything right and perfectly. A sinister foreboding intro, funky bass/heavy guitar jam, descending guitar, crushing guitar, and menacing ambiance all lead up to a thrilling conclusion. The grinding guitar at the end mixed with Lee's piercing screams are simply spine-chilling, and honestly scarier than the most kvlt black metal band could ever attempt to be.

The killer album cover says it all, by the time the album is finished, that scene shows what happens. That's the effect of one of the most brutal hard rock songs, it leaves your mind blown and all surroundings in flames. I admit I'm a fanboy with this album, but this is an essential listen for any heavy rock/metal fan. One listen, and there's no going back, forever in the beautiful black hole of Cygnus X-1. Hope you found this review helpful.

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siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Great review, Uni! One of my all time favorites, not just of Rush :)

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