Hard Rock

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Hard rock, or heavy rock, is a genre of rock music which is tied in with heavy metal at several levels. The hard rock sound is typically characterized by heavily distorted guitars, potent riffage, and strong and solid drums which, along with the bass, constitute the rhythm section, while the vocals are often aggressive and draw primarily on expression, as hard rock vocalists often incorporate screams, wails, growls, raspiness and falsetto voice and other techniques that one rarely encounters in types of popular music outside of the rock music sphere. Hard rock is heavier, more aggressive and harsher than pop rock and many other types of rock music and is thus based on the same aesthetic as much heavy metal music is.

Hard rock emerged in the mid 1960s and early 1970s as musicians within various rock subgenres of that era (such as, for instance, blues rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, southern rock, boogie rock and garage rock among others) began experimenting with distortion, heaviness, intensity and aggression. The sound that such artists developed would eventually become the sound associated with heavy metal music in general, and the early hard rock sound is often considered identical to the proto-metal sound, and, at the time, the terms ‘hard rock’, ‘heavy rock’, and ‘heavy metal’ were synonymous.

As artists like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and later Judas Priest, began to gradually move their music away from its blues roots and into darker territory, ‘heavy metal’ began to be used with reference to the type of music resulting from this darker and more intense type of rock music, while many other artists who contributed to the establishment of the proto-metal sound retained their blues influences, and also began incorporating other elements into their music, and by the 1980s, hard rock was generally considered more commercially oriented and more melodic than heavy metal music. The histories of hard rock and heavy metal remained intertwined, though, as many hard rock artists would often take their music into heavy metal territory and incorporate elements from various subtypes of heavy metal into their music, while heavy metal artists would continue to draw on influences from both contemporary and early hard rock. Also, many artists would experiment with both heavy metal music and hard rock, releasing albums and singles some of which fall under the hard rock rubric while others fall under the heavy metal rubric. In addition, several subgenres and movements in heavy metal have close associations with hard rock - for instance, many NWoBHM artists would extensively draw on hard rock (some even being more hard rock than heavy metal), while glam metal is often conflated with hard rock.

The term ‘hard rock’ is used in a number of different ways. Sometimes, it is used as an antonym of ‘soft rock’ which refers to pop rock, folk rock and other types of rock music which do not emphasize distorted guitars – this definition is very broad and includes any type of guitar-driven rock, not necessarily related to heavy metal music, including punk rock, grunge and even Brit pop. Another broad definition is the use of the term ‘hard rock’ with reference to heavy metal music in general, while a more specific use of the term is restricted to blues-based pentatonic rock music performed with intensity and heaviness on distorted guitars, thus excluding many artists who combine rock with elements from heavy metal. Another definition, which is the one that the MMA operates with, emphasizes the heaviness of hard rock compared to other types of rock music as well as its relation to metal, placing hard rock within the sphere of heavy metal music on the scale of heaviness and intensity underneath traditional heavy metal, but above other types of rock music. On this definition the ethos that characterizes heavy metal music in general, is applied to hard rock as well, thus largely excluding rock genres like punk rock and grunge rock (with exceptions, of course), as well as individual artists and releases whose sound cannot be said to bear any similarity to heavy metal music or to have any relation to heavy metal music at all. This definition cuts across rock music subgenres, and will thus include artists from, say, southern rock or AOR whose sound involves a considerable amount of heavy metal elements while excluding other southern rock or AOR artists that do not integrate heavy metal elements into their music.

Inclusive Hard Rock Genres

Heavy Psych Also known as Psychedelic Hard Rock or Hard Psych, heavy psych is a fusion genre between hard rock and psychedelic rock developed by acts such as Blue Cheer and Vanilla Fudge in the late 1960's. As such many early heavy psych acts can also be found under proto-metal on the MMA. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy psych acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music. Examples of later heavy psych acts include Blood Ceremony (whose work also leans into doom metal), Purson and Jess and the Ancient Ones.

Heavy Prog Also known as Progressive Hard Rock, heavy prog acts add a harder edge to their core progressive rock sound, which may or may not include metal elements as well, but are still primarily progressive rock artists. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy prog acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music, though as always this distinction need not apply to every release the artist has made. Examples of acts in the MMA database with heavy prog releases include Porcupine Tree, Arena and Touchstone.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • 666Sharon666
  • (leader)


Biography written by Time Signature. The Inclusive Genre section written by adg211288.

hard rock top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

RUSH Moving Pictures Album Cover Moving Pictures
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4.44 | 146 ratings
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AC/DC Highway To Hell Album Cover Highway To Hell
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DEEP PURPLE Deep Purple In Rock Album Cover Deep Purple In Rock
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4.39 | 100 ratings
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LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin IV Album Cover Led Zeppelin IV
LED ZEPPELIN
4.37 | 132 ratings
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RUSH Hemispheres Album Cover Hemispheres
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4.36 | 111 ratings
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DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Album Cover Machine Head
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BLOOD CEREMONY The Eldritch Dark Album Cover The Eldritch Dark
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RUSH A Farewell to Kings Album Cover A Farewell to Kings
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4.34 | 109 ratings
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CLUTCH Robot Hive / Exodus Album Cover Robot Hive / Exodus
CLUTCH
4.97 | 6 ratings
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MCAULEY-SCHENKER GROUP MSG Album Cover MSG
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4.51 | 14 ratings
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BOSTON Boston Album Cover Boston
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FOO FIGHTERS The Colour and the Shape Album Cover The Colour and the Shape
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4.45 | 17 ratings
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hard rock Music Reviews

FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE We're Only in It for the Spacerock

Album · 2005 · Hard Rock
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Modrigue
FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE is a young band influenced by 70s' HAWKWIND and the stoner rock movement. Their first album "We're Only In It For The Spacerock" delivers a raw, energetic and powerful psychedelic metal. Heavy cosmic Jam into the universe!

The record opens with experimental old school synthesizer sounds which makes you immediately take off from Earth, to announce "Sannraijz", a catchy trippy metal tune with reverb effects. The baby of you-know-who's "Space Ritual"! Besides, "Sometimes Going Too Far is The Only Way to Go" ressembles a little HAWKWIND's "Time We Left this World Today". The disc continues with "Sannraijz 2", a pretty interesting acoustic version of the song featured before. However, the highlights here are undoubtedly the last two tracks.

The title song features 20 great minutes of instrumental dark space rock improvisation with musical and rhythm changes, alternating peaceful and powerful movements. This jam is sometimes reminiscent of SUBARACHNOID SPACE. The cosmic trip ends with the heavy "Make yourself heard for the sake of the world", a mini space rock epic with beautiful flute playing.

"We're Only In It For The Spacerock" is highly recommended to space and stoner rock fans, especially HAWKWIND, PINK FLOYD and early MONSTER MAGNET lovers.

FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE Impressionable Sounds of the Subsonic

Album · 2006 · Hard Rock
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Modrigue
Impressive hawks of the stoner rock

The Swedish band has quite evolved from their first release, and it shows. The line up has grown, the music is less raw, less chaotic, more structured and displays a larger variety of instruments. Vocals are more fluent and more spacey, due in part to the addition of a female vocalist. "Impressionable Sounds of the Subsonic" features top-notch stoner and space rock. A mindblowing cosmic journey exploring all types of planets!

As in "We're Only in it for the Spacerock", the album begins by setting up the atmosphere with synthesizers, guitars, drums and flute. The introduction sounds like a heavier version of ELOY. It goes on with "Utan Att Veta" which is maybe one of the best stoner tunes of the century. Powerful and freaky! The whole disc rocks and transports you in another universe far far away. From efficient heavy stoned riffs to relaxing moments through psychedelic sounds and acoustic pieces, from trance rhythms to bongos, through beautiful and angry flute playing, "Impressionable Sounds of the Subsonic" has nearly all! One can hear by moments influences from HYDRIA SPACEFOLK and PORCUPINE TREE. The disc finishes in an empty region of cosmos with an Hawaiian guitar jam.

One of the best space and stoner rock release. If you like 70s' HAWKWIND, HYDRIA SPACEFOLK, MONSTER MAGNET and PINK FLOYD, this album is for you!

FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun

Album · 2009 · Hard Rock
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Modrigue
This third album from the Swedish space rockers shows a little inspiration inflexion compared to their previous opuses. With only three long tracks (four in the CD edition), the compositions has become less melodic, more stretched and improvised. "The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun" also marks another change with the discrete incursion of new elements for the band.

The opener and shortest song of the disc, "Demons & Haze", is simply one of the best compositions from the Swedishs. Best passage of the record, it possesses a powerful space stoner rock introduction with an unusual rhythm and vocal flow. Bombastic! The rest of the song is slower and features spacey keyboards reminiscent of Tim Blake. "Turn Left to the Mexican Barbeque" starts with a calm acoustic guitar, to continue with a heavy space metal jam with female vocals. Enjoyable, but we already heard better from FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE. The 23 minutes title track is a little unusual for the band. Not entirely space rock or stoner, this piece alternates soft floyd-ish, psychedelic improvised and joyful cheesy moments. The middle part is too long and the music doesn't seem to go anywhere. Finally, the overall result is average.

The CD edition includes a 16 minutes long bonus track, "Smokin". This is rather a patchwork of different extracts than a structured composition. The song contains long calm passages, nervous moments, short middle-eastern melodies and HAWKWIND-esque touches. Not essential and also a bit lacking musical direction, but more convincing than the title track.

"The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun" is a little unequal and incoherent. The band wanted to evolve and emancipate from their initial stoner / HAWKWIND roots by proposing something new, which is a good thing. However, these novel elements are, on the one hand, stretched space rock improvisation (which has been done before in the 70's), and, on the other hand, soapy symphonic passages. The melodies are also less present than on their great previous album "Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic". The only remarkable track of the record is the opener "Demons & Haze".

Enjoyable if you like space rock and HAWKWIND, but not the best place to discover the band.

PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS Feed the Rats

Album · 2017 · Hard Rock
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aglasshouse
Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but seven different pigs.

What Pigs (x7) are in a nutshell is a louder-than-life stoner rock band, in a very similar vein to Motorpsycho, Wolfmother, or maybe even Black Mountain. This is evident from the short track listing, composed of three long amalgams of frenzied panic and mental decomposition in song form. It should be noted though that this Motorpsycho comparison is more directed towards the 90's form of the band, such as Lobotomizer or even Trust Us, as Pigs (x7) doesn't carry the baggage of prog-rock subtleties (or perhaps in this case unsubtleties) of MS's more recent material, instead opts for the more amateurish, noise aspects of what composed much of Motorpsycho's earlier sound.

Don't get the wrong idea though, because I believe Pigs (x7) and their debut Feed the Rats are able to stand out from their influencers, no matter how many various lines can be drawn between them. As mentioned before there is a short track list, unsurprisingly of three songs, two of which are 15 minute (or more) behemoths of drugged-up strength. Even though they are different in run-times, they still revolve around a similar formula -- to assault you with a fuzzy clout on your eardrums. Pigs (x7), like many heavy stoner rock shit-bands, have a sole objective to hit you with as much sound as possible until it knocks you dead, no matter how long it may take. I do believe this was achieved, at least at certain points. 'Icon' in particular had several extremely enjoyable moments, but unfortunately due to it's length I doubt I'd find myself casually listening to it. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't find myself taking a sit-down like I do with many other even longer stoner albums. The double-guitar cacophony of Sam Grant and Adam Ian Sykes becomes almost enchanting in their monotonous crunching, aided by the pained howls of Matt Baty (who's voice is uncannily akin to Steve Brooks of Floor).

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs is an oddly-named but very enjoyable unit whose expression of their craft is very sonically enticing. A no-holds-barred band with a raucous attitude awaits within the embrace of the painted pastor.

FUEL Sunburn

Album · 1998 · Hard Rock
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aglasshouse
Any person with half a semi-rational head between their shoulders should be able to tell you in good conscience that alternative hard rock was the king of the 90's. In both sales and popularity, bands like Nickelback, Creed, and a plethora of others quite literally became millionaires in the span of only a few years. A large criticism of these groups was their indistinguishability from one another, as they all seemed to play the same brand of commercially friendly riffage and golf-ball-in-the-throat croons. Looking back, these criticisms were certainly well-justified, but it's also easier to tell apart the higher quality hard rock bands from others.

I believe that Tennessee-based Fuel is one of these higher quality groups. Their history stretches back to 1994 when they emerged as a post-grunge band under the name Small the Joy. After a name change that year, the band would go onto release a variety of DIY EPs. One EP in particular, titled Porcelain, featured the band's first breakout single 'Shimmer' (which remains the band's most popular song today), which more or less got the EP an unprecedented 5,000 copies sold. Record labels were quick to notice a potential profit, particularly Epic Records who swooped up a record deal with them as soon as possible. Two years and one more EP later the band would find themselves presented with a major-label debut, one they called Sunburn.

Aside from being enormously popular, going platinum in only two years, Sunburn is still the crowning achievement of the band. Showcasing some of Fuel's most fun-loving endeavors, the overall quality of the album remains still enjoyable even after almost two decades. This is less due to really the skill of the band members and more to the fact that the songs they play are catchy as all hell. This factor can be a bit obtuse if you're extremely critically minded, and I'd hate to employ a "turn your brain off" methodology to enjoy this album, but I believe to a certain extent it is required. It should be a given though that that makes this album isn't exactly formidable or even sophisticated, but I don't believe that really was Fuel's intention. If it's a mission to rock, then I can't really fault them because they do numerous times. In particular, 'Ozone', grooves with the ferocity of a swagger-filled city slicker, as well as 'Jesus or a Gun' being more along the grunge of the Foo Fighters. The tracks, while being crunching, fast-paced and aggressive, don't exactly stick out too much from one another, other than the aforementioned two, but it really adds to the easy-on-the-ears experience if you're planning on listening to the album in one go.

If you're a stiff-lipped music critic who has no intention of letting loose with some undeniably low-brow music, let me be clear that Fuel's work or at least this one is not for you. Even I'm still sort of on the fence about it, even after all these years. All in all though if you are looking for a flash-fire of enjoyment, then Fuel's Sunburn delivers it like a one-two-punch.

hard rock movie reviews

THE WHO Quadrophenia: Live In London

Movie · 2014 · Hard Rock
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rdtprog
I was not sure before purchasing this DVD, if I was going to enjoy a live show with the complete double album of "Quadrophenia", because it was a long time ago that I listen to this album and if I remember, I didn't enjoy all the songs. Many years later, I didn't change my mind about this, there are some really good songs, like the title track, "Dr. Jimmy", "The Rock" and "Love Reign Over Me". The other tracks are not bad for what they are, good rock songs, but not as good as some songs of their entire discography. Fortunately, the show has some of those songs as bonus performance, including "Baba O'Riley", "Who are You" and "Won't get Fooled Again"

There's a lot of projections on the screen of the band from the old days. Nice touch to have included John Entwistle with a solo of one of his performance in the song "5:15". Not only you can see him on the screen, but you can actually hear his solo. In fact, his solo sounds more alive than the bass sound of the actual player Pino Palladino, who is rarely captured by the cameras and low in the mix. Also, during "Bell Boy", Keith Moon is singing on the screen.Those projections of the old days performances are only present in the "Quadrophenia" album and not in the bonus songs at the end. We have many musicians on the stage including horn players, Simon Townsend who signs like Pete in "Dirty Jobs". Also two keyboardists, but it's mostly the piano that we hear during this show.

It is easy to rate this, can't be 2 stars because it's not only for collectors, and can't be 4 stars because, that is not a progressive rock show. So it's a good 3 stars, nothing more. But those who enjoy "Quadrophenia" will have a ball with this DVD!

DEF LEPPARD Classic Albums: Hysteria

Movie · 2002 · Hard Rock
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progshine
The worst episode of all Classic Albums series (and I watched 25 of them)!

What is great about the series is that they explain track by track about the albums and show these tracks on a studio enviroment stripping them down and showing us details. Not here.

Hysteria have 12 tracks, but according to this documentary the album have only 7 tracks, and half of it the only feature on the movie is some video or live footage of the song, sometimes the band says 3 words about it though.

As I said, this series is supposed to go deep into Classic albums in the history of music and tell their secrets and details, and most of times they do an excellent job. Not here.

Not to mention that Hysteria might have sold 12 million copies but this is not a classic album at all, just a popular one in 1987. And we know this story in Pop music, right?

RUSH Replay X 3

Movie · 2006 · Hard Rock
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AtomicCrimsonRush
"Replay X3" is a terrific box set of the 3 earlier Rush VHS concerts and it has been mastered to provide great picture though not all widescreen unfortunately. The sound is excellent without any noteable dropout unlike the VHS antiques. The packaging is excellent, booklets included and all original art prints on the seperate covers. There is also a bonus CD of Grace Under Pressure which is worthwhile.

DVD 1 is Exit...Stage Left, a 1 hour concert from the early years or Rushtory when they had long hair, and features a strong setlist with the likes of Limelight, Tom Sawyer, and a rare appearance of the brilliant Xanadu. The usual suspects are here such as the wonderful Red Barchetta and quintessential Freewill along with lighters in the air stalwart crowd pleaser Closer To The Heart. It is always great to see them having fun with the instrumental YYZ and a real treat is to hear the medley at the end with By-Tor And The Snow Dog, In The End, In The Mood and 2112 edited together masterfully. The VHS or DVD delivers what it promises, Rush in their hey day with great quality sound and editing. The band look young of course and jump around a lot more and there were no signs of chicken rotisseries or clothes dryers back then, but a heck of a lot of lighting and laser effects more than makes up for it. The concert also comes with a lot of interview footage and voice overs between songs, and some footage of the band backstage while the songs play and that is a treat compared to the usual straight concert footage. Too short but quite sweet. A real blast from the past that will please Rushaholics.

DVD 2 is Grace Under Pressure, another of the earlier concert performances of Rush running for about an hour with a lot of songs from "Grace Under Pressure" of course and it is nice to hear these. It begins with a glorious opening with The Spirit Of Radio, and a noticeable glowing effect on the band especially the white shirts, as if Vaseline had been rubbed on the lens. This is the 80s and this effect was prominent on film clips of artists such as Nik Kershaw and Dire Straits or Duran Duran. It looks kind of weird on Rush as they were never pretty video boys. Unfortunately the fuzzy effect is prevalent throughout the recording, and it kind of annoys me, especially the way the bright lights phase over constantly. Lifeson wears a white sports jacket looking like the mad scientist of metal, Peart has a white T and red cap that he loses later, and Lee wears grey suit jacket and white T. The hair dos are 80s personified; Peart has a rat tail, Lee has a mullet and Lifeson has a Flock of Seagulls quiff. Oh well, it is what it is. The music is brilliant.

The Enemy Within is rarely heard live but sparked my memory and it's a great song. The Weapon is always fantastic, one of my favourites, and it begins with a Dracula character on screen telling people to put on their 3D glasses. Witch Hunt begins with a screening of a bunch of cultists burning books with torches. It is a great song from "Moving Pictures" recently heard in the Time Machine concerts. Lee's vocals are excellent throughout and the guitars are incredible. New World Man is another one rarely heard live recently and it is OK though not one of the better tracks from "Signals". Synths are heard here though no one seems to be playing them, so I suspect some recorded music was used. It was the age of the video clip and a clip is shown of some animation and a boy looking up to see a huge airship in the sky. Distant Early Warning follows and it is a great song from GUP, that has become a concert favourite. The clip shows the boy riding a missile and the laser light show follows.

Red Sector A is an awesome song and I loved hearing it on this DVD again, with one of the strongest melodies of the Rush catalogue. The laser show looks great here. The lyrics by Lee are terrific and when Lee sings "smoking gun" a massive explosion goes off causing the crowd to roar. The lyrics are actually based on family experience and is a homage to his mother and father that survived the holocaust. Though Lee re wrote the lyrics to have a broader perspective that it may apply to any holocaust like situation such as Rwanda. Closer To The Heart is always a crowd pleaser and the crowd know it well enough to drown out some of Lee's vocals. There were no mobile phones back then but plenty of lighters go up in the air.

The obligatory medley is here with a terrific merging of some classics, YYZ, Temples Of Syrinx, and Tom Sawyer. During YYZ the crowd are obsessed with air drumming throughout. Tom Sawyer features the Moving Pictures animation on the screen. It is nice to hear Lee be able to reach those high notes too in the chorus.

Vital Signs is one I have not seen live on other concerts till the "Moving Pictures" live concerts of recent years. When Lee takes off his jacket his white T glows like the rest of the band's halos. It is a weird effect really and perhaps the worse part of the DVD. It ends with Finding My Way and In The Mood, from the earliest album. it is a great crowd participation song with the crowd visible throughout, a guy even lights up a pipe at one stage. Overall, this is a great snippet of songs from the Rush 80s years, worth checking out for certain even if for nostalgia if nothing else.

DVD 3 is A Show Of Hands, a 90 minutes concert experience and as such way better than the previous DVDs available, namely "Exit Stage Left" and "Grace Under Pressure". It is excellent also due to the use of animations on the big screen and the overall setlist. The songs are from "Hold Your Fire" mostly and I believe they are better heard live than on that album so that is a drawcard of this particular DVD. It also has a very solid quality sound throughout and the band look great and have heaps of fun. From "Hold Your Fire" the songs appear, Mission, Prime Mover, Force Ten, and Turn The Page so there is a lot from their latest at the time.

Closer To The Heart is always present of course along with quintessential Tom Sawyer, and The Spirit of Radio. I always love to hear the magnificent Red Sector A and hard rocking Force Ten, and it was great to see them play Mission, another one rarely heard live on these DVDs.

Marathon, Territories and The Big Money from "Power Windows" are good rockers for the crowd to get into. The drum solo by Peart is terrific, with his vibes section and patented cymbal jazz splashes along with some incredible triplet work though his drums are still stationary in this era, and not as many.

The concert ends with a brilliant medley 2112, The Temples Of Syrinx, La Villa Strangiato and In The Mood. Overall a strong concert, one of the best live documents of the band and worth getting hold of above the rest.

The Grace Under Pressure Bonus CD, is a previously unreleased audio from the newly remastered Grace Under Pressure concert soundtrack and it is a fantastic Rush sound.

"Replay x3" is definitely worth getting as it houses 3 very good concerts of the early years and these are only available now with this set released in 2006.

RUSH Exit...Stage Left

Movie · 1981 · Hard Rock
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AtomicCrimsonRush
Exit...Stage Left is a 1 hour concert from the early years or Rushtory when they had long hair, and features a strong setlist with the likes of Limelight, Tom Sawyer, and a rare appearance of the brilliant Xanadu. The usual suspects are here such as the wonderful Red Barchetta and quintessential Freewill along with lighters in the air stalwart crowd pleaser Closer To The Heart. It is always great to see them having fun with the instrumental YYZ and a real treat is to hear the medley at the end with By-Tor And The Snow Dog, In The End, In The Mood and 2112 edited together masterfully. The VHS or DVD delivers what it promises, Rush in their hey day with great quality sound and editing. The band look young of course and jump around a lot more and there were no signs of chicken rotisseries or clothes dryers back then, but a heck of a lot of lighting and laser effects more than makes up for it. The concert also comes with a lot of interview footage and voice overs between songs, and some footage of the band backstage while the songs play and that is a treat compared to the usual straight concert footage. Too short but quite sweet. A real blast from the past that will please Rushaholics.

RUSH Snakes And Arrows Live

Movie · 2008 · Hard Rock
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AtomicCrimsonRush
This 3 CD package is a great concert experience that I will return to often. Everything works - from the excellent sound quality to the crystal clear picture. The stage itself is massive and there are incredible lighting effects, lasers and fire effects. The 3 split screens at times show each band member, and sometimes a visual effect to enhance the track being played. There are weird Rush-ian gimmicks, namely the 3 huge ovens full of rotating chickens that glow ominous red throughout the night. There is no reference to these except Lee says at the end of CD1 that they are no longer spring chickens so they need to take a break. At one point a weird chef appears to turn the chickens over. Similar in fact to the washing machines with rotating clothes in the 'Live in Rio' show. Other subtler things are on stage such as flanks of flowers around microphones, plastic dinosaurs around Lifeson's stacks and the piece de resistance is the miniature Stonehenge rock on Lee's keyboards - a nod in Spinal Tap's direction for sure. We see crowd shots and Lee takes home movies of them screaming Hello Canada - in fact we see many versions of him doing this from other shows. Peart is featured with a sizzling drum solo that is well above what normally occurs in solos. He uses gamelon style blocks and sound effect drums to enhance the solo and his kit rotates to add depth. I love when the jazz band kicks in and he plays full blown jazz metrical patterns - there is a standing ovation after this.

There are no lengthy lead solo sections where Lifeson plays by himself but there is a nice acoustic piece following the drum solo. Lifeson effortlessly plays all the songs with precision and finesse. Surely one of the greatest guitarists in the world.

Lee's vocals are excellent and as clear as ever. His bass pounds on every track. I noted its all mostly hard rock on this live show. The band play old favourites that every Rush fan adores such as 'Spirit of Radio' and 'Tom Sawyer' but they focus on 'Snakes and Arrows' album, virtually playing every song. This could have been problematic but I find these live versions even better than the studio versions. I was never a huge fan of S&A but this live concert really brings something special to these tracks. I like the film clips that break up the songs such as South Park's Cartman singing Tom Sawyer and the weird clips of babies in prams and a game of snakes and ladders.

The bonus features are fun, such as watching the clips without the band shots and the making of the clips which show Rush at their kookiest. Some of the extra live tracks are great too so overall this is a must see for any Rush fan. I recommend this as well as 'Live IN Rio' which are completely different experiences. This is not as good as 'Rio' due to the set list, but it is still a fantastic DVD package.

Artists with Hard Rock release(s)

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