RUSH — Test for Echo (review)

RUSH — Test for Echo album cover Album · 1996 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Unitron
Rush-Test for Echo

It appears that I'm somewhat alone in enjoying 'Test for Echo'. Following the alternative/hard rock of 'Counterparts', 'Echo' is much in that same vein, except even heavier and even less synth. Sometimes reaching heavy metal, 'Echo' really stands out as a unique album in Rush's discography. I like to think of it as another transitional album like 'Grace'.

1. Test for Echo. The title track that starts off the album is easily one of the best. It begins with slow guitar and Lee's low flowing vocals. Quickly picking up the pace, Lifeson gives some killer riffs. Lifeson shreds at times during the song, and the slow-heavy transitions are crafted very well. The bridge comes in with a great solo, and ends with great guitar shreds. Easily my 2nd favorite from the album. (10/10)

2. Driven. Fitting the title, Driven begins with driving guitar riffs. The acoustics before each chorus fits surprisingly well. The bridge gets a grunge feel, with Lee's strong bass and Lifeson's sludgy chords. The song ends with the drums picking up in speed, Certainly fiting it's name. (10/10)

3. Half the World. Beginning with acoustic and electric guitar clashing very nicely, this song is much softer then the previous two. Even though it has a more folk-sound, it's still enjoyable for me. Not much else to say though. (8/10)

4. The Color of Right begins with guitar blasts, but quickly becomes similar to the previous song. Even though somewhat similar to the last song, 'Color' just drags on too long for what it is. It doesn't go anywhere, and just sounds so...generic. One of the weaker tracks. (4/10)

5. Time and Motion. Taking the place as my favorite song on the album, It also takes the place as the heaviest. It begins with crunching guitar and orchestral blasts. All the instruments compliment each other well, and Lee gives a strong vocal performance during the chorus. Lifeson plays a distorted solo during the bridge before Lee's vocals get darker, and the mood of the song changes. Easily my favorite. (10/10)

6. Totem begins with nice bass, but very bland generic guitar and drums. Once the chorus comes in, the song gets better though with the bass and drums going well together. The bridge is the best part of the song in my opinion with its ambiance. Another one of the weaker tracks. (4/10)

7. Dog Years. Continuing the alternative rock style of other songs, Dog Years has sort of punk-like guitar riffs and weird lyrics for Rush. The bridge gives us some great guitar in the background and Lee's vocals get better. Not amazing, but It's not horrible. (5/10)

8. Virtuality. Another heavy song on the album, Virtuality begins with driving riffs and powerful drum beats. In the chorus, acoustics come in and the lyrics sound like they are about computers, strange subject matter for Rush. A great heavy song, but for some reason the lyrics just don't do it for me. (9/10)

9. Resist begins with corny piano combined with guitar, making it sound like a corny 90's ballad. When the acoustics enter it sounds decent, but the piano just feels out of place. Probably my least favorite on the album. (1/10)

10. Limbo is the only instrumental on the album, and easily is the strongest of the 2nd half of the album. Lee's backing un-singed vocals really fit the song, with Peart's great drumming and Lee's bass combined. May remind you of the instrumentals that would later be heard on Snakes and Arrows. (10/10)

11. Carve Away the Stone closes off the album, beginning with grunge-like guitar. It soon gets softer with piano that just seems out of place, however. Lifeson gives a great guitar solo that fits the song, and some fast acoustics come in. Even though it's far from perfect, it's still good in my opinion. (7/10)

Overall, Test for Echo does get weaker on the 2nd half but it definitely isn't a bad album by any means. If you don't like alternative rock or grunge, you may not like this album.

Hope you found this review helpful.
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1 year ago
Interesting how opinions change :o
Unitron wrote:
1 year ago
Don't pay attention to this review, it's one of my first reviews that I wrote back in 2014 and doesn't all hold up to my current opinion. I'll get through finishing re-writing my Rush reviews at some point here.
1 year ago
Awww man, Resist ain't a band song bro

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