Rush

Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner)

Metallurgy

Rush

Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner)

Canadian warlocks return with 20th studio release and third LP since the trio's new millennial reboot. Synthesizers are set to beverage warmer – nearly nil – but where a back-to-basics drums/bass/guitar bash continues since peak return Vapor Trails, pinpoint production to extract hooks from hard rock homogeneity continues to elude them. If Neil Peart's family tragedies didn't rechristen him, his growing dependence on miracles (see Snakes & Arrows' "Workin' Them Angels") calls for intervention ("Halo Effect"). The elongated title track, with its psych interlude and typically interstellar axe work from Alex Lifeson, can't compensate for the total collapse of Geddy Lee's once-reviled high range ("Carnies"). (Rush returns to the AT&T Center in San Antonio Nov. 30.) **

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