Five years after Vapor Trails, Toronto's most consistent stadium-fillers return with another epic journey of technical rock prowess. Neil Peart, as usual, delivers high-concept lyrics via Geddy Lee; this time spirituality, war and faith are the prevailing metaphors. By prog standards the songs are reined in (most clock in at five minutes), but in typical Rush fashion the compositions tend to feel coldly scientific or laboriously calculated. What with Peart's metronomic perfection, Alex Lifeson's restless guitar proficiency and Lee's shape-shifting vocal structures, you might find yourself wondering what just a minuscule amount of pop carelessness would do to this time-tested prog recipe. Nevertheless, it's a solid record on the hour-long whole, and definitely in keeping with the trio's inhuman standard of rock excellence.
Rush rock the Air Canada Centre September 19 and 22.