Fri, Jun 8, 2012, 01:00

Clockwork Angels Roadrunner Records ***

The Holy Triumvirate, as their devoted fans call Rush, have produced a body of music of surprising complexity for a trio. Clockwork Angels is a concept album, a journey through the dreams of a young man who voyages in all kinds of exotic lands. It works because the songs work on their own terms. This album’s calling card is Headlong Flight, a stripped down (for Rush at least) rock anthem.

Many guitarists have played a Gibson Les Paul, but few have made them sound as interesting as Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. Singer Geddy Lee doesn’t quite reach the upper octaves anymore, but there is no indication that success or longevity have diminished their ambitions or their sound. Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart grapples, as ever, with the big themes. “I was brought up to believe the universe has a plan, it is not ours to understand,” goes the first line of BU2B (Brought up to Believe). I love you baby, it ain’t.

Download tracks:Headlong Flight, The Anarchist, BU2B