Sound — 10
The first thing you notice about this album is that it sounds heavy. I know Rush were always a bit heavier than most of their progressive rock peers in the 1970's, but with "Clockwork Angels," the band seem to have moved a little closer to being Progressive Metal, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the core iconic Rush feel fans know and love is still present, while giving the album a somewhat more 21st Century sound. I feel like this would be a good album for someone who is wary of newer releases by classic rock groups, because I can honestly say there is nothing I didn't like about this album, sound-wise. It's Rush, they like to experiment with sound, but no matter how much they try to change, you'll always know it's them.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics to this album are good, not the band's best, but as fans probably were already aware of, this album is a companion to a novel of the same name, written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rush's genius drummer, Neil Peart. The result is that the CD, despite being extremely enjoyable on its own, is better when you have read the book, because the album is lyrically a compressed version of the story in the book. Geddy Lee's vocal performance on the album is surprisingly strong, considering I'd heard he was having throat problems around the time it was recorded. Neil Peart's drumming is as excellent as ever and let's face it: Alex Lifeson is one of the most underrated guitarists in the history of rock - he has great riffs and solos pretty much all the time.
Overall Impression — 10
This was probably the biggest musical surprise of the last few years for me. Partially because as I mentioned earlier, I'd heard Geddy Lee was suffering from some sort of throat problems and partially because I just plain wasn't expecting the album to be so powerful. It's heavy, it's melodic, it's lyrically intelligent, it's packed with amazing drumming, killer riffs and complex bass grooves - it has everything a fan would hope for in a Rush album... now here's hoping their next one can top this effort. One of the most interesting releases from a classic group in the modern era, "Clockwork Angels" is Rush, firing on all cylinders, determined to make a great record - and succeeding.