“Subdivisions: A Tribute To Rush” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Subdivisions: A Tribute To Rush”
Label: Magna Carta Records
Release Date: 3/15/2005
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

Magna Carta Records follows up their Rush tribute “Working Man” with “Subdivisions” and while there is nothing quite like the original, this album continues to showcase the other side of some Progressive and Rock greats it makes for a nice companion to the first release. The original “Working Man” found Mike Portnoy on most of the drumming, and he is clearly a monster talent capable of all things Peart; his adventures in Dream Theater have allowed him to take drumming to the next level. “Subdivisions” however lets all the drumming be handled by Steve Vai and Annihilator skin basher Mike Mangini. Mike is a killer player who does the album justice. Vinny Moore and Stu Hamm handle the rhythm guitars and bass on the whole recording as well and that makes the key focus be on the vocal talent this time around. Sebastian Bach is once again present on the album and he does a great considering his level of expertise. As a result “Tom Sawyer” and “Lakeside Park” have a new heaviness to them. Yet despite Bach’s presence I was more interested this time around in the contributions of the other singers and I feel many listeners could enjoy this as well. Joining the talented folks who put this together is Randy Jackson (Zebra), Kip Winger (Winger) and Jani Lane (Warrant).

For those who have never heard Randy Jackson, you are missing out on one of the best Rock singers ever. His work with Zebra and his ability to handle Robert Plant with ease make listening to “Subdivisions” and “Distant Early Warning” a very interesting experience. Kip Winger does great as well and gives a slightly different vocal sound to “Limelight” and “Spirit Of Radio”. I also think that the singer who will surprise the Progressive fans most is Jani Lane who shows that he really can belt them out on songs such as “2112 Overture/Temple Of Syrinx” and “Bastille Day”. Don’t sell him short for the Warrant stuff which held high the Hair Metal banner because he does the legends some justice on this tribute album.

Of course listening to the real Rush albums is much better to do, but sometimes a tribute album when put together well is worth giving some attention to. They include a booklet and in this you will find commentary from many of the players who line out what Rush meant to them as musicians. If you love Rush and some of these players appeal to you then I say give it a chance.

Track Listing:
1. Distant Early Warning
2. Lakeside Park
3. Limelight
4. Subdivisions
5. Different Strings
6. Tom Sawyer
7. Bastille Day
8. A Farewell To Kings
9. The Spirit Of Radio
10. Didacts And Narpets
11. 2112 Overture/The Temples Of Syrinx

Official Website: www.magnacartarecords.com

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