Fly by Night
February 15, 1975
Listening back to this underrated album, which came out on this day 37 years ago, really reestablishes my appreciation of Rush as a band. This was some heavy shit back then, the overall presentation is dark and mysterious, yet the content remains defiantly positive in nature. The standout centrepiece of the album, By-Tor & the Snow Dog, is a focus on the more darker subject matter, a tale of a heroic snow dog that saves the world from the prince of Hell. Truly epic. Musically, its just dripping with black mass atmosphere, with the ghostly squeals of shadows in battle with the light. For the most part, I find the music outplays the lyrics overall, Neil Peart is a beast behind the kit, and and indeed the trio as a whole rock out with a looseness and a more immediate sense of aggressiveness (that inevitably began to get reigned in), paving the way for the emergence of heavy, fast and more technical players and sub genres in their wake. Certainly one of the most, if not the most, significant Canadian band in the evolution of heavy metal. Take a listen.