Wednesday, 10 June 2015

By-Tor And The Snow Dog (Rush, 1975)

This mini-suite by Rush is often quoted as a band's early progressive effort and a model for following and longer compositions. Also the main character of this epic, By-Tor, will come back in a later song, but I don't think we should label such a rich and diversified song as a sketch for succeeding masterpieces. In fact, the four movements of "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" (that's to say: I. At the Tobes of Hades; II. Across the Styx; III. Of the Battle; IV. Epilogue) are accomplished examples of heavy prog and - despite their tricky and mythologic concept - are a solid, neat and coherent set.

The lyrics as they appeared in the original LP.

Hard riffs, wide open melodies, atmospheric passages and graceful links follow one another to describe the fierce battle between two powerful and fantastic enemies. This is a kind of prog that simply didn't exist in 1975, a clever mix of toughness and refinement, simplicity and complexity. Something bound to become a classic. And yes, one of the Rush-est Rush tracks!