|Review by Marpow April 23, 2015 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
|Rush: A Farewell To Kings Blu Ray Audio 5.1 & Stereo
Always trying to improve my style of reviews, while not bogging down on too many points this disc is a hard one as I was compelled to do a track by track review. I find this disc fantastic, but in the end I think better to have your own experience.
Quick Facts: Rush's 5th studio release, 1977, and 2nd release in the HFPA Blu Ray 5.1 format. It is the 4th Rush 5.1 surround sound disc released.
I listened at 76 decibels, PCM 96Khz.
Performance: My experience having been a Rush fan since 1990 and having seen Rush twice, this disc is a continuance of the greatness of 1976's 2112. Music is solid and good concept within the realms of Rush's early style of lyrics focusing on space, far away places, and rulers, ruling over the not so lucky. Music is very layered and moves around a lot between soft melody's and in your face punching style. Unlike the previous HFPA BD~A, Fly By Night, the hit songs are now multiplying.
Stereo Sonics: I was surprised, actually quite good. Of course, not the room filling experience as 5.1 but really good. The drums are the only instrument that I wish would have come more forward and I felt the same way with the multi channel. Some songs like Xanadu with the slow start, birds chirping, wind chimes, wind, etc are an absolute treat for the ears. Stereo separation is mixed very well and goes outside the realm of the right/left speakers. Subwoofer is always present but never over powering. Bass guitar, guitars, blocks, moog, all are exquisite and this disc is a no brainier if you do not have a 5.1 set up. I listened via the only choice 24/96 PCM stereo HDMI.
Multichannel Sonics: This as always is the point. Listening to something of this stature in a way that I have never heard before is a thrill. There are two 5.1 choices to listen, and I chose what I generally always choose, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. I always prefer this choice over the Dolby True HD 5.1 as it just sounds a little heavier/ bassy and I like that. For reference, I did listen to both and the Dolby was too bright and shrill for my taste, but did have good bass under the trebley sound. The mch sound I heard with the DTS was pretty confined, a very good mix, but not gimmicky, which I do like remixes with gimmicks. This disc did have enough movement with the natural recording. The percussion instruments are what I really heard as the fun sound of the recording. They did move around the 5 speakers. In the end though the mix is pretty even. Geddy Lee's vocals always dead center. Listen to Peart's full percussion with awesome tubular bells and Liefson's acoustic and electric guitars, more than driving bass of Lee and you have a very good 5.1 recording and in my opinion done better than the first HFPA, Fly By Night.
Menu and screen: Exquisite picture of album cover on opening of menu that includes Play, Tracklist, Audio and Gallery. No extras. Photos are mostly black and white, a few colored, nothing exceptional. Lyrics come up automatically at each song but do not advance automatically, so if you want to read lyrics as they go you will need to keep remote in your hand. If you stare at the King Marionette long enough the strings above move and some limbs move, the smoke coming out of stack moves.
Packaging: Normal HFPA plastic case. 2nd disc I have received with no download voucher which was the norm in the beginning. I wonder if they have decided to stop? Mini paper booklet with lyrics, few photos, original and the new 5.1 credits.
ENDING: I really enjoyed this 5.1 disc and of course is a must for any Rush fan. I believe this disc is good enough to bring joy to ones system even without being a Rush fan. Not as good as the most awesome moving comic book, 5.1 sound of Rush's 2112, but a close second. Highly enjoyable and I am thrilled to have it in my collection. I am looking forward to the next Rush 5.1, 1982's Signals.
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