Fearless Papa of The Brethren of the Crust
- May 27, 2020
- The Lonely Mountain
I dont think he was, maybe using the old Pete Towsend trick and hitting the amp with an MXR Dyna-Comp. I cant recall seeing him use OD's, I think most of the time he used straight amp distortion. As much as I love Alex, his selection of pedals has kinda been a mystery to me, other than the obvious stuff like chorus effects and wah.He was also using some kind of distortion pedal with the Hiwatts wasn't he? An MXR or something? Whatever it was, he got a really good balance between having some grit and sustain, and letting all those odd chord voicings ring out without turning to sludge. And yeah, that 9th fret harmonic, I find I have to dig that one extra hard to get it to ring out. One of my favorites ever to play. Some day I'll learn the whole thing through...
The whole song is challenging but not as difficult as Strangiato. What makes Hemispheres easier is the structure. The Prelude has pretty much all the chord shapes you will use. If you can play the Prelude, you can play the whole shebang. Strangiato's movements are all pretty different to each other, and its one of those that if you eff up its hard to get your footing again.
BTW, a special mention for one the most undervalued Rush tunes: Circumstances. I remember reading an interview with Paul Gilbert, and he brought it up, saying it was one of his favorite little Rush rockers. It in many ways is the pioneer for the direction the band would go in post Hemispheres: Shorter, tighter pop influenced songs with prog elements. Its one of my favorites and that riff before the chorus is badass.