Rush at the pinnacle of their early and best sound. There is probably no other album which better exemplifies the "Rush" vision than "Hemispheres". The story of "Hemispheres" comprises the first half of the album, a sequel to the last part of their album "A Farewell to Kings". In "A Farewell to Kings", the last segment Cygnus X-1 Book I chronicles the flight of a space traveler into the heart of the black hole Cygnus X-1. Book II: Hemispheres chronicles a planet whose people are eventually engaged in civil war because they can't decide which god to worship. Worshipping Apollo, god of intellect inspired them to build cities, and yet they ended up feeling empty. Dionysus, the god of wine and love brought them pleasure until the winter arrived and they starved. The space traveler going through the black hole Cygnus becomes the god to reconcile the two.
The next two songs, Circumstances and The Trees, are just very Rush, exploring social issues as they have done in much of their material. The final piece is a rock instrumental.
Hemispheres is just about as quintessentially Rush as can be. Although the ideas explored in Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres may have been explored before in other artistic expressions, Rush makes up for it with amazing music. Part of Rush's sound is not just the Getty Lee's vocals and Alex Lifeson's guitar but also Lee's bass which is almost as prominent an instrument as the guitar. Neal Peart's drumming is not merely accompaniment but integral to the rest of the ensemble. Rush may be the only band to come close to using forms traditionally used in classical music. In terms of harmonic and melodic sophistication, the only other band to come close to classical music is Queen.