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Vapor Trails is the 2002 comeback studio album by Rush, marking the return of the band and their drummer Neil Peart after the tragedies in his life.note  With lyrics talking about the after mentioned tragedies and 9//11, this is easily the darkest album the band has ever done. The tour for this album was documented in the Rush in Rio concert film.

While it had the hit single “One Little Victory” and was praised for the heavier sound, it was a major victim of the Loudness War, being one of the first examples brought into the mainstream's eye. A much improved version of the album came out in 2013, under the title Vapor Trails Remixed.

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Tracklist:

  1. "One Little Victory"
  2. "Ceiling Unlimited"
  3. "Ghost Rider"
  4. "Peaceable Kingdom"
  5. "The Stars Look Down"
  6. "How It Is"
  7. "Vapor Trail"
  8. "Secret Touch"
  9. "Earthshine"
  10. "Sweet Miracle"
  11. "Nocturne"
  12. "Freeze (Part IV of 'Fear')"
  13. "Out of the Cradle"


Principal Members:

  • Geddy Lee - lead vocals, bass
  • Alex Lifeson – guitar, mandola
  • Neil Peart - drums, percussion


The Tropes Look Down

  • Darker and Edgier: Regarded by many to be the darkest album the band has ever done.
  • Epic Rocking: “Secret Touch” and “Freeze” are both over 6 minutes long.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Vapor Trails Remixed.
  • Grief Song: An entire album of those, in the wake of Neil Peart's family tragedies.
  • He’s Back: Neil Peart.
    • Everybody, really. Alex Lifeson claims he didn't even listen to music or touch a guitar for over a year after Neil's tragedies, and Geddy's only foray into anything musical was his 2000 solo album.
  • Loudness War: The album's mixing was, infamously, so bad that entire backing vocal tracks and guitar solos got lost in the mess, and were only brought to light with the release of a remixed/remastered version eleven years later.
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    • It's probably worth noting that the remix is still fairly loud (DR7, compared to the original's DR5), but it still sounds immeasurably better due to the fact that, unlike the original, it doesn't clip at all.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover the album has was originally a placeholder, but the band liked it so much they decided to keep it.
  • One-Word Title: “Freeze”
  • Title Track: Almost, with "Vapor Trail".
  • Trilogy Creep: “Freeze” is part 4 of the “Fear trilogy” of songs.

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