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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover

DARK MATTER

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 796 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A deception

I've never been an unconditional of the so-called neo-progressive music, but I often gave tries to releases of this genre and really enjoy some great moments from IQ, in particular their long songs, for their magic and originality. "Dark Matter" has been described as one of their strongest release. I was eager to listen to this album, the cover art was great... but after I feel a bit disappointed... for the record and the band. For sure, it contains some enjoyable passages, but hardly no "IQ's feel", very few "IQ's personality". Here, most of the time, the band tries to sound like PINK FLOYD and early GENESIS (one of my favorite progressive rock bands). There is little from IQ's energetic and powerful epics from the 80's or the typical enchantment of "Ever" for example. "Dark Matter" could as well have been played by another progressive band... Now let's talk about the music itself.

The record opens with "Sacred Sounds" and its pretty mysterious introduction. The organ grows up in intensity, the vocals are not bad, but after the song tends to become a bit repetitive and boring. Fortunately, the second part is more interesting and changing. The smooth ballad "Red Dust Shadow" is maybe the best track of the album, well and slightly constructed with a catchy guitar riff." You Never Will" is an average song, alternating good and weaker moments. Then it goes down... the introduction of "Born Brilliant" ressembles a lot to PINK FLOYD's "Welcome to the Machine", and the rest of the tune is lazy and fail to lift off.

At least comes the epic "Harvest of Souls" which is IQ's longest composition, often regarded and acclaimed as one of the best suites in progressive rock... In fact, I have to say it sounds to me a bit like a poor man's "Supper's Ready". Peter Nicholls really wants to sing like Peter Gabriel but simply cannot... The whole song has many echoes from GENESIS' iconic suite, but never truly manages to catch my attention and had rather bored me. There are some interesting passages, but unfortunately too rare, and the overall is not quite original.

Dark Matter is an uneven and a bit deceiving offering from IQ, as they try to copy some 70's progressive rock pioneers without really bringing something new to the genre and without their own "touch", their own "spirit", their own "magic", in other words their own "music", what I love from the band. I give 2 stars for "Red Dust Shadow" and moments of "Sacred Souls".

Modrigue | 2/5 |

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