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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.06 | 1026 ratings

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el böthy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars IQ´s last album to date, which will change any time this year, may very well be their best. which is nothing but a surprise for their fans, after all how many times can you say that a band that has been around for more than 20 years makes it´s best album in their latter period? Respect IQ for that, I know I respect them. Having said that...this album, although it may be their best, is no masterpiece... well, you can´t have it all, right?

IQ´s music hasn´t changed that much since Ever, as it seems that with that sound they are at their best and more confortable, but it has gotten more sophisticated yet harder, for this ears at least. A proofe of this is the opening track "Sacred sound", a long song in which you get what IQ is all about, polished Neo-prog with lot of keyboard and that distingtive voice of mr. Nicholls (who also has gotten better with age if you ask me). A great track, typicall IQ...maybe too typicall? Maybe, but it´s a great song non the less.

"Red Dust Shadow" is the ballad of the album, although it´s really not a ballad, but a sad, slow song. I can´t say I am a big fan of it, as it has nothing that makes it very fact, I don´t think that the three songs in the middle of the album, the short songs, have anything memorable, at least not as much as the first and the last track. "You Never Will", although a good song, also suffers from being non memorable. "Born brilliant" might be the exception, as you can´t help but notice the lyrics from this song, so I guess that makes it more memorable, and it might be the best of this three, but again, no where as good as the first and last song.

And then, we get to the BIG final epic, IQ´s longest song ever... is it also their best? Well, I haven´t heard all of IQ´s material, but... it could be. YET (and this yet is really important)... this song would never, ever win any contest as "Most original song" or anything like that as... how can I say it...well, here I go; "Harvest of soul" is "Suppers ready" little brother. And I mean, the resemblence is uncanny in some places. It starts almoust the same, with that acoustic riff (not the exact same... but) and thank God Nicholls doesn´t start singing right away like Gabriel, he waits two turns for it...otherwise it could have been too obvious. The way the song builds up is also quite the copy of the original "Suppers ready" with the keys entering with the drums and the song slightly changes to a more happy beat (like in "The guaranteed eternal sanctuary man" part). Then of a moment the coping stops...until...the band starts to play in a very peculiar way, that resemblence "Apocalypse in 9/8" and you know what?...It´s in 9/8 also!!! And what´s the cherry of the cake? Nicholls sings with some vocal effects, that make him sound just like in some parts of "The lamb lies down at Broadway"! By this moment you know this is no coincidence. Both songs laso end quite similar, returning to the first movement and then a fade out... But, you know what? It might be a total rip off from "Suppers ready"...but I tell you, it doesn´t matter, "Harvest of soul" might not be original, but it is extremly good, I mean it´s a brilliant song! you see, my opinion on this matter is quite torn, on one hand the lack of originality is a bittersweet thing to swallow, on the other hand... it´s an incredible song! So, I discided to give it a high rating because of the final product is great, and I guess that´s the most important thing.

Highly recommended to any Neo fan or retro prog fan and to any Genesis fan also, if you shut your eyes for a while, you can hear another Gabriel era epic...

el böthy | 4/5 |


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