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FREQUENCY

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.12 | 647 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

voliveira
5 stars 10/10

My definition of "masterpiece" often refer to a mere personal taste, not necessarily following the rules and definitions of the website. I am saying this because even I am surprised at the amount of "5 stars" I've given over the years here.

However, Frequency is not a simple case of personal definition. Judging by your score here on the site (4.11, making it the best-rated album from IQ and one of the most well-evaluated the genre of neo-prog) we face a great work. And considering I'm far from the only one who thinks so, and I heard this album more than any other to do their review, I can say frankly: this is a masterpiece.

My previous experience was with IQ, say ... frustrating. I do not know if it was the headache he felt that day or what, but either way I was not impressed with Dark Matter. It seemed a pale shadow of Genesis (which incidentally is a common defect of many albums and bands of this genre) without inspiration or creativity, just "more of the same." The only exception was the epic Dark Matter, but even this seemed to me (try to) be a modern version of the classic Supper's Ready.

My experience with Frequency was totally different. I mean, the influences of Genesis are still there, purposefully explicit, so noticeable that you can recognize music which that passage refers. But it seems that this space of 5 years between the two albums the band reinvented itself. The sound is more organic, dynamic and fluid. It is a neo-prog that, in addition to the usual common derivations in the genre, can get involved and surprising, not even fail.

The band had some changes in their line-up this time. Paul Cook (drums ) was replaced by Andy Edwards and Martin Orford ( keyboards ) Mark Westworth . The other members are veterans of the group . Starting with Peter Nicholls , I have felt somewhat " boring " Dark Matter in a voice . Wow , how wrong I was . How not heard the older albums the band did not know how to say his voice has changed over the years , but for a fifties Peter still sings very well , leading the album perfectly . He does not try to sound like a forced imitation of Peter Gabriel , which is already a plus point . But his voice sounds so fresh, positive and resounding that it is impossible not to be swayed by it . Mike Holmes is a phenomenal guitar, a rare melodic sense . There are times when he sounds like Steve Hackett , which is good ( as Hackett is one of my favorite guitarists ) , but in most times it is contributing to the music be with lofty soils ( such as The Province of the King ) or tune in general. And still runs the 12-string guitar ! (more Hackett -esque it impossible ). John Jowitt is a bass accompaniment over even without moments that stands alone, but there are times when it is perceived its great driving melody (like the pulsating bass that employs Ryker Skyes or opening Stronger Than Friction). So essential to the group as others.

But for me the highlights are precisely the two new members . I have seldom seen a drummer with an energy and dynamism as Edwards . Its complex but organic style enriches the whole album , and without sounding pompous or anything he knows the right at all times to play the songs. Her face is great ! See what he does between 6-7 minutes or Stronger Than Friction between 2-5 minutes of the Province of the King , and compare their way of very simple and basic implementation in Closer . Adapting to each environment of the album, it really won me over . And Westworth ... what to say ? Martin Orford is one of the greatest keyboardists of neo -prog , its mass replacement owes you nothing . Using lots of organs , mellotrons ( time did not hear as well atranete mellotron ) and synths ( moog much as those of the 80s ) , it presents a dynamic comparable to Edwards , and is easy to refer your style of the legendary Tony Banks . In just one album earned my respect the point where I say that is one of the best keyboard players of today.

Opening with the title track, the album ever gets down. This is a song that sums it up here: starting with tunings and radio voices, she evolves into a heavy a la Kashmir issue, with a strong presence of bass and guitar, first accompanied by a mellotron and then by a keyboard solo that hear later. I love it when the music fades to a beautiful piano and Nicholls begins to sing: "Before I was undiscovered, When I was invincible, nobody Could Kill the silence, and probably no one will again." I really do not know very well what it is the story of the album, although many hearings have made me get a good amount of letters. The song actually has an incredible dynamism, especially from the four minutes - watch out if the riffs of Holmes' guitars and Edwards' drums in this moment.

Life Support, the next track opens with some quiet atmospheric piano followed by soft and cozy Nicholls voice. It seems that it will last well until the 2 minuots change occurs with atmospheric sounds introducing an instrumental section to jaw dropping, where Holmes delivers his best and darker soil - reminds me very Hackett on his solo career. Again, please note that Edwards is on drums, this time with the cymbal. There is room for Westworth reward us with a great solo keyboards, guitar antesdo theme song return and finish with some dark sound effects.

Stronger Than Friction is the first epic of the album, and while at first I was resistant to it just wowing me after several listens . Why was I tough ? Well , it begins with a session with all the archetypes of neo -prog . It's such a happy beginning that it's annoying (though I like him today ) . But IQ is wise not to stay in it , and can say that this song has four different sessions . The first , as mentioned above , follows a verse -chorus - verse -chorus basics, and gives us the illusion that the next seven minutes of music will be well . Certain mistake . After this introduction "cliche" ( but still legal) music fades in a beautiful passage dominated by acoustic twelve-string guitar Holmes , Nicholls' vocals and layers of Westworth's keyboards . New changes at six minutes for a brief and complex interlude, that is certainly one of the heaviest moments on the album (I love the work of Edwards in this part ). And then the song reaches its climax simply epic, with vocal singing: "Who'll defy me now, and chase the lightning all to soon, what kind of mercy will you gain, under the shadow of the moon". The way the vocals sing "the shadow of the moon above" is sublime. the final part is a great interaction between the musicians, which would be nice in some part of "a Trick of the Tail". So in the last 30 seconds the music suddenly changes to a section that becomes more quiet ...

... And opens into beautiful ballad A Simple Mistake, the shortest song on the album. Some reviewers were found resistant to this song, but I found a nice simple piece that serves to calm the listener after all epicidade of previous songs. I would not say as interlude, however. I love the twist that gives Edwards the second time the chorus is sung - is something that Phil Collins would surely do, either in Genesis or solo career. And at the end of the song she fades into new sound effects, which are crowned by a mellotron exuberate ...

... Which brings us to Ryker Skyes , the music is definitely the magnum opus of the album according to many reviewers, and rightly so. A review pointed out how their introduction (with sound effects coming from One Fatal Mistake decrease in favor of increasing acoustic guitar ) remind Fly on a Windshield of Genesis , even with different apertures , and it really makes sense . I love the vocals accompanied this acoustic guitar , which leads to the two minutes when the guitar explodes into a great solo accompanied by a pulsating bass . The way the vocals return , singing "Welcome to Ryker Skyes hero " in a distorted manner, including some electronic effects is making me shiver . This is a most unusual section , verse -chorus - verse -chorus , but the song gives an impressive turn in about 5 minutes with Westworth giving us the best solo mellotron of recent times . The vocals return after 6 minutes , followed by more acoustic guitar (repeating the initial theme ) and what I imagine to be a xylophone or a vibraphone . Westworth returns with another solo keyboard , one of those you might hear on " Selling England By the Pound " and finally the chorus is repeated again until the song to end on a fade out.

The Province of the King is the greatest song on the album , clocking in at about 14 minutes. Its first half is started by a beautiful acoustic work and voice Nicholls , but after 2 minutes the song explodes into a fast section, but simply brilliant . I 've said it before , but seriously: look what Edwards is doing here! It's otherworldly . Music returns to initial theme quickly one last time before returning energetic instrumental theme even more epic , this time accompanied by a mellotron that I can only describe as " divine" . Then a new theme is introduced , with Edwards making some double pedals while Westworth bring it on the organ . So the theme of the guitar solo is taken from Life Support and Nicholls sings:

"The province of the king The wilderness of stolen things The untold legacy  Ineria keeps it out of reach Till I bring bad tidings The phone rings There's no one there"

This section leads to the second half of the song, with the vocals becoming increasingly intense and dramatic as the song heads to its climax, preceded by another great solo Westworth keyboard (that would fit perfectly into The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway ). The climax itself is a majestic and epic guitar solo from Holmes, divided into three sections. The song calms down for a post-climax in his 11 minutes, ending with just piano and vocals.

But wait! This is not the end of the album! Closer still there, and if there is a track that got me was this. I had already said in my review for The Mountain as I love it when an album ends on a more intimate and positive note, after a big climax, and this is the case. While some may find it drags too beyond measure, I think this is a song that has the size you should. In fact I swear I could spend five minutes listening to the close of it, which is one of the most beautiful and graceful things I've ever heard.

5 stars well-applied. No doubt, this is one of the best neo-prog albums I've ever heard, and I will not forget it anytime soon.

voliveira | 5/5 |

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