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IQ - The Seventh House  CD (album) cover

THE SEVENTH HOUSE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 455 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Little by little, I'm getting close to have reviewed IQ's entire catalogue. The band has produced some good records throuhout their career but not really unforgetable ones. My preferred one so far was their debut album "Tales From The Lush Attic". Probably because it was the start of a very similar production (except the Menel period).

IQ has been repeating the same type of music throughout the years. On the one hand, they must be credited to have defended the prog flag during these difficult times for the genre (as Pendragon did as well), but on the other they sound a bit too repetitive.

The band is too much dependant on Martin's invading (but greAt) keys and Peter's necessity to provide extremely dense lyrics, leaving very little place to Mike for soloing. Although not bad an album, their previous effort "Subterranea" couldn't really transport me into a deep and enjoyable musical trip. With "Seventh House", I was again charmed by these sounds which brought me back to the origin of the band (thus, the Genesis style, Gabriel era).

The opening number is one of the best song of this album. Great keys of course, convincing vocals and a very interesting backing from the rhythmic section (both bass and drums). As far as the lead vocal is concerned, there is no surprise. Peter sounds as expressive as before and the filiation goes on (I guess you all know of whom I am talking about).

We get a typical IQ song with "Erosion". This song could have appeared on almost any IQ album. And the problem gets back : IQ songs are interchangeable. No real evolution in their music. Too many songs sound alike (although I like most of them). They just lack in the ability of being diverse, but I guess that this is the difference between a master and its pupil. The master gives direction, while the pupil follows them. Again, there is no need to name the master; everyone knows them.

Anyway, the title track is another very pleasant IQ moment. Emotional and tortured vocals, as Peter (the other one) has provided a lot. Very simple struture to start with : aerial keys, some nice acoustic guitar and some complaining vocals. It gets a bit more complex and harder (to heavy). Some good instrumental section with lots of off-beats and finally a bit of guitar. But why does IQ need again to copy the Watcher Of The Skies riff ?

Later in the track, you'll be reverted in 73 and the "Selling" atmosphere with the very nice keys passage almost coming out "Cinema Show". A nice bombastic finale for this very good IQ epic. One of their top ten track, I would say. A four star song, in my standards.

"Zero Hour" is a bit too melowish. A bit uninspired even if a nice sax break adds a special flavour to it. But the song lacks a bit in musical direction. Sounds as a collage of diefferent sections to me. Again, a good guitar break to close. An OK song at the end of the day.

"Shooting Angels" takes a bit of time to start (about two minutes). Good sax playing and dynamic rhythm at times combined with spacey sections. Not too bad a mix. The last song "Guiding Light" is also a very good song (my second fave; almost on par with the title track). As emotional and well balanced, it offers some beautiful moments. Again, a straight-forward structure with a drumless and very aerial (long) intro preceding a mighty and strong musical break (guitar again, very much Hackett oriented, would you believe). Heavy keys and drums also come into action a little later for an extremely powerful section. Another four star track, really.

I will rate this album with three stars (although seven out of ten would be more appropriate). It is a good album, superior to "Subterranea" in my opinion although I rate them similarly. Mike Holmes has a more important role than usual and I really like that. Mike is an amazing guy on stage (this guy likes beers, believe me). Always smiling, being very human and simple. He really is a very pleasant person, talking with fans after the show etc. I'm glad to see them for the third time next November. What a pity that he is not more on the front line (although things have been improving on this album).

IQ keeps the good pace with this very pleasant album.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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