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DARK MATTER

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.02 | 693 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I think IQ have made 6 excellent studio albums (including this one) up to this point in time. And in my opinion this is the best one yet ! I find this to be pretty amazing considering it's been 21 years from their debut to this one. I just can't find any fault with this record at all. Orford is simply incredible on this release, but it would be unfair to leave out Cook's fantastic drumming or Jowitt's subtle bass lines or Holmes tasteful guitar melodies or of course Nicholl's uplifting vocals. Everyone is at the top of their game on "Dark Matter".

It starts off with "Sacred Sound" a song that I cannot listen to without smiling. The guitar is so warm and inviting and Orford's a genius ! Nicholl's simply moves me emotionally on this track for some reason. About half way through Orford really reminds me of Banks in that great instrumental passage.We get a quiet section before the organ and vocals return. Actually i'm sure that's church organ I hear at one point. The guitar comes back late as well. "Red Dust Shadow" opens with strummed acoustic guitar, gentle vocals and mellotron. 1 1/2 minutes in we get some PORCUPINE TREE sounding synths, actually the whole song including the intro has PORCUPINE TREE written all over it. Mellotron is back 5 minutes in. This song is such a good change of pace for the band. "You Never Will" features some upfront drumming like on the opening song. The lyrics are cool in this one, especially the way the title of it is used at the end of the sentence. A collage of sounds 3 1/2 minutes in is followed by pulsating keys.The guitar arrives and it sounds so amazing as does Nicholls. Sampled mellotron throughout this tune.

"Born Brilliant" opens with lots of atmosphere and is very PINK FLOYD sounding. Processed vocals before 2 minutes when the song kicks in. This one has a good beat and the organ is fantastic. The guitar cries out in the background and the PINK FLOYD vibe is back. Another great tune. "Harvest Of Souls" is a side long suite at almost 25 minutes. It opens with beautiful acoustic guitar and vocals. Mellotron comes in at 3 minutes as a fuller sound comes in a minute after that. Nice.The tempo picks up speed 6 1/2 minutes in and the mellotron is back.There is a beautiful section 10 1/2 minutes in. Pulsating keys ala Banks and mellotron follow. Piano melodies before 15 minutes, and then passionate vocals in another terrific passage before 17 minutes. The song eventually ends with some excellent guitar melodies. Whew !

I don't know how they can possibly top this one, and with word out that Martin Orford has left the band it's going to be difficult.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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