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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover





3.97 | 633 ratings

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5 stars Another concept album from a Neo-Prog band. That's what one might think when they stumble across Subterranea for the first time. But hold on, for me this is a wee bit different.

I got Subterranea shortly after it was published, and I already had all older IQ albums at the time, so I thought I knew what I could expect. Well, most of those expectations came true, just not always in the expected way. I'm confusing you, ain't I? Ok. I expected Neo-Prog which Subterranea definitely is, and a sound similar to the album before, Ever. This is what I didn't get, because Subterranea is far rockier than the other album. Yes, the keyboard sound carpet (don't know if this is really an English term or just the word-by-word translation of an German expression) by Martin Orford is the same as on all IQ albums. Peter Nicholl sounds the same, too. But the guitars are more edgy, some rhythms could easily stand the comparison to heavier acts.

Then there is the story behind the album. I might be biased because I grew up not far away from the venue of one of most famous real stories of the kind, the Kaspar Hauser saga. Unlike others inspired by it, IQ chose to give Subterranea the same ending as the real story (maybe other life stories of this kind really ended the other way) and let the "hero" opt to return to the underworld he was familiar with.

Normally I don't highlight particular songs in concept albums as I have the impression that it is often quite difficult to understand them without the context. While this is true on Subterranea, there are two songs which are musically an even higher class. Lacking alternatives, I have to use my 6 star song cliche again. They are Failsafe and the title track which stands out even slighty more than the other. All other songs rate between 4.5 and 5 stars, which makes the overall rating of the album quite easy. 4.9 stars nicely round up to 5.

Losimba | 5/5 |


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