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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.04 | 880 ratings

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4 stars I suppose this album is the band's darkest yet, so it is appropriately named, but considering the band's sound, you know it can't be that dark. After a definitely dark ambient intro an unexpectedly peppy keyboard line fades in and gets the song going in true IQ form. That song, "Sacred Sound" turns out to be one of the band's finest to date. It's got many memorable sections and great musicianship start to finish. Plus, it and the rest of the disc have a more prominent atmosphere than any of their discs to date. I particularly like the 7/8 section toward the end with that one sweet bassline. You'll know what I'm talking about when you listen to it. You should, at least. After the 11+ minutes of that sweetness, we are given a series of three shorter songs, lasting 5-6 minutes each. "Red Dust Shadow" has a pretty nice chord pattern and it gradually builds to a nice climactic ending. "You Never Will" is definitely the low point on the disc. It's pretty formulaic and I don't think the recurring drum fill in the chorus was well chosen by the drummer, or group for that matter. "Born Brilliant" is a return to form featuring a hard-driving rhythm for most of the tune. Then we have the 24-minute epic "Harvest of Souls" to close the disc with. This one is a wild ride! It's got plenty of variety, a lot of ideas new to the band's music are introduced here and I think they are rockin' harder than ever before. The piece even recapitulates themes from the rest of the album with a fresh set of vocals & lyrics - very well planned and executed, especially when they bring back the rockin' rhythm of "Born Brilliant" for the penultimate movement. It's very powerful!

Sonically this is easily the band's best album to date, compositionally it's their second best, behind Subterranea. If the band can capture the glory of their longer pieces in the shorter songs, they will blow their peers away. After being around for so long, it's quite amazing that the band is still improving. It's a rare case where a band of this nature especially is better after 20+ years of making music. I'm looking forward to their next output, but for now, I am happy listening to "Sacred Sound" and "Harvest of Souls."

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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