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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover





3.96 | 612 ratings

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4 stars A great challange.

History has proven that it is very hard to create a good concept album. History has also proven it is hard to record an interesting double cd in the studio. Here combined, I must say, it is a great challange. For I know of almost no double concept albums I find good from beginning till the end.

Some progfan I met a few years ago (the singer of the then active Salmon) told me this was a very good record. I turned it on as soon as i got my hands on it. The first thing that I noticed was the recording that I did not like. Some of the keyboardmelodies are played on what seems to be cheep amplification. Later on this did not bother me anymore, you'll get used to it. In the first overture a lot of themes are introduced wich are used again as intro themes on the later songs of the album. This is a nice way to use the conceptalbum possibilities. The first lyrics are sung at Provider, a good emotinal beginning. The song Subterranea is on a simple basis but it works great. After this a lot of great songs are to come.

IQ sounds professional, symphonic, theatrical, sometimes mellow and sometimes exciting. The voice Peter Nicholls isn't very warm but it's very recogniceble in a good way. This is IQ. The latter I find very important for a progressive rock vocalist. The guitars are withoud an always important role but in themes they sound great. Some solo's would have made it even better. The Keyboard are done very well! They form the basic for the songs and most of the themes. My only dissapointment here was discussed before. The main purpose is the atmosphere and here IQ succeeds greatly.

The story is interesting but with a double cd I loose attention on a point. I love the 45 minutes standerd on vinyl records. So I don't even realy know what's the complete story of the concept. The lyrics however suite the melodies and that's enough for me for now.

The great thing about this record is total experience. No realy bad songs are played and so a great collection of music is recorded. A lot of themes just work, and so does the record. Maybe... the vocals are just my style or something... it's catcy.. and very responsible, Peter Nicholls just makes the songs work though I would not discribe his voice as very good. It's the vibe.

Well.. in summary: great composition, nice concept well recorded. This is defenitely the best IQ record in my humble opinion. It's symphonic progressive rock without a lot of very complicated themes but still very interesting. Sometimes very innovating, sometimes a bit standerd. However... as I said, it works great! Five stars! It's on of the better concept albums of prog-rock.

Edit: I changed the rating to four stars. I still think this album is great, but not as good as my other 'masterpieces'.

friso | 4/5 |


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