Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
IQ - Frequency CD (album) cover





4.10 | 843 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's been 5 years since we last had an album from IQ, that being the highly regarded Dark Matter thought by many to be their best. Since then there's been some major line-up changes with drummer Paul Cook and keyboardist Martin Orford both departing to be replaced by Andy Edwards and Mark Westworth respectively. Naturally it was a major concern, particularly with the loss of Orford if they could still cut it. Fortunately they can; in fact Frequency is as good as anything they've done in the past. What you get is 7 tracks over 62 minutes including the almost obligatory epic; here it's The Province that runs to almost 14 minutes.

The album kicks off with the excellent title track with a kind of Zeppelin style Kashmir riff though they subtly shift the beat around. Things quieten down for Peter Nicholls melancholic vocals backed by electric piano and then were into very familiar IQ territory with some searing guitar runs from the excellent Mike Holmes. A grandiose statement to kick things off.

Life Support has a very familiar IQ sound, more in their restrained mode. A lovely melody prevails over the piano/vocal led start until things kick in with an excellent instrumental section, drums now joining in and some more strong guitar work from Holmes and John Jowitt's excellent bass work nicely cutting through.

At 10 and a half minutes Stronger Than Friction is the second longest track on the album. While it's kind of IQ by numbers, neo prog effortlessly done by a band that have been at it for almost 30 years, its enjoyable enough but plods along for the first 6 minutes until things get more interesting with a change of tack into more dynamic playing. Stronger Than Friction segues into One Fatal Mistake which finds the band in ballad mode. This in turn leads straight into Ryker Skies, a track that could have been heard pre release of the album having featured on a free cd with the latest edition of Classic Rock Prog. It was a good choice to give some much needed exposure to this excellent album. After a quiet vocal intro it comes in with a simple and solid straight rhythm with Jowitt's bass pounding away beneath Edward's solid drum pattern. It's one of those tracks that immediately gets under the skin with a memorably melodic chorus and strong dominant keyboards, Holmes' guitar taking more of a back seat on this one.

Pleasingly with The Province being the longest track it's also the best. An acoustic guitar led intro gives way to a short, bombastic instrumental section before a quick return to the vocals and then we're back into IQ at their most powerful and heaviest. There's some particularly fine keyboard work from Westworth including a nice organ sound, proving he's a worthy replacement for Orford. The track goes through quite a few changes with plenty of dynamics to keep things interesting.

The album closes on a high with Closer, a largely laid back track though with some powerful moments well placed after the bombast of The Province.

I'm pleased to say that despite the loss of 2 long serving members since Dark Matter IQ are capable of producing such a strong album that can easily stand along side their best work. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking here but it's a very worthwhile purchase for fans of the band and symphonic/neo prog in general.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this IQ review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives