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IQ - Frequency CD (album) cover





4.10 | 843 ratings

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4 stars I awaited this album with bated breath after the magnificence that was "Dark Matter" and the tour DVD that followed. It took a few days for this album to sink in, but it sure did.

IQ has found the wellspring of musical youth, it appears. Each album is fresher and more inspiring than the last (considering that I don't really care for their 80s and early 90s material). I thought they could never top "Harvest of Souls", but they have. This album is divided as always between epics and more melodic rock songs. Founding member Martin Orford's departure doesn't seem to have affected things negatively at all. In fact, the keyboards have taken a turn more for the vintage with Mark Westwood's arrival- there are more vintage-sounding synths as well as some Rhodes and the usual mellotron touches. Occasionally there are passages that are downright ambient, as though the band was jamming with Steve Roach (a good thing), a nice new colour in the band's palette.

The songwriting is dramatic ("Frequency", "Ryker Skies") and beautifully melodic, ("One Fatal Mistake", "Closer"). IQ as always rides the line between prog complexity and AOR melodicism, with a nice edge provided by Peter Nicholl's excellent, thoughtful lyrics. Both John Jowitt and Mike Holmes as always distinguish themselves on bass and guitar, being virtuosic but never wanky.

Much like "Dark Matter", which was worth the price for "Harvest of Souls" alone, this album is worth your money for "Closer", as perfect a piece of melodic symphonic prog as you will find.

IQ is living proof that you can get better as you get older.

Heptade | 4/5 |


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