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IQ - The Seventh House  CD (album) cover

THE SEVENTH HOUSE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 433 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The seventh album

After the somewhat overblown and slightly disappointing double album that was Subterranea, IQ returned to the formula of the excellent Ever. In my opinion, The Seventh House is a very good album in its own right, but it is not as good as Ever or the follow-up Dark Matter (which would be the band's creative peak, as far as I'm concerned). While in the early days the band were still searching for a direction of their own, at this point the IQ sound was pretty well established, and as already implied, The Seventh House follows in the footsteps of Ever which probably was their most popular album at the time. They might thus be accused of playing it a bit safe here.

The present album is very consistent and there are no weak tracks as such, but this consistency comes at a prize: there is a tendency towards all the songs sounding a bit same-y. The band never seems to be able to break out of the melancholic mood that characterises the whole album. Also, there is little variation of sounds and they seem to be content to paint a musical picture from a limited and basic palette of sonic colours. Dark Matter would be different in that respect with a broader array of sounds and moods and also more diversity in the compositions. The production of the album is impeccable though, and as such The Seventh House is indeed something of a sonic masterpiece. But it also comes across as a little bit static and sterile, lacking in warmer and more organic sounds. But maybe they aimed at this cold sound that admittedly functions very well to communicate a certain consistently mellow mood?

The bass, drums and guitars have a great sound and everything is performed with excellence and Peter Nicholls pours his soul into the vocals. Songs like the superb title track and also Guiding Light are very strong and passionate. There is a harder edge to the guitars in some passages compared to anything the band did previously, but the music is never aggressive or raucous.

Overall, The Seventh House is a good IQ album, certainly one of their better efforts, with no weak tracks as such. It is consistently enjoyable, but like most albums by this band it fails to blow me away the way they did with Ever.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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