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IQ - The Seventh House  CD (album) cover

THE SEVENTH HOUSE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.04 | 449 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars From what I have heard of the genre so far, this is probably my favorite album of its kind. It's classy, gritty, dark, bright, upbeat, somber, and nearly any descriptive adjective in one concise package. What sets it apart from so many other albums is the presence of memorable melodies throughout, both vocally and musically. Initially, I did not care for the voice of the lead vocalist, but it didn't take long before it grew on me, and now it seems at once unique and powerful. The instrumentation, whether light or heavy, is quite powerful and full of direction. Here is an album that, while not perfect, is fairly close to it.

"The Wrong Side of Weird" The descending synthesizer lead that gives way to such upbeat and jumpy music is a perfect album opening, especially considering how the album revisits the music with some frequency. I am always struck by the resonance of the melody, the tightness of the band, and jealousy that I didn't pen or perform this. Midway through, a piano takes over, the singer over it, and acoustic guitar tags along with some spacey sounds. Loud, heavier music follows, led by fiery electric guitar and powerful lead vocals. This is an exquisite example of modern progressive rock, full of variety and yet wickedly consistent, and my favorite neo-progressive piece- it absolutely radiates with power and grandeur.

"Erosion" Gentle synthesizers, almost choir-like, work through the introduction of the second song. The atmosphere is kept dark, and things gets heavier, complete with memorable and somewhat sinister melodies. This is an excellent contrast to the more upbeat first track.

"The Seventh House" Twelve-string guitar and light synthesizers begin the longest track on the album. The first three minutes build with piano and soft vocals until the electric guitar and bass create a meatier sound. Once again the vocal melodies are highly memorable. After and over a keyboard and rhythm passage that is astonishingly similar to "Apocalypse in 9/8" from Genesis's "Supper's Ready," the chorus melody of the first grand track, "The Wrong Side of Weird," returns in astonishing splendor toward the end. Several sections maintain a static electric guitar riff played over different chords. Speaking of Genesis, the ending section instinctively reminds me of a specific Genesis song's ending, but I cannot for the life of me think of what it is.

"Zero Hour" This is a more laidback piece in terms of composition, yet it remains one of the most varied songs on the album, with heavier parts interspersed with tasteful acoustic bits. One of the melodies of the glorious first track is repeated instrumentally in a synthesizer section in the middle. A searing guitar solo completes the song, rounding it out in an outstanding way.

"Shooting Angels" This is a harder song to enjoy, particularly since it has a funky 1990s rock beat that I never appreciated, but it is juxtaposed with gorgeous, flowing keyboard passages. I particularly like the tight bass tone (reminds me of 1980s Rush) and the exquisite lead guitar. A gritty saxophone solo takes over toward the end.

"Guiding Light" Lovely piano, synthesizer, and vocals begin this delicate track. It has a very simple, almost late 1990s pop melody (Ben Folds Five comes to mind). I love the fluid guitar alongside rest of the instrumentation. Once the sound becomes full, there's another scorching guitar solo, followed by adept synthesizer work. This brilliant album ends quietly, just as this piece began.

Epignosis | 5/5 |

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