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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.03 | 864 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Excellent, if unoriginal, prog!

This was my introduction to IQ, and my introduction to the entire neo-prog genre. This album made me raid the entire IQ discography, and this is one of their stronger efforts for sure. All five songs here are excellent, and the opening and closing tracks define the word "masterpiece".

So why am I giving this four stars?

Well, some of the shorter songs in the middle aren't quite worthy of five stars, even if they are great. This is also probably the least original IQ album out there. IQ is always bashed by people for being Genesis "clones", and while I do not agree with that, it would be very hard for me to argue against that when listening to "Dark Matter". The last song almost sounds like they are trying to make an epic completely modeled after Supper's Ready. With that said, everything else is absolutely perfect. Even the closing song, while it isn't original by any stretch of the imagination, is a perfect epic! I'll explain each song in more detail now.


"Sacred Sound"- I remember that this was the first IQ song I had ever heard, and I was absolutely blown away! The melodies were spot on, it had excellent guitars, Mellotron, and organ; it was anything a prog fan could dream of! It has great progressions, and the main chorus with Peter Nicholls singing beautifully and Mike Holmes' great guitar line really makes for an excellent song. A great way to open up an album!

"Red Dust Shadow"- The second song actually reminds me of Spock's Beard a little bit. It has a pretty dark main section with some nice use of the Mellotron, but also has some nice organ and guitar every now and again. It's a decent song I would rate 2.5/5.

"You Never Will"- This is the shortest song on the album, and is very enjoyable. It has some great bass, as well as the classic organ and Mellotron from IQ. This is a more straightforward rock song with some prog leanings, but it is very solid as is.

"Born Brilliant"- Easily the best of the three shorter songs, with a great chorus. I love some of the riffs, and this contains some very good vocals from Peter Nicholls.

"Harvest of Souls"- It's not prog without a 20+ minute epic, right? This is the extended composition on "Dark Matter", and it doesn't disappoint. I know this will be criticized by many for being literally a clone of Supper's Ready, but it doesn't bother me too much. It is unbelievable that both songs have almost exactly the same layout, but this song is still one of my favorite IQ epics anyway. I love the lush Mellotron and the beautiful guitar line. Sure it is by no means original, but it is an excellent and flawless epic.

I'm not one who cares too much about originality and all that, but I know some people will care more than I do. That is why I give this incredible album four, not five, stars. Some of the songs in the middle of the album aren't quite up to par either, but are still solid. However, the closing and opening songs are complete masterpieces that should be heard by every prog fan!

4 stars.

J-Man | 4/5 |


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