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FREQUENCY

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.12 | 559 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Stronger Than Friction...

IQ is one of my favorite modern progressive rock bands, and Frequency was one of my most anticipated releases of 2009. Initially I didn't like this album at all, and I can't reasonably say why. This album has a more edgy modern prog sound, and almost completely ditches the neo-prog label that they've been slowly getting rid of over the years. I thought maybe it could be because Martin Orford was no longer present, even though Mark Westworth does a great job.

After originally being disappointed, I decided to give Frequency another chance recently, and I really enjoyed it! I can't say why suddenly I began liking this album, but it is excellent. Great synths, Steve Hackett sounding guitar, and spacey Mellotrons create the unique IQ experience.

THE MUSIC:

"Frequency"- The first song on this great album opens up with sound effects that build into a heavy repeated bassline with great use of the mellotron. This is followed by a guitar solo. After the heavier section dies down a gloomy electric piano section enters. It builds really well into the beautiful chorus. This is a pretty atmospheric section, and it reminds me a bit of Porcupine Tree. Soon the signature IQ sound enters, and Peter Nicholls delivers an exceptional vocal performance. I love the bassline throughout most of this song. The keyboards are excellent as well. One of my favorites off of the album!

"Life Support"- After the great previous song, this song mostly builds off of a main piano melody line. After a short break, a melodic guitar solo and funky bassline begin. The rest of the song just builds from this bassline, and I particularly like one of the synth solos. This song has some great moments, but it is not one of my favorites from this album.

"Stronger Than Friction"- A guitar melody opens up this great epic. The bass playing from John Jowitt is solid, and I think he does a great job throughout this entire album. The chorus is really strong, and this is one of those cases where it can get stuck in your head for days. Most of the 10 minutes of this song is made up of the same melodies, but it never gets repetitive or boring. A highlight of the album.

"One Fatal Mistake"- The previous song flows directly into the album's fourth song. This song is focused on a beautiful piano and guitar chord progression, and this is a pretty standard verse-chorus-verse song. However, the excellent melodies keep this song from being a poor pop song.

"Ryker Skies"- This song opens up with an atmospheric guitar and keyboard sound. Peter's vocals soon enter and this is followed by a heavy drum and bassline. I think this is a pretty powerful section, but I think as a whole this song is not them best from the album. I think the chorus is very good, but IQ has better to offer in my opinion.

"The Province"- This is the longest song on the album, and it doesn't disappoint. I really like the acoustic guitar that opens up the song. It has good melody, and the song soon turns into a heavy section reminding me of "The Return of The Giant Hogweed". It goes back into the opening acoustic section, but the heavy melodies soon return. This features a great guitar solo near the end, and the ending is very good.

"Closer"- The closing song is a pretty uplifting affair, and is centered around one guitar riff. I really enjoy this song, and I think it's an excellent way to end this album.

Conclusion:

Frequency is a really good album by IQ with some classic moments. I do think it is one of IQ's weaker efforts with Nicholls, but this is still a very good album. I'm on the fence between giving this a 3 and a 4 star rating, and in a perfect world I would give this a 3.5. Since Frequency really is a great album that I've been enjoying lately, I'm going to round my rating up to a four.

4 stars.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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