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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover

DARK MATTER

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.02 | 681 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I like prog rock bands that know what they have to say and don't beat around the bush. There are the prog rock acts like to take as long as they can to say what's on their mind, filling an album with 80 minutes of music (or doing a double album), inserting as many epics as they can along the way.

IQ does no such thing here. With 50 minutes of music including the longest song of their career, the 24 minute epic "Harvest of Souls", we find IQ performing some excellent Neo-Prog music.

The opener is the 10 minute Sacred Sound, which is great while playing but rarely leaves much of an impact afterwards for me. I actually appreciate the three shorter tracks that follow it a bit more; Red Dust Shadow is somewhat sad, while You Never Will and Born Brilliant have an almost arrogant selfish feel about them. In fact, this album seems to have sense of loss in all of the lyrics.

But no matter how strong the first four tracks are, the highlight of this album is Harvest of Souls. There is no denying the similarities between this song and Genesis' Supper's Ready. But Supper's Ready was an excellent song, and IQ have used those similarities quite well in this case. The song easily switches from parts with high energy to quieter parts. There is humor used in this track, as in Supper's Ready, but it has a bit more bite to it instead of whimsy. Of particular note for this is the section where Peter Nicholl's mocks plastic surgery culture.

On that note, I once again must bring up the point of Peter Nicholl's voice. I am not huge on it, and outside of this music I think I would dislike it. Yet somehow, it works well with the music that IQ writes - or perhaps the band writes music that works well with his voice. Either way, there is a charm to the way the two work together that makes his voice not only bearable, but I can't really imagine any other voice working as well here.

My favorite IQ album so far, and Harvest of Souls is good enough to (just) bump this album up to a 4 star rating.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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