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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.06 | 1015 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I have been sort of going on a more modern Prog journey recently, more specifically in the Neo Prog sub genre. Just recently (I think maybe even last night) I listened to all of the albums from one of my favorite bands ever, Marillion. It was a journey of amazing performances and amazing use of the genre. So I figured the next band I'd listen to in this genre would be IQ. I heard a bit about them through some YouTubers like Notes Review and some articles about Neo Prog as a whole. I was intrigued to try them out for a spin. I started with their 1985 album, The Wake. It was fine, nothing to special, but I just could not really grasp it or just get into it. I never felt a connection with me and it. But I was still intrigued. It was good enough for me to try out one of their more critically acclaimed albums. Therefore, I decided that the next best album I would go with would be their 2004 album, Dark Matter, and oh boy, when the first song played, I immediately knew this was gonna be great.

I listened to this album 2 times by now. The first time I played it off and on due to homework and stuff like that. However the second time I listened to it fully without stopping, and my god is it so rewarding. Paying attention and feeling the music is so good. This album is really good in that aspect in what it does and achieves. For one the production value is top notch. Nothing sounds too cluttered or to big, but never to spacey and small. It's perfectly tightly packed without it feeling claustrophobic in it's sound. Not only that but how the album progresses each so satisfying. It feels like each song is progressing through and through without the need for unnecessary breaks or stops, giving it a lush and beautiful charm. This is best shown in the 24+ minute suite, Harvest of Souls. The track is a gemstone in my book, and how each stage of the suite progresses to one and another, and how each stage feels interlinked but different feels super nice and comfortable to just sit back and engulf in.

Now I know this album is definitely one of my favorite albums, heck maybe my favorite Neo Prog album to date, and I am rating this a five star, however I should at least give some criticism. This is more of a nitpick, but I do feel like this album goes a bit too much towards the direction a lot of 70s Prog bands had, specifically Genesis. While I do very much love that sound, more modern Prog I expect and evolution, having a more modern style than the ones seen from bands like Yes or Camel. This is more of a slight and small criticism on an otherwise brilliant album, and it definitely doesn't have much of a dent with the album itself, however I felt like I needed to give an extra two cents on the album.

So if you cannot tell, I friggin love this album to death. It's beautiful, it's enigmatic, it's satisfying to hear, and it has a really great production value to tie it all together. I wouldn't mind having this in a record collection, not one bit.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |


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