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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.05 | 906 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars I've been playing 'the most recent studio recordings by IQ, 'Dark Matter' and 'The Seventh House', back to back. 'The Seventh House' the earlier of the two I greatly enjoyed, in way previous of their album hadn't. However, 'Dark Matter' comes some distance ahead, and to me the best new progressive rock album I've heard in 2004. A excellent set of tunes, very well arranged to give a minor symphonic masterpiece - but it is naive to give the album the full 5 stars so soon after its release, simply it is too new to have stood the test of time and any one reasonable person can't have too many masterpieces to pick from.

The lyrics are reflective and occasionally melancholic, for which Peter Nicholl's voice is very well suited. Indeed the Mellotron (or similar) is used to great effect to add to that vocal sound of doubt. Maximum marks go to Mark Orford's keyboards, which are present virtually the whole 50 minutes or more of the recording. These are not intrusive, and instead they hold the structure together - providing the emphasis and the punctuation to the lead instrument or voice at any moment. And when the keys take the lead, Orford's soloing is well balanced and never out stays it welcome.

An album for the neo prog and symphonic rock fans - and also those like me, who have grown tired of many of the bands in this field.

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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