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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.04 | 940 ratings

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4 stars We had to wait four years for this new IQ studio album. And as "The Seventh House" never really got out of the shadow of "Subterranea", I almost dare say that I've waited seven years for this one. But it has been worth it, because this is the best album IQ released since "Ever", which always has been my favourite.

"Dark Matter" has no real new elements but has all the IQ qualities you can wish for. Take all the good elements from their previous albums, give it a perfect production, add some extra keyboard and guitar sounds, let Peter sing at his best and you get "Dark Matter".

The opener "Sacred Sound" is already a long track full of variation. The song must be a gig opener for the next few tours, I guess (and I hope). Peter's voice is getting better every album and the chorus contains a wonderful vocal line. Martin has brought some vintage keyboard sounds, especially the Mellotron, which gives some references to the early GENESIS, but in this first track he impresses me most with the fabulous church organ sound that precedes a great guitar solo by Michael. It's a bit weird, but the guitar sound on this album reminds me a lot of the "Nomzamo" period ("Nostalgia-Falling apart at the seems").

"Red Dust Shadow" opens quietly with an acoustic guitar. In this track the vocals are accompanied by a spacey keyboard sound, which gives them an extra special dimension. The track also contains a simple, but very effective, guitar riff to make you remember the track for some time.

"You Never Will" has nothing special, except a great keyboard solo. If you start a track like "Born Brilliant" with some machine noises like these, you can't avoid being compared to "Welcome to the Machine" by PINK FLOYD. The song has some typical IQ rhythms and ends with an instrumental, chaotic (for IQ standards), but beautiful piece that also has some FLOYDian influences.

The best track on "Dark Matter" is without any doubt "Harvest of Souls", the longest track ever written by IQ. Being the longest track doesn't mean that it's automatically their best, but in this case the quantity is directly proportional to the quality and vice versa. This track contains six subtitles and the built-up to the end has been very well thought off. It starts quiet with an acoustic guitar and the vocals. When the keyboards join in, it really feels like "Entangled" (GENESIS). The second part has a beautiful vocal line, followed by a great speedy instrumental piece. The third part is a quiet vocal piece that ends heavier with some Mellotron sounds. (Strange combination, but it works.) The next piece is introduced by a staccato piano and once again contains a great melody. The track ends with an anthem on guitar.

IQ certainly remains on top of my list of symphonic, progressive bands. With this album, there's nothing new, but something better under the sun.

>>> Review by Danny (9/10) <<<

Clayreon | 4/5 |


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