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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.03 | 859 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I would love to give this album five stars, I really would, because the first and last tracks are some of the best examples of modern symphonic prog I've ever heard. Sadly, the rest of the album just doesn't compare.

This is the only IQ album I'm familiar with, so I can't comment on how it compares to others. That said, compared to a lot of other modern symph-prog bands, it is stellar. The melodies are excellent, especially in the aforementioned first and last tracks. In particular, the almost 12 minute "Sacred Sound" seems to go by in no time at all, a testament to the strength of the songwriting.

Sadly, the next three songs are a bit of a let down. They're certainly not bad, but unlike some bands where the short is just as good as the long, they just can't compare. They're certainly enjoyable to listen too, but I generally find myself waiting (or, if I'm impatient, skipping) through them to get to the real centerpiece of the album, "Harvest of Souls."

Quite frankly, whenever I see a song over 20 minutes I get a little excited. Often, however, I'm disappointed. Far too many epics seem to go on simply because they can, not because they actually have anywhere to go. "Harvest of Souls," on the other hand, is simply masterful. It feels like it has direction and purpose, and, as with "Sacred Sound," the melodies are fantastic. The vocals are soaring, the instrumentals are goosebump-inducing, and the finale is, in my opinion, one of the greatest in modern progressive rock. I can hear shades of "Supper's Ready" throughout, but it never feels like a plagiarism.

Overall, a really good example of modern progressive rock, even if it is a bit unbalanced.


VanVanVan | 4/5 |


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