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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover





3.92 | 521 ratings

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1791 Overture
4 stars I've never cared for Tommy, or The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, or The Wall, or Operation: Mindcrime, or Scenes from a Memory. But this sticks with me, for whatever reason. It's not even the type of music I really enjoy - and yet.

I can only therefore reckon that IQ's Subterranea is the logical conclusion of the rock opera. Perfect amount of bombast, careful arrangements, impressive use of limited elements, a perfectly sequenced narrative that walks the hard line between juvenile explication and useless metaphor, and a firmly melodic foundation always ready to escalate into dramatic vocal climaxes and neo-prog rock-outs. The repeating motifs are purely programmatic in nature, and work quite well to paint a picture of the drama in the listener's mind.

This is a highly engaging listen, neither difficult nor mindless - like a good action movie, and just about that length as well. Grab some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy what is perhaps the only successful "canonical" concept album. If you're disillusioned with the genre, this might not be a bad way to go - in my humble opinion, it puts the likes of Arena to shame. Four stars it is.

1791 Overture | 4/5 |


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