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IQ - The Seventh House  CD (album) cover

THE SEVENTH HOUSE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 447 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
4 stars IQ - The seventh House

To be really honest, I am not a fan of neo prog music. I respect anyone who does, but it just most of the time doesn't work for me.

Even IQ, when I first heard their music, this was an airing of The last Human Gateway on Dutch Arrow Rock radio, I was everything BUT impressed by their music, especially the vocals were rubbish if you'd ask me.

Then about 2 years later someone played the brilliant Guiding Light song to me and I absolutely adored it. When I heard it was IQ I could not believe what I just heard, 'cause when I compared it to Last Human Gateway it was so far superior.

Still, I bought The Seventh House and began listening to it, over and over and over again. I absolutely loved it. What I loved most about it is that the instrumentation on this album is not overly complex, but service the purpose of the songs. The overall tone of the songs is mellow and friendly, but it sometimes is darker and heavier. The whole album is a trip to listen to, at least for me.

The first tones of the opening track The wrong Side of Weird automatically set the perfect mood for the whole album. What comes to mind when thinking about it is that the most prominent instrument on this album are the various keyboards, but not in a annoying way, it is most of the time played in an atmospheric way and there are some well-played duels with the guitar.

Peter Nicholls vocals have improved over the years I must say. He surely is not the best vocalist I've come around, but his voice somehow perfect blends in with the music.

The guitar solo at the end of Zero Hour is also very amazing and shows the listener that Mike Holmes is a very skilled musician. I somehow see a link between his playing and that of ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Both have served their bands more or less as instrumentalists that tend to blend in to the composition, but when they have their solo spot, you are struck with awe because of the level of musicianship!

My favourite tracks of this album are the final two songs. Shooting Angels always had a special spot for me, it is the most heavy song on the album and features very nice keyboards and also an amazing saxophone solo!

As said somewhere near the beginning of this review I bought this album after hearing the song Guiding Light. This song starts of with an acoustic piano- vocals only parts (and some acoustic guitar later on) with Peter Nicholls vocals at their best! After about three and a half minutes the other band members kick in with amazing instrumentation and Mike Holmes again shines during the whole of this song and his guitar solo at the end of the song always gives me goose bumps. The small synthesizer solo around the six minutes mark is also very cool. After about four minutes of instrumental mania we get Peter Nicholls again with his beautiful voice singing wonderful lyrics and I love the end of this section where his voice is taken over by the guitar solo. The song ends the same way as it starts with the piano-vocals section and this is a perfect way to round of an already brilliant album.

Tristan Mulders | 4/5 |

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