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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.06 | 714 ratings

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3 stars ''Are You Sitting Comfortably?'' was followed by the darkest period in IQ's history.Tim Esau and Paul Menel left the band due to musical differences and were replaced by past singer Peter Nicholls (after his unsuccesful attempt with Niadem's Ghost) and bassist Les Marshall.However tragedy would struck shortly after, when Marshall died suddenly.This hard experience brought the IQ members closer, forming their own label Giant Electric Pea and releasing the live /rarities CD '' J'ai Pollette d'Arnu'' in 1991.With ex-Ark bassist John Jowitt joining IQ, the band performed several concerts (among them a virgin gig at 93' Progfest) and returned with the fifth studio album ''Ever'' the same year.

The new album marked a new start for IQ, which would return to more progressive arrangements, eventually leaving their ultra GENESIS-influenced style of their debut in the past and borrowing the best elements from the artistic sound of their poppier releases.The result is a work full of grandieur, haunting atmospheres, powerful grooves and intense lyricism.And while ''Ever'' is a bit inferior compared to the band's first couple of albums, it is definitely a very strong and intricate album.Jowitt's presence brought the great rhythmic bass lines the band was rather lacking and the sound of IQ is well-balanced between memorable grooves and keyboard-based arrangements with Orford's synths on the forefront.Menel was a great singer, but Nicholls will always be the trademark voice of IQ with his theatrical and sensitive vocal lines.The overall sound holds resemblences with ''The wake'' release, deep, atmospheric and enjoyable Neo Prog with dominant keyboard parts, careful lead and solo guitar parts and plenty of room for some instrumental ideas.The later are among the album's highlights, offering some really exciting moments of unforgettable soundscapes.

While ''Ever'' still has some black holes of mediocre musicianship by a band trying to make a really succesful comeback, for the most of its length this is an album with major enjoyable Neo Prog-ish material, played with passion.Strongly recommended, no surprise for another nice IQ album...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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