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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover





3.97 | 628 ratings

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4 stars IQ's most famous album up to that point in their career, it marked a try at the old prog concept chestnut: a loner/oddball out in the world. Musically, it's a strong album with IQ's trademark gothic prog showing up in spots, ('Tunnel Vision', 'The Sense Of Sanity') with a few absolute stunners, ('Failsafe' with Holme's unmistakable and unforgetable guitar melody and the massive track 'The Narrow Margin'). Not that there isn't other fine tracks. The title track uses a rarely played sax in an IQ song, and the instrumentals 'State Of Mind' and 'Laid Low' will give you goosebumps. It's the few unremarkable songs that tip the balance away from classic status. 'Capricorn' is too much like Pendragon's boring Pink Floydish prog and 'Unsolid Ground' is too straight-forward rock. Tracks like 'Somewhere In Time' have classic Nichol's lyrics sung with his unique and excellent voice. It's when 'The Narrow Margin' hits that you sit up and take notice of the power and imagination of this band. Twenty minutes long, it's a tad too long but makes up with some tasty Hackett-like guitar in the 6 minute mark, then at the nine minute mark...BAM! classic IQ with Cook's drumwork shining. From here on out it's a tour-de-force for the band with every player in full command and playing superior melodies. I've played this album many times and what I come away with is the different sounds they try. They progressed like all good bands do. Although there's a few stumbles on both discs, it's a stunning album and is a must for all IQ fans. For those not familiar with the band, it could actually be a good starting point. Not a 5-star album, but boy they tried their darnest.
NJprogfan | 4/5 |


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