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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover

SUBTERRANEA

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

3.91 | 457 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
4 stars From the end 94' and on, while IQ were hitting the road promoting the ''Ever'' album, they begun playing snippets and early forms of tracks from what was to become their most ambitious work.As the recordings of their new album were coming to reality, IQ even refused to play live, focusing on this grandiose effort.After a couple of cancelled release dates, finally ''Subterranea'', a 2-CD and over 100 minutes concept album, sees the light at the end of 1997 on Giant Electric Pea.

For many this album is the reincarnation of ''The lamb lies on Broadway'', both because it is a long theatrical and inventive fantasy story and because IQ were always a heavily GENESIS-influenced group.The story is built around a man, isolated from reality, part of a weird experiment, who is eventually let loose by the men they imprisoned him and begins a long trip for searching the reasons he was kept locked.His story passes many different stages, meeting plenty of characters, in a dramatic attempt to find the truth about his existence.

Practically IQ did not abandon the style of music they made them one of the most beloved Progressive Rock bands worldwide.This time though it is extremely highly recommended to follow the lyrics as part of the listening in order to penetrate as more as possible into this fantasy story.What really differs is maybe the slightly increased use of more mellow parts, some with acoustic guitars, and the diverse singing style of Nichols, part of the varied atmosphere of the album.But again it is impossible for IQ to miss their main target, which is to produce elaborate, well-polished and grandiose Progressive Rock with lots of bombastic grooves and symphonic references.But these would mean nothing if there weren't of the fantastic melodies IQ are used to bring on surface.Despite the lyrical importance of the album the group still manages to keep a great balance between vocal and instrumental moments.Some of the best music ever produced by IQ is also included in this work and the listener will face series of smooth piano arrangements and calm vocal performance blended with powerful compositions full of sharp and angular synthesizers, pounding bass lines, hard drumming and shining guitar lines.The most impressive fact though is that the group decided to close the album with the longest track of the album, the 20-min. ''The Narrow Margin'', already a classic composition of IQ, full of changing climates, haunting melodies, dark passages and more uptempo moments with excellent and tight musicianship from the start to the very end.

A Progressive Rock classic?Maybe yes, definitely a Neo Prog classic considering how hard it is to come up with both an impressive concept story and a very long album, that never tires the listener.No doubt, IQ succeded in both sections with this album.Highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |

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