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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.03 | 864 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars An absolute masterpiece. This is IQ at their best, even surpassing their 1997 opus magnum Subterranea. If that album was at some points overly long, if that conceptual art piece had a couple too many songs (actually, most of the second disc), Dark Matter, with only 5 tracks, has not one track, or better said, has not one MINUTE too many! The absolute equilibrium achieved by the english greats between long and short tracks, mellow and complicated moments, electric and acoustic sounds, atmospheric and vibrant moods, is a testament to this band's deserved place among prog-rock's all-time masters. As a matter of fact, personally, of the original "neo-prog" groups that were born from Genesis's womb in the 80's, is not Marillion but IQ that really captures my heart and mind, and were it not for Arena, it would be my favorite of all Neo-prog. And mainly because of this rock-painting the british have crafted.

Besides the fact that IQ is formed by extremely talented instrumentalists, this quintet is what it is because of their marvelous singer: Peter Nicholls has a distinct, unique voice, capable of reaching high notes but also capable of incredibly delicate melody-singing, a powerful voice that manages to stand out of the rich music that provides him a canvas background few artists have at their disposal. If we were to draw comparisons, maybe the closest one would be to Jon Anderson, the legendary frontman of Yes. But that's trying to find vocals that resemble Nicholls' at any cost, for, the truth is, he's in a dimension of his own.

Sacred Sound (10/10), a fantastic semi-epic that starts in a dark mood, grows incesantly and when the vocal part appears turns into a totally IQ-ish sounding track, a showcase for Nicholls capabilities with a great chorus that returns twice before the instrumental section, an amazing keyboard-guitar tour de force, and re-appears near the finale, in all his glory. A dark song that develops into a illuminated, self-assuring anthem. Fantastic.

Red Dust Shadow (8/10), the lesser track in the album...and it's still great! A very melodic, mellow song, short, where the vocal chords master Nichollos once again has his chance to shine as the portent he is. Beautiful keyboards.

You never will (10/10), now this is what I love about prog and about this particular band: a short, relatively simple song that is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. After the clock ticks, the main riff blasts into the stage with all the power of affirmative keyboard chords and thunderous bass. After the verse, one of the best, if not THE best, in all of IQ's chorus: a catchy-yet- deep, a imposing, definitive musical statement about this art form's utter simplicity and beauty in that simplicity. Outstanding.

Born Brilliant, (8/10) a great track that starts in full Pink Floyd mood, close to that of Welcome to The machine. Ironic lyrics talk off stubborness, dumbness, in other words, this song pays hommage to US President's Bush's brilliant mind...

Harvest of Souls (10/10), an amazing epic dealing, again, with America and his utter brilliance in going to a war... It starts slow, pensive, sad, then erupts, then becomes a kind of burlesque-anthem pro-america (off course, is the opposite), then it goes back to the tense momenst of the beginning, and finally explodes in angry affirmation of principles and ideas. All of this performed with the highest level of musicianship and sung by one of the genres's best voices. Incredible.

Recommended for: EVERYBODY. GET ONE. If you have to stop eating for a day in order to hear this music, well, water is man's real life-giver, water, and MUSIC LIKE THIS.

The T | 5/5 |


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