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FREQUENCY

IQ

Neo-Prog


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IQ Frequency album cover
4.13 | 652 ratings | 60 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Frequency (8:29)
2. Life Support (6:28)
3. Stronger Than Friction (10:32)
4. One Fatal Mistake (4:54)
5. Ryker Skies (9:45)
6. The Province (13:43)
7. Closer (8:11)

Total Time 62:02


Bonus DVD - IQ Live In Holland 2007 (109:45) (Limited Edition only)
1. Awake And Nervous
2. You Never Will
3. Frequency
4. The Magic Roundabout
5. Harvest Of Souls
6. Sleepless Incidental
7. Crashed And Burned (Stronger Than Friction)
8. The Seventh House
9. It All Stops Here
10. Guiding Light

Special Feature - Encores (18:50)
11. Subterranea
12. The Darkest Hour

Total time 128:35

Lyrics

Search IQ Frequency lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search IQ Frequency tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Nicholls / vocals
- John Jowitt / bass
- Mike Holmes / guitar
- Andy Edwards / drums
- Mark Westworth / keyboards

Releases information

CD Inside Out Records (2009)

CD+DVD Inside Out Music IOMSECD 311 (2009, Limited Edition)
CD+DVD SPV GmbH SPV 28040 (2009, Limited Edition)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy IQ Frequency Music


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IQ Frequency ratings distribution


4.13
(652 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
39%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (13%)
13%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

IQ Frequency reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Riding on waves of stellar progressive rock.

I must say, having not been at all impressed with IQ's previous album, Dark Matter, this was not an album that I was anticipating quite so much as the rest of the progressive world. The previous album was good, but it was the album who started the 'dark neo-progressive' movement a number of years back that has since spread like wildfire across the scene, and though it broke new ground for a subgenre that is known for being redundant, it was still a stereotypical neo-prog album - wrapped around old school Genesis's waist like a child afraid to move too far away from its mother. A Harvest Of Souls was the 25-minute megalodon that got so much attention, and was apparently a direct tribute to Supper's Ready, but came off more as an unoriginal rip-off.

So to end this introduction to a bad 70s Soap Opera, this time on King By-Tor takes on IQ...

Frequency is a stellar album. Lord only knows what happened to the band in the 4 years time since the previous album, but they have gotten their act together and created a magical hour and one minute of music crafted out of the finest of neo-progressive styling and yet still able to tread new waters. They've managed to find a happy ground between dark progressive music and a more emotional and, honestly, more real, less pretentious area of writing. The songs don't come off as forcing mascara and black nail polish, but instead as genuine reflections of social statements and emotive anecdotes. They also haven't forced themselves to work in the 'long song' medium, meaning that what may come off as a 'rip-off' song to some ears that takes up over half the album doesn't exist (see: A Harvest Of Souls). The songs manage to go on for just as long as they need to, the structure of each actually supporting enough material to go on without becoming redundant or imposed.

In fact, each of the songs is its own impressive opus, as though Dark Matter had continued with the more mid-lengthed songs, instead of trying for the centerpiece. Among the standouts on the album are the rip-roaring opening title track, Frequency with it's blistering, yet somehow not overly-bombastic solos and well thought out time changes, it's dark atmosphere that's still strangely inviting - like a magnetic storm that begs to be investigated. More to come with another side of the band in the second track, Life Support, a fragile opus that opens with a beautiful piano and slowly evolves into a tear-jerker of a song that still manages to hold the album's consistency without losing momentum. After the opening two tracks the next song of total nod-worthy approval has to be one of IQ's greatest achievement to date - Riker Skies steals the show on the album, even if it's not the longest or most comparatively complex. Meeting Ayreon halfway with more dark material from the likes of Dark Matter, this masterwork of a song is impressive from listen to listen, even for those who may fancy themselves as people who don't enjoy the more 'troubadouric' side of progressive music.

Throughout the rest of the album there's no low points, all of the other numbers are equally as impressive, even if they don't shine quite so brightly as some of the brilliant highlights. Stronger Than Friction is the first song to pass the 10-minute mark on the album, and it's quite impressive with its melodic chorus and majestic solos. The Province marks the longest song on the album, and is easily the most typically ''epic'' in the most literal terms of the word thanks to its build and huge atmosphere - this song also features some of the most impressive and bad-ass riffs on the album, sometimes bordering on metal! Well done, none the less. Closer closes the album with another soft and emotional number - a perfect end to a magnificent album.

IQ does not cease to impress with their latest effort, so whether you fancy yourself a fan of the band or not, this is a must-have for the progressive scene this year. Perhaps a little 'retro' still, the band manages to blend the modern and the old-school on this album in a way that they were attempting to on the last effort - and yet they still manage to break new ground. Don't be surprised if a lot of neo-progressive bands start to sound like this over the next couple of years. Hopefully IQ doesn't leave us in the dark for another 4 years! This one is going to get 4 airwaves out of 5, truly impressive.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#216794) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Nothing quite like a new IQ album to get this progger out of hibernation.

I have always appreciated IQ's restraint in not flooding the market with tons of material that is just not very good. I have never treasured any IQ album as an outstanding whole piece, but I can always count on finding at least a half hour or so of music that I find interesting and of high quality, and Frequency fits right in.

Overall, IQ sounds "fuller" to me on this album, with more fills by Edwards and plenty of layering of keys by Westworth. Both members have done fine in their new IQ roles by contributing to the IQ sound but still moving the band toward a more modern sound. Of course, Holmes and Jowitt are rock solid on guitars. Also, Nicholls continues to improve, as his contributions never detract (unlike some older IQ albums) and oftentimes really bring the powerful sections over the top.

Highlights: Frequency, Stronger than Friction, The Province of the King. All of these tracks feature classic IQ traits that I always look forward to such as subtle time changes, structures that really maintain momentum, and great counterbalance between the guitar/keyboard section and the bass/percussion section. The title track is a fantastic start to the album--it's quite heavy, but it also has the classic IQ restraint in introducing new melodies at just the right time. Stronger than Friction just may IQ's Cinema Show (of course on a much smaller impact scale!), starting with a catchy and bouncy tune and finishing with a rousing 7/8 flourish (and excellent transition to the slower One Fatal Mistake).

The Province of the King might be the track where IQ experiments a bit more in song structure. For example, a haunting guitar/vocal start kicks into high gear and then moves right back to mellow. My experience with IQ is that they don't tease--when they build things up, they almost always maintain the momentum. No matter though, because the second half features a classic menacing organ/synth section, some truly fantastic vocals by Nicholls, and of course the well-earned majestic guitar solo by Holmes.

IQ doesn't change by leaps and bounds, but this album is hardly recognizable when compared to their first, Tales from the Lush Attic. I have really enjoyed following this band's career and evolving sound, and I think they are quite good at their craft at this point. Harvest of Souls was a final send-off for the "classic" line-up, and Frequency represents a new step in a somewhat new, yet satisfying, direction. Here's to one more piece of high quality prog!

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#219646) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars IQ is a band that I usually like. I've seen them live three times of which the last show took place at the Spirit of 66 in my country (April 26). I was then able to get a preview of this album (with Paul Cook on the drum kit!).

During this concert, two new tracks were definitely outstanding from this offering: the opener and title track as well as the long ''The Province''. And while I listened to the album for the first time, I got the confirmation.

And this is a bit my problem with ''Frequency''. I would say that this is a typical ''IQ'' album. Same fine but melancholic Nicholls, same keyboards-oriented music (I know Martin is gone and difficult to be replaced but Mark is a very good key player as well and a charming person: I had a short talk about Grey Lady Down after the show). Some nice and emotional guitar breaks to fulfil the job (the one from ''The Province'' is really excellent) .

''Frequency'' is a pleasant neo-prog album but it lacks in diversity (like several IQ albums). I was more charmed by ''Dark Matter'' and their first two albums to be honest (all of them rated with four stars).

This one belongs more to the good works they have released during their long career. Not a single weak track that's for sure although the repetitive ''Closer'' (the well-named closing number) is not the best of their repertoire to be honest and could have been shorter. But on the other hand, only two great songs.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#219783) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 04, 2009

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well, we've been waiting for this for a long time. Was it worth the wait? My opinion is yes. IQ are definitely one of the most important bands to emerge from the second wave of prog bands in the 1980's, alongside Marillion, Pallas, and Twelfth Night, and deserve our attention when a new album is released. But would they deliver with the loss of one of their guiding lights, Martin Orford? The answer is a definite yes.

Frequency, the title track, is a slab of pure unadulterated neo prog music, with an epic feel that has your toes tapping throughout.. Holmes delivers superb guitar bursts, and Westworth, the successor to Orford, makes you wonder if he really is a new boy with the textures he creates.

As the opener progresses to Life Support, the piano backdrop to Nicholl's incredible vocals is amazing, and a reaffirmation of just what a great band they are. Peter Nicholls shines throughout this album and I do believe that he is becoming more and more accomplished as a vocalist as the years roll on. The mid section features some fantastic interplay between Jowitt and Edwards in the rhythm section accompanying a great guitar solo by Holmes, before Westworth again attempts to make the keyboard slot his own. A dark and meandering piece that grows on you each time you listen to it.

Stronger Than Fiction, clocking in at over 10 minutes, starts off with a commercial feel, and could be accused of being a stereotypical IQ piece, but I think that as the track develops this is belied. Nicholl's most definitely keeps the track together, and I am enjoying the upbeat feel of the track. I especially like Westworth's keyboard textures as the track moves to its mid section, in glorious harmony with quite the most beautiful vocal. The rockier sequence that follows has a dark and melancholic feel to it, before reasserting a more upbeat tone with a strong guitar and rhythm backdrop. Holme's almost sings on his guitar at the close of the piece, with some lovely piano and bass accompanying.

One Fatal Mistake follows without a break, and is a natural follow up to its predecessor. Nicholl's voice is quite incredible, with piano, acoustic guitar vying for attention. I have to say that Nicholl's has become one of the most important and beautiful vocalists in the world of prog - his performance on this, and, indeed, the whole of the album, is really something else.

What follows is nothing short of genius. Ryker Skies could well be one of the finest pieces of music ever created by this band. A rich backdrop of keyboards and acoustic guitar accompany the vocals, before the dark electric guitar, pulsating bass and drums kick in. What follows cannot be stereotyped as neo prog or any other type of prog. This is simply a fine slab of rock music which must have taken all of the five years taken to create this album. Dark, brooding, solid, with a counter to all those who believe that the future will automatically be bright and chirpy, the mood created is ultimately distopian. This is exemplified about seven minutes in by a grand Westworth keyboard solo, which reminds me a bit of Banks in his darker moments, culminating in him accompanying Nicholls to the conclusion of the track.

The Province of the King is the longest track on the album, and commences with a gorgeous acoustic guitar and keyboard backdrop to Nicholl's fine vocals. This track is the natural follow up to much of Dark Matter. I love the mellotron sequence that precedes the heavy pulsating rockier phase, before calming down again to the rich acoustic background. This track has many moods, and is all the better for it. Probably the finest mellotron moods for many a year, interspersed with some fine guitar solos and vocals. When "The phone rings and there's no one there", the track progresses to a symphonic masterpiece, with keyboards at the forefront of a huge cacophony of sound. Although still dark, it is strangely uplifting. Westworth is a fine successor to a great player - we miss Orford, but you know the band will definitely continue, given the exceptional musicianship demonstrated here. Has Holmes ever produced such a fine solo as the one kicking in about 11 minutes into this track? I doubt it very much, and Westworth really shines in the piano when Nicholl's brings the piece to its denouement. A great way to bring a great track to its conclusion.

Closer brings the album to its conclusion. Once again starting with some lovely sound textures, I close my eyes in appreciation when Nicholl's starts singing. This is not just any neo prog - it's IQ neo prog! Band plays its heart out in support of some exceptional and beautiful vocals. The band shines throughout. A grandoise track to close a great piece of work.

Was the album worth the wait? Definitely. Have they lost something with Orford? Yes, is the reply. Is it iretriveable? NO. Is this band still at the forefront of the second wave of prog rock? Absolutely.

Closer Every Day sums it up - we feel close to a band that is still capable of producing great music. As an IQ fan, I find this album essential. As a reviewer on this site, I rate it as excellent. So, 4.5 stars to an album that really is extremely good.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#220034) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 06, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars I don't have all that much exposure to the music of IQ, although I do own a copy of "Are You Sitting Comfortably?", which I haven't listened to in years. But this album makes me want to revisit it.

The album isn't perfect, there seems to be something about Peter Nicholls' vocals that I can't quite place that puts me off, and the music during most of the verse sections of the songs can get a bit drab, but when the band goes off instrumentally, the songs soar. Luckily, the good parts far outweigh the bad, so I give this album thumbs up.

My copy also includes a live DVD of a full concert recorded in Holland in 2007, including two of the songs from the new album, one under a different title with different lyrics. The performance throughout is flawless, although the camerawork sometimes jostles, and be warned, the concert was not filmed in high def, so it looks somewhat grainy on larger televisions. But it's a worthwhile DVD nonetheless.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#220041) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 06, 2009

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars It's been 5 years since we last had an album from IQ, that being the highly regarded Dark Matter thought by many to be their best. Since then there's been some major line-up changes with drummer Paul Cook and keyboardist Martin Orford both departing to be replaced by Andy Edwards and Mark Westworth respectively. Naturally it was a major concern, particularly with the loss of Orford if they could still cut it. Fortunately they can; in fact Frequency is as good as anything they've done in the past. What you get is 7 tracks over 62 minutes including the almost obligatory epic; here it's The Province that runs to almost 14 minutes.

The album kicks off with the excellent title track with a kind of Zeppelin style Kashmir riff though they subtly shift the beat around. Things quieten down for Peter Nicholls melancholic vocals backed by electric piano and then were into very familiar IQ territory with some searing guitar runs from the excellent Mike Holmes. A grandiose statement to kick things off.

Life Support has a very familiar IQ sound, more in their restrained mode. A lovely melody prevails over the piano/vocal led start until things kick in with an excellent instrumental section, drums now joining in and some more strong guitar work from Holmes and John Jowitt's excellent bass work nicely cutting through.

At 10 and a half minutes Stronger Than Friction is the second longest track on the album. While it's kind of IQ by numbers, neo prog effortlessly done by a band that have been at it for almost 30 years, its enjoyable enough but plods along for the first 6 minutes until things get more interesting with a change of tack into more dynamic playing. Stronger Than Friction segues into One Fatal Mistake which finds the band in ballad mode. This in turn leads straight into Ryker Skies, a track that could have been heard pre release of the album having featured on a free cd with the latest edition of Classic Rock Prog. It was a good choice to give some much needed exposure to this excellent album. After a quiet vocal intro it comes in with a simple and solid straight rhythm with Jowitt's bass pounding away beneath Edward's solid drum pattern. It's one of those tracks that immediately gets under the skin with a memorably melodic chorus and strong dominant keyboards, Holmes' guitar taking more of a back seat on this one.

Pleasingly with The Province being the longest track it's also the best. An acoustic guitar led intro gives way to a short, bombastic instrumental section before a quick return to the vocals and then we're back into IQ at their most powerful and heaviest. There's some particularly fine keyboard work from Westworth including a nice organ sound, proving he's a worthy replacement for Orford. The track goes through quite a few changes with plenty of dynamics to keep things interesting.

The album closes on a high with Closer, a largely laid back track though with some powerful moments well placed after the bombast of The Province.

I'm pleased to say that despite the loss of 2 long serving members since Dark Matter IQ are capable of producing such a strong album that can easily stand along side their best work. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking here but it's a very worthwhile purchase for fans of the band and symphonic/neo prog in general.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#220263) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 08, 2009

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I waited for this CD with some caution. After all I am a big fan of IQ and I am one of those who thought that martin Orford was the heart and soul of the band, even more than vocalist Peter Nicholls. To me it was very hard to believe in IQ without him. I was already saddened by his leaving of Jadis, but that was to be expected. But retiring from the music business? From IQ? From HIS band IQ? I was not sure if they should even consider to soldier on without the band's mains character (shades of early Genesis, anyone?). So I was curious, but highly suspicious, when this CD came out. Fortunatly my fears were unfounded, at least for now.

Frequency is as good an IQ D as any of their recent discography. The new keyboardsman Mark Westworth fitted in perfectly as far as I'm concerned. The CD starts with the title track: waves and waves of mellotron sounding keys, followed by Fender Rhodes piano, moogs and all those great analog keyboard instruments all the way through the entire disc. From the first notes you know the band remains the same and that you're gonna love this record. Guitarrist Mark Holmes might be the only member now to be featured on all IQ's catalogue, but the other band members know how to keep the old flame alive. Besides, they lost none of the latter day inspiration that brought them to produce such fine works like Subterranea and Dark matter.

Ok, the CD is not perfect. Clearly I miss an epic of the same stature as Harvest Of Souls (from Dark Matter). But since the band seemed to be washed away just a few months ago, I guess this would be expecting too much. And Frequency has some very strong moments like the title track and the beautiful, poignant One Fatal Mistake. There are no fillers either. Like one reviewer wrote, I hope this new CD is a truly product of the new line up and not the remains of Orford's work before he left. (I guess not). In any case, Fequency stands as one of IQ's best works and it is an excellent addtition to any prog lover collection. Nice surprise. Four stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#223616) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have found the frequency ! I first heard the title song during the last time IQ played in Canada (Montreal) and remember saying that that it was an instant love. This album would prove to be a bit of a re-start for this band as well with 2 new members bringing their musical influences into the group, which I can tell you has not changed the frame of IQ....only the pillow cases ! Those holding out to see the reviews can rest at ease and go pick up this album with confidence as this is very much a prototypical IQ album with their highly well crafted signature symphonic dark prog songs narrated by the pungent lyrics of Peter Nicholls. I too was a tad nervous as Dark Matter I thought was just "Beyond brilliant" and that would be a hard one to top, which I dont think they did to be honest but it is still a very very very good album.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#223934) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars How consistant has this band been with Peter Nicholls as their vocalist ? Well the seven studio albums he has sung on are all rated around 4 stars. And the thing is there is no agreement on which one is their best. Any one of those seven could be a favourite of an IQ fan. Some lineup changes on this one with drummer Paul Cook leaving and being replaced by Andy Edwards from FROST. So we have the FROST rhythm section at work here. And the great Martin Orford has left to be replaced by Mark Westworth on keyboards. Speaking of FROST, the band thanks Declan Burke among others.

"Frequency" opens with different samples of broadcasts before the drums and mellotron come crashing in.The guitar a minute in is fantastic, synths follow. A calm with piano 2 minutes in, then the master vocalist Mr.Nicholls starts to sing as only he can. Haunting guitar sounds come and go. It kicks in at 4 minutes with some nice drum work. Guitar, mellotron and synths come and go. Jowitt is prominant with some nice bass lines. Just a great sounding track. I love this band ! "Life Support" opens with piano and reserved vocals. When the vocals stop 2 1/2 minutes in check out the atmosphere. Guitar and drums come in and I like the bass after 4 minutes. Nice synth work too. More great atmosphere after 6 minutes.

"Stronger Than Fiction" features a strong rhythm section as the guitar plays over top. Vocals before a minute. It settles 4 minutes in and doesn't pick back up until after 6 minutes. Mellotron 7 1/2 minutes in, and it's so uplifting 8 minutes in when the guitar joins in. Amazing ! The song eventually blends into "One Fatal Mistake" which is such a beautiful and laid back tune. Check out the lyrics: "You broke me, you have no idea. In darkness, I see more than hear. Impossible, even I can say. Many would have walked away. A lifetime of living a lie. Like daylight shot out of the sky. So did the truth ever set you free ? Got nothing but that hold on me". Love the atmosphere 4 1/2 minutes in then it blends into "Ryker Skies". Reserved vocals come out of the spacy sounds and strummed guitar. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice guitar, drums and bass here. Check out the organ after 3 1/2 minutes. An atmospheric calm around 5 1/2 minutes. Vocals and vibes a minute later. It kicks back in before 7 1/2 minutes. Lots of synths and drums then mellotron and vocals join in.

The Province" is the longest track at almost 14 minutes. Acoustic guitar early as vocals join in. Samples before 2 1/2 minutes then heavy drums and organ dominate. Incredible ! Mellotron joins in then it settles back down. The contrasts continue. It's so emotional when it kicks in before 4 1/2 minutes. Soaring guitar before 10 1/2 minutes. Piano and vocals end it. "Closer" opens with guitar as the atmosphere rolls in. Vocals before a minute. Drums and bass a minute later. It kicks in before 4 minutes with drums and organ then Peter cries out the words "Hold on...". The lyrics are so meaningful and emotional in this song.

They did it again ! Not surprised just happy. God bless IQ.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#224781) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 06, 2009

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars This is one I have been itching, bitching and scratching to first listen intently and then review. In fact, my dear sinkadotentree beat me to the punch but graciously (as only he can so naturally) informed me by PM that I will anoint this with 5 stars, when I get my hands and ears on it! I hugely enjoyed the previous "Dark Matter" and even saw the support show and was suitably blown away by their mastery of their craft. They have been accused of Marillion clones but I have severe doubts about that assumption as Nicholls is nowhere near the esteemed Fish in delivery, lyrical chicanery and stage persona. Peter is an altogether different fish (pun intended), closer to Gabriel if anyone as I see a vocal personality here, his voice only aging like the finest wine, supremely confident and evocative. This is a band that seems to grow (progress?.hahahaha!) with each release and slaloming through the perils of losing retiring members on keys and drums. It must be said that Martin Orford's departure could have been worrisome but the others certainly picked up the slack, most assuredly proving that Holmes is a way underrated talent. "Frequency" starts off with a delirious glee, as new keyboardist Mark Westwood unleashes copious doses of electronic beeping and swaths of dense mellotron , synthing hand in hand with Mike Holmes romantic and graceful guitar lines , master bassist Jowitt blasting the relentless beat ahead with colleague Andy Edwards drumming up a storm. "Life Support" has all the hallmarks to illuminate the progressive highway, restrained über-melodies that are so typically British, a piano driven reasoning of elegance , the liquid solo that carves deep into the "spectral mornings" that can only hearken back to Hackett's glory days. What a momentous piece of progressive genius that should be lapped up by all fans of prog (while many consider IQ to be "Neo", I personally judge them to be firmly in the symphonic element). The richness of the arrangements are always so convincing, especially when heard (and proven right) in a live setting. The epic "Stronger Than Fiction" is a reptilian escapade that rumbles onward like some crazed mechanical beast with Nicholls singing his spirit out, wrapped in a moody tirade that charms and seduces, very much in the typical IQ formula with deep furrowed tempo contrasts between the sweet pastoral and the disturbingly frantic. Another winning track, will it go, all, the, way?? (as Berman would say). The stately axe flight soars this fiction all the way to the stars, a powerful sortie that utterly convinces. "One Fatal Mistake" is an oddity, an IQ ballad that evokes the misery of love, loaded with soporific keys and piano motifs that underline the plaintive vocal. A nice little love interlude that dies in a choir mellotron curtsy! "Ryker Skies" is a more somber affair that relates to the paranoia of social disease, sounding more like the recent and harder edged Galahad, a brutish beat that swerves into sonic gloom. The choir-trons create massive damage whilst the synth slashes burrow deeply, the marshalling beat remains unflinching. The 13 minute "The Province" is the killer track here, a masterful stroke of aural bliss that is perhaps the most symphonic piece they have ever written. Acoustic guitars string their web across the Peter Nicholls swoon, heartfelt lyrics that dance with the lungs and then a suddenly raging riff enters the fray, blasting imperially into submission. The attractive pattern from soft to hard is repeated again to great effect, giving Edwards the platform to bash around like a monster. Epic indeed, an immense piece that will need nay more revisits to truly appreciate. "Closer" as the name implies is the final opus, a mirroring lilt that floats serenely amid sadly defiant and despondent lyrics that express the current world's tears. They ostensibly pay attention to the world around them, displaying the unique charm of blending disappointment with hope. The chorus is a sonic rainbow of majesty, a harrowing punctuation mark on another classic IQ recording. A magnificent album that deserves the penta stars but it's too early yet to knock "Dark Matter" off the podium. 5 radio towers nevertheless. Right again, sinky!

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#225352) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 09, 2009

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars By now you should have known my musical taste (mostly) because you can see my rating to this IQ's latest album. Yes, IQ has been in my listening pressure since their debut album and I always purchase the new album of the band which unfortunately took a long time to produce. I had been waiting for this new album for approx five years, but it's worth waiting for because its individual album is an excellent one. And I would say that IQ is a king of neoprog that has been consistent with its musical direction especially since their phenomenal album 'Ever'. I would say since then their music has been so solid so that whenever I spin the album I tend to play it in its entirety because it sounds like listening to the whole story of the album.

I actually pre-ordered this album before its official release early Jun 2009. But due to economic consideration in ordering I clicked also the pre-order of Dream Theater's 'Clack Clouds & Silver Linings' which was released three weeks after IQ, June 23 2009. The result was on delivery of the CDs which came quite late to my address. Practically I only received the package two days ago and I had never heard any song of the two bands new albums, with the exception of IQ 'Frequency' which I ever watched its live performance on youtube. When the two reached my address, my first attention was of course to 'Frequency' because I had been too curious on how the album sounds like. I could predict that their style would not change but I was curious about the melody-line. IQ has been so perfect in creating songs with killing melodies especially since their 'Ever' album. After I spun this album, I tried to spin Dream Theater 'BC & SL' but unfortunately I easily dropped it after one spin in its entirety. Nothing new with DT music and unfortunately in this new album DT sounds like not producing songs with catchy melody like Octavarium's 'Sacrificed Sons' or Systematic Chaos's 'Forsaken'. Honestly I am a bit getting bored with DT especially in its sequel on alcohol which lends melodies from previous songs in the sequel. So I spun IQ and temporary stopped DT.

Compositions that kill me ...!

How do you rate composition? For me, there are five components that form a final rating of musical composition. First, is the melody - i.e. the degree to which the main melody of the song is constructed from a combination of notes. Second is the harmonies ie. how each instrument contributes in creating sounds and notes. Third is the complexity of the arrangement i.e. the degree in which the instrument (including vocal) being played by the musicians and how they generate a piece of music stream or segment of the music. Fourth is change of style i.e. how the style changes in a song which includes tempo changes and/ or heavy or soft musical sounds. The last one (fisth) is the structural integrity i.e. the degree to which all musical segments, including changes of style, form a cohesiveness of the music as awhole from start to end. The five components are very fundamental for me to assess my rating towards the music, especially progressive music.

As a matter of 'Frequency' I can tell you that out of five components that I use to analyze the music, I could summarize that the key dominating components of this album are: catchy melody, wonderful harmonies, smooth and excellent changes of style and solid structural integrity in almost all songs this album contains. The composition is actually not complex but complexity does not determine the final rating because for any neoprog and symphonic prog music complexity is only medium. Prog with high complexities are the music of Gentle Giant, canterbury and some progressive metal.

How can I challenge the opening track 'Frequency' (8:29) with complexity? The arrangements are basically simple to medium BUT look at the melody from start to end of the track. And then, look at the harmonies the band creates through its simple riffs at the opening and it moves forward wonderfully to another segment with various styles in great harmonies. The music created can bring me to an imagination of living in other world. It's totally an amazing composition. And .. the structural integrity of the song is really solid from start to end. Unbelievable! It's a master piece of prog music!

The same experience I find in enjoying the otehr tracks like the following 'Life support' (6:28) and 'Stronger than friction' (10:32). All of them have their own melodies and they are all wonderful! So is the case with 'One fatal mistake' (4:54) - in which the lyric page at the album sleeve depicting a man sitting on a hill which reflects me like a muslim pray. It's an excellent artwork, really!

'The Province' (13:43) is a wonderful epic with great overall melody that spans nicely from one segment to another while the keyboard by the new member (Westworth) plays wonderful solo combined with dynamic bass playing by Jowitt and dynamic drumming by Edwards. One thing for sure this song has many style changes but the band maintains the structural integrity of the song in its entirety.

Overall, this is a masterpiece release by IQ. On top of composition, the performance of the new member of the band (Westworth - keyboard) is worth mentioning. His keyboard work is truly killing! Also the production of the CD is great. The package (mine is having 1 CD and 1 DVD) is great and the sonic production is top notch! It's a MUST album to have! Keep on proggin' ..! Because proggin' is really healthy and it's great to cheer your life ...

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Frequency", IQ's album after the highly praised "Dark Matter" effort, was always destined to be special in the band's career. For starters, this one was the item that should prove that the creative aspirations that the band had catapulted from their "Ever" days hadn't met a definitive high with "Dark Matter" - that there was more to this band after spending 25 years writing and recording albums. Also, it was to be the first album without drummer Paul Cook. No one saw it coming, but Martin Orford wasn't going to be present in this album, too. Luckily, the writing process didn't collapse after these desertions - Andy Edwards and Mark Westworth entered the picture and gelled perfectly with their elder colleagues. This album's music remains essential IQ. The namesake track opens up the album to set an appropriate ambience of musicality and power. The initial WWII radio transmissions are followed by a mesmeric 'Kashmir'-meets-'Fly on the Windshield' motif, and successively, this section is followed by the album's first sung portion, mostly sustained on eerie electric piano chords progressions. Once things are sped up on a tight 7/8 tempo, the mood sinks deeply into familiar IQ territory: solid dynamics and clean harmonic arrangements. The resulting motif evolves effectively all the way toward the coda, which revives a bit of the aforementioned LZ-meets-Genesis motif. 'Life Support' is next in line, giving up on the opener's stylish robustness in favor of an enhanced romanticism. Figure out a refurbishment of the lyrical sections of 'Guiding Light' under the emotional drive so well accomplished in the softer passages of the "Subterranea" opus, and you might as well have a very good notion about what this track's mood is al all about. Once the whole ensemble gets properly settled down, the symphonic accent acquires some clever cosmic touches due to the inventive synth solos that take place between Holmes' featured guitar lines. The cosmic element remains in the eerie finale, which conveniently portrays the image of machines operating to sustain a fading life. 'Stronger than Friction' (one of the cleverest titles ever in the history of prog rock, I bet) bears an epic timespan of 10 ½ minutes. What you get here is not a 'second Darkest Hour' (let alone a 'second Widow's Peak'), but a catchy exercise on the lighter side of neo-prog, bordering at times with AOR. Let's imagine what the idea for 'Shooting Angels' would have become had it been gathered by the Pendragon guys for their "Masquerade Overture" album: that's pretty much an approximated picture of what I'm trying to describe. The 7/8 section that signals the song's last part is yet another exciting display of IQ-style fire. The segued ballad 'One Fatal Mistake' is lovely, marked by a clean melodic arrangement that never gets corny: Nicholls' singing states that usual vulnerable vibe that has been Peter's signature for ages. Stuff like this should dignify commercial radio, and it would do it enormously. The spacey synth layers and choral mellotron mark the song's end in a bridge toward the next one, 'Ryker Skies'. This is another long song, and quite refreshing in this grand scheme of things. It is robust and psychedelic -even including electronic excerpts in places-, with a clear 'Frequency'-oriented undertone to it. In fact, near the end, a quotation from the aforesaid song gets in to fulfill a melodic development. 'The Province' is the longest track here. Its patently epic architecture bears a strong heritage from the "Dark Matter" days: the contrasted mood shifts, the agile use of odd signatures and the whole sonic fulfillment complete an amazing progressive journey. The synth solo delivered after the 8 minute mark is arguably the best one in the album; the piano-driven closure bears an undisputed elegant beauty. The album's closer is entitled 'Closer' (go figure!). It fills the album's last 8+ minutes with yet another exhibition of IQ romanticism. It works very well as a prog semi- ballad, featuring a moderately bombastic middle section that seasons the main motif up for a while. All in all, this new frequency of IQ shows the same old mastery - "Frequency" is an excellent prog item for 2009.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#225994) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review by Roland113
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
3 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"Frequency" by IQ was disappointing at best. I'm sorry IQ, I'm sorry friends of IQ, but this was not one of their best efforts.

Let me start by saying that this was my most anticipated release of the year, I love IQ. I dutifully preordered the special bonus pack, complete with DVD and eagerly awaited its arrival. I had seen a minute or two of IQ performing "Frequency", the song, on YouTube and was eagerly excited by the prospect of more. "Frequency" sounded so different from IQ's other material, it had an edge, a bit of hardness to it that I wasn't used to. I was especially excited as I was starting to notice too many similarities in the other IQ CD's that I had (Dark Matter, The Seventh House, Subterranea and Ever).

There is one constant positive throughout the CD. Michael Holmes sounds wonderful on this CD. The tone of his guitar is reminiscent of Daryl Stuermer's work with Genesis, wonderfully haunting. It is nice to hear him come to the forefront with the departure of Martin Orford (yes, I know he still wrote some of the songs for this CD, but you get my point). One other positive, the artwork is IQ's best in my opinion. The kids with the remote controls and the radio towers strike a chord with me.

So the CD started out with "Frequency" and I was underwhelmed, they had over compressed the beginning. I was expecting this bright and powerful opening and the sound was unfortunately muted and muddled. By the one and a half minute mark, the over compression had taken a back seat to the lead guitar and keys, but sadly, that first moment of disappointment lingered. The rest of the song is beautiful, with Peter Nichols voice sounding more soulful than usual, still beautiful though.

"Life Support" shows the amazing drumming of Andy Edwards and "Stronger than Friction" follows as a typical IQ song. It'd be great on most other band's albums, but it's a bit predictable to me. John Jowitt is solid on this and shows some particularly tasty chops at about the seven minute mark.

"One Fatal Mistake" does nothing for me.

"Riker Skies" is the best song on the album, the vocal run at the two minute mark gives me goose bumps. Peter Nichols doubles himself, with a low effect laden voice almost drowning out his normal voice. 'Almost' is an important designation as the higher voice, adds the touch that makes it so eerie. Mark Westworth also plays a very tasteful solo at the three minute and fifty second mark.

"The Province" is every Genesis and IQ song wrapped into one. Imagine "The Cinema Show" meets "The Knife" meets "The Seventh House" meets "The Narrow Margin" meets "Harvest of Souls" meets "Supper's Ready". Unfortunately, it's already been done. They even start the cliché ending at the nine minute forty second mark. You can hear the ending of "The Seventh House" start, until apparently the band heard the same thing and decided they should change something. So they added an off chord, changed the timing a little. Sorry guys, the 'Supper's Ending' really isn't working anymore and the attempt to disguise is just sounds awkward here.

Finally they ended the CD with "Closer" effectively reprising the "One Fatal Mistake" theme that did nothing for me the first time. I'm sorry to say that unlike wine and leftover spaghetti sauce, it did not improve with time.

All in all, it's an ok CD. If it's your first IQ CD it's probably great and I don't have a problem with that. I think anyone who is into good symphonic will absolutely love their first IQ CD regardless of which one they pick up. After a few CDs though, they start to sound the same. Have you noticed that all of the IQ CD's with Peter Nichols CD's are rated between 3.86 and 4.11 (at the time of writing). For seven CD's, that's not much of a spread. I can't speak for the first two, but the reason the last five all have a similar rating is that they're the same album. I'll give examples when I get to Subterranea and Ever.

All in all, I was going to give this one a two star rating, but it jumps to 3 stars thanks to "Ryker Skies", Michael Holmes' guitar work and the look of the package.

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Send comments to Roland113 (BETA) | Report this review (#227347) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 17, 2009

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the best albums of the year.

Unlike Subterranea, which lost focus somewhere in the middle, Frequency is a concept albums that smoothly flows from beginning to end without ever becomeing boring or confusing.

As always, the focus in IQ's music is the melody. The guitar is mostly in charge of providing the melodic support for the whole musical building, which leaves behind the equally-excellent but less-purely-neo-prog sound of Dark Matter with its short songs in favor of long, thoroughly developed anthems that take some time to digest but which reveal their magic after repeated listens.

The title track is, in my view, the best IQ song ever, with an impulse and drive unrivaled in most neo-prog. The band is clearly the flag-carrier of the genre as MARILLION has long ago left the progressive territories and other legendary bands have been producing erratic efforts. Frequency, unashamedly neo-prog in the best tradition of post-Hackett GENESIS and Fish- MARILLION, is the best album of IQ so far, and maybe the best of 2009.

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Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Frequency is the least fitting word to describe IQ's albums releasing activity, he-he-he. But when they make it, they usually hit the spot. The problem is that "Dark Matter" was not only band's crowning achievement, but also genre's resurrection's grinding stone, and it's simply impossible to create something better. "Frequency" brings us back in "The Seventh House"/"Ever" times, a fine album with amazing epics, touchy ballads and shorter energetic songs. Melodies are a bit bleak, and ballads are too sentimental this time; IQ are getting older, but they still remember how to rock (the long ones and the opener serve as examples)! This is one of the finest releases for the genre this year, and I hope more CDs to come! Recommended

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Posted Saturday, August 01, 2009

Review by Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I awaited this album with bated breath after the magnificence that was "Dark Matter" and the tour DVD that followed. It took a few days for this album to sink in, but it sure did.

IQ has found the wellspring of musical youth, it appears. Each album is fresher and more inspiring than the last (considering that I don't really care for their 80s and early 90s material). I thought they could never top "Harvest of Souls", but they have. This album is divided as always between epics and more melodic rock songs. Founding member Martin Orford's departure doesn't seem to have affected things negatively at all. In fact, the keyboards have taken a turn more for the vintage with Mark Westwood's arrival- there are more vintage-sounding synths as well as some Rhodes and the usual mellotron touches. Occasionally there are passages that are downright ambient, as though the band was jamming with Steve Roach (a good thing), a nice new colour in the band's palette.

The songwriting is dramatic ("Frequency", "Ryker Skies") and beautifully melodic, ("One Fatal Mistake", "Closer"). IQ as always rides the line between prog complexity and AOR melodicism, with a nice edge provided by Peter Nicholl's excellent, thoughtful lyrics. Both John Jowitt and Mike Holmes as always distinguish themselves on bass and guitar, being virtuosic but never wanky.

Much like "Dark Matter", which was worth the price for "Harvest of Souls" alone, this album is worth your money for "Closer", as perfect a piece of melodic symphonic prog as you will find.

IQ is living proof that you can get better as you get older.

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Posted Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars If I had to make a comparison between IQ's 2009 offering and a classic progressive rock artist, I would urge all fans of early Steve Hackett to seek out this album. That isn't to say that the band is in any way plagiarizing anything- the IQ sound is still present- I just feel that's an accurate comparison given the instrumentation, guitar tones, and arrangements. Ultimately this is a stately and respectable album- a must have for fans of the genre and definitely for those pleased with IQ's work this decade.

"Frequency" A simple, hard-rocking riff with a Kashmir-eqsue rhythm underlain with Mellotron paves a solid foundation for the first guitar and synthesizer solos on the album. Electric piano and weepy guitar come forth after that, giving way to the welcome vocals. The rest of the song is at once heavy and majestic, with that airy Mellotron hovering in the background.

"Life Support" Gorgeous piano is enveloped by airy pads just before the thoughtful vocals enter. I think the drums deserve some praise, as I found that's what I tend to concentrate on even during a masterful guitar solo; all in all, the instrumental section of this song hearkens back to Steve Hackett's darker solo material from the early days.

"Stronger than Friction" I've made this comparison before (not for this band), but the introduction to this song sounds quite a bit like music from Mega Man X, an old series created for the Super Nintendo (and, as I've mentioned before, there's nothing wrong with that at all- music created for certain video game titles is brilliant- I can just imagine running through a level as the blue bomber and blasting everything that gets in the way). Almost halfway through, the piece changes shape, assuming an unassuming, light guitar and soft synthesizer, again sounding like early Steve Hackett. While not flawless, this is a full and mighty composition, boasting that perfect blend of variety and consistency.

"One Fatal Mistake" This piece sounds like one of the post-Neal Morse ballads from Spock's Beard. For something so simple and low-key, it's a wonderful song.

"Ryker Skies" Thick acoustic guitar cuts through an airy atmosphere; in a way it reminds me of "Fly on a Windshield" by Genesis even though the two songs are quite different. I don't particularly care for this track as much, since it is too electronic-based and rather generic in several respects. There is a fantastic organ interlude; however, it's stay is far too brief. To compensate, there's some fabulous synthesizer work toward the end.

"The Province" The longest track on the album begins with picked acoustic guitar and gentle synthesizer. It gets suddenly heavier, with lots of thundering chords and drums. Just before the second half commences, a sinister organ and electric guitar bit takes over, introducing a new vocal melody, effectively keeping the song fresh. I think the synthesizer tone during the big solo is really different, but fitting at the same time. The final minute consists of gentle piano and soothing vocals. I believe the piece could have been trimmed down if some of the dross had been cut out, but overall, it's a brilliant work, although not as a good as any of the first three.

"Closer" Bright guitar begins the final, uplifting track. It's a feel-good and mostly gentle (though upbeat) track, and a fine closer.

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Posted Monday, October 19, 2009

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Feeling is everything

The first I want to say about this album is it's full of energy and melancholy. It begins promising with a couple of very good songs with very good musicianship and songwriting. In fact, I would divide this album to two halfs, if I'm speaking about my interest in IQ's Frequency. The first half contains from first to fourth song. The homonymous song - Frequency is the most memorable and powerful song on the album. I would call it a breakthrough on the whole album. Next songs are very good, too and contain some frash ideas. Next half contains three songs, from fifth to seventh. Honestly, I'm loosing interest around the beginning of it. The album becomes too long for so unvaried record. The album run out of ideas and become monotonous. Because of this lost of speed and fresh energy I'll give 3,5 stars to Frequency.

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Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Stronger Than Friction...

IQ is one of my favorite modern progressive rock bands, and Frequency was one of my most anticipated releases of 2009. Initially I didn't like this album at all, and I can't reasonably say why. This album has a more edgy modern prog sound, and almost completely ditches the neo-prog label that they've been slowly getting rid of over the years. I thought maybe it could be because Martin Orford was no longer present, even though Mark Westworth does a great job.

After originally being disappointed, I decided to give Frequency another chance recently, and I really enjoyed it! I can't say why suddenly I began liking this album, but it is excellent. Great synths, Steve Hackett sounding guitar, and spacey Mellotrons create the unique IQ experience.

THE MUSIC:

"Frequency"- The first song on this great album opens up with sound effects that build into a heavy repeated bassline with great use of the mellotron. This is followed by a guitar solo. After the heavier section dies down a gloomy electric piano section enters. It builds really well into the beautiful chorus. This is a pretty atmospheric section, and it reminds me a bit of Porcupine Tree. Soon the signature IQ sound enters, and Peter Nicholls delivers an exceptional vocal performance. I love the bassline throughout most of this song. The keyboards are excellent as well. One of my favorites off of the album!

"Life Support"- After the great previous song, this song mostly builds off of a main piano melody line. After a short break, a melodic guitar solo and funky bassline begin. The rest of the song just builds from this bassline, and I particularly like one of the synth solos. This song has some great moments, but it is not one of my favorites from this album.

"Stronger Than Friction"- A guitar melody opens up this great epic. The bass playing from John Jowitt is solid, and I think he does a great job throughout this entire album. The chorus is really strong, and this is one of those cases where it can get stuck in your head for days. Most of the 10 minutes of this song is made up of the same melodies, but it never gets repetitive or boring. A highlight of the album.

"One Fatal Mistake"- The previous song flows directly into the album's fourth song. This song is focused on a beautiful piano and guitar chord progression, and this is a pretty standard verse-chorus-verse song. However, the excellent melodies keep this song from being a poor pop song.

"Ryker Skies"- This song opens up with an atmospheric guitar and keyboard sound. Peter's vocals soon enter and this is followed by a heavy drum and bassline. I think this is a pretty powerful section, but I think as a whole this song is not them best from the album. I think the chorus is very good, but IQ has better to offer in my opinion.

"The Province"- This is the longest song on the album, and it doesn't disappoint. I really like the acoustic guitar that opens up the song. It has good melody, and the song soon turns into a heavy section reminding me of "The Return of The Giant Hogweed". It goes back into the opening acoustic section, but the heavy melodies soon return. This features a great guitar solo near the end, and the ending is very good.

"Closer"- The closing song is a pretty uplifting affair, and is centered around one guitar riff. I really enjoy this song, and I think it's an excellent way to end this album.

Conclusion:

Frequency is a really good album by IQ with some classic moments. I do think it is one of IQ's weaker efforts with Nicholls, but this is still a very good album. I'm on the fence between giving this a 3 and a 4 star rating, and in a perfect world I would give this a 3.5. Since Frequency really is a great album that I've been enjoying lately, I'm going to round my rating up to a four.

4 stars.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#252405) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 27 years after their debut album UK veterans IQ show that they are still a band with the capabilities to create solid albums. And while they aren't exactly covering new grounds here, the territories covered are done so in an excellent manner.

Symphonic prog of the atmospheric variety is the name of the game here, with warm, rich multiple layeres of keys and synths as a key feature. From the piano via organ and mellotron to what I suspect are modern synths, the dreamy, rich tapestries produced by the variety of tangents are utilized in a manner few others are able to. The sound is full of life in a way few others are able to replicate. And with the other strong aspect of this band's output, the distinct emotional yet slightly detached lead vocals, these two dominating aspects conjure up distinct and strong moods between them.

Whether utilized in darker sounding themes or lighter ventures, supported by crunchy guitars or wandering light guitar licks, it's these two elements that carry this venture. And while the truly stuning and superior efforts may not be around this time - the ballad Life Support actually being closest to this as far as I'm concerned - this is a strong album nontheless, and one that will be appreciated by fans of this act as well as followers of Neo-Progressive rock in general. Rock solid from start to finish, but no diamonds this time around.

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Posted Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Review by TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I've been putting off reviewing this one for some time. Although I've listened to it many times, and in fact enjoyed it, I've been hard pressed to find a rating for this album that felt fair to me, so I've been listening to it again in the hopes of feeling some sort of certainty about what rating it deserves.

The music on this album is quite good. It is your typical prog line-up of keys, guitar, bass, singer, drums. Nothing about these guys is really new to the prog scene; this type of neo/symphonic prog has existed for decades. But IQ has been doing it for decades themselves, and are quite good at it. They deftly move from quieter tracks to tracks that rock harder, from acoustic guitars to electric. The music flows together quite nicely from song to song on the album, and "Closer" closes the album quite nicely.

I am still on the edge about Peter Nicholls voice. On initial listening, it always seems to be the weak point of this band, yet it never feels out of place. If I had to describe his vocal delivery, it would be very deliberate, and a little harsh. Of the IQ albums I have heard so far, his voice sounds the smoothest on this one. It has less of the harshness that he has had on previous albums, and I have to admit that it makes his voice sound more appealing to my ears, especially during the softer parts of the album. Yet the abrasive-ness of his voice had it's charm; I can't imagine listening to 'Harvest of Souls' (off of Dark Matter) without it, for it is part of the music. Luckily, his voice still works with the more aggressive bits on this album.

I can't comment too much on the transition from Martin Orford on keys to Mark Westworth, for I haven't heard a lot of IQ's older stuff yet. It doesn't seem to have done the band any damage, the songwriting on this album is as good as it was on anything else I've heard by them. If anything, I would say that Mark has helped IQ gain a stronger identity, for I hear a bit less Genesis in them than I did previously.

The album has few high points (the opening and closing of the title track, the chorus of Ryker skies, etc.), but other than that it is actually remarkably even. There aren't any low points at all, really. I think that's what makes this album so hard to judge. While it is definitely an enjoyable listen, there's really nothing exciting about it to expound upon, nor anything dragging it down to complain about. For that reason, I give it a three star rating.

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Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Sadly, I can't compare, as I know just this album, so don't expect wonders here. You never do you say ? Great, we understand each other then.

As whole, 62 minute long musical piece (this music sounds quite consistent to me), it's quite pleasant and uplifting album, even some parts are this dark "happy" mood, sometimes wandering into unintentional optimistic state (last song), where these waves of joy can be almost too much. Yes, it's not so big issue, there are others (Moon Safari's Blomljud), where whole music is based on this, but that's the point, it is based. Here, I frankly don't know what intention of this album is, but am trying to enjoy it. And it's possible, easily. But to think of it as a masterpiece, I would need more.

4(+), seems like IQ (from what others are saying) are still "in the mood", making good albums. Something like Pendragon, right ? But done differently a little bit (even not so different).

I sense overly present try of IQ to make something interesting "again" (I suppose), something that won't fade away, almost convulsively to be honest. It's not so relaxed album as I would like it to be, but its qualities are here, we all who owns this CD can hear them, but I don't feel like someone without doubts. Something is not wrong, but because it's not big issue and I don't know what it is, I'll leave it to be and will be fair.

One thing is for sure. Every time I hear this album, I'm expecting nice experience and I get it.

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Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars "The first atomic bomb was dropped on a military base called Hiroshima...."

"Frequency" begins with a voice over speaking of a nuclear assault. The intro is unbelievable! The impressive music is beautifully executed, Mike Holmes' clean soaring guitars, chugging riffs like Led Zeppelin, ambient sustained mellotron and keyboard pads by Mark Westworth, with expressive, creative drumming from Andy Edwards, the bass by John Jowitt is played virtuoso style as well. The vocals of Peter Nicholls are clean, inviting and uplifting, sounding somewhat like Neal Morse at times. "Frequency" is an incredible followup to 2004's "Dark Matter". This is marginally the better album of the two, though "Dark Matter" was certainly a very good album. There is more innovation and stronger compositions on this conceptual work. Due to the strong melodies throughout this album it is a genuine grower, and you are likely to love each track the more you listen to it, nothing on it is a throwaway or filler, it is all solid prog at its best. I heard it three times in a row and eventually succumbed to the fact that this, as far as I am concerned, is one of the most uplifting prog albums of recent years and I rate it as a masterpiece of neo prog.

Frequency is one of the best IQ numbers, with solid time signature changes and a positive sound with special effects and melancholy keyboards. Mike Holmes' guitar riffs are dynamic and the lead breaks are emotive and Pink Floydian. Nicholls' warm vocals spell out the main themes of the album: "Before I was undiscovered, When I was invincible, Nobody could kill the silence And probably no one will again, The future was unrelated, Alternatives all pursued, The lives that got separated When others were split in two." It is a brilliant composition and unforgettable.

Life Support begins with beautiful piano and sustained pads and then those warm emotional vocals chime in. This is so uplifting, and reminiscent of Transatlantic. The lyrics are reflecting on life's trials and how to overcome. The mood changes as a thunderous sound is heard and it builds to a crescendo then a lead guitar swoops over as drums keep a steady metrical pattern. Westworth's spacey synth is alienating and futuristic, similar to the type heard in electronic music. It is a lengthy instrumental and as good as it gets. The synths merge with majestic guitar leads. A very melodic motif repeats in various forms and locks into your head. It is absolute bliss when the band are in full flight. The wind effects are airy, ethereal and haunting towards the end. I adored this track the first time I heard it and it gets better with each listen.

Stronger than Friction, an ironic take on Stranger Than Fiction, begins with a melodic guitar riff, and the positive vocals of Nicholls harmonise about ways of living "until our worlds collide" . At 3:50 the heavy beat halts and an ambient mellotron soaked pad sizzles along as the vocals become softer and the whole song becomes a "turning tide" . I like the fast riff at 6:40 where the time sig changes completely again and the vocals are more aggressive. The sporadic bass and drums are off kilter and there is a lilting keyboard and ascending lead guitar break. One of the true highlights of the album and in fact the first 3 tracks are prime example of Neo Prog at its best.

One Fatal Mistake is a melancholic ballad, a gentle soothing sound that warms you up. The lyrics are encouraging and lift up the spirits; "Imagine all you could have been, Eventually you would have seen, The wanderlust, And all you dared to dream of, If ever you make one fatal mistake, You broke me, you have no idea, In darkness I see more than hear, Impossible, even I can say, Many would have walked away." There is always a ray of hope injected in to the lyrics that talk of how to overcome despair and difficult circumstances. The melody is very pleasant to the ears and musically there is a lot on offer here especially the transfixing guitars and keyboards.

Ryker Skies features thick buzzsaw synth and flowing acoustics. I first heard this on a Prognosis CD from the Prog magazine and it stood out as much as it does here. Once again the atmosphere is ambient textures of melancholy reflection. The lyrics are emotive, "I'm reeling, fighting for breath, Running on empty, A fortress carved out of steel, Black and surrounding, No other survivors, the walls without end, So where have I come to?" A very strong bass and drum beat with crashing cymbals kicks in. The lead break is replete with bends and pitched picking. The next section of vocals sound like Ayreon's deep robotic effect voices on "Universal Migrator"; "Welcome, hero, to Ryker Skies, Where all your hopes are stored, You can leave responsibilities in ruins at the door". The mellotron is ever present as the cleaner vocals of Nicholls take over with high octaves; a very nice sound and killer melody as the song swings in to full gear, "Get it knocked into your thick skull, It's really not that hard It's a cast iron binding covenant And this is just the start, There are insults and injuries, You've heaped upon yourself, But you play the victim, While you pile the blame on someone else". This track has some of the most memorable lyrics of IQ and the chorus, once it gets in your head, well you will never forget that melody, "So before I state my intention to live or die, I command your total attention In Ryker Skies." I love the way the track merges into a full blown keyboard attack. Once again a throbbing beat ensues like the machinated pulses of Ayreon. The acoustic flourishes are a lovely touch, adding to the very airy atmosphere. I would rate this as a proposed single from the album, as it is more commercial in sound, but this does not detract from the musicianship which is excellent throughout. A wonderful song.

The Province is a 13 minute IQ romp with textures of light and dark, moments of tension and release are present and infectious melodic verses. The style at times is not dissimilar to the sound of Peter Gabriel's Genesis. There is a heavy guitar riff that overpowers the soundscape after a time. The staccato synthesizer chords are fantastic as tradeoffs with guitar. There is a lot of acoustic work but it is well balanced by the heavier sections. There are many changes in tempo and mood and it progresses into minimalist piano and vocals at the end; "I cannot count the many ways cos' there's nothing real... before the wireless kills."

Closer is as far removed from the obscene industrial NIN song of the same name as you can get. It is a balladic song with positive vocals that are close to Neal Morse or Spock's Beard; "Slandered and betrayed, A character assassination, Watch the guilty fade, Now the work is done, Ghosts of early days, Gather round the later rivals, All parade upon the earth to which they're bound, Silent in their course, They steal across the icy stations, Words are useless now, They fall upon the ground." The song builds gradually until we get a majestic instrumental break with soaring keyboards and then a beautifully sung verse with powerful lyrics; "Hold on, when I'm dead and gone from you, Remember me as light breaking through, Stay strong, any time you feel you're lost, I will carry you back across". The piano motif becomes hypnotic toward the end repeated as guitars and sporadic drums maintain a melancholy mood, closing the album in style.

Overall, "Frequency" is the best I have heard from IQ, melancholy, with moments of heavy tension, and those soaring powerful vocals: this is neo prog at a virtuoso level and I think it's one of the albums of 2009. Accessible and soaring vocally, atmospheric and ambient musically. A masterful work of high quality musicianship.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#281745) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review by CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An album that I have been frequently listening to

Neo prog is the first modern progressive rock genre and, despite having a considerable amount of bands, I rarely am interested by the genre. It is not that i deslike it or anything, it is just that most bands seem to go through that same old same old places: that same floydian keyboards and organ, same godawful Peter Gabriel impersonation, moody guitars, generic Genesis influences, etc, not bringing anything really new to the table. That predictability obviously does not thrill me, so I usually steer far from it.

From time to time, however, the planets align and the cosmic starlight hits me, making me check some neo band or release, usually some known band or well received album to avoid excpected dissappointments. This album, therefore, should be a safe one to pick, since it is by one of the main bands of neo prog and was generally well received. With that idea on my mind I got my copy of Frequency and had some real long and thoughtful listen on my 20 hour bus trip to Rio to see Dream Theater, on late 2009.

The veredic is clear: far from having the characteristic predictability of neo prog, Frequency is an interesting, amusing and exciting output by IQ that hooked me for good.Obviously, just as the apple can't fall far from the tree, IQ still has the characteristic genre sound. Frequency, however, has some of the heaviest riffs I have ever seen on any neo band so far, riffs that can be even called as heavy metal riffs. The heaviness, though not being necessarily a good thing, sure is a breath of fresh air.

Music wise, all instruments are quite good: the moody atmosphere, the moogs and synthesizers, the exiteing guitars and basses, everything fits just right. The vocals are also very interesting, since Peter's vocals are very competent, fit exactly in the band's sound and are also quite different from what I expected.

In spite of all that, this album is far from being perfect. First, it is just too long. Some of the songs could easily be out of the album without doing any damage, being the biggest example of that the song One Fatal Mistake. Other songs could also be considerably shortened.

Another key problem of Frequency is that sometimes the band simply cannot keep up with the song's quality. The change they make around the mid of the first song, for example, is just terrible! It begins so good and it develops to such an adorable and captivating atmosphere and then it is COMPLETELY RUINED! This also happens in other parts of the album, but they aren't as bad as in the first song.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Frequency had the potential to be a masterpiece. The album has so many great ideas and is presented so well! However, a series of small mistakes are eventually summed up and weight quite negatively. It is, nevertheless, a great album and surely is something that most progheads can (and should) enjoy, thus 4 stars seem like the appropriate rating.

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Posted Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Starting the discovery of a band from the last album may not be a good idea, but this is the first that I have found and I have to say that the first things that I have noticed are the very good melodies and the excellent voice of Peter Nicholls. The album starts with the announcement of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima....a military base...There's a bit of early Marillion in the arrangements. I've been a fan in the Fish's times but I have to recognize that IQ are really better. Maybe they are more mature on this album released in 2009 than Rothery & co in the early 80s, but the songs in this album are stronger and of course more original. Nicholls doesn't try to sing like Peter Gabriel as Fish was doing and they don't write two-chords songs with just odd signatures that's something to which Marillion indulged some times. "Frequency", the title track is quite a masterpiece of neo-prog (and not only). In a period of my life in which I'm listening to more unstructured things this is one of the few melodic albums which I listen to repetitively. The piano intro of "Life Support" is great and introduces another fantastic song. Nicholls has a clean and powerful voice that walks well on the square waves of the piano and keyboard carpet.

The only defect of this album is that the best things are at the beginning, so even if the overall quality is very good throughout all the album it looses something on the way. The most melodic moments, like "One Fatal Mistake" and the long "The Province" are better than the uptime songs like Ryker Skies.

In few words this is an album good for every taste, also mainstream, without being commercial. I'm curious to listen to the previous releases of this band, but I'm wondering where was I when this band, contemporary to Marillion, was releasing albums of this kind? How can I have missed them for so long? From an old Marillion fan, they appear to be better, at least in this album.

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Posted Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Site and Forum Admin
5 stars The first sonic bomb was dropped on my ears, unsuspectingly.

Neo-prog is the prog genre that's heyday was the 80s yet the best has come out recently. In description, it seems to circular: "what's Marillion? Neo-prog. What's neo prog? Stuff that sounds like Marillion." There really is no set definition, other that post-symphonic prog rock, which can be a rather general term. IQ, a definitive band of the genre, have been carving their own path in the genre since the early 80s, and can still whip out a killer album. Frequency is their ninth effort, and is certainly one of their better albums, even compared to the 80s heaven for neo. Filled to the brim with infectious melodies, fantastic instrumental parts, and superb compositions, the album is certainly a definitive IQ release and a definite neo-progressive rock album.

The title track opens the album with a series of sound bits, before breaking into a hard hitting rock riff session with some great guitar/keys contrasts and some superb rhythmic work. Early on you can see the style of IQ, with a more cut and dry hard rock/prog approach rather than some neo bands with their more "luscious" approach to symphonic rock. The amazing breakdowns with electric piano and other synth and guitar effects is purely sublime, and the vocal melodies only add to the ecstasy. The lyrics are no bummer either, fitting the melodies perfectly and accenting the music in the most beautiful way. The transition back to the harder instrumental section is flawless, with dynamics being thrown around with intense precision and skill. The track is certainly a classic, and it's only the first track.

Life Support opens with a nice piano melody, backed by some guitar and synth atmospheres. The vocals on this track are more popularly accessible, but still have a superb mellow quality; the music has a truly sublime quality to it, making this for another superb track on this album. The song takes a nice dollop of time to build into a scanning and almost creepy feeling guitar track, with some superb melodic support from the synths and other effects. Again the rhythm section is spot on, combining precision bass lines with polyrhythmic drumming. The whole instrumental work of the band is fantastic, adding more classic lines to the album.

Stronger than Friction starts off with a great sweeping guitar melody, backed by some nice synth-strings effects. Again the track employs some really fantastic melodies to support it musically. Also employing some more superb lyrics, the track is overall really superb. In a similar fashion to the previous two tracks, a superb use of keyboard layers and guitar melodies and rhythmic precision accent the music. Sweeping sections of grandeur compliment numerous parts of the song, again making this a really great track.

One Fatal Mistake starts off with a jovial sounding acoustic/synth duo, which are accentuated by pleasant vocal melodies and nice harmonization between the parts. The lyrics again are really great. Most of the song keeps this feel of a really great poppy/prog crossover track, with the melodies the main contributor to its prowess. Overall the song isn't the best on the album, but certainly contributes some really superb melodies harmonies.

Ryker Skies breaks from the jovial nature of One Fatal Mistake to a return to the melancholy guitar and vocal melodies found on most of the album. Starting out slow, it builds slowly into a rocking IQ track, with some more really fantastic riffs and harmonies between the guitar soloing and the synth growling. The drum and bass beats are simpler here, but contain a real punch to contend with. The song really packs a punch, with the hard hitting rhythms accenting the soaring guitar atmospheres fantastically. The vocal melodies really bloom into beautiful harmonies, bringing out the great qualities of the instrumentation and really meshing nicely with the atmosphere of the music. Overall, the song is one of my favorites, and a really fantastic addition to this star-studded album.

The Province again starts out with mellow and melancholy melodies, this time with a hint of horror in the guitar and synth duo. But once the song really gets started, you can begin to see the genius of this 13 minute masterpiece. Building into a ripping rocking section, the song weaves in and out of dynamics, with transitions between rocking sections and quiet melodic sections. The song takes a while to stabilize, but once it does, the constant rocking feel of the song doesn't abate. With some killer synth arpeggios accenting the on-off polyrhythmic guitar crunches and drum rhythms, the song is killer. We see some reprise to previous themes of the album, adding a nice feeling of continuity to the album. Overall, the longest track of the album really packs a hefty dose of progressive rock mastery, with some killer instrumental sections and incredible vocal sections, and an overall sublime experience.

Closer closes the album with some more jovial melodies, breaking out the drying out formula of guitar/synth/vocal melody intro, but still instills a great sense of continuity between each track on the album. The song slowly builds into a nice poppy track, with some great melodies and care-filled instrumentation. The song acts as a really great closer, tying in a lot of the stray themes of the album in the track and closing the concept of the album. Overall, it is one of the happier songs on the album, and a superb closer to the album as well.

ALBUM OVERALL: IQ have always been widely considered a pioneer and essential piece of the neo-prog scene, yet they have never truly been rated very highly. With their latest album, 5 years after the supposedly critically acclaimed Dark Matter (which is currently less than 4 stars on PA), I believe that the streak of great but not fantastic neo is over. Frequency is filled to the brim with beautiful compositions. Sublime melodies run amuck, and instrumental integrity is solid as a rock. Overall, the album proffers one of the best neo albums I've ever encountered, and is no doubt a pure masterpiece. I am definitively hopeful of a new album soon! 5 stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#434428) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review by Isa
PROG REVIEWER
Isa avatar
3 stars |C| One of the stronger releases of modern Neo-prog.

As this is my first review of a Neo-prog album, I might start off with a word of my general low opinion of Neo-prog in general. I pretty much consider the genre the 80s prog that somehow never died out, but neither did it develop much over the years. It's basically the pop of the prog community, with cliches that the fan-base can eat up, often with no real substance or creativity of which to be spoken. "You've heard one band, you heard them all" is a good indication my views of the style, and it would be an understatement to say that there is little diversity in the use of devices of composition in the genre from band to band. However, some bands definitely pull off the style very effectively, sometimes very charmingly, and on rare occasion, beautifully.

I've sampled a few IQ albums before, but never before dedicated a concentrated analysis of an album. I decided to pick Frequency since it's their most recent album and simultaneously one of their most highly rated, which isn't often the case older prog bands the past few years. While I find it by no means groundbreaking, breathtaking or essential, it sure is a nice change of pace from my usual music consumption, and was pleasantly surprised that I didn't want to throw up from the Neo-prog cliches, let alone actually enjoy it. Let it be known to the reader that a three is quite a compliment from his reviewer: its means that I think it's good, as in actually worth buying.

The instrumentation and layering of the composition is basically what you can expect from most Neo-prog: chorused guitars, synthesizers and effects everywhere, melodic guitar lines sometimes with atmospheric reverse-fade effects, etc. However, I find that IQ utilizes the typical layering formulas in often creative and expressive ways, and deviate from the cliches just enough to give their music the creative edge that is lacking in most neo-prog. And sometimes, they just plain rock (pun intended). I especially like the drummer, he almost always contributes a lot to the intrigue of the music. While much of their work may be laced (and often, too much so) with effects, the actual composition beneath is of pretty good quality, whilst many current prog releases often use the effects the cover up for lack of substantial, musical ideas (I give an example with a very recent review of mine).

Track Commentary: The opening album title track starts off with recorded sounds about Hiroshima distorted with effects, leading into mellotron pads with heavy palm-muted guitar that repeats several times, coming to be layered with a guitar solo, and then some nice keyboard synth riffing. Nicely done, though the rhythm guitar part is a bit repetitive for my taste. This leads to an electric keyboard section that repeats every two measures. The singer is quite nice sounding, as are the reverse-fade electric guitar parts. This song has some decent chord progressions. The 7/8 section is a bit choppy sounding, but I wonder if this was a conscious decision. I like the way the intro comes back at the end with the vocalist singing this time, with pretty tasteful effects on his voice in my opinion. Probably one of the best tracks on the album. The second track Life Support is starts off with soft piano arpeggios. I don't usually like music of this kind, somewhat sentimental sounding and cliche, but IQ pulls it off in a way that's very classy and convincing, and I actually unexpectedly enjoy this track. The section with the synthesizer is also quite nice, albeit somewhat synthetic sounding, but I think that's kind of the point of this album in general to an extent. This track demonstrates some efficient use of effects in my view, especially at the end. I wish the middle section weren't repeated so much though (which is more excusable considering the solid drum solo beneath the repeated sections). Stronger Than Fiction starts off abruptly with the main melodic guitar line, very energetic. This track is in general quite jagged, with pretty good material in each section of the song, but I feel like they don't really link too well. The verse has your (very) typical way of layering neo-prog, though it does have a bit of a groove to it. The chorus unfortunately seems a bit out of place with the sudden heavy guitar out of nowhere. This track leads directly into the softer One Fatal Mistake, which once again is more sentimental sounding than my usual taste but it's nonetheless well done. The sound effects at the end lead into Ryker Skies, which starts off with chorused acoustic guitar chords, very pretty sounding ones at that. Then, seemingly out of nowhere drops the guitar bass and drums playing a heavier section. Then this breaks into synthesizer/keyboard effects section with the vocal line dubbed an octave lower, kind of creative for them to do that. The chorus sounds way to drawn out though, and this work seems quite long-winded in general. I like the mallet percussion toward the end of the song, but that damn bass synth pounding out rhythms really ruins the soft movement implied by the other instruments. The fade out was kind of weird. The Province, the longest and most substantial work on the album, has a lot of elegant acoustic guitar work and tasty chord progressions. I like the transitions into the heavier sections, especially at "not here, not now!" Very expressive. There's lots of diversity in this song, with chord progressions, effects, melodies, layering, etc. Closer starts off with very heavy effects on clean guitar arpeggios, layered with synth pads and a nice vocal melody. I like the way the acoustic guitar and piano are added after the vocals finish.

This is definitely one of the better releases from the genre of Neo-prog in general; not the best that I've heard, but this really is a pretty pleasant album that doesn't pretentiously try to make too much of itself. The musicians really take their time (usually too much time) to say what they need to say, and say it in a elegant and gentle matter. In fact, the main issues that this album suffers from are mainly a factor of long-windedness in most of the tracks, and the sometimes unsatisfactory transitions between sections of the songs, which is really what usually separates the men from the boys among the great artists of rock music. Not to mention the general over-repetition of some musical ideas, but this is an almost universal problem for Neo-prog anyway. This is definitely an album to revisit on occasion. I recommend it for Neo-prog fans, and consider it essential for IQ fans for sure.

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Send comments to Isa (BETA) | Report this review (#727648) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The departure of Paul Cook and Martin Orford from IQ brought to an end one of the longest- lasting lineups in the band's history - a lineup responsible for the band's incredible streak of superior neo-prog albums from Ever to Dark Matter. Luckily, any doubts about Mark Westworth's ability to step into Martin Orford's stool or Andy Edwards' credentials on the drumstools are shattered by this incredible album, which finds the band as a whole on top form.

The compositions give plenty of chances for the new boys to show what they can do (Ryker Skies must count as a real triumph, with Peter Nicholls intoning his megalomaniac lyrics over Westworth and Edwards' interplay), whilst of course the old hands turn in excellent performances in their own right. IQ's lineup changes usually result in a shaking-up of the band's sound, and this time is no different - but this time it's for the better, the band finding a beneficial balance between freshening their sound on the one hand and keeping things proggy on the other. In fact, this album is at once one of the band's more accessible releases and yet, at the same time, is also one of their most original works, with all sorts of hidden complexities.

Looking back, I see I haven't given an IQ studio album less than five stars since Ever (unless you count Seven Stories Into 98, which was a quickie recording of an old demo, or the odds and sods collection The Lost Attic). That might be a little fannish, though I would argue it speaks more to the incredible consistency of the band than anything else. Frequency is a particularly important achievement for the band because it shows that they can survive even as radical a change in lineup as the loss of their co-founder, and still produce prog gems of the quality we've come to expect from them.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#734616) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars actualy 3.5 stars

The newest to date IQ album released in 2009 and named Frequency is another worthy neo prog album from their catalogue. IQ being one of my fav neo prog bands for many years knowing almost all their albums and reviewing aswell some of them, I've decided to re check this release in proper manner. Steping out from the IQ helm well known and respected musicians Martin Orford and Paul Cook who contribute a lot to the revigoration and re establish the neo prog genre in last almost 30 years they were replaced by Mark Westworth and Andy Edwards. To me this album sounds little darker then previous works maybe due to the fact of these two new musicians but aswell the band is again in top form like it was in last 20 years. A solid album with top performance , just to be checked the first two pieces, the title track and Life Support what a strong and imaginative passages here, strong rhythmic section and excellent ideas overall. Ryker Skies is another highlight with Nicholls delivering some great vocal moments from melacholical passages to a more refined ones, each time he really shines. The musicianship is again great, overall no weak moments, but I don't think this is their best album, I count Ever, The wake, Dark matter or Seventh house to be more intresting and more balanced then Frequency, but never the less this album comes very close behind. I loive Iq music for almost 20 years with each release they show maturity and above all complex and inventive arrangements, that why they are considered one of the pioneers of the genre and among the most respected band from neo prog zone. A good towards great album but not groundbreaking like aforementioned previous albums.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#755967) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 21, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars IQ is one of the more established Genesis clones (with a touch of Yes-like upliftiness, in places). But, unlike some of the giants, their creating engine runs smoothly for 30 years now. You'll notice their last albums are actually their highest rated. Deservingly so. Frequency adds modern feel a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1172583) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, May 08, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 My definition of "masterpiece" often refer to a mere personal taste, not necessarily following the rules and definitions of the website. I am saying this because even I am surprised at the amount of "5 stars" I've given over the years here. However, Frequency is not a simple case of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1140350) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, March 01, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Frequency" is the most recent release by neo-proggers, IQ, and the first of their albums to join the ranks of my CD collection. It was one of the purchases I made during what clearly became a record-setting year for me in CD purchases and music exploration, largely due to the influence of thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#897797) | Posted by FragileKings | Wednesday, January 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars (9/10) When I was first listening to IQ I started at "Tales From The Lush Attic" and worked my way through the Peter Nicholls albums chronologically quite gradually. After immensely enjoying the first two albums I had a sneak peak ahead to IQ's (then) most recent album "Frequency", the highest ra ... (read more)

Report this review (#859473) | Posted by ScorchedFirth | Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Aged But Not Tired People regularly gush over this classic band or that about how after 30 years, they can still release a solid album. I mean it happens every bloody time we have a reunion album that isn't complete trash (since most of them are). But honestly, what impresses me more is that a ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#751813) | Posted by Gallifrey | Friday, May 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A really good album from IQ, however it is not essential. But..... about half of it is very very very good and close to perfect. Three of the songs on this release, especially the soaring title track, hit me right where my prog genie lives. FREQUENCY, ONE FATAL MISTAKE, and CLOSER are gems.RYKER ... (read more)

Report this review (#604205) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, January 06, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have been listening to this album fairly frequently for the last eighteen months and I am still not tired of it. I don't think I will ever tire of it. For me it is the pinnacle of IQ's achievements. This is an awesome album, a classic in every sense of the word. Musicianship is first class. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#581911) | Posted by Richens | Sunday, December 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Though "Ryker Skies"(9:45) (10/10) is a great song--one of the best of the Naughties--Frequency as a whole displays nothing new except perfected, refined, even re-hashed IQ Neo-prog (which is, in itself, rehashed imitation of the melodic symphonic and crossover bands of the late 1970s). The album's ... (read more)

Report this review (#377691) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars not specific to this album, i just wanted to write an iq review. all, i repeat, all of these guys' albums with peter nicholls rank at least 4 stars. they have navigated the last 3 difficult decades with consistently top-notch songwriting, lyrics and melodies. everything is signature and memorabl ... (read more)

Report this review (#307293) | Posted by knockandknowall | Friday, October 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars IQ has won a place in my prog heart. Considering I bought "Nonzamo" first and I was scared as hell and only after reading some reviews here I tried some other recordings of them. This particular record I have in my hands right now (well, I am writing, It is a matter of speech) It gives us hop ... (read more)

Report this review (#298949) | Posted by steelyhead | Sunday, September 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the only IQ album I own, and has certainly convinced me I need to buy some more! An extremely solid album with barely any boring or uninteresting points and more that a few truly beautiful sections, Frequency is a brilliant piece of meandering prog. Riffs come and go very fast, and the so ... (read more)

Report this review (#295791) | Posted by Nathaniel607 | Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now this...is a fantastic release, this being the first IQ album i have fully heard i was expecting something to really grab my attention (as ya do with Neo-prog) and i have to admit, i really wasnt at all unhappy about this album, it fullfilled every expectation, fantastic compositions, top class ... (read more)

Report this review (#291523) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars At first I downloaded the album knowing that the famous keyboard player had left the band, and it turned out to be my fault as I re-bought special edition CD (with live DVD) later. If possible, I would give 6 points to these outstandinging nice songs. This IQ album can easily compete with some ... (read more)

Report this review (#285527) | Posted by Katsuhisa | Monday, June 07, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This Album contains my favorite IQ Song, and currently one of my top three prog "songs" (the other two, in case you are interested, are "Suppers Ready and "The undercover man by Van der Graaf). I am talking about the title song, a brillaint piece of work. it contains everything I like about I ... (read more)

Report this review (#280266) | Posted by herrkaiser | Sunday, May 02, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'll tell you what I think has been great about the last year. Many bands that have been around 'for ages' have recently put out some of the best work of their careers...... and this album is definitely one of those. Now you'll see my rating and might think to yourself 'here's another IQ nut ... (read more)

Report this review (#275389) | Posted by DC | Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars IQ is still a band I love, and I realize there's been some significant changes to the line up recently, but this does seem like a "connect the dots" type of release. They've found a slightly dark, mid-tempo, slightly grandiose path to follow, and this seems to be the direction over the last ten year ... (read more)

Report this review (#239471) | Posted by Area70 | Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my 3rd glimpse into the world of IQ and by far the best. I started my journey with the well received DARK MATTER. As compelling as most of the songs were, some spark was missing. I am a sucker for concept albums, so I took the leap of SUBTERRANEA. Again, the musicianship was stellar and th ... (read more)

Report this review (#237639) | Posted by pagan97 | Sunday, September 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From the first note, IQ delivers, and delivres superb. Though, I'm not convinced if this is their best realese. "The Seventh House" is a unquestionable masterpiece, "Dark Matter" is among the best records i've ever heard. And "Frequency" qualifies in thier league. The title track kicks of wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#237522) | Posted by meetmehere | Sunday, September 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've downloaded FREQUENCY just two days ago, so I've listened to it just 2-3 times: anyway I'm forced to write an impulsive review about it. Maybe I'll be reviewing it later... (I don't think so). Well, shortly, this album is really FANTASTIC! So packed with great music, catchy melodies, beautifu ... (read more)

Report this review (#226361) | Posted by ingmin68 | Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Frequency is the latest album from prog giants, IQ and is notable for being their first after the departure of key member Martin Orford. Many fans wondered if IQ would be the same without Orford's influence. Let me assure you that this is still the IQ that fans know and love. I may not be the ... (read more)

Report this review (#225148) | Posted by natewait | Wednesday, July 08, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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