Header

SUBTERRANEA

IQ

Neo-Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

IQ Subterranea album cover
3.90 | 408 ratings | 52 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy IQ Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1: (52:22)
1. Overture (4:38)
2. Provider (1:36)
3. Subterranea (5:53)
4. Sleepless Incidental (6:23)
5. Failsafe (8:57)
6. Speak My Name (3:34)
7. Tunnel Vision (7:24)
8. Infernal Chorus (5:09)
9. King Of Fools (2:02)
10. The Sense In Sanity (4:47)
11. State Of Mine (1:59)


CD 2: (50:09)
1. Laid Low (1:29)
2. Breathtaker (6:04)
3. Capricorn (5:16)
4. The Other Side (2:22)
5. Unsolid Ground (5:04)
6. Somewhere In Time (7:11)
7. High Waters (2:43)
8. The Narrow Margin (20:00)

Total Time: 102:31

Lyrics

Search IQ Subterranea lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search IQ Subterranea tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Nicholls / lead and backing vocals
- Martin Orford / keyboards, flute, backing vocals
- Mike Holmes / guitars
- John Jowitt / bass, backing vocals
- Paul Cook / drums

Guest
-Tony Wright / sax

Releases information

2CD Giant Electric Pea GEPCD 1021 (1997)

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

Buy IQ Subterranea Music


Dark MatterDark Matter
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$10.83
$9.09 (used)
Tales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-MixTales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$12.93
$24.75 (used)
SubterraneaSubterranea
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.00
$9.20 (used)
The Wake 25th Anniversary Box SetThe Wake 25th Anniversary Box Set
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2010
Audio CD$31.16
$29.68 (used)
SubterraneaSubterranea
Import
Imports 2012
Vinyl$26.69
Forever LiveForever Live
Import
2008
DVD$27.26
$32.10 (used)
FrequencyFrequency
Inside Out U.S. 2009
Audio CD$8.86
$14.93 (used)
EverEver
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$10.98
$8.76 (used)
Seventh HouseSeventh House
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.96
$9.99 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.86
$10.86 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
UNITED - No IQ (CD 1996) New and sealed US $5.97 Buy It Now 6h 40m
Iq - Seventh House (NEW CD) US $18.89 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Tales From The Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix - Iq (2013, CD New) US $13.03 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Iq - Tales From The Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix [CD New] US $15.10 Buy It Now 8h 43m
IQ ZERO she's so rare 7" b/w crazy dolls (srts80cus623) writing on back of pic s US $32.51 Buy It Now 9h 4m
IQ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.New Limited Edition Factory Sealed US $10.00 [0 bids]
11h 38m
IQ The Lost Attic Collection of Rarities 1983 - 1999 Marillion Fish Pendragon US $39.99 [0 bids]
12h 27m
IQ Living Proof Live Camden Place London 1985 Peter Nicholls Martin Orford Rare US $39.99 [0 bids]
12h 28m
NEW - Best of the Iq Builder US $3.99 Buy It Now 12h 45m
IQ - TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC 2013 RE-MIX (BONUS) (DVD) NEW CD US $36.89 Buy It Now 13h 2m
IQ Are you Sitting Comfortably Vertigo Sqauwk 836429-1 1S/2S Superb Audio LP US $6.71 [0 bids]
13h 37m
IQ Are you sitting comfortably? Vinyl LP Squawk 836 429-1 1989 Holland US $21.83 Buy It Now 14h
IQ 'Sold On You' 12" Vinyl [PROG ROCK] US $11.68 Buy It Now 14h 49m
IQ GDR DVD-PAL +CD RUSSIAN ROCK MUSIC CD NEW US $17.95 Buy It Now 15h 53m
IQ - Passing Strangers 12" US $20.17 Buy It Now 19h 40m
Iq - Dark Matter NEW LP US $26.14 Buy It Now 23h 15m
The Krunchies - Interrobang EP 7" Chicago Hardcore Punk Criminal IQ 2004 US $3.74 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Tales From The Lush Attic - 2013 Remix UK vinyl LP album record 463511 US $57.05 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ-Sold On You - Free UK post US $13.45 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ - Forever Live [DVD] [1993] US $34.96 Buy It Now 1 day
J 4 L & P - KEEP ME SATISFIED - 1991 UK 12" Single ITALO-HOUSE - IQ Rec. VG++ US $8.31 Buy It Now 1 day
Iq - Tales From The Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix CD US $30.57 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ (7) - Barbell Is In 12" US $11.35 Buy It Now 1 day
Iq - Roll Call (2006) - Used - Compact Disc US $1.37 Buy It Now 1 day
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD welcome to the pleasuredome ZTT IQ1 DOUBLE LP PS EX/EX US $18.09 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Frequency CD + DVD SPV Import Limited Edition US $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Rare UK 1984 7" Single BARBELL IS IN With AUTOGRAPHED SLEEVE US $33.60 Buy It Now 1 day
iQ,Passing Strangers b/w Nomzamo/No Love Lost (piano/vocal version),12" US $9.23 Buy It Now 1 day
United - No Iq (1996) - Used - Compact Disc US $1.37 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ: The Lost Attic CD US $19.99 [0 bids]
1 day
IQ I.Q. I Q Live Concert London 9th of December 2006 poster print A5 size US $25.20 Buy It Now 1 day
2004 FUNCTIONAL BLACKOUTS S/T Vinyl LP! Criminal IQ Records Chicago Punk Vee Dee US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $15.99 Buy It Now
1 day
Subterranea, Iq, Good US $16.18 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Tales From The Lush Attic CD US $14.77 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN WETTON / NOMANS LAND Japan CD Bonus Asia King Crimson UK Family IQ Jadis US $4.14 [5 bids]
1 day
R:IQ#1 Marvellous Cain - Hitman (DJ Hype Remix) JUNGLE US $17.28 Buy It Now 2 days
Ragga Jungle- Marvellous Cain - Dubplate Style R:IQ Recordings 005 Rare 2005 US $10.00 [1 bids]
2 days
Iq - Frequency [CD New] US $24.30 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ - Live from London (DVD, New) US $15.11 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ Passing Strangers b/w Nomzamo + No Love Lost UK 3-track 12" 1987 EX+/M- 1987 US $12.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Twelfth Night IQ live concert London 13 April 1983 very small poster A5 size US $25.20 Buy It Now 2 days
2 SUBLIMINAL HYPNOSIS LEARNING SKILLS-INTELLIGENCE INCREASE IQ-NEW BRAINWAVE AID US $25.99 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ I.Q. I Q Live Concert London 8th of December 2000 poster print A5 size bw US $25.20 Buy It Now 2 days
NATIVE JAPAN CD ROOTS REGGAE SEALED IQ21 US $10.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Dark Matter IQ CD US $11.70 Buy It Now 3 days
LOW IQ 01 - MASTER LOW FOR... Japan Edition CD F1 US $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ I.Q. - REALITY CHECK CASSETTE NEW SMG 1995 US $34.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Now - Spheres - Cassette (Aragon, IQ, King Crimson) US $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Forever Live by IQ (CD, Sep-2004, 2 Discs, Inside Out) US $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Seventh House [IMPORT] by Iq (Sep-2004, Inside Out) US $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
The Enid IQ live concert London 12 November 1983 very small poster print A5 size US $25.20 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ - DARK MATTER NEW CD US $22.74 Buy It Now 3 days
(AQ726) Asaviour & DJ IQ, The A Loop Theory - DJ CD US $5.03 Buy It Now 3 days
PROG IQ Sold on You (Single) RARE Squawk Progressive Marillion Fish Pendragon US $29.99 Buy It Now 3 days
4 CD-SUBLIMINAL BRAIN/MIND CONTROL INTELLIGENCE HIGH IQ-BRAINWAVE TECHNOLOGY AID US $52.99 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ - Big Girls Don't Cry ep - New Sealed CD US $4.95 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ - Girl Group - ROLL CALL CD/DVD - NM US $4.99 Buy It Now 4 days
LUCHA LIBRE lo iq hi power LP 11 track double (stl025lp) uk satellite 1999 US $13.36 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ - SUBTERRANEA double LP without bonus EP US $7.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Increase Your IQ Subliminal CD boost intelligence improve brain power memory nlp US $12.97 [0 bids]
4 days
SOPHIE LAWRENCE love's unkind/one for the road ZB 44821 uk iq 1991 7" WS EX/ US $11.75 Buy It Now 4 days
ART OF NOISE Iq6 Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled IQ6 LP v5432 US $5.99 [0 bids]
4 days
IQ6 "NM WAX" Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled IQ6 LP r5744 US $5.99 [0 bids]
4 days
NOTHING IS COMIC Seven Parts IQ6A LP s5409 US $5.99 [0 bids]
4 days
IQ THE WAKE 3 cd + 1 DVD 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition box set US $45.99 [0 bids]
US $59.79 Buy It Now
4 days
ANATHEMA-Weather Systems digi KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, PINEAPPLE THIEF, IQ US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
4 days
PENDRAGON-Pure CD/DVD Digibook MARILLION, RIVERSIDE, PINEAPPLETHIEF, IQ, FROST US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $15.00 Buy It Now
4 days
GAZPACHO-Missi Atropos ANATHAMA, MARILLION, PINEAPPLE THIEF, IQ, KATATONIA US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $15.00 Buy It Now
4 days
IQ I.Q. live concert Newcastle 5 June 1989 very small mini poster print A5 size US $10.07 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ I.Q. live concert Birmingham 6 June 1989 very small mini poster print A5 size US $10.07 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ I.Q. live concert Bristol 7th June 1989 very small mini poster print A5 size US $10.07 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ I.Q. live concert Manchester 8 June 1989 very small mini poster print A5 size US $10.07 Buy It Now 5 days
IQ I.Q. live concert London 11th June 1989 very small mini poster print A5 size US $10.07 Buy It Now 5 days
PLAYBACK VOLUME 1 various LP 10 track featuring re-flex, astrakhan, iq, jenny ja US $8.39 Buy It Now 5 days
V.A.DERBY - Japan CD - NEW J-POP IQ20 , KARL OS PUPPET US $11.39 Buy It Now 5 days
KEN CHOI : IQ Dummies CD *Hong Kong *NEW SEALED ??? IQ??? US $25.75 Buy It Now 5 days
Iq / Frequency (uk) CD US $21.28 Buy It Now 5 days
BRAINY BABY - Baby IQ: Baby's First Words US $4.00 Buy It Now 5 days
The IQ's Geoffrey Chung The Love We All Need Today 7 Rare Roots Reggae Dub US $15.00 Buy It Now 5 days
SUBLIMINAL INTELLIGENCE ENHANCEMENT-INCREASE YOUR INTELLECT HIGH IQ BRAINWAVE CD US $11.99 Buy It Now 5 days
IQ Frequency CD US $12.77 Buy It Now 5 days
IQ-ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?-CD-1997-Giant Electric Pea-GEP CD 013-sealed US $14.88 Buy It Now 6 days
NEW Dark Matter - Iq US $12.80 Buy It Now 6 days
SOPHIE LAWRENCE love's unkind 7" PS EX/EX uk iq ZB44821 US $11.75 Buy It Now 6 days
IQ - NOMZAMO - NEW CD US $24.73 Buy It Now 6 days
SAFFRON (80'S/90'S ARTIST) world of you 12" 3 trk b/w hip mix and fluffy toy iq US $8.39 Buy It Now 6 days
Iq - Are You Sitting Comfortably (CD) NEW US $23.52 Buy It Now 6 days
Are You Sitting Comfortably Iq Audio CD US $25.48 Buy It Now 6 days
Dark Matter Iq Audio CD US $25.48 Buy It Now 6 days
Frequency - Iq (2009, CD New) US $17.02 Buy It Now 6 days
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 re-mix (Gatefold cover) [VINYL] Iq Vinyl US $25.48 Buy It Now 6 days
The Wake - 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (3CD & DVD (Multimedia) Set) Iq Audio US $58.38 Buy It Now 6 days
POSITIVE GANG sweet freedom 12" 3 trk featuring 60's sytlee,sixteen mix and iq v US $8.39 Buy It Now 6 days
CD---IQ..UP / MOZART US $5.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Vinyl Record 12" Single - IQ Barbell Is In US $13.45 Buy It Now 6 days
Evolutionary Intelligence by Iq (CD, May-2004, EvI) OOP US $6.99 [0 bids]
US $9.99 Buy It Now
6 days
Iq, Roll Call Audio CD US $4.45 Buy It Now 7 days
PUNK ROCK SOUNDTRACKS Vol.3 Japan 2 CD IQ20 SPICY SOCKS US $9.90 Buy It Now 7 days
SONIA - BE YOUNG BE FOOLISH BE HAPPY - 7" VINYL 1991 PICTURE SLEEVE IQ RECORDS US $5.03 Buy It Now 7 days
IQ - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF T4) US $16.72 Buy It Now 7 days

More places to buy IQ music online Buy IQ & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for IQ DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

IQ Subterranea ratings distribution


3.90
(408 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
38%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

IQ Subterranea reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars Some of the younger progheads I know have tried to have their " Tales of Topographic Lamb Lies Ocean the Broadway ", but to me this sounds like totally a prefabricated formula that owes much to their 70's inspiration but lacks the imagination of the greats. As a lot of people claim that this is a masterpiece , I say this is a pale copy of what they could do if they managed a personnality of their own. Everything seems to remind you of something else on here (As on most TFK albums too).

I always had the unfortunate feeling that most progheads elevating thios kind of album to the levels of masterpieces were fooling themselves and were trying to live out a fantasy that the this decade was living up to the 70's standards. Of course, how unfair to ask this of a group of musicians, but really, they were the ones making the records that were sounding just like what they were aiming at.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#3793) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 23, 2004

Review by Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Maybe one of the better known albums of the neo progressive, and one of those opus that can demonstrate what a band is. IMO, IQ is better than Pendragon, Marillion and many neo prog groups, but it doesn't mean a superband. Genesis-Gabriel evidently influenced, "Subterranea" gives us more than hundred minutes of typical neo prog music, sometimes brilliant, sometimes reiterative, with the logical modern sound and the changing tunes, but -despite the work is pleasant to listen- two discs are too long if they turn around always in the same way. "Subterranea" first disc is my favorite, maybe I felt a little bit bored when second disc was playing. The fourth track, "Sleepless Incidental", is the best song. About second disc, the long suite "The Narrow Margin" is interesting too, but I must confess I was tired and waiting the end. IQ's music is melodic and enough powerful, even tough some tracks show us a little bit "commercial" feeling. "Subterranea" doesn't reach the brightness of "The Seventh House" but, nevertheless, this is a good stuff, and almost essential for those who love neo prog style.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#3778) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 04, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars WOW! What a GREAT album! Please, stop pretending that this album is a "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" clone! Apart the fact that it lasts around 100 minutes and that it is a concept album too, "Subterranea" is a totally different album.

Near 20 tracks, most of them are not epic, except "Narrow Margin", which lasts around 20 minutes. The album must preferably be listened in its entirety: there are some variations on the same theme. All the tracks have something interesting. the tracks are not extremely complex, but the ambience & atmospheres created are really pleasant and addictive, and the tracks are really progressive, never monotonous. Martin Orford uses an omnipresent organ, but, unlike MARILLION - "Brave", it never sounds outdated. He often plays addictive fresh piano parts. His ultra modern keyboards can be very floating and atmospheric, often having the New Age style, like on "Tunnel Vision", "Sense of Sanity" and "The Other Side". Many tracks are really rythmic, almost prog hard rock, followed by fresh, dreamy & emotional ambient pauses. The electric guitar is very rythmic, having many melodic solos like on the "Ever" album. There are some excellent acoustic guitars too, which are absolutely relevant with the modern & fresh overall sound. The bass is excellent, and Jowitt sometimes plays a VERY pleasant fretless bass, like on "Speak My Name" and "Capricorn". Peter Nicholls sings well, and he does not "MEOW" his voice like on the "Ever" album. Paul Cook plays excellent slow drums parts, which is really appreciated, avoiding to sound too fast for the slow rythm: Nevertheless his parts are never dull and never simple. One must mention some great sentimental saxophone parts, like on "Capricorn", fitting VERY well with the modern IQ sound. The moving textures involved are REALLY accessible: this record is easy to listen! The tracks are not really depressing, much less than MARILLION - "Brave". All the instruments are well synchronized, and they work together, for the song, not trying to steal the show. As if all these perfect tracks were not enough, IQ managed to end it with a throbbing ultra epic masterpiece named "Narrow Margin"! This extremely well made track will remind you some parts of GENESIS (GABRIEL-era), especially "Watcher of the Skies". IQ is a band that has always progressed, and it seems they are now at their best! Finally, "Subterranea" has similitudes with the records "Ever" and "Seventh House"; however I find "Subterranea" more accessible! Definitely one of the best prog albums of the 90's.

EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#3780) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2004

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Double albums are notoriously difficult to pull off but IQ have a good go here.The concept and songs make a good deal of sense and they never reduce anything to mere ramblings.Great headphone 'stuff'!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#3781) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Very much in the vein of GENESIS, "Subterrenea" explores the deep and dark aspects of metropolitan life. Like "The Lamb", "Subterrenea" uses a 2 record set to accomplish this concept-like story, however, this is where the similarities end. IQ bring their own unique sound to the forefront and push the boundaries of prog music yet again. The intro alone will sell you on the release as orchestration is mixed with electric instruments giving an epic feel to the whole recording. Each song is built on the storyline and is very well presented and packaged. This is very well recorded and sound seperation is quite good on the ol' stereo. This is IQ's most challenging project yet and needs to be heard in its entirety.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#3782) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Subterranea' is not only my all-time favourite IQ's effort, but also my favourite concept- disc from the 90s. From day one I was captivated by the somber, mysterious ambience portrayed all along this album... even months before I became aware of the dramatic narrative that unifies the lyrical contents of the sung tracks. The repertoire focuses most of its strngth on well defined melodic lines, helped by arrangements that are dealt with both finesse and contemporary sensibility: sure there's enough amount of rhythm and mood twists, but they are not as prominent as on previous albums by the band (like 'Tales' or 'Ever', for instance). The instrumentalists' common attitude is that of creating a sort of OST for the " virtual movie" that surfaces from the storyline. That explains the presence of ethereal layers on synth and guitar synth ('Provider', the coda of 'Sleepless Incidental', the final sections of 'Tunnel Vision' and 'Breathtaker', the marimba-like synth on 'Sense in Sanity') and effective instrumental interludes (the dreamy 'The Other Side', the bombastic 'State of Mine'): some critics have noted down that there are some allegedly annoying instrumental fillers in 'Subterranea', but I appreciate them (and don't call them "fillers") as what they are, transitional moments between a crucial "scene" and the following one. Nicholls' vocal performance reaches the same level of excellence and emotional commitment as in 'Ever', though not as overwhelming, since in 'Subterranea' he tells us a story (while in 'Ever' the subjects were more directly personal). Orford's and Holmes' performances are as precise and energetic as always, but definitely, in adding some clear touches of avant-garde tricks (somewhat inspired by the industrial wave), the guitar/keyboard ensamble feels particularly "modern". The rhythm section sounds a bit rockier, in comparison to the preceding effort, providing a well-oiled foundation for their partners. Mi fav tracks are 'Sleepless Incidental', 'Failsafe', 'Infernal Chorus', 'Somewhere in Time', and the closing 20 minute long epic 'The Narrow Margin'... and let's not forget the eerie ballad 'Speak My Name', which incarnates an oasis of emotional candor in the middle of the overall obscure nature of the repertoire. All things considered, this repertoire needs to be appreciated as an entire unit, since the presence of some recurring themes serves as the spinal tap that sustains its integral coherence. My conclusion: the exhibition of tight musicianship, emotional singing and refined writing in 'Subterranea' makes it IMHO a prog gem of our times.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#3794) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 04, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My friend, Tom Malik, just lent me a DVD titled as "The Enigma of KASPAR HAUSER", a Germany movie production based on a true story. "Watch this movie as this is a real story that inspires IQ in SUBTERRANEA album", Tom said to me. I did watch the movie. That's why it's about time now to review this seminal work of IQ.

This album deserves for "detail" review as this concept album is a brilliant product that has ever been made by the band. I own this album since its day of release but I refrain myself to review it because it's so special album. Even, I think, this long review won't be enough to cover all.

Before I discuss in detail about this album, I need to clear some issues up front. I believe that if we talk about music creation nowadays, it's very hard to classify the "originality" of the music because I think all music are "derivatives". My point is simple, I don't want to reduce my rating to any album of this band due to their music is derivative or they are a GENESIS clone, or whatever. To me, IQ is one of the most inspirational bands that I have ever known to-date. Be it their music direction is similar with GENESIS or not, I don't really care. I think it's the band choice to be in the vein of GENESIS. Even, I admire this band in their ability to create TOUCHY melody in some musical segments of their songs. Almost in any song they have written, I find great melody (probably in only couple of minutes or even seconds) in particular segments of songs they write. The melody really touches your heart. In this melody creation they are not less creative compared to GENESIS.

However, I WILL NOT tolerate any band who intentionally or unintentionally creates a music segment that is "90%" similar with other band. I have noticed this happen in some prog bands that I will review in other part. For IQ, I never find them doing such thing.

"Subterranea" is an album that you MUST HAVE in your prog collection. It's definitely in the neo progressive arena where it has a strong melody with keyboard-based music composition in a relatively medium tempo. It's a concept album about a 17-year old boy that appeared in city N, 1828. He could not speak but one word. He was buried in the cellar since he was born. No one knows what was the reason and who set him free.

Don't (please don't!) ever try to compare this album with "The Lamb Lies Down .." because it's totally different. I tell you, honestly, all tracks of this album are excellent. While, "The lamb Lies .." has one track, at least, that I hate very much "The Waiting Room"!! Uuugh .. tell me who's gonna understand this musician's ego? Hey, don't worry .. I'm a great fan of GENESIS. Judging this album with "number of CDs" only is not wise at all. IMHO.

"Subterranea" album does not use a tag line melody that is repeatedly used throughout the album. Each song has its own melody but the transition between songs were created smoothly. There are some intentional break between songs as well. "Overture" is an instrumental piece that set the atmosphere for the whole album. If you wanna know what sort of TOUCHY melody I meant at above, you can find at minutes "1:36" of this track where Holmes' guitar fills make a melody. It's really touchy! It happens couple of seconds only but it helps put matters into perspective. Remember, this is a concept album.

"Provider" is something I call as an overview of the story. It has a great vocal by Nicholls with spacey keyboard sound in the background. "Are you inside, provider, or am I?". This short piece is then followed by a drumming part that opens "Subterranea" (third track). It's a medium tempo and melodic song. Nicholls sings nicely. The keyboard played by Orford is great, combined with simple guitar touch by Holmes. This track is much more enjoyable if you play it loud. "Powerhouse, sacred vows, trigger happy punk ..". The incorporation of saxophone has accentuated the track beautifully. (Actually, I don't like sax sound. But, for this track .. I love it!).

The transition to next track "Sleepless Incidental" happens smoothly with a thin acoustic guitar and keyboard sounds. Nicholls voice dominates the scene at the intro part until a dazzling drums, bass and organ sounds enter the music. Now the band creates another "touchy" great melody. This time happens right after Nicholls sings "I'm only taking time. And I'm not where I want to be now" (minute 3:37) where solo organ by Martin Orford takes lead with other instruments are quiet. This piece strengthens and accentuates the song wonderfully. Its nuance is church but its melody is something that I sometime relate to our country's ethnical song. Cool. I don't believe that mankind can create such a wonderful piece here. This time is longer because it endures altogether with lead guitar play until the song ends. Oh God .. this melody makes me cry, really!

"Failsafe" is another heavy melody track opened by a solo organ right after previous track was finished. The keyboard sound that Orford plays at background is nice throughout the song. "Speak My Name" is a nice ballad with only vocal and keyboard sound with acoustic guitar as interlude. This is another track with a great melody. Peter Nichols voice is powerful. He sings with his heart. "Every time you speak my name .. you speak my name.." . This mellow track is a relaxation before it enters to the uplifting and dynamic song "Tunnel Vision" (one of my favorite tracks). I usually play this track outloud to satisfy my listening pleasure. I like when Nichols sings at the intro "Don't want to lead a revolution. Let another go ahead ." Wow! I like the lyrics and the melody (of course). The musical piece is also excellent. I catch another touchy melody again played by guitar fill of Holmes. Really nice. I bet you will love this track! The lead guitar interlude is cool.

I don't plan to review each track of Disc 1. I just want to conclude the discussion of Disc 1 with my impression that disc 1 is concluded by the band brilliantly with two nice tracks that must be enjoyed as one: "The sense of In Sanity" (slow track dominated by vocal and vibraphone sound) and followed by "State of Mine" (higher tone track with all instruments play together dominated by keyboard sound). I feel so relaxed with the end track of Disc 1.

Disc 2 is opened with a nice piano and howling guitar in "Laid Low" (instrumental). It "reminds" me to GENESIS "After The Ordeal" but it is shorter. "Breathtaker"'s melody sounds similar with some part of Disc 1 music in its intro. But when the vocal part enters, it's totally different nice melody. I enjoy all tracks in Disc 2 with an exception on 5th track "Unsolid Ground" which sounds so poppy to me. But, never mind. This album is excellent overall. Disc 2 is concluded by an epic track "The Narrow Margin" with 20 minutes duration. This track should be enjoyed by listening to previous track "High waters" which has strong melody. Again, there is no "alike" with "The Lamb .." as in "The Lamb" there is no 20 minute track, my friend.

I have no argument for not giving FIVE STAR for this album as this album has a very strong songwriting, excellent sonic production of the CD, and great musicianship. All musicians do not attempt to demonstrate their skills dominantly, but as a whole album they are able to create an ultimate "emotional ecstasy" to their listeners (and especially to their loyal fans) through their touchy melodies.

What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#3795) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The concept of Concept albums can vary quiet a lot, the Lamb and Tommy being both quiet strange but some of the individual songs still tell a story in itself. In the Life version of Subterrenea Peter Nicholls published a storyline (like Peter Gabriel for the Lamb) which is quiet obscure to me, but even then I don't see the connection between the story and the lyrics.They are very abstract TMHO quiet shallow.This can be good for 1 or 2 songs but in the whole lyrics there is no decription of whatever might be going on in this story. For a record which is mainly sung I find the melodic material quiet poor. It is mostly athmopheric and I prefer the instrumental parts to the songs.I like a lot the keyboard work but the compositions to put it in value are missing. And why is the IQ symbol on every page in the booklett? Maybe this is the main Theme of Subterrenea : IQ introspection.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Alucard (BETA) | Report this review (#3799) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Oh the challenge of the infamous double album. It could sink your career in a wink, but also when it's properly made with a sense of decency for the listener, woo-hoo and up we go. I'm not the one bashing on the hard working pionneers of the double-album legacy, au contraire, those are one of my favorite treats.

The White Album (Beatles), Tommy (Who), The Wall (Pink Floyd), Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins), Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (The Cure)...all success.

IQ is a definte survivor of the very, very ingrate 90's. They managed to pull through the 80's quite fairly. Easier than the 90's? Well, the neo scene was on the rise and they emerged in the right years with the right approach. Although the music wasn't what it is now in the 80's. Internet, boys bands, cult of the beauty (male and female) and the big $$$ factor is now the lot of a band of youngsters since Nirvana. Gotta have a look by all means. Gotta sell soda pop, clothes and half a million records. So if you're past your golden marketing years (IQ is for sure), the jump in the Y2K could scare the hell out of you.

Well the 90's are way behind and IQ gave a try to put all their material in one album at that time. George Harisson said: "What do you do when you have all those songs floating around? Gotta put them on paper before they're gone." The need to tell a story is probably the main attract for IQ to assemble a colossal project as Subterranea. And the whole thing about the allusion about The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is bullcorn, right?

A heavy meal for a newbie, I must admit it tooked me a while to digest all the songs, and getting my mind to anticipate the melodies. After a long digestion, I realized how solid this album is. Tends to get some filling in the end, but Disk 1 is a total, total killer. No kidding, some of the best stuff of the 90's.

Peter Nicholls' voice sounds like a cross of Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) and Brett Anderson (Suede). Super groovy basses by John Howitt. This guy's really subtle, but I wish I could play as fluidly as him! And what a surprise when I realized that Paul Cook was the drummer! THE Paul Cook from the SEX PISTOLS!!! Oh wow! Man what a treat. At the time of Never Mind the Bollocks, he stinked bad but now! Wooh, he got a lot better. Imagine, this guy is a real part of history. He rubbed shoulders with Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious!

Anyway, Nicholls voice and airy keyboards in front, expect lots of melodies to enjoy and lots of headaches to understand the twisted story. But some will not share the lack of complexity and the sluggish progression of the plot.On top it sounds so badly from the past. Couldn't they change their approach?!? This record takes it's time to start and don't have any surprises. Just good music done professionaly.

Close but no cigar.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#36706) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Like I mentioned in my previous review of Spock's Beard's Snow, most groups at one point try to create an innovative story and expand over two discs or in the old days two vinyls. While some concepts are easier to digest (for example Spock's Beard's Snow or The Who's Quadrophenia) others are terribly cryptic and the story is extremely hard to follow (Pain of Salvation's BE). This album lands more on the cryptic and dense part than the easy to digest, in my opinion. In fact, it was only recently (when I asked an IQ fan) what the story for this album was. Despite the incredibly dense story line, musically this album has some real shining moments, but like most concept albums is wrought with the problem of overuse of ideas. Nicholls is the dominating factor on this album with the vocals being more of a lead instrument than ever. But that doesn't mean that the rest of the group is just backing, the musicians in the group worked as hard as ever creating music to give a backdrop to the certain atmosphere of each piece, be it the ambient Provider, or the rocking and somewhat heavy epic of The Narrow Margin. I guess in the end it all comes down to opinion.

At this point I think it'd be best if I tell you the story from the source I've heard (forum member Richardh), "Secret Underground Lab. People are kept there from birth for observation/experimental purposes. Then they escape. Our protagonist lives on the top ..finds love along the way ...then all the escapees get captured and are all burnt to death trying to get away (The Narrow Margin) apart from our protagonist who decides he doesn't like the world above and volunteers to go back down..but he is the only one left. End.".

The album is about 100 minutes long and split essentially evenly onto two discs, with the first having the bulk of the album. Opening with the instrumental piece Overture (like most conceptual pieces do anyway) from the get go one can see a more concise and to the point IQ musically. The hardest thing to digest about this story is the vocals, which in my opinion require looking into heavily if you even want to find a trace of the storyline in them. Pieces like Subterranea and Failsafe could be stand alone pieces, though, they have that edge over the rest of the pieces, which seem like a more cohesive whole. You can also hear a budding experimentation in the group in The Sense in Sanity, which utilizes what I believe to be marimba for the entire piece (which plays a solid 7/4 motif). Musically. the guys haven't changed their sound drastically, they still bow down to the same cliche that they have been for their entire career, but they've always been able to make it work and it is no different here.

The second disc could have used a bit of self editing and the album would have made a fantastic single album, by the way. Laid Low is essentially an instrumental that could have been cut out because all it is is a repitition of the same theme from State of Mine (the song that ended the first disc). Still, though, there are a few tracks that are really quite good and I couldn't imagine the album without them. Somewhere in Time has a fantastic main melody and Nicholls' vocals are quite soothing at times. Mike Holmes is also fantastic on this track performing in his style that has become quickly identifiable these days (for me at least). The Narrow Margin is the final, and longest piece on the album running at exactly 20 minutes. And like most IQ epics it runs at a formula, but any trace of said formula can be only found in minute places. I actually couldn't imagine a more fitting ending to the album, as it runs the mill of emotions and ends essentially with what began the album (the Provider theme is repeated again with the same lyrics).

So I guess in the end it all comes down to if you can take long concept pieces where most of the time you'll be unaware of a concept unless you really look into it. Musically, I love this album as it is short and to the point, but they're not afraid to let loose and really get something going at the same time. If you're expecting an album like The Wake or Ever you'll come up a bit short, but for those who really want a rollercoaster ride of emotions, then this album may be the one for you. Me? I'm in the middle, as I find a lot of this album to be interesting, but a few fatal flaws mar it from being anywhere near a masterpiece (this is all my opinion, though). 3.5/5.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#86338) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006

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

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#88241) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 26, 2006

Review by evenless
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IQ - Subterranea

Very fine album in the same style as IQ's 1993 album "Ever" , but this time IQ managed to deliver a genuine 2 disc concept album!

IQ's "Subterannea" probably is one of my favourite concept albums of all time together with MARILLION's "Brave" and the very recent "Posthumous Silence" by the German neo-progressive rock band "SYLVAN". I do not only think those three bands all delivered a fine concept album, but I also think those three bands are the three finest bands in the neo-progressive genre.

I discovered IQ by their brilliant last album "Dark Matter" and worked my way back through their catalogue from there on, so "Subterannea" was my second introduction to IQ and what an introduction it was!

For me the big difference between those two album was that I liked "Dark Matter" already at first listen and I noticed that "Subterannea" took some more time to "settle in". But usually this is what I like best, because you find the album only getting better and better each time you listen to it. I must have spun both discs around ten times before I started to listen to some other music again.

Both disc of this concept album are great, but highlights from disc one would probably be the title track "Subterranea", "Sleepless Incidental" with a great harmonic organ kicking in during the middle section of the song and finally "The Sense in Sanity". Highlights of the second disc are "Capricorn" which contains a nice solo on saxophone, the delicate "Somewhere in Time" and the twenty minute epic "The Narrow Margin" on which the "middle section" really stands out.

Anyone familiar with "The Narrow Margin" will certainly enjoy the following lyrics and will probably hear the music playing on the background while reading them:

"Told me, go the way of your heart I'll be waiting for you But wherever you are, you're not inside me now"

WOW! Anyone unfamiliar with this album or even worse, with IQ, I would recommend to quickly add "Subterannea" or "Dark Matter" to your "prog- archives".

Yours sincerely,

Evenless

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to evenless (BETA) | Report this review (#91916) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is a very difficult exercise : try and release a great double album.

If you look at the history of the giants, none to very few of them (IMO) were merely capable of producing masterpieces of that kind.

Take Pink Floyd with "The Wall" : lots of boring and useless numbers (especially on CD1), take Genesis and "The Lamb" : average tracks on side one : "Cuckoo Cocoon" and "The Grand Parade..."; very weak numbers on side three : "The Waiting Room", "The Supernatural Anaesthetist", "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", and "Ravine" on side four.

The Lamb still being my fave prog concept album of all times (but I rated only with four stars). I have listening to it hundred of times since its initial release, have seen it once performed by Genesis (you know, when they were five) and saw no less than four representations by "The Musical Box" which brought me back to the magics of the original show.

I believe that "The Who" were the only ones fully successful to create a double concept album with "Tommy".

So, what can we expect from "Subterranea" ?

In a way I fully agree with Gatot that this work should in factnot be compared with "The Lamb" but there are still some similarities that I will outline when then occur.

I have to say, that this work is pretty nice to listen to : very few weak numbers, but very little jewels as well. The album flows nicely and with no surprise till the title track which is one of my fave (and one of the few regularly on their live setlist from this album).

"Failsafe" might well be the first number having something to do with "The Lamb". Here and there some similarities in the keys with "Slippermen" but not too much, as well as some piano/vocals reminding the intro of "The Lamb" (the title track) but short as well. Nothing to do with "The Lamb" but towards the end (twice), the riff from "Watcher" is instantly recognizable as well. A good number after all which will also do a longer career in their live sets.

The emotional and sad tone of Peter (Nicholls) is wonderfully highlighted in "Speak My Name". A soft and gentle acoustic number full of melancholy (he's a melancholy man...). To compensate, we'll get some heavier attack with "Tunnel Vision". But this mood will be reverted to a short and welcome spacey section, full of lighness and inspiration. One of the first solo from Holmes as well (but there won't be many). Another highlight.

"Watcher Of The Skies" (what a great song !) is back again in the intro of "Infernal Chorus". This song has been re-used countless times by lots of bands but since it is one of my preferred track, I can not refrain from liking most of its derivates as well. The last trio of songs from disc one are a bit weaker, especially "King Of Fools". "State of Mind" being again a short but fully Genesis inspired number.

All in all, disc one is rather good but not grandiose.

Disc two holds some "transitional" tracks. "Laid Low" and "The Other Side" (but they are very short ones).

"Breathtaker" is a harder and less inspired song, as "Capricorn" but on the softer edge. With "Unsolid Ground" IQ is back in business but still does not reach the quality of disc one. The first track to do so is "Somewhere in Time", more complex than the five previous ones. Variations, good vocals and strong backing band. This is a pure traditional IQ song. Very pleasant, aerial at times while "High Waters" features a great second half and instrumental part (but it only last for a mere minute).

So, the hopes now rely on IQ's second epic song (after "The Last Human Gateway" on their debut album). "The Narrow Margin" will fortunately holds its promises. Emotional lyrics, brilliant vocal interpretation, very good guitar play. The whole band seems to be very much inspired. Due to its lenght (over twenty minutes) IQ will deliver some instrumental passages as well. I must say that in this ocean of lyrics, they are very welcome even if, at times, Genesis's fanthom is coming out (again "Watcher").

Disc two only works for two/three tracks.

Bearing in mind that both CD's only hold just over 100 minutes of music, IQ would have better been inspired to release a full lenght CD (you know like TFK, with 78 minutes of music). This choice was possible with the digital technology (not with the vinyl one). They would have released a better album, I think. I have read the story of "Subtarranea" and honestly it does not really stunned me. I am more confused than dazed actually.

Three stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#124264) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 01, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This double concept album continues in the same vein as "Ever" although to me it is more melodic. This is a surprisingly consistant work as far as double albums go with songs 8-10 on the first disc being the only weak section in my opinion.The concept got it's inspiration from a true story from Germany about a wild boy who was found wandering around who had apparently no previous contact with people.

According to Martin Orford as related on the now defunct Dutch IQ Home Page and quoted on the ProGGnosis web-site "The story of the album is about a man who has been confined for an experiment and has therefore been isolated from our society-he gets his food provided but has no contact with the outside world ("Provider"). At a certain point in time he is released by his capturer and emerges in our society where he experiences things...for the first time("Subterranea"). After some hard times among the homeless ("Sleeping Incedental") he is taken in by a religious cult but refuses to be converted by them ("Failsafe"). He meets a girl...who gives him a name. He has a deep friendship / romance with this person("Speak My Name") but in the end she is taken away from him ("Tunnel Vision"). Then he notices he is being followed by henchmen from the man who had held him prisoner for all those years. He captures one of them and forces him to reveal the name of the man responsible for his misery (Mockenrue) and then kills his follower ("Infernal Chorus")..."State Of Mind" is supposed to represent the protagonist on the run, and during the second disc he tries to find this Mockenrue and take revenge. Along the way he realises that life on the outside world is much harder than his earlier, controlled life ("Unsolid Ground"). At a certain point he takes on a disguise to be able to find out what's happening ("Capricorn") then he notices that he's not the only one with this experience, he sees other people who show the same marks / symbol he's been tagged with-seemingly there are more subjects for Mockenrue's experiment("Somewhere In Time"). The mark is the IQ logo which can be found in various places in the cd booklet. Mockenrue's victims decide to team up and take revenge ("High Waters").The group ends up in a large building to which Mockenrue sets fire ("The Narrow Margin"). In the end the protagonist manages to get out of there alive (the only one) and realises he is a menace to himself and society and decides to go back into his confinement."

My favourite song on the first disc is "Sleepless Incedental" that opens with strummed guitar that recalls PORCUPINE TREE as vocals come in.This is a moving song with some heaviness and a more aggressive sound after 2 minutes.The last 2 minutes are pure instrumental bliss. "Subterranea" is also a terrific song that is uptempo and catchy. The sax 5 minutes in sounds great. "Failsafe" is another highlight from disc one. On disc two my favourite song is "Somewhere In Time". I like the contrast of the ballad like intro with gentle vocals and a pastoral soundscape with the almost metal sound 3 1/2 minutes in. "Capricorn" opens with guitar melodies that sound like "Kayleigh" from MARILLION. Some good soaring guitar later followed by a sax solo.The song ends with the sound of the wind blowing that continues into the next song "The Other Side" that is so different from all the other songs. It's very atmospheric with synths, flute and gentle guitar. Not as good as IONA does it though. "The Narrow Margin" is a twenty minute song with plenty of tempo and mood shifts. It's a real ride !

Up to this point in time this is their best work. The production is perfect and I have to mention the excellent drumming as well. Ok they all shine on this ambitious endeavour.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#128007) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I recently did my review of Dark Matter and tried to explain why I didn't like that album compared to Ever. I don't think I explained very well but now that I'm reviewing this superb double album by this British neo band I think it all falls on its place.

Because it's actually all about getting it and grasping it. And of course a certain album must get to you in a way. There has to be a connection between you and the artists composing and performing it. And then still it's a mysterious thing how exactly that works. I guess we will never know. It just happens (or in case of no connection, it doesn't). But then still it's strange that one and the same band can leave you totally cold with one release (Dark Matter) and that same band totally gets you in a spell with another release.

Right now I'm listening to this doubler one last time, I haven't heard it for over a year by now and maybe that's a little part of the secret, I knew I loved it in the past and then it's always interesting if after some time the miracle still is on. Well, I can tell you, it is !

What a fantastic concept album this is. Especially with disc one the 4th and 5th track (Sleepless Incidental and Failsafe) I cannot tell how good it is. It's simply fantastic, I have no doubt this is IQ's best and always will be. The two mentioned tracks are two of the best on the doubler (along with TunnelVision as well), I have to admit that but on the other disc we also have the great epic The Narrow Margin. But all the other tracks fall behind in quality with these.

And that's also the reason I can't call this a masterpiece but it's a lot better than two other good albums by IQ, Ever and Seventh House. It's their best and it gets 4 stars but actually it's even worth a bit more (4,2).

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#160720) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 04, 2008

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A great challange.

History has proven that it is very hard to create a good concept album. History has also proven it is hard to record an interesting double cd in the studio. Here combined, I must say, it is a great challange. For I know of almost no double concept albums I find good from beginning till the end.

Some progfan I met a few years ago (the singer of the then active Salmon) told me this was a very good record. I turned it on as soon as i got my hands on it. The first thing that I noticed was the recording that I did not like. Some of the keyboardmelodies are played on what seems to be cheep amplification. Later on this did not bother me anymore, you'll get used to it. In the first overture a lot of themes are introduced wich are used again as intro themes on the later songs of the album. This is a nice way to use the conceptalbum possibilities. The first lyrics are sung at Provider, a good emotinal beginning. The song Subterranea is on a simple basis but it works great. After this a lot of great songs are to come.

IQ sounds professional, symphonic, theatrical, sometimes mellow and sometimes exciting. The voice Peter Nicholls isn't very warm but it's very recogniceble in a good way. This is IQ. The latter I find very important for a progressive rock vocalist. The guitars are withoud an always important role but in themes they sound great. Some solo's would have made it even better. The Keyboard are done very well! They form the basic for the songs and most of the themes. My only dissapointment here was discussed before. The main purpose is the atmosphere and here IQ succeeds greatly.

The story is interesting but with a double cd I loose attention on a point. I love the 45 minutes standerd on vinyl records. So I don't even realy know what's the complete story of the concept. The lyrics however suite the melodies and that's enough for me for now.

The great thing about this record is total experience. No realy bad songs are played and so a great collection of music is recorded. A lot of themes just work, and so does the record. Maybe... the vocals are just my style or something... it's catcy.. and very responsible, Peter Nicholls just makes the songs work though I would not discribe his voice as very good. It's the vibe.

Well.. in summary: great composition, nice concept well recorded. This is defenitely the best IQ record in my humble opinion. It's symphonic progressive rock without a lot of very complicated themes but still very interesting. Sometimes very innovating, sometimes a bit standerd. However... as I said, it works great! Five stars! It's on of the better concept albums of prog-rock.

Edit: I changed the rating to four stars. I still think this album is great, but not as good as my other 'masterpieces'.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#178190) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars Here's the 100th rating for this album. No less than four stars! I first heard this in 2000, around the time when I was very willing to find some new prog bands but was disillusioned time after time by the stuff that the library databases categorized as prog. Most of it was simply too close to heavy for my taste. IQ was musically something that immediately responded to my idea of how a Neo Prog band should sound like. Clarity of sounds (keyboards dominating but far from OVER-dominating), melodic rollercoaster rides, compositions that are suitably catchy without cheesiness, and most of all, music clearly identified as PROG, descending from Yes, Genesis, Camel, ELP... And remembering that my path into Prog went via MARILLION and backwards from them, it's easy to see why IQ caught my interest. In a sense IQ seemed to modernize the same classic Prog vocabulary as Fish-era Marillion had done; if GENESIS had steered into more ambitious (Neo) Prog in the 80's instead of pop dominance, they might have produced music reminiscent of IQ's.

Well, there was a negative side to my delight. It took a while before Peter Nicholls' somewhat nasal voice stopped annoying me. With PENDRAGON it was the same, but slightly different: I got more and more annoyed by Nick Barrett's singing STYLE, whereas Nicholls uses his own voice pretty well after all, and IQ wouldn't be IQ without his voice. It somehow suits to the overall sound.

There aren't any disastrous tracks here, though some I dislike a bit, only a small minority really. A bunch of instrumentals is the cherry on the top. From the prog's point of view the 20-minute closer Narrow Margin is a highlight without a doubt, but a good deal of the rest is just as fine, only with shorter running times. One of my personal favourites is the calm and mystic Sense In Sanity, followed seamlessly by a Banks-like instrumental burst State Of Mine. The total length of this 2-CD album is no more than 102 minutes, but I'm not going to say They Should Have Made It Into One Terrific Disc. In fact I would rather say so about the Tales Of The Topograpgic Oceans by YES, which does suffer from the so called dinosaur disease. Subterranea is a completely healthy baby, and one of the most recommendable albums of Neo Prog scene.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#216438) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 18, 2009

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The group's most ambitious work to date is, unfortunately, also the one which see's IQ eschew their complex, Genesis-inspired neo-prog sound in favour of a more straight-forward 'rock' approach. 'Subterranea' features over 100 minutes of music spread over two discs, yet there are only a handful of stand-out tracks, such as the 'The Wake'-lit title track and the energetic 'Tunnel Vision'. The overall sound is light and airy, with the group's musical nucleus of keyboardist Martin Orford and guitarist Mike Holmes seemingly particularly un-inspired. Some have written that 'Subterranea' is the apex of IQ's career, but just because the album is long and features a complex story does not automatically mean it can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the other great concept abums sch as Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' or Thick As A Brick' by Jethro Tull. 'Subterranea' pales in comparison to IQ's classic albums, the superb 1983 debut 'Tales From The Lush Attic' and it's seminal follow-up of two years later 'The Wake', and it's a real shame because it seems that the group have thrown everything including the kitchen sink into making this mammoth, double-disc release a reality. Overlong, dull and instrumentally rather bland, 'Subterranea' is a rare dip in form for this otherwise excellent and iconic neo-prog band. Every group has their weaker moments(just ask Genesis about 'And Then There Were Three' or query Yes about their awful '90125' comeback 'pop' album), and, sadly, IQ's has come when they seemed to be trying hardest. Pity. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#281873) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars The narrow margin

Subterranea is not a bad album as such. So why only two stars? Well, my rating needs to be seen in the wider context of IQ's discography. This album came out just after the excellent Ever, and just before the very good The Seventh House. Subterranea is, to my mind, a lesser album. And as such, even if I find it rather enjoyable, I just cannot give it the same rating that I gave to The Seventh House (and that album, in turn, though stronger, is not deserving of the same high rating as Ever and Dark Matter). The two primary reasons I like Subterranea less than most other IQ albums is that the songs are not as strong and memorable, and that it is too long for its own good. Maybe, if it was condensed into a single disc with only the best material, it could perhaps have reached the same level of quality as The Seventh House, but even so it could never have matched IQ's best albums.

The conceptual nature of the album is not sufficient to retain the listener's full attention from start to end. At some point, I feel that it is just more of the same and it becomes a bit monotonous. Still, there is good stuff to be found here. If you are an IQ fan, and you don't have this album, by all means get it. You will almost certainly like it (as I do). But if you are new to IQ, this is definitely the wrong place to start, in my opinion. Any other post-Ever IQ album gives a better introduction to the band.

Recommended for fans and collectors, but not among the best IQ albums

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#304987) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Contemporary prog at its finest

It took IQ some four years to release a follow up album to the fine "Ever" from 1993. The unchanged line up were not however sitting on their hands, "Subterranea" proving to be the band's first double (CD) concept album. Admirably, they came up with a suitably grandiose theme for the album, the story centring on a man who is the victim of a tortuous experiment. The man is initially subjected to prolonged captivity in isolation, then allowed out into the real world. The tale then takes us through his experiences as he tries to cope with an accelerated life of discovery. Needless to say, adverse and sinister forces are at work exacerbating the challenge.

If we wish to be cynical, we can spend time looking for precedents for such a tale. For me though the time is better spent accepting that such concepts are one of the facets which distinguishes prog. The only question to be answered is how good is the album?! Such a question is particularity valid when it comes to this sort of presentation, as the concept can sometimes overwhelm the project to the detriment of the music.

The album opens impressively with a symphonic "Overture" which blends orchestral sounds with pounding rhythms and anthemic tones. In the best traditions of such albums, the tracks are generally kept short (although the final track runs to some 20 minutes) being linked together to form a continuous piece.

The musical style of IQ lends itself well to this format, the highly melodic roots of each song being fully exploited as each piece is brought to fruition. While the album is undoubtedly best heard as a complete project, the majority of the individual tracks stand up well as isolated numbers in their own right. Tracks such as the title piece would have fitted in perfectly on any of the band's albums, the guest sax on this particular track offering an impressive additional dimension.

To single out tracks though is to pay a disservice both to the complete piece, and to those not mentioned. I could focus on the magnificence of "Capricorn" with its superb sax and guitar, or the majestic 9 minutes which is "Failsafe", or of course the epic finale. I say again though, while each track stands proud in its own right, this is an album to be heard as a complete entity.

The prog genre (in name at least) has been pulled this way and that in recent times. Many bands and fans of those bands have discovered that it is now trendy to be labelled as prog, and attempt to jump on the bandwagon. It is though to bands such as IQ that we have to look for the spirit of prog being carried forward towards and into the 21st century. This is an album of contemporary prog at its absolute finest.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#545612) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 08, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Subterranea is an album which has grown on me over time. At first, I'd have given it a four star rating on the basis of the individual songs, but the more I listen to it the more I think the whole experience is greater than the sum of its parts. Whereas Ever refreshed and renewed the sound of The Wake, Subterranea brings the IQ sound all the way up to date; much like Marillion's run of masterpieces from Brave to This Strange Engine, the album finds the band expanding the boundaries of their sound.

Despite the double-disc concept album format and the inclusion of a 20 minute finale in the form of The Narrow Margin, there's something conspicuously absent from Subterranea, and that's the band attempting to sounding progger-than-prog as other bands might be inclined to attempt on a piece such as this. Where a proggy touch would be beneficial - as on epics like The Narrow Margin - they go for it, where an approach drawing from other contemporary music genres would work better, they plump for that instead. (One of my favourite examples of the latter is the gorgeous Capricorn, a mellow rock number with an achingly beautiful sax solo.)

All this good stuff is combined with a genuinely interesting and novel plot for a concept album, updating the legend of Kasper Hauser for the X-Files generation, and whilst each individual song might not be a prog masterpiece, they're never less than compelling listening, and taken together the emotional arc the album tracks proves irresistible. I don't listen to it as often as Ever or The Wake, but that's mainly because I need to set aside more time to listen to the thing all the way through than for those two; of late, I've come to believe it's just as good as them.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#630084) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars IQ's "Subterranea" is a double concept album that is the band at their most ambitious.

Following up the "Ever" masterpiece is no mean feat so everything is upsized to a whopping running time of 103 minutes. The album boasts some of IQ's longest songs such as the 20 minute 'The Narrow Margin' to close the album off in style, and also has very short tracks edging towards 2 minutes, such as 'Provider' 'State of Mine' and 'Laid Low'. It is an odd album for IQ who are tackling a massive project here with 2 CDs of non stop prog at the end of the 90s (1997) but it is certainly full of some amazing musicianship and compositions. Peter Nicholl's vocals are always crystalline and easy on the ears, and he is joined by legends of IQ, Martin Orford on keyboards, and flute, Mike Holmes on guitars, John Jowitt on bass, and Paul Cook on drums. This is the class act that brought us "Ever" and earlier "The Wake" (though Tim Essau was the bassist on this album). It is not surprising that the album came out with a great deal of enthusiasm by the prog community but I have noticed that in the eyes of many the album failed to deliver, falling just short of a masterpiece, and in fact many were disappointed.

Perhaps more is less in this case and this album suffers the overblown excessive disease of "Tales From Topographic Oceans"-itis. The symptoms of the disease are excessive cryptic conceptual material and songs that are forgettable and get lost in their own overblown structures. This is a real journey and one needs to really put aside a great deal of time to indulge in it and perhaps be in the right frame of mind. It is certainly not an album that will appeal to all but nevertheless is still replete with incredible moments of beauty and amazing musicianship. The concept is hard to grasp but concerns an Secret Underground Lab where scientific experiments are conducted, and the people try to escape to the surface, and get incinerated in the process. One lone man who lives above decides, after a failed relationship, that the world he lives in is far worse and ventures into the underground, but ultimately finds he is the only one there and so is trapped, alienated and alone.

The album is certainly more bombastic than previous material beginning with majesty and pomp with 'Overture'. The clean voice of Nicholl's is heard on 'Provider', followed by the first great moment, 'Subterranea', with futuristic synth rhythms and a heavier guitar phrase on a rollicking beat. The bassline is one of the best from IQ, and I love the upbeat feeling on this. The lyrics are fascinating; "Cadillac, heart attack, back of this beyond, push a king, TV queen, accommodating blonde, a traitors gaze while you wait." The slowed synth interlude brings it to an ambience, before it returns to the cynical lyrics and melodies, "can I hold on, can I belong to all the things you are, there's no sane in, chaos reigns in subterranea." The sax at the end is a sheer delight and this track is a definitive highlight. 'Sleepless Incidental' follows seamlessly with calming vocals, and some great guitar phrases. The keyboard solo at the end is Orford at his best and it is augmented by soaring lead guitars. 'Failsafe' is a 9 minute track with some nice musicianship and then it bogs down with a lacklustre ballad in 'Speak My Name', that lulls me off to dreamland.

'Tunnel Vision wakes me again with the great heavy guitar riff, and more forceful vocals. I like the melodies on this and angular time sigs, leading to glorious guitar soling, with squeals and sustained string bends. The bass pulsates nicely and it culminates in a refreshing synth motif. 'Infernal Chorus' seamlessly follows and builds a strong marching percussion and guitar over synth layers. The sig shifts to accommodate a chugging riff before Nicholl's vocals return; "avoiding confrontation in this infernal chorus, who watches he who watches, no one above suspicion." The song has a magical synth melody that reminds me of Ultravox for a moment. The song stops for a pause and then launches into some killer keyboards, simply stunning work from Orford. The lyrics are surprisingly dark at this point; "I am your murdering angel of death, silently you will provide what I need, give me a focus give me a name, back to your maker and turn to his side, unresurrected and unrecognised." A decent track with some shining musicianship. It ends with a chilling effect like chains dragging and an alien wail. The album is getting into darker territory and we are soon getting conceptually deeper with 'King Of Fools'. The pulsing synth is effective along with rhythmic vocals and ominous key pads. It blends with a heartbeat into 'The Sense In Sanity', tinged with an intro of Oriental chimes that maintain a polyphonic rhythm and synths wash over. Nicholl's melancholy tones are distinct; "Ignited by the realising eyes, unwrapped around the solitary sound, a failing voice, collapsing on the unfamiliar ground, an empty heart am I the only one." The minimalism of a voice and synth works well to break away from the busier soundscape. It merges into 'State Of Mine', with a distorted guitar riff that fades up and louder synth phrases. The instrumental ends the first CD on a pleasant uplifting note.

CD 2 begins with a brief piano introduction on 'Laid Low', with a spacey lead guitar, and then 'Breathtaker' that clocks just over 6 minutes, comes in with more aggressive vocals; "beyond imagination, born of blood and fire, in splendid isolation, I have lived corrupted and inspiring, no longer god's Appolo, no more Mercury, down among the unbelievers," and then an expletive follows and surprised me as it is unlike IQ. This is a raw approach and perhaps as heavy as the band gets at this stage in their career. A tirade of keyboards follows and some thunder accompanies Nicholls next verse. At the end of the song the rain pours down in a stormcloud and the acoustic intro of 'Capricorn' shines through. The lyrics are heard "The night holds a multitude of uncovered sins", and then a wonderful saxophone sound lights up the dark. The music reminds me of Marillion here, and as always the guitars soar to the stratosphere.

The icy winds and distant sax prepare us for the Oriental flavours of 'The Other Side', a brief musical transition of acoustic chimes and bamboo flute. It is a river of dreamy and beautiful ambience, and segues to 'Unsolid Ground'. This track has a steady guitar riff and relaxing vocals, and builds to a stronger beat. It sounds more commercial and straight forward, but I like the lead break and electronic sequenced synths. The album at this stage is bogging down a bit and I needed something more complex and impressive.

'Somewhere In Time' answers my wishes with acoustic vibrations in the intro. The vocals are heartfelt; "on and on want to feel somehow, somewhere in time, you'll see it all the way, what I do now, gives into impulse, reaches in between, gets back a notion, still remembers a dream." The flute work here is really nice and has an Irish feel, and then a sequenced synth fades up turning everything to a futuristic style. Lead guitars blaze through the fog of synths and the beat is transformed to more uptempo. A cool riff locks in for a moment and there is a delightful bassline from Jowitt. The guitar riffs are excellent on this track and come and go until the great synth solo at the end. This is followed by 'High Waters', another piano ballad and it leads inevitably to the massive epic of the album.

'The Narrow Margin' is a 20 minute monster that I was hoping would be as good as other epics I have heard over the years. It begins with an odd percussion and pretty piano runs, and then vocals are heard; "divided by loyalty, surrounded by emotion, nobody under here remembers any mercy at all, we stay down, deciding the borderline, did no one tell you, I couldn't have made you mine, because I feel your pain more than my own." I have no idea what the concept is about but is sounds spiritually linked, perhaps a journey into darkness of subterranean levels of consciousness, and then escaping by a narrow margin. It doesn't really matter, but the music still manages to transfix even at the end despite some lulls in between. At 5:30 a gorgeous lead guitar sound is heard and then a bass heavy beat begins. The song is about to divert into a new feel, and the next verse is even more melancholy; "try to sleep, I will come but I'm still waiting for you, and wherever you are, I'm still inside you now." Nicholls's sings of unrequited love and not being able to hide from his true feelings. He sings, "I could never go back", and a heavier riff crunches in, a more metal approach and it is enhanced with an amazing lead guitar solo. This is a wonderful moment on the epic, and I love the angular riffs, leading to a staccato rhythm accentuated by fast piano runs. The lyrics focus on darker themes; "voices circulating around the musty hall, and the kerosene is ignited, incandescent in the crossfire, do my eyes betray the longest night of all." An explosion is heard breaking the rhythm and an ethereal atmosphere takes over at 12 minutes, quite disturbing after all the upbeat music. A new fast and fragmented riff fades up and is followed by bright keyboard soloing. The band are off and running here and at their best. The lengthy instrumental section is powerful and enthusiastically executed. It runs out of steam at the end but nevertheless it is nice to hear such an ambitious lengthy track at the end of the 90s era.

It was quite an expedition, a lengthy voyage into the world of IQ, but at the end there is enough here to warrant high praise. It is not a masterpiece, due to some lulls in the excitement, but overall there are some wonderful shining moments on "Subtrerranea". It suffers from prog excess but if you give it time the melodies will impress and the musicianship is nothing short of excellent throughout. I prefer "Ever" and "Frequency" where the 1 CD is packed with non-stop brilliance, whereas this 2 CD album does not maintain a consistent quality with a few songs that may have been best left off. However, there is no denying that the band went for the concept album hammer and tongs, and the result is a wondrous journey into Neo prog territory.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#794993) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012

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

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

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

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

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#927592) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There is a reason sometimes when a wallow in sheer nostalgia is something more than wallowing in glory days of yore. There are certain times when you listen to a certain slab of music, and remember just how damned good it was. No, change that. Just how damned good it IS!

I had not listened to this wonderful concept album in a fair while until this evening, when, looking forward to the latest IQ opus I have pre-ordered, I thought, let's go back. Let's remind myself of just why I am taking a punt on music I have not even heard yet, and won't receive until at least two months after shelling out hard earned money.

This album, perhaps more than most, is why. I loved IQ from the very beginning, and followed them alongside the other exponents of the new wave of British prog. This one, released in 1997, demonstrated to me that IQ, perhaps better than any other "neo" act, were capable of staying true to their roots and influences, but also taking them forward with the lush, almost orchestral, modern digital era sound. For this is an album not rooted in 1974, but the late nineties.

It is a "deep" concept, for sure, and certainly one that many classic original prog bands would have been proud of. The story revolves around a man tortured and imprisoned in solitary confinement experimentation, who is released into the wider world with unpleasant consequences and, tortured internally, returns to his lone self and world.

Just how, then, such a tome can give rise to such a brilliantly uplifting track such as Speak My Name is a bit of a mystery, and, in reality, speaks genius. The title track, following a Who-esque Overture, sets the scene perfectly for what follows, a perfect blend of symphonic musical story telling and precise, clinical, but also heartwarming in places, and never anything less than captivating vocally and musically. It also contains a marvellous guest sax piece - note to naysayers.....Genesis never had this!

Peter Nicholls is absolutely at the top of his game, more so than on Ever in my opinion, his voice gorgeously fragile in its strength (yes, much like Gabriel in that manner), but the real star and driving force behind all that is so Progressive on this album is Martin Orford, whose soundscapes dominate and provide such a lush musical storyline in themselves. Just listen to his burst on State of Mine especially, which lead a gloriously heavy symphonic passage of music, which, itself, leads to a beautiful , expansive, duo on piano and electric guitar with Mike Holmes on Laid Low. When these segue into the dark and hard Breathtaker, you realise that this album is rather more than a carbon copy of days gone by, but something utterly unique and new.

The end epic, The Narrow Margin, clocking in at 20 minutes brings proceedings to a suitably grandiose end. In fact, it would not be until the ridiculously brilliant Harvest of Souls that the band would outdo themselves in how to bring expansive, epic, loud, and proud prog rock to life in such a warm way. This is a track of a band at the top of their game, a collective bringing complex fantasy to expansive life.

In a couple of months time, I, and other collaborators on this site who have followed IQ for over 30 years now, will, no doubt, wax lyrical about the maturity of the new album. There will be more than a few reading those reviews who were either babes in arms, or, God forbid, not even born, when Subterranea was released. You will, no doubt, wonder just what all the fuss is about in the 21st century.

This album is what the fuss is all about. This album is more than just a paeon to 1970's glory, it is the sound of a band who produced a work of such beauty and wondrous sounds in 1997 that made many of us just know that, seventeen years later, we would still be listening to classy progressive rock, because such gorgeous sounds and thoughts simply could never die. To summarise, you are still listening to prog because of albums such as this.

Five stars. Essential. Wondrous. Beautiful. Grandiose. Nicholls, Orford, Holmes, Jowitt, and Cook. IQ. No further explanation is necessary.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#1155592) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 29, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars There are many elements we can highlight in every IQ album, an excellent production, very good neo progressive compositions, excellent bass sound, good keyboard landscapes, wonderful guitar arrangements and a very particular way of singing by Peter Nicholls. Subterranea is a fantastic double a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1031280) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Monday, September 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a great double album, artwork. I saw this band in Buenos Aires presenting Subterranea in 1998 and the perfomance was as good as one might expect. I donīt understand some people consider second disc lower than first. Second disc is little less intense, but close with a epic gem like Narrow Margi ... (read more)

Report this review (#916101) | Posted by sinslice | Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars (9/10) Wow. Just wow. From the first song ("Overture") it is very clear that this will be an album of grand ambition. "Subterranea" is a gargantuan concept album, weighing in at over 100 minutes. There are many highlights in this album. I want to keep this review a reasonable length, so I will tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#853642) | Posted by ScorchedFirth | Friday, November 09, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Aenigma Sui Temporis" Inspired by the mysterious and fascinating figure of Kaspar Hauser, "Subterranea" is undoubtedly a good quality album; in fact, the value of the songs, taken individually, are almost all excellent. However, among all the IQ albums after the comeback of Peter Nicholls, ... (read more)

Report this review (#711514) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Friday, April 06, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Subterranea is a good, prog rock album. Atmospheric, nicely executed, with some excellent compositions and very strong moments. Its main weakness is that IQ tried to do too much and the second CD was almost unnecessary, becoming almost repetitive. The epic Narrow Margin, running for 20 minutes ... (read more)

Report this review (#614679) | Posted by SentimentalMercenary | Saturday, January 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Let's talk about IQ's Subterranea. While most people seem cite 1985's The Wake, 1993's Ever, or even one of the band's more recent efforts as their favourite IQ album, and although those albums are both amazing, this 1997 concept album always struck the right chord with me. Subterranea holds ... (read more)

Report this review (#563483) | Posted by FunkyM | Sunday, November 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've never cared for Tommy, or The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, or The Wall, or Operation: Mindcrime, or Scenes from a Memory. But this one...it sticks with me, for whatever reason. It's not even the type of music I really enjoy - and yet. I can only therefore reckon that IQ's Subterranea is ... (read more)

Report this review (#468675) | Posted by 1791 Overture | Friday, June 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I find IQ's "Subterranea" exciting, but yet a little boring at the same time. I just cant help comparing it to Genesis' "Lamb lies down on Brodway" It's cut in the same vein, double disc, one main caracter that we follow through the whole record. It is flawed in the same vein too. The album i ... (read more)

Report this review (#457976) | Posted by Moonstone | Tuesday, June 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I initially dismissed IQ as a band I just did not care for. In fact, I dismissed neo-prog as a genre for quite some time as I was getting into progressive rock. But, I bought the album "Dark Matter" on a whim after hearing some good reviews and found it to be really excellent. It caused me to delv ... (read more)

Report this review (#379991) | Posted by natewait | Friday, January 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A definite must-have for any neo-prog lover (or to anyone wishing to discover neo-prog). I took quiet a time prior publishing my review on the IQ Subterranea album. As you can imagine, given my nickname, I have a special admiration for this masterpiece double-album. Indeed, I consider that t ... (read more)

Report this review (#216218) | Posted by Subterranean | Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the year or so since I joined this site, I have found a few great bands, some mediocre ones and some truly awful ones. But none of the great bands I have discovered comes near IQ. I bought their entire catalogue; having heard many of the tracks on you tube, I wanted to see how this album works ... (read more)

Report this review (#186896) | Posted by Hercules | Saturday, October 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Here we have Subterranea, a very long work with some very good songs, and some not so good songs. For those of you interested in the Neo-Prog scene as it plays out in the 90's, with its super-charged emotional power, grand themes, and symphonic crescendos, this album is for you. However, if you ... (read more)

Report this review (#170755) | Posted by kabright | Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album has blown me away, even after only 5+ listens. This is quite rare for concept albums, as I don't all ways find them too easy to digest. The instrumentation is incredible for the most part, much of it fairly ambient (remining me, in a good way, of Tales from Topographic Oceans, and p ... (read more)

Report this review (#126161) | Posted by Brutha2 | Sunday, June 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A Great album, left me inspired and transfixed on the masterful skills of this great neo prog band. First CD I've heard from them and it's only inspired me to listen to more. A CD I listen to often and find the music powerful and well placed. The movements in this modern 90's sounding album is ... (read more)

Report this review (#124577) | Posted by Xeroth | Sunday, June 03, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My only contact with this band was with the "Nonzamo" record and I was invited to not care for them anymore. Bad record. But now someone put in my hands this double CD and much to my surprise I have to recognize this guys really rock. To tell you the truth you are recognizing here and there some ... (read more)

Report this review (#119521) | Posted by steelyhead | Monday, April 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 2.75 stars really. I've been reviewing IQ's albums in reverse, and am probably going to sound like I am repeating myself with this reivew.........much like the music of IQ. Which is not to say that it is bad or that I don't like it to some extent. For the most part, I don't reveiw albums tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#95965) | Posted by | Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars IQ is a fairly new band to me- and this was my first experience with them. After hearing the tune "The Narrow Margin" I HAD to perchase the album. At 20 minutes- the song flies by like a 10 minute song. It truely is an amzing track and worth the album alone in my opinion. That specific track p ... (read more)

Report this review (#95862) | Posted by Drew | Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great album, a near-masterpiece. I came close to giving it 5 stars, but a couple of things brought the score down. One is that, this band clearly owes a lot to classic Genesis. That actually isn't bad by itself, but the singer unfortunately isn't as interesting and dynamic as Gabriel. D ... (read more)

Report this review (#94350) | Posted by enteredwinter | Thursday, October 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was the album recommended as an introduction to IQ all those years ago... I was not disappointed. Excellent in every degree. And it's a double album!!! Heaven - well nearly. If anyone needs an introduction to IQ then as was done to me I repeat to any other intereated party. SUBTERRANE ... (read more)

Report this review (#91785) | Posted by huge | Sunday, September 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I dont think Neo Prog is the most original form of progressive music and the fact that it is so stripped down dosnt help either.This said IQ along with Marillion have made great music.This IQ disk is very emotional and tasty.I love the sax parts I wish there was more.The concept is very good a ... (read more)

Report this review (#59376) | Posted by James Hill | Wednesday, December 07, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of IQ "Subterranea"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.80 seconds