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THE SEVENTH HOUSE

IQ

Neo-Prog


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IQ The Seventh House  album cover
4.04 | 449 ratings | 50 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wrong Side Of Weird (12:24)
2. Erosion (5:43)
3. The Seventh House (14:23)
4. Zero Hour (6:57)
5. Shooting Angels (7:24)
6. Guiding Light (9:58)

Total Time: 56:49

Lyrics

Search IQ The Seventh House lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search IQ The Seventh House tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Nicholls / lead and back vocals
- Martin Orford / keyboards, back vocals
- Mike Holmes / guitars, guitar synth, keyboards
- John Jowitt / basses, bass pedals, back vocals
- Paul Cook / drums and percussion

Guest musician:
- Tony Wright / saxophone (4, 5)

Releases information

CD Giant Electric Pea GEPCD1028

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

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IQ The Seventh House ratings distribution


4.04
(449 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

IQ The Seventh House reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The best album of IQ's second era. The sound is much better and more aggressive than their earlier efforts. Peter Nicholl's voice is very dramatic and very close to Gabriel's one. Track 6 is a neo prog tour de force, beginning very gently and leaning in the middle section towards metal prog. One of the best of all neo prog bands and the one that remains true to progressive aesthetics.

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Send comments to lucas (BETA) | Report this review (#3812) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 01, 2003

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After writing "Subterranea" I think IQ had their work cut out for themselves, but they did it again kids! "The Seventh House" musically picks off of both "Ever" and "Subterranea" masterpieces adding some nice new twists. "The Seventh House" is 6 new long songs emphasizing the creative and memorable lyrics of Peter Nicholls put to the best music you could ever imagine. As with all IQ releases musicanship is simply breathtaking with Jowitt's bass lines, Orford's delicate and intelligent keyboard playing, Holmes' excellent guitar runs and accents and Cook's highly expressive percussive talents. What has attracted me to IQ over the years is thier ability to write and execute such compelling music with out ever sounding worn or borrowed. Lead singer Peter Nicholls adds his solid voice in the mix and sounds just simple incredible. This album has not left my CD player since it arrived in my mailbox.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#3819) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well this album deserves actually a 3 stars rating maximum,being inferior for instance than their best one of the nineties,entitled "Ever", even though it brings the elements of the early period into the epic modern apparatus of the dark concept, concerning "Subterranea".

A special mention for the last mini-suite "Guiding Light", whose second instrumental section is almost equal to the famous second part in 7/8 time signature of "Cinema Show" by GENESIS, which characterized a Golden Era!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#3827) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 02, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album has been released after the marvelous "Subterranea". Again, IQ still make a progressive masterpiece, full of interesting and impressive parts. Out of 6 tracks, 5 are outstanding and the other one, "Erosion", is excellent. After some careful listenings, one can establish the main differences with the other similar albums "Ever" and "Subterranea": The rhythmic clean guitar is omnipresent here and it definitely more sounds like the one on the JADIS albums. So, "This record is a clone of JADIS", will you say? Absolutely not! First of all, John Jowitt still plays a complex bass, much more than his accompanying contribution on the JADIS albums. Then, Orford's keyboards are still more complex and less accompanying than on the Jadis' "More Than Meets the Eye" album. Finally, let's say that Holmes' numerous melodic & emotional solos are like on the other previous albums: they have less the "guitar hero" style than Gary Chandler (JADIS): However, Holmes plays, like on "Subterranea", a solid hard rock rhythmic guitar, and this may make you slightly think about JADIS. Speaking of Orford's keyboards, I usually find them less subtle and elaborated here than on "Ever", and even than on "Subterranea": he uses more floating textures in the background, although there are some more elaborated solos and parts, like on the epics "Wrong Side of Weird" and "Guiding Light". He still uses some good organ & piano parts. His sublime intro on "Shooting Angels" is like the tenderness of a woman's touch. There are still some sentimental saxophone parts, like on "Shooting Angels" and "Zero Hour". The musicians are very intelligent and very emotional; they apply those 2 aspects in their songs: the result is a sentimental complex album that makes you dream awaken!

IQ is a band that has always progressed, and it seems they are now at their best!

EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#3815) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2004

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After getting all the previously unreleased stuff out of the way IQ return to making brand new original prog.It's great for the most part with hardly a weak track anywhere to be found.That said I can't quite give it a 5 star rating.Maybe too much familiarity or sameness perhaps?! However if this is the first IQ album you buy you will not be dissapointed that's for sure.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#3822) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've said it before and I'll repeat it once more: when it comes down to the crunch, music is all about feeling. When all is said and done, the aim of all musicians is one and the same: to move the listener. And IQ is one of those gifted bands that have mastered the art of moving your innards like no one else.

"The Seventh House" is altogether freaky, genial and dangerously seductive. It is full of slippery chords, time changes and musical passages that choke you with emotion at every turn. The opener "The Wrong Side of Weird" is an explosive tune that spells "Ever" all over again (the intro alone will blow you away). "Erosion" is a hauntingly beautiful piece with a scorching bluesy part, about three quarters into the track. The 12-minute epic "Seventh House" is a little slow to kick off but develops wonderfully as it progresses. With tracks such as "Zero Hour", you have to admit the bass player knows a trick or two - notice the part where NICHOLLS sings 'Zero hour, times are changing, Count the seconds one by one' - wow, I get all worked up just thinking about this passage). "Shooting Angels" leaves me a bit cold but the closing track, "Guiding Light" (my personal favourite), embodies just about everything I like about IQ: rough yet melodious passages, extremely moving musical themes and PETER NICHOLLS vocals at their best. Had it not been for the weaker "Shooting Angels", I would readily have given this album 5 stars.

(I've just re-read this review before posting it and can only imagine what a field day a freudian psychologist would have... But hey, we progsters know what we like. And if bands like IQ can deliver the goods so exquisitely, more power to them!)

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#3825) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars IQ is a neo progressive rock band that is very consistent with the kind of music they play. Musically, there has not been major leap that's taken by the band to expand their music horizon. They do however, consistently create wonderful compositions in the same kind of music in the boundary of neo progressive rock. This album is by no exception, still maintain the same sort of music. I consider this album is a masterpiece with following rationales: First, it has a great songwriting whereby the music composition has a strong structural integrity within specified track or among tracks. Listening to this album is like hearing a story, regardless that it's a concept album or not. You don't even need to know about it at all. Second, IQ is still one of the best rock groups that is capable of creating and delivering tasty, touchy and memorable melodies in most of its musical segments. Take an example of fist track "The Wrong Side of Weird" - you will find so many tasty melodies, especially during transitions, using soft guitar riffs or keyboard. Third, with a passage of time, the music of IQ has become mature compared to previous albums. The first token of this happened when they launched "EVER". I would say after EVER was launched, IQ music has constantly be better by the passage of time.

Are you ready to surf with their beautifully crafted music? Buy the CD now! You won't regret, guaranteed! If you like early MARILLION, PALLAS, ARENA, PENDRAGON, you would definitely like this album!

Yeah, let me start with a melodious "The Wrong Side of Weird" opening track. This track is rich with melodies and beautiful segments. The guitar fills are typical of IQ and it is effectively used during transition from one melody to another or during a changing tempo. It's not an upbeat track but it has changing tempo with smooth transitions. It does happen also to the second track "Erosion" that has a mellow and melodic opening. When the music enters to its body, it reminds me to IQ early album "The Wake" music style. I think it reminiscent "Headlong" or "Widow's Peak" of that album. Sort of.

The third track "The Seventh House" is opened with a simple guitar fills and some piano touch with a tiny voice of Nichols (many people complaint about the voice quality of Nichols that does not fit with IQ music. I don't care! I think his voice is perfect for IQ!). The intro of this track is very melodic and stunning and stimulates me to sing at the same time listening to this track. The music is wonderful when all instruments are played together with a basic rhythm of guitar work. Well, honestly, I like the guitar playing style of Mike Holmes: not so complicated but it's very nice! There is a changing tempo to a more uplifting one around the middle of the track indicated by drumming sound. Rhythm wise, there is some "foxtrot" like music. The rest of the track is en encore part with heavy keyboard sound at background and high tone voice of Nichols, followed by lead guitar work until it fades away.

"Zero Hour" has an intro part that reminds me to Genesis "Turn it On Again". Luckily, it's not the same and even the track is a mellow one. As in Subterranea album, this track has a solo saxophone at its interlude. "Shooting Angel" is rather a spacey kind of music at its intro, combining the soft guitar fills (Floydian?) and keyboard sound. It moves to an upbeat music when it enters the body. When it enters the interlude, this band tries to create something different when there is an atmospheric piece before it continues to lead guitar solo.

"The Guiding Light" is very melodious and uplifting. It has a touchy intro with vocal line and piano at the beginning. The intro part reminds me to "Speak My Name" of Subterranea album even though the melody is different. It also, for some reason, reminds me to Dream Theater's "Space Dye Vest" of "Awake" album. You may disagree with me, but that's what I feel. Don't get me wrong though, all of these three tracks have totally different structures. The music of "The Guiding Light" slowly enters to a more upbeat tempo with stunning lead guitar solo. Thanks God, it's relatively long lead guitar act - followed by soft keyboard before the vocal is back.

It's an ESSENTIAL album. IQ is not a psychedelic band, however, its music can create an atmosphere that elevates you to the "other world". Melodic and uplifting! MARILLION post Fish era should have learned a lot from IQ. Rating for "The Seventh House" album is 5/5. GW, Indonesia

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#3841) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Review by chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Although IQ have been around for 20 years, they are one of the bands I didn't really know much about. On discovering the prog archives site, earlier this year, I began to take more of an interest in different bands. On seeing The Seventh House in a record shop, I took the chance, not having heard any of it, and purchased it. It was an excellent investment I have to say! Comparisons with Genesis have been made, but I find any links tenuous in the extreme. Occasionally a touch of guitar or vocal may invoke similarities, but in general IQ are their own band. This album is superb. Starting off with The Wrong Side Of Weird, I found this track an wonderful opener. From the intro of swirling keyboards, the bass and drums kick in and we are away. Peter Nicholls does and excellent job in the singing department, and the whole song is high class prog. I love the time changes which seem to flow seamlessy through this song. Next up is Erosion, a shorter piece but quite menacing. This is the one track where the Gabriel comparisons have a slight ring of truth to them. Certain notes Nicholls sings are very reminiscent of the ex Genesis singer. A good track. Following this is the best track on the album, in my opinion. The title track is is a wonderful affair, and prog at its best. The quiet passages are very atmospheric, and the whole, once again, flows nicely. Mike Holmes plays some nice touches here on guitar, and Martin Orford is tremendous on keyboards. Definitely a track from the Genesis school, although it doesn't really sound like them. Listen and see what I mean! Next comes Zero Hour, a shorter ballad which is not so much prog as easy listening, but superior easy listening. There is a superb line in the chorus - Found a girl whose laughter turned me round to face a brighter sun - which I still find spine tingling in its beauty. As a poet myself, I can appreciate the poetical touch here. Brilliant. The last two tracks are, for me, the weakest, comparatively. Shooting Angels is nice enough, but not outstanding. Nothing much happens here, no keyboard or guitar solo, just a solid tune that is pleasant to listen to. And finally, Guiding Light starts out as, again, easy listening, but cleverly, near the end, reprises a small part of the opening track to bring the cd full circle. The album is keyboard dominated, but the guitar, though selective, is of a high quality. Recommended for all fans, and for those who wish to get into this band. They remind me of a jack of all trades, not outstanding in any particular area, but consistently good throughout. Try it!

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#3846) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 02, 2004

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Is it NeoProg at all?I think?that's true Prog (classical prog as Genesis played).Track 3 is definitely the best on this CD and maybe the best epic of 2000.As you know ,every epic begins very complex ,but becoming much more simple closer to the end (and The Legendary Ballad-Like Coda).IMHO,you might not agree with me."The Seventh House" is made in absolutely other way - ti is ballad-like in the beginning and very structured closer to coda.Also the whole record is greatly melodic.I've heard Dark Matter (which is greater than this one only in some aspects) first,and thought,that IQ is inable to create such masterpiece once again (I mean,before...oh my Prog,I'm dazed and confused:-) ).I was wrong."The Wrong Side..." is very unusual for NeoProg ,'coz it has Crimso-like melodic parts (IMHO) and sounds too fresh comparing with other Neobands,which still try to create new SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR."Guiding Light",a classical SymfProg epic (a song/an instr/a conclusion) is next big thing in nowadays Prog.I see this CD is a statement to those who consider NeoProg not to be Prog at all.I'd like to add,that tracks 4 & 5 is a great experiment for IQ,but they sound astonishing."Erosion" is a marvellous song,excellent Prog-song,it can be a single - if IQ wanted to play in "show-business".I highly recommend this record for those,who still think that Neo isn't Prog at all.Make sure that's wrong

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Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005

Review by Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IQ are on a par with Fish's Marillion IMO. They jointly wear the neo prog crown. The Seventh House is yet another creative triumph from this accomplished band. 'Ever' and 'Subteranea' and 'Dark Matter' are all excellent albums, but what stands out on this album, for me is the strength of the melodies, and the atmosphere created by Nicholl's lyrics and distinctive vocal style. The usual comparisons with Peter Gabriel can be made, but as with Fish, I believe both singers carry a unique style, and are unmistakable in their own right. The album carries us through a series of wonderful and memorable guitar riffs, and brilliant use of light and shade in the music, to create incredible atmosphere. As with all good prog rock, the album oozes melancholy, but delivers it with a positive energy, allowing the dark themes within the music to still be accessable, and dare I say it...catchy! The best tracks to my mind are 'Erosion' 'The Seventh House' 'Zero Hour' and 'Guiding Light' The only slightly unwelcome ingredient is the use of sax. I've nothing against sax in prog, but not played in a pop/soul style as it seems to be here. This very minor flaw (IMO) is more than compensated for. IQ entered the 21st century on a very positive note with this album. They were on a roll after it's predecessors, and I believe this was their finest hour.

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Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005

Review by Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IQ - The seventh House

To be really honest, I am not a fan of neo prog music. I respect anyone who does, but it just most of the time doesn't work for me.

Even IQ, when I first heard their music, this was an airing of The last Human Gateway on Dutch Arrow Rock radio, I was everything BUT impressed by their music, especially the vocals were rubbish if you'd ask me.

Then about 2 years later someone played the brilliant Guiding Light song to me and I absolutely adored it. When I heard it was IQ I could not believe what I just heard, 'cause when I compared it to Last Human Gateway it was so far superior.

Still, I bought The Seventh House and began listening to it, over and over and over again. I absolutely loved it. What I loved most about it is that the instrumentation on this album is not overly complex, but service the purpose of the songs. The overall tone of the songs is mellow and friendly, but it sometimes is darker and heavier. The whole album is a trip to listen to, at least for me.

The first tones of the opening track The wrong Side of Weird automatically set the perfect mood for the whole album. What comes to mind when thinking about it is that the most prominent instrument on this album are the various keyboards, but not in a annoying way, it is most of the time played in an atmospheric way and there are some well-played duels with the guitar.

Peter Nicholls vocals have improved over the years I must say. He surely is not the best vocalist I've come around, but his voice somehow perfect blends in with the music.

The guitar solo at the end of Zero Hour is also very amazing and shows the listener that Mike Holmes is a very skilled musician. I somehow see a link between his playing and that of ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Both have served their bands more or less as instrumentalists that tend to blend in to the composition, but when they have their solo spot, you are struck with awe because of the level of musicianship!

My favourite tracks of this album are the final two songs. Shooting Angels always had a special spot for me, it is the most heavy song on the album and features very nice keyboards and also an amazing saxophone solo!

As said somewhere near the beginning of this review I bought this album after hearing the song Guiding Light. This song starts of with an acoustic piano- vocals only parts (and some acoustic guitar later on) with Peter Nicholls vocals at their best! After about three and a half minutes the other band members kick in with amazing instrumentation and Mike Holmes again shines during the whole of this song and his guitar solo at the end of the song always gives me goose bumps. The small synthesizer solo around the six minutes mark is also very cool. After about four minutes of instrumental mania we get Peter Nicholls again with his beautiful voice singing wonderful lyrics and I love the end of this section where his voice is taken over by the guitar solo. The song ends the same way as it starts with the piano-vocals section and this is a perfect way to round of an already brilliant album.

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Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars IQ's first album in the new millennium is a great transition album from the concept album Subterranea and to a more traditional sound from the band. That's the one problem with this band, is that there really is no diversity in the sound. Not that that is a major problem, it just can get bothersome at times. What you'll find here is intricate and technical instrumental passages coupled with strong and sensibly written vocal sections (essentially what I wrote in my last review for Ever). You'll find great musicianship from all members of the group, and you'll find smart and well crafted lyrics from Peter Nichols. In the end, though, this album leaves me a bit cold as they don't really have any real invention on this album, it sounds pretty much like a copy of Ever (the album released before Subterranea.

The Wrong Side of Weird begins with some very spacey synthesizer samples. This adds some diversity to their sound, for the most part. The main riff is nice, but I feel like I've heard it before. Now there isn't really anything wrong with this 12 minute epic, it's just that this album sounds a lot like the ones that preceded it. A cool heavy riff comes around the 7 minute mark, and it shows that IQ aren't all about synthy space atmospheres, but almost metal like sections, as well. Erosion is a keyboard driven song, Orford creating anxious synth textures and Nichols giving an emotional vocal performance. Add a nice Mike Holmes guitar solo and you have yourself the song at hand. The Seventh House is the longest song on this album, running at a total of 14:26. It begins with a nice 12 string guitar theme from Mike Holmes and some hammering piano chords from Orford. Around the 3rd minute, a guitar driven riff comes in that is similar to many past riffs IQ has written. In the end, the first half of the album is a mixture of mainly old IQ with some newer ideas that come full circle in Dark Matter.

The second half of the album begins with Zero Hour. The intro bass and drum duet is countered with a nice piano chord progression. The lead guitar theme here is quite dynamic and really makes good use of the frets. A spacey middle section complete with mixed percussion shows more attempts at diversity from the band, but it's not enough to really make it sound all that different. Another dynamic guitar solo fills out the rest of the song. Shooting Angels begins with some atmospheric sound effects and a spacey guitar solo reminiscent of Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and soon another guitar based riff is played. The unison between the bass and guitar is well played. The lyrics on this song are well written and I really enjoy Nichols vocals on this song. A rather clichéd saxophone is featured on this track, often given a bit of a forced performances during the instrumental sections. Guiding Light ends the album with a 10 minute piece that goes through a wide array of emotions. From quiet piano based sections to a rocking outro, this song ends the album well. It seems that IQ really know how to end an album, as all of their albums end very well.

In the end, this isn't a bad album at all, but it is essentially a rehash of old ideas and old sounds from the group. New sounds could be heard in some of the songs, but there are not enough to really show that the band has evolved over time. Luckily, Dark Matter was a step in the right direction and the group improved in almost every aspect on this album. But I'm not talking about Dark Matter, I'm talking about the Seventh House, a good album, but by no means IQ's best. 3.5/5.

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Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Review by evenless
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IQ - The Seventh House

I discovered IQ by their brilliant last album "Dark Matter" and worked my way back through their catalogue from there on, "Subterannea" being my second introduction to the band and "The Seventh House" being my third.

"The Seventh House" is not a bad IQ album at all; it is probably even a very good album. However, I personally think that "Subterranea" and "Dark Matter" are better. Therefore I would recommend any "newcomers" to IQ to kick off with one of the last two albums I mentioned.

Anyone who liked "Marillion" or "Genesis" in the Peter Gabriel - era, should give IQ a chance, because it certainly is a great band and their fine lyrics, great instrumentation and harmonic compositions really stand out. I think calling IQ a "Marillion" clone would do the band far too less. IQ is IQ and as they were probably influenced by Genesis (PG-era) just like Marillion was influenced by them. However, presently other bands are being influenced by IQ! (E.g. the Brazilian band "Haddad" and the Chilean band "Subterra".

I have some trouble rating this alum because I would give "Subterannea" and "Dark Matter" four stars. Nevertheless I think a three star rating would do this album too less, so a four star rating is better in its place once again.

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Posted Monday, September 25, 2006

Review by Modrigue
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Better than Subterranea, The Seventh House offers a few of the most accomplished works from IQ, but unfortunately also less attractive tunes.

The Wrong Side of Weird opens the fisc with a strange synthetizer ambiance followed by an energic guitar which puts you directly in IQ's own world. Then the melody lifts off to the sky, the vocals keeps perfectly up, giving the impression to the listener to fly... The piano calms down the tune, to let synthetizers and guitars setting the place for a very dark ambiance. Great solos. This piece is top-notch IQ ! Erosion features also good musical themes with a mystical somber atmosphere. But then the rest of the disc goes down... the title track is irregular, and Zero Hour and Shooting are either lazy or cheesy. Guiding Light has its moments, but they are too rare.

As a non neo-prog fan, I give this album 2.5 stars, for The Wrong Side of Weird and Erosion, which are essential modern IQ pieces. But the rest of the album does not bring something new...

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Martin Orford is such a talented keyboardist and he's all over this one. I don't know if i've ever seen a picture of him not smiling. You can tell he's genuinely a nice guy. Well as far as the music goes "Seventh House" is right up there as one of the best from the Neo-Prog genre.

"The Wrong Side Of Weird" opens with some lush synth work from Orford as the main melody starts a minute in. There is such a beautiful section 6 minutes in where the vocals are soft and accompanied by piano. Synths come in before it all gives away to a bombastic soundscape of guitar and drums eventually becoming quite uplifting. This is a fantastic tune. "Erosion" opens with synths and fragile vocals. The sound increases as the drums come in followed at 4 minutes by an incredible guitar solo that is scorching at times.The song fades out quietly.

"The Seventh House" is probably the best song on the record. The guitar melody with synths and vocals are good for 3 minutes until it gets heavier and it's even better. The vocals are great in this one.This is an epic song at over 14 minutes. "Zero Hour" is a pretty good song. Acoustic guitar, piano and sax help create a pastoral vibe. Nice guitar solo 5 minutes in as the song ends on an uplifting note. "Shooting Angels" has some interesting lyrics.This is a cool song and one of my favourites from this album. It's almost industrial sounding early on as the drums pound away. A good beat throughout as well as some sax and guitar. "Guiding Light" is an emotional ballad. "But we passed each other like seasons out of time". Nice. It gets surprisingly heavy 3 1/2 minutes in with guitars, drums, organ, and well everything playing a part actually. Well done !

This is a winner folks ! I'd rate the one before it and after it higher but this is highly recommended.

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Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Little by little, I'm getting close to have reviewed IQ's entire catalogue. The band has produced some good records throuhout their career but not really unforgetable ones. My preferred one so far was their debut album "Tales From The Lush Attic". Probably because it was the start of a very similar production (except the Menel period).

IQ has been repeating the same type of music throughout the years. On the one hand, they must be credited to have defended the prog flag during these difficult times for the genre (as Pendragon did as well), but on the other they sound a bit too repetitive.

The band is too much dependant on Martin's invading (but greAt) keys and Peter's necessity to provide extremely dense lyrics, leaving very little place to Mike for soloing. Although not bad an album, their previous effort "Subterranea" couldn't really transport me into a deep and enjoyable musical trip. With "Seventh House", I was again charmed by these sounds which brought me back to the origin of the band (thus, the Genesis style, Gabriel era).

The opening number is one of the best song of this album. Great keys of course, convincing vocals and a very interesting backing from the rhythmic section (both bass and drums). As far as the lead vocal is concerned, there is no surprise. Peter sounds as expressive as before and the filiation goes on (I guess you all know of whom I am talking about).

We get a typical IQ song with "Erosion". This song could have appeared on almost any IQ album. And the problem gets back : IQ songs are interchangeable. No real evolution in their music. Too many songs sound alike (although I like most of them). They just lack in the ability of being diverse, but I guess that this is the difference between a master and its pupil. The master gives direction, while the pupil follows them. Again, there is no need to name the master; everyone knows them.

Anyway, the title track is another very pleasant IQ moment. Emotional and tortured vocals, as Peter (the other one) has provided a lot. Very simple struture to start with : aerial keys, some nice acoustic guitar and some complaining vocals. It gets a bit more complex and harder (to heavy). Some good instrumental section with lots of off-beats and finally a bit of guitar. But why does IQ need again to copy the Watcher Of The Skies riff ?

Later in the track, you'll be reverted in 73 and the "Selling" atmosphere with the very nice keys passage almost coming out "Cinema Show". A nice bombastic finale for this very good IQ epic. One of their top ten track, I would say. A four star song, in my standards.

"Zero Hour" is a bit too melowish. A bit uninspired even if a nice sax break adds a special flavour to it. But the song lacks a bit in musical direction. Sounds as a collage of diefferent sections to me. Again, a good guitar break to close. An OK song at the end of the day.

"Shooting Angels" takes a bit of time to start (about two minutes). Good sax playing and dynamic rhythm at times combined with spacey sections. Not too bad a mix. The last song "Guiding Light" is also a very good song (my second fave; almost on par with the title track). As emotional and well balanced, it offers some beautiful moments. Again, a straight-forward structure with a drumless and very aerial (long) intro preceding a mighty and strong musical break (guitar again, very much Hackett oriented, would you believe). Heavy keys and drums also come into action a little later for an extremely powerful section. Another four star track, really.

I will rate this album with three stars (although seven out of ten would be more appropriate). It is a good album, superior to "Subterranea" in my opinion although I rate them similarly. Mike Holmes has a more important role than usual and I really like that. Mike is an amazing guy on stage (this guy likes beers, believe me). Always smiling, being very human and simple. He really is a very pleasant person, talking with fans after the show etc. I'm glad to see them for the third time next November. What a pity that he is not more on the front line (although things have been improving on this album).

IQ keeps the good pace with this very pleasant album.

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Posted Sunday, July 29, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Neo progressive rock might be the perfect antidote to those who have never gotten over the expressive warmth of early Genesis and related bands from the 70s, as well as a worthwhile diversion for the younger prog fans who like modern production, an emphasis on intricate melodies, and an occasional metallic edge. The British representatives of the genre, IQ being among the foremost, would be in the best position to fulfill the needs of these disparate audiences while satisfying their own creative urges, since most of their influences were fellow Brits. I myself am on a mission to discover the best British neo prog, and either I haven't found it yet, or I have and the quest wasn't worth it.

IQ's Seventh House is a crisp sounding collection of overly verbose artificially elongated songs with little genuine emotion lyrically or otherwise and even fewer memorable melodies. Sequences range from quasi-metallic to near-acoustic reveries, rarely well transitioned, some hit, some miss, but in the end I am just vaguely aware that it sounds ok, while acutely aware that inspiration and inventiveness are chiefly what is lacking. None of the songs are bad, but none really deserve to be as long as they are. For instance, the title cut has some exquisite parts and phrasings, but should have been condensed from 14 minutes. The lyrics also tend to be obtuse, overly important and precious. The exception to all these flaws is the dreamily beautiful "Zero Hour", which successfully fills out it's allocated slot with a nostalgic theme and some fine vocals and guitar, and it achieves this without a page-spanning lyric sheet.

For those who demand more than just technical competence and shining arrangements and production, IQ's Seventh House will definitely not be confused with Seventh Heaven.

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Posted Sunday, July 29, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I really enjoy this album, and I think it is solid all the way through (unlike Dark Matter, for example). Also, I see a large number of Genesis comparisons made in reviews, and I have to say that I really don't hear it myself. IQ here are mixing prog metal with some spacey/psychadelic elements (with a decent amount of pop), and the result is fairly straightforward, but memorable music.

The Wrong Side of Weird. A great way to kick off an album, this song is a bouncy rocker for the first half and a cool prog metal tune for the second. Plenty of nice melodies (and not repetitive in the least) and EXCELLENT transitions makes this song enjoyable every time.

The Seventh House. The strong points of the album opener apply here. I have to say, IQ demonstrates a rather unique ability to perform extended pieces that are fun, interesting and non-repetitive--all this without building up to grand finales or having virtuosic playing. IQ is all about good melodies, transitions, and pleasant arrangements, and this title track is 14 minutes of good music.

Guiding Light. Great way to end an album. This one starts and ends softly, but the middle extended 5/4 instrumental break is quite enjoyable. It's quite good, but in my opinion there's no need to compare this to The Cinema Show (and somehow cheapen that classic). Orford in particular shows his tasteful and capable keyboard/synth prowess.

Erosion, Zero Hour, Shooting Angels. These songs are mellower and in my opinion much less memorable than the three extended pieces. They do flow nicely from the other songs, helping to form a comprehensive album.

Overall I think The Seventh House is a very solid album--maybe this doesn't quite have the high moments of Dark Matter, but it also is much more consistent and less derivative. This is simply good songwriting pulled off by capable musicians, and it's worth owning.

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Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album would be much better if IQ had not made any albums before it.

On the whole, it's a lot of fun. It takes the usual IQ trappings and turns them into another album with some catchy chorus melodies. The instruments backed off from their powerful presence on Ever, making way for less complicated, less well-constructed songs on the whole. On its own, it would make a good album, but with the presence of other IQ songs that clearly show that the band has found its rut and wants to play in it for a long time, it no longer is quite as special of a release as it could be. Still, for a band in what some consider one of the most stale genres out there, they do challenge themselves enough with bits here and there to make The Seventh House and album worth owning and listening to. It could be stronger, yes, but it does well with what it has.

The Wrong Side of Weird kicks off the album, and though it is a good song with some clever melodies, it sounds a lot of like every song IQ made before it. The title track is a very standard IQ epic. Zero Hour is very standard as well. There are some moments of higher interest, however, where the band isn't just sounding like IQ. The beginning of Shooting Angels, for example, features some 80s sounding heavy drum work. Later in the song, a saxophone appears and adds what its got to the music. Erosion features some heavy rhythm guitar and a number of almost perfect melodies, being the strongest song on the album. Guiding Light opens with some gentle piano a la Firth of Fifth, but quickly segues into a full-blown song. Parts of the song feature some odd keyboard sounds, almost giving it a circus feel.

In the end, fans of IQ need this album. Fans of neo-prog probably need this album too. If you haven't listened to the band before, Ever is a wiser path to take as a first listen, but this album can follow it pretty rapidly.

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Posted Thursday, October 02, 2008

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well, after Ever and Subterrenea I thought we had their best works but there's a very interesting dark horse here with this The Seventh House release. When reviewing Ever I said IQ wasn't really my favourite band despite my being a neo fan. But I can already reveal this is going to be a third 4 star effort by this band so that isn't really bad is it ? On the other hand there have also been quite a few disappointments as well for me so my statement was at least a bit true. It's obviously top or flop with this band, at least for me.

It's already obvious with the very first seconds of this album with the track The Wrong Side of Weird that we are dealing with something special here. Great first notes by Orford bringing me in the right mood for a very positive review. Rest of this very atmospheric song proves to be a terrific effort in the end. What a composition this is ! (4,5*)

Next up is Erosian, also starting in great atmosphere developping into a ballad it seems, a bit of a mystic one before after two minutes the rougher edge of IQ is setting in making it a versatile song alternatingly quiet and almost prog metal like, a side I hardly ever heard by IQ. Interesting song (3,75*).

Third song is the title track, another unbelievable composition. What a wonderful epical track (4,75*). As usual the music is written by the band and the lyrics by lead singer Peter Nicholls and they must have been in ultimate top form when writing this album. This can compete with the best parts of Subterrenea, my favourite IQ-album of all time.

Zero Hour starts a bit like Erosian but instead of becoming an almost heavy track like that song this one stays more calm and quiet with an intersting feature like nice saxophone playing followed by Holmes at his best. Another lovely song keeping the level of the album very high (3,75*).

Shooting Angels is the mellowest of the album, another one with great atmospherical effects and equal nice sax like on the previous track. Still my least favourite of the six songs (3,5*).

Guiding Light is a very worthy closer of a terrific album by IQ. The first 3,5 minutes are mellow but then the band performs a great finale with alternating guitar and key efforts also accompanied by great drumming by Cook (4,25*).

4 stars easily (4,2) for this great effort and not to be missed by any IQ-fan or even general neoprogger.

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Posted Saturday, November 22, 2008

Review by MovingPictures07
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars You want emotions? You got it!

1. The Wrong Side of Weird- Opening with an awesome keyboard part, this song immediately shows that it is one of IQ's best compositions. Soulful vocals, absolutely amazing keyboards, and other solid instrumentation coupled with some of the best song-writing in neo-prog makes this song an essential album in their catalogue. Fantastic. 10/10

2. Erosion- The keyboard work. amazing!! The heavenly intro is simply stunning. The way that this song builds is seamless, turning from an all-atmospheric piece to adapting rock elements as well. Vocals are very emotional here, complementing the music perfectly. It is a good follow-up to the opening track, but doesn't quite pack the same punch. 9/10

3. The Seventh House- A gentle acoustic guitar opening with this song and you can tell that you're in for more of IQ's vivid scenery. The guitar shines on this track more so than the previous two and the song structure again is very good. This one doesn't capture me nearly as much as the last two, however, but that hardly takes anything away from its rating. 8/10

4. Zero Hour- Good song with wonderful, soothing saxophone! This one strikes me more as a ballad and has an interesting feel to it. The keyboards again are of note and the tones are very deep and well-selected. 8/10

5. Shooting Angels- What an intro! I simply can't get over how heavenly those keyboards are; I could listen to that introduction over and over. The song then turns into a substantially good proggy rocker, with a good "shooting" backbeat of the drums. 9/10

6. Guiding Light- The closer may even be a better song than the intro. This is the most formal ballad on this album and certainly works very well in that regard. The combination of vocals, piano, and the drifting synthesizer is genius and the introduction works well. What's even better is the direction that this song takes! This turns into quite an amazing prog-filled song with really good instrumentation. The conclusion then reprises the opening but in a perfectly flowing uplift that can only be heard. Stunning! 10/10

Although I don't pull out this album quite as often anymore, that doesn't make it any less of a masterpiece its respective genre. Emotional, proggy awesomeness with some of the most comforting keyboard parts ever written. If you haven't heard this one and you are a fan of Symphonic or Neo-prog, what are you waiting for?

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Posted Sunday, November 30, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In one word: Brilliant

Iq - this underrated neo prog band, who never gained that big attention like their shoulder to shoulder companion band from mid '80's Marillion - they've done it with this album. Excellent musichianship through all the album, showing that they are still on the baricades woffering some very polished and in same time very refined moments in prog. The album released in 2000 named simply The seventh house is another examle of how must sound a band in these days, neo prog , but very uplifting with great moments and strong interplays between musicians, specially the keys of Martin Orford and guitar of Mike Holmes is simply awesome, just check out the opening track - The Wrong Side Of Weird - worth to have the album only for this track - kick ass piece. The rest is strong aswell prog pieces, the second one Erosion - is dark very atmospheric, sometimes sounds like a gothing band but in the end you realize is just another aspect of prog music very well composed and played, and the title track are best pieces along with the The Wrong Side Of Weird. The voice of Peter Nicholls shines on every track, one of the most distinguished voices in neo prog zone. So, a great album who desearve all the aplauses from each of you intrested in their music, this album worth every second.4 stars easely, but not as good as my fav from them their masterpiee from 1985 - The wake.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#212587) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 27, 2009

Review by Roland113
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"The Seventh House" by IQ is their best (of the ones that I own at least).

I'll start this out with the disclaimer, this was my introductory IQ disc, as I've learned since, you can probably start with any one of their five last CD's and get the same impression 'this is the greatest IQ CD ever'. The problem is that they all, unfortunately begin to sound the same. As I progress, the second and third IQ CD's that I picked up will get four stars, then the fourth and fifth get three or two stars. Many of the songs sound the same.

But, I'm reviewing "The Seventh House", and I chose this one to start with as, well, I've had it the longest.

Martin Orford's keyboards start the CD out with a shrill patch that makes you sit up and grin, well, it made me sit up and grin. Shortly there after, Peter Nichols angelic voice cuts through Mike Holmes' clean guitar producing the tell tale wall of sound that I've come to love and starting the album out rocking.

"Erosion" is an atmospheric piece beautiful and haunting at first, followed by a cacophony of music before revisiting the initial bit again. Peter Nichols shines throughout this song.

"The Seventh House" is my all time favorite IQ song, it's the song that you'd like to hear Genesis do if they were still recording prog. The intro is complete with a beautiful twelve string bit. Again, Peter Nichols voice shines over the guitar and Orford's backing synths. After the intro Jowett and Cook crash in along with a heavier Holmes for a brief instrumental segue before a haunting run again featuring the twelve string and Nichols. I could go on and describe every bit of the song, but really, I'm doing it a disservice, go out and buy the CD and listen to the song. Martin Orford has a beautiful solo in here and the final minutes of the song is one of the most epic IQ endings ever.

"Zero Hour" is absolutely beautiful, especially the keyboard themes in the middle of the song. Everything drops out but the gentle chords of Martin Orford's wizardry giving you a preview of "Guiding Light".

"Shooting Angels" brings up my only criticism of the album, after a heavenly keyboard intro, the drums trip into the song sounding like something your drunken cousin programmed on his Casio. I guess this makes a certain amount of sense, if they're emulating Genesis, there's bound to be a reference to the "Home by the Sea" drums.

"Guiding Light" is a hauntingly beautiful piece about missed opportunities for love; something that most of us have experienced at some point in our life. The entire band shines for this song. It starts with a typical enough run and Peter Nichols, shining as usual. The instrumental section features a beautiful series of solos by Misters Holmes and Orford. Not to be missed. Once the solos fade away, Nichols rejoins the band for a quick bridge and an epic bit of noodling. Out of nowhere the band drops out leaving only Nichols and Orford revisiting the opening melody of the song. Nichols shines through here, crystal clear and hauntingly beautiful. Then, suddenly, almost unexpectedly, it's over, the musical bit, the song, the whole album. The ending is perfect, it leaves you wanting more, yet satisfied with what you have.

"The Seventh House" by IQ gets a solid five star rating from me.

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Send comments to Roland113 (BETA) | Report this review (#225614) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 09, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars The seventh album

After the somewhat overblown and slightly disappointing double album that was Subterranea, IQ returned to the formula of the excellent Ever. In my opinion, The Seventh House is a very good album in its own right, but it is not as good as Ever or the follow-up Dark Matter (which would be the band's creative peak, as far as I'm concerned). While in the early days the band were still searching for a direction of their own, at this point the IQ sound was pretty well established, and as already implied, The Seventh House follows in the footsteps of Ever which probably was their most popular album at the time. They might thus be accused of playing it a bit safe here.

The present album is very consistent and there are no weak tracks as such, but this consistency comes at a prize: there is a tendency towards all the songs sounding a bit same-y. The band never seems to be able to break out of the melancholic mood that characterises the whole album. Also, there is little variation of sounds and they seem to be content to paint a musical picture from a limited and basic palette of sonic colours. Dark Matter would be different in that respect with a broader array of sounds and moods and also more diversity in the compositions. The production of the album is impeccable though, and as such The Seventh House is indeed something of a sonic masterpiece. But it also comes across as a little bit static and sterile, lacking in warmer and more organic sounds. But maybe they aimed at this cold sound that admittedly functions very well to communicate a certain consistently mellow mood?

The bass, drums and guitars have a great sound and everything is performed with excellence and Peter Nicholls pours his soul into the vocals. Songs like the superb title track and also Guiding Light are very strong and passionate. There is a harder edge to the guitars in some passages compared to anything the band did previously, but the music is never aggressive or raucous.

Overall, The Seventh House is a good IQ album, certainly one of their better efforts, with no weak tracks as such. It is consistently enjoyable, but like most albums by this band it fails to blow me away the way they did with Ever.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#238016) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 07, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars From what I have heard of the genre so far, this is probably my favorite album of its kind. It's classy, gritty, dark, bright, upbeat, somber, and nearly any descriptive adjective in one concise package. What sets it apart from so many other albums is the presence of memorable melodies throughout, both vocally and musically. Initially, I did not care for the voice of the lead vocalist, but it didn't take long before it grew on me, and now it seems at once unique and powerful. The instrumentation, whether light or heavy, is quite powerful and full of direction. Here is an album that, while not perfect, is fairly close to it.

"The Wrong Side of Weird" The descending synthesizer lead that gives way to such upbeat and jumpy music is a perfect album opening, especially considering how the album revisits the music with some frequency. I am always struck by the resonance of the melody, the tightness of the band, and jealousy that I didn't pen or perform this. Midway through, a piano takes over, the singer over it, and acoustic guitar tags along with some spacey sounds. Loud, heavier music follows, led by fiery electric guitar and powerful lead vocals. This is an exquisite example of modern progressive rock, full of variety and yet wickedly consistent, and my favorite neo-progressive piece- it absolutely radiates with power and grandeur.

"Erosion" Gentle synthesizers, almost choir-like, work through the introduction of the second song. The atmosphere is kept dark, and things gets heavier, complete with memorable and somewhat sinister melodies. This is an excellent contrast to the more upbeat first track.

"The Seventh House" Twelve-string guitar and light synthesizers begin the longest track on the album. The first three minutes build with piano and soft vocals until the electric guitar and bass create a meatier sound. Once again the vocal melodies are highly memorable. After and over a keyboard and rhythm passage that is astonishingly similar to "Apocalypse in 9/8" from Genesis's "Supper's Ready," the chorus melody of the first grand track, "The Wrong Side of Weird," returns in astonishing splendor toward the end. Several sections maintain a static electric guitar riff played over different chords. Speaking of Genesis, the ending section instinctively reminds me of a specific Genesis song's ending, but I cannot for the life of me think of what it is.

"Zero Hour" This is a more laidback piece in terms of composition, yet it remains one of the most varied songs on the album, with heavier parts interspersed with tasteful acoustic bits. One of the melodies of the glorious first track is repeated instrumentally in a synthesizer section in the middle. A searing guitar solo completes the song, rounding it out in an outstanding way.

"Shooting Angels" This is a harder song to enjoy, particularly since it has a funky 1990s rock beat that I never appreciated, but it is juxtaposed with gorgeous, flowing keyboard passages. I particularly like the tight bass tone (reminds me of 1980s Rush) and the exquisite lead guitar. A gritty saxophone solo takes over toward the end.

"Guiding Light" Lovely piano, synthesizer, and vocals begin this delicate track. It has a very simple, almost late 1990s pop melody (Ben Folds Five comes to mind). I love the fluid guitar alongside rest of the instrumentation. Once the sound becomes full, there's another scorching guitar solo, followed by adept synthesizer work. This brilliant album ends quietly, just as this piece began.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#239283) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

Review by Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Martin Orford may not like the neo-prog tag but the truth is, if you should explain to somebody what neo-prog is there are not much better ways that putting on this CD. IQ are as close to the paradigm of neo-prog as one can be, and this album is a really fine one in their discography.

A very solid and consistently good album from start to finish, it does not have any really weak moments or flaws. Why then only 3 stars? Well, the problem is a frequent one between IQ and me: as much as I can not find any weak moments, I can not find any really memorable music either. It's as if the music is constantly hovering around the level of 7 - 7,5 over 10, never getting below this but never getting higher either. It's not easy to really identify the reason, maybe the lack of virtuosism, the absence of really interesting ideas in their choices of chord progressions, scales, keys and dynamics, the lack of sympohic moments, I don't know. It's as if the guys were not ambitious enough.

This consistency makes it hard to talk about individual tracks, none is really bad but none does really stand out, although if I should choose I would select "The wrong side of weird", the title track and "Guiding Light" as the best picks.

Personally I can not understand how this album has got 41% of the reviews with 5 stars. To me it's a good album which can be listened to with moderate pleasure, an album fitting perfectly with the description for 3 stars: Good, but far from essential.

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Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#275029) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A new millennium brought a strong return from one of neo-prog's finest and most popular acts. This is quite possibly Martin Orford's finest hour as a recording artist, which gives some idea as to his performance.

The Wrong Side Of Weird is a very strong opener. It is powerful and evocative throughout, and Peter Nicholls voice is fantastic & delicate. It is, however, Martin Orford who has his imprint all over the track.

Erosion follows, and this is the shortest track on the LP at 5.44 minutes. This is a very delicately played ballad, with bombastic bursts which bring the track to life. A massive drum sound pounds out of speakers on the closing section, and Orford brings a majestic backdrop to it all. The band, and Orford, rarely sounded better.

The title track is the longest on the album at over 14 minutes. A lush opening, with soulful and melancholic vocals backed by lush acoustic guitar and piano, creates a lovely soundscape. After three minutes, the meat of the track kicks in, and the result is very tight and wholly symphonic. All members deliver excellent musicianship, including a fantastic trademark Holmes solo. Jowitt never sounded better on bass, which is pounding and melodic all through the track ? indeed, there is a very strong rhythm section all round. The track holds the attention to the end, and is clearly strongly influenced by large sections of The Lamb, but remains wholly original in its delivery. In other words, neo prog at its best. There are some amazing vocal harmonies as the track begins its huge denouement, with Orford's keyboards again creating a massive wall of sound. The production is top notch.

Zero Hour brings a new element, with some interesting sound effects. Orford uses synths to again provide a grand backdrop. A lovely ballad, and a good contrast to what preceded the track, whilst the closing section shows off Holmes at his most inventive.

The opening to Shooting Angel, with delicate keys and guitar, is so relaxing, but is rather lulling you into a false sense of security, as the main section features a crashing rhythm, rather reminiscent of Genesis in their Mama period. Pleasant enough, but probably the weakest track on the album and a little bit too disjointed to be wholly effective. There is a nice saxophone, though, and Nicholl's vocals are absolutely lovely.

The whole album, though, leads literally up to the closer, Guiding Light, one of the band's finest moments. If there is anything better sounding than Nicholls and Orford accompanying each other with soulful vocals and piano, I would like to hear what it is. The band as a whole do not enter until after three minutes of this beauty, but, when they do, the track rocks along, and we once again hear IQ at their most coherent best. In the best tradition of symphonic classic rock, the lengthy instrumental passage is played with utter tightness, rocks along, and never once diverts the attention from anything other than the music. It closes as it began, and you are left gasping for breath as to the sheer majesty and beauty of this track.

This album began a sequence of remarkable albums from the band for the new decade, and proves that the best of the 1980's new era bands could survive and prosper.

Four stars and highly recommended.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#326310) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 19, 2010

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Seventh Heaven

Having rediscovered their true identity with "Ever" and followed it up with with the sublime concept album "Subterranea", IQ took some three years to release another album. "Seventh house", the band's first album of the 21st century, sees the band returning to an orthodox single disc of six individual tracks.

The opening 12+ minute "The Wrong Side Of Weird" is surprisingly energetic, with flying synths and a pounding rhythm being the dominant features. The track has everything which makes for a first rate symphonic prog (neo-prog) epic, while offering music genuinely in keeping with the mew millennium.

"Erosion" is a bit of an oddity, sounding at first like an extract from a Lloyd Webber/Rice musical. While it is a decent enough song, it is for me the weak point of an otherwise first rate album. The title track is the longest on the album, running to over 14 minutes. The song is very much in the fine tradition of IQ's epic pieces, building from a gentle acoustic start to a majestic wall of sound with appealing vocal harmonies.

After the controlled excess of "The seventh house", "Zero hour" offers something lighter, the delightful melody being the stand out feature of this comparatively straightforward song. The track also benefits from a fine saxophone solo by Tony Wright and an excellent lead guitar solo by Mike Holmes. "Shooting Angels" begins with a deceptively soft intro, before bursting into a plodding power rock song with an incessant, heavy backbeat. The song manages to stay on the right side of adequate, but along with "Erosion" is a song which would not be missed too much were it not present.

The album closes with "Guiding light", a song which reminds me in passing of the similarly titled "Fading lights" by Genesis. That reference is really only in terms of the track's outline structure, starting slowly and serenely and building to an extended synth driven instrumental section and concluding with a vocal reprise. It is certainly a wonderful song, and a fitting end to a classic neo-prog album.

Overall, there is enough truly excellent material here to warrant recommending this as a first class album. Admittedly there are a couple of tracks which do not further the cause of the album too well, but even these are enjoyable enough so that they do not actually spoil the album. For me, "Subterranea" is the more complete and indeed better album of the two, but "The seventh house" remains a top rate album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#547151) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars IQ's incredible run of top-class albums which began with Ever continues on The Seventh House. Less ambitious in structure than Subterranea, it sees the band apply the musical lessons learned during that grand exercise to a compact single album on the scale of Ever, and the end result is some of their most beautiful and haunting music.

Peter Nicholls gives a vocal performance that outshines any of his previous efforts, showing a greater and more subtle command of emotional range than ever before - his performance on the title track never fails to make my hair stand on end, just as the bittersweet closing track Guiding Light often brings a tear to my eye. The band themselves offer a typically high-class performance in their own right, but I think it's Peter who gets the Best In Show award this time around.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#641587) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars At the end of the first verse of "The Wrong Side Of Weird", a few bars capture for me what makes IQ the top progressive band in Europe. Up to then the band has been slowly building through the introduction and then the verse itself. The keyboards play a repeated motif, but the simple act of changing the bass line totally changes the mood and attack.

Ask five IQ fans to pick the single most important member of the band and they could each well pick a different person. Peter Nicholls is without doubt not only a superb lyricist and vocalist, but also one of the best frontmen in the business. Widge not only is renowned for his keyboard playing but also for the fact that many bands would love to have him as a singer. Michael Holmes is a guitarist with control of so many different styles while John Jowitt is Mr Bass. That only leaves Paul Cook. One of the times, I played the album I concentrated solely on the drums, and his impact not only on what he plays but where he doesn't (if that makes sense) is superb. There is a long period on "Weird" where he doesn't play at all, but when he comes back in, the fills and patterns he plays totally switch the mood.

It is hard yet to say if this is my favourite IQ album, ask me again in a year or so when it has sunk into my psyche. If you like prog, then you must have this. Yet again, IQ set the standard.

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#968511) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 01, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars (7/10) After the magnum opus of "Subterranea" in 1995, and a 1998 re-recording of early material ("Seven Stories Into 98"), IQ entered the new millennium in the year 2000 with "The Seventh House". This album sees IQ further modernising their sound, though it is probably closer in sound to "Ever" ... (read more)

Report this review (#856167) | Posted by ScorchedFirth | Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Second best of the band as of today Before I had a chance to hear the music of "The Seventh House" album, it did not take my interest because of the album artwork: simply it wasn't attractive. But then, I heard the title song and "Guiding Light" on DVD live concert, and these two songs were a ... (read more)

Report this review (#288509) | Posted by Katsuhisa | Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A masterpiece in it's own right, best track "The Wrong side of Weird", a shame that i never listen a live version of that. "Guiding Light" with that text "Where are you now, who are you now, is anyone really gone", my skin turns into a chiken's skin while I write, can you imagine what it does ... (read more)

Report this review (#221630) | Posted by Rikki Nadir | Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When a band releases a work as brilliant as Subterranea, the only possible way is down, right? Wrong! The Seventh House builds on all that had gone before, adding new textures and ideas to come up with an album of the highest quality. There is instrumental virtuosity to match any other band, thou ... (read more)

Report this review (#213008) | Posted by Hercules | Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars like ever and subterranea this is another amazing album... iq shows once again that is one of the best bands of the progressive scene on the last years.. We are in the present,we have to life in the present,because is the only thing that matters.. it is OK talk about the influences...but if you a ... (read more)

Report this review (#196824) | Posted by JgX 5 | Thursday, January 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Brilliant I've been listening to IQ albums now 2 years and have avoided further reviews for I thought maybe my love for their music was to prill for it being objective, but now I'm sure. My love for IQ is genuine and deserves a full out coming-out-of-the-closet, though I never been inside t ... (read more)

Report this review (#95714) | Posted by tuxon | Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Aside from Zero Hour and Shooting Angels, I like this album. The title track is the best, along with the first song. Overall though, it all sort of blends together into a kind of bland prog pastiche and I have trouble telling individual songs apart. This is a problem I have with IQ's last 3 al ... (read more)

Report this review (#95260) | Posted by | Friday, October 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars IQ are one of the newer bands from the 1980s progressive rock movement, but this album is from the year 2000. Starting off with "The wrong side of weird" IQ show that they have a sound of their own with references to "Yes" "Genesis" "Pink Floyd" and "ELP" throughout the track. Peter Nicholls voca ... (read more)

Report this review (#54052) | Posted by | Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was my itroduction to IQ, and I must sadly say that I'm sorry I didn't purchase it earlier. The band is obviously influenced by GENESIS and YES. Keyboard and piano is dominating with some strong guitar from time to time, both electric and acoustic and it has a clear vocal from P. ... (read more)

Report this review (#53905) | Posted by | Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars IQ faced some kind of a challenge when they had to write the successor of the highly acla Subterranea album. And how the guys succeeded!! In my opinion The Seventh House is without doubt the best album they delivered in their carreer thus far. Every song is simply very strong, has catching, so ... (read more)

Report this review (#41082) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In brief, I'm a big IQ fan, but this is simply one of their weakest albums, tied with Nomzamo. The problem: weak compositions. It's been years since this album was released, and I swear I can't remember a melody. If you're collecting IQ, this is the LAST Nicholls-era album I would pick up. ... (read more)

Report this review (#39576) | Posted by | Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I found myself liking this quite a bit, at least until it wore off. It is as representative of this type of prog as any recording of their contemporaries...comparisons to Marillion or The Flower Kings are inevitable. Kind of poppy at times but thoughtful and well done overall. Nichol's voic ... (read more)

Report this review (#38469) | Posted by | Monday, July 04, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the 3rd IQ release I purchased and upon first spin I found it terribly commercial. Too far away from "THE WAKE" which I still consider the band's best work. Then I spun it again and realized how much they'd all grown as musicians. There are some truly brilliant moments on this album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#3856) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I must keep my emotions when reviweing this album... I discovered recently IQ music, and I must say they are the band I have been looking for, in the last 15 years, trying to replace someone who could be on same level as Genesis, Marilllion etc.. This album is really great with suberb melodies ... (read more)

Report this review (#3854) | Posted by | Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Whan you look at the past, you've to admit that neo prog have rare good things. except marillion and I.Q. I.Q is better with the time and i'm a big fan since the great subterrenea. i find some rare emotionnal sensations in I.S music.I.Q is sad and beautiful music. it's not neo prog, it's I.Q. ... (read more)

Report this review (#3853) | Posted by anesthésie | Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars - What can be said apart from an excellent Album all round. Have now had it for 3 weeks and have not stopped listening to it. I thoroughly enjoyed every track on this Album and find it my favourite album of the bands although have not yet listened to Dark Matter. Favourite song has to be "The ... (read more)

Report this review (#3852) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply GENIOUS!! Everithing in this record is simply perfect!...The ambiences, the lyrics, the melodies...every little detail it's well aproached by this fenomenous band. It's the best album ever and as my rating says, "a masterpiece of progressive music". I'm a Prog Metal fan but this albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#3851) | Posted by | Monday, March 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I hate to be negative but in this case I must go against popular opinion. This is the kind of albums that give neo-prog a bad name. Overall I find it bland and tedious. "Zero Hour" and "Shooting Angels" must be some of the worst songs I ever have heard in a prog context, mostly due to the anno ... (read more)

Report this review (#3848) | Posted by | Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm going to step out of line with many of the reviewers who rate Ever, Subterranea or Dark Matter as better. For me this album is the pinnacle of this type of prog rock. Almost all of the tracks are in the 10 minute mould, with exceptional lyrics, awesome plaintive vocals, gorgeous guitars an ... (read more)

Report this review (#3843) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Most IQ fans seem to be thoroughly enamored with 'Subterranea,' and far be it from me to argue with them. However, despite the difficulty of finding IQ albums in the States, I have now heard all of their titles (with the exception of the forth-coming 'Dark Matter'), and without a doubt, I fee ... (read more)

Report this review (#3826) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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