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RESISTANCE

IQ

Neo-Prog


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IQ Resistance album cover
4.16 | 404 ratings | 19 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (52:58)
1. A Missile (6:40)
2. Rise (6:49)
3. Stay Down (7:55)
4. Alampandria (3:48)
5. Shallow Bay (6:21)
6. If Anything (6:03)
7. For Another Lifetime (15:22)

CD 2 (55:39)
1. The Great Spirit Way (21:45)
2. Fire and Security (5:26)
3. Perfect Space (8:33)
4. Fallout (19:55)

Total Time 108:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Nicholls / lead & backing vocals
- Michael Holmes / guitars, producer
- Neil Durant / keyboards
- Tim Esau / bass, bass pedals
- Paul Cook / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Tony Lythgoe

CDx2 Giant Electric Pea ‎- GEPCD1064 (2019, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IQ Resistance ratings distribution


4.16
(404 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
41%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
28%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

IQ Resistance reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars English neo-progressive rock spear-header IQ has been furthering the genre in the 21th century with much acclaim. Sound-wise the band hasn't changed much since ' The Seventh House', but on this album the band has finally revolutionized their composition style, arrangements and production. The symphonic layering by Neil Durant has this adult feel, reminding me of 'Tilt' era Scott Walker or 'Blackstar' era Bowie ' yet drenched in a Bladerunner like delicate sci-fi universe. Somehow this album sounds like a collaboration of the band IQ and... well a new 'force' that can look beyond its songs, its verses, its solo's and its refrains. Because of this 'force' the band has also given new meaning to the prog epic. On 'Resistance' a prog epic isn't just a multi- song. Don't take me wrong ' I really like a track like 'The Narrow Margin' ' but on this album the longer tracks really make sense from a songwriting point of view. Bare with me. Like a in a small song, where a bridge can add to strengthening the final refrain ' IQ manages to intelligently intervene and keep the song growing towards that final refrain. Furthermore, the first cd, which is 'the album', flows like a continues experience. Almost like a movie, including some modern cinematic sound-effects. What also becomes apparent after a few spins is the absence of leaning on catchy refrains, which gives the music a modern feel ' at times almost hinting at modern classical music.

Peter Nicholl's voice doesn't allow for much variation, but because of the distinctive atmospheres of the songs his performances do tick the box every time. This material doesn't need catchy line A or B, it needs a performer. The rhythm section of the band has found a perfect balance between fusion styled sophistication and adding to the effectiveness of the material. Guitar player Mike Holmes somehow comes off as a bit left behind in the old IQ with his Marillion/Floyd styled guitar solo's. On acoustic guitar his contributions strike me as more imminent ' like on 'Perfect Space'. If the band ever aims to top this album in the future ' which would prove extremely difficult I guess - the electric guitar will need to contribute in more diverse ways.

Now about that second disc, which I will describe in a bit more detail because most reviewers will probably focus on the first disc. If that were an album; the 22 minute 'The Great Spirit Way' alone would suffice for an indispensable purchase. Personally, I think this song is placed right after the rather dark and soundtrack-like first disc because it matches best stylistically. 'Fire and Security' is a more traditional IQ piece ' albeit a bit bleak - with a balled type opening, some darker passages and a melancholy ending section with some strong lead guitars. On 'Perfect Space' the band drives its jazz/fusion influences to the max, which will perhaps turn of some ' but I like it. The second epic, the 20 minute 'Fallout' is a bit more relaxing, abstract and dreamy. In its second halve the band experiments beautifully with sophisticated chord progressions, which also allows for Holmes' most interesting guitar solo.

Conclusion. Without a doubt this will become the progressive album of 2019 and I hope it will inspire a lot of other neo-progressive bands to elaborate and expand on their Marillion/Genesis/Floyd roots and take the music to a next level of artistry. This album will probably outshine the nostalgic likings of many of its listeners, but it may also attract listeners that have previously written off the neo-prog genre. Can't wait to receive my 3LP version of this grand album.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Staggering, poetical, profound, complete, powerful, inimitable...

The second best decade in the history of prog continues to astound by the verge of its end. Maybe this time even more than before... When you hear beautifully wonderful lyrics entwined with the powerful keyboard lines and precise guitar solos most probably you are listening to IQ. Their newest album Resistance is genuine and profound story for the music and history of the music more than ever. It is amazing how the calmness of this undisputible masterpiece has been implicated into every little sequence of the notes, and even into the intervals between the bass tunes. It is charming how this highest level of production, musicianship and songwriting abilities of the band members do not need any aspects of the music / means of expression to be extreme - neither the hardness, nor the intensity, or the complexity. They just accomplish this staggering album with a balance. These musical heros just play with time signatures, intervals between tunes and octaves like the child with a toy. This is what could be called a natural balance of the abilities. Resistance contains more music, more senses, more poetry than one can even imagine prior to the listening. It is rich, it is flourishing, it is a manifesto of making a sublime music and art.

Most probably the best prog album of 21st century so far!

The most abundant prog album of all time!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's IQ! They're back with yet another attempt to celebrate and emulate the sounds, styles, and spirit of late 1970s GENESIS and YES. What they've achieved here is, in my opinion, a full step better than the dull, unmemorable monotony of 2014's Road of Bones. Resistance contains (mostly) excellent sound and production, as well as lush, melodic themes, inviting song constructs, and awesome solos. There are, however, Peter Nicholls' usual weird, nondescript, undecipherable-though-perfectly-enunciated lyrics sung in his usual steady, almost lazy, pleasant voice. As opposed to Road of Bones, there are high points (CD One's "Rise" through "Shallow Bay") and far fewer lows.

CD 1 (52:58)

1. "A Missile" (6:40) opens with some heavy riffing from the guitar, bass, organ, and drums while Peter Nicholls enters with his more insistent voice while always maintaining careful and clear diction. The song is hard-driving but does nothing for me either sonically, emotionally, or lyrically. It feels routine, robotic, one-dimensional, and, ultimately, forgettable. (11/15)

2. "Rise" (6:49) opens with apocalyptic wind noises and orchestral hits before a backwards sound loop takes over. Slowly, Peter's gentle voice sings over the atmospheric loop. At the end of his first chorus a very bass-heavy whole-band motif starts and drives powerfully forward. A strange chamber strings interlude breaks in for half a minute before we bounce back to the frenetic sonic lashing that is the second motif. Some nice, simple, but noticeable synth work is mixed into the thrum as well as some lead guitar work behind Peter's singing. In the sixth minute all kinds of Middle Eastern sounds and computer-effected vocals are introduced, but then they back off for a return to Peter's singing being the central focus. The final minute is simple, with Peter's vocal tying things up over that atmospheric loop from the beginning. Decent song! (13.5/15)

3. "Stay Down" (7:55) a long, slow, bare bones introductory period of electric piano arpeggi and synth washes and, later, chamber strings and 12-string guitar picking, allows Peter Nicholls to shine at his sensitive best. Mellotron voices and bass pedals add a great GENESIS feel. In fact it's four minutes into this one before anything changes--but then it gets tense, ominous, before breaking into a PORCUPINE TREE-like heaviness for its instrumental peak just before the five minute mark. When spaciousness is restored for Peter to sing around the six minute mark, it's merely a teasing pause before re-launching into that heavy PT territory for a final burst before some tick tocks. Powerful, seasoned prog with no fill and full power throughout. A top three song for me. (14/15)

4. "Alampandria" (3:48) opens beautifully with middle eastern pipe over sustained synth white noise synth. I love this! Then there is a developmental shift at 1:45 into more GENESIS-like Neo Prog territory. (Think deep throbbing parts of "Supper's Ready" or The Lamb). Small Mike Nicholls dramatic vocal, seering guitar solo, and organ finish this off. (8.9/10)

5. "Shallow Bay" (6:21) sensitive solo piano opens this one until the full band kicks in around 0:40. It quickly establishes itself as a melodic, syrupy song in the vein of radio-friendly prog hits. Drumming is outstanding--even a little flashy--throughout, and then the mood shifts quite dramatically at 3:00 into a more COLLAGE "Moonshine"-like vein. Very pretty--especially the keys--while the drumming remains quite showy and impressive. Beautiful song. Excellent emotional guitar solo in the fourth and fifth minutes with great band and Mellotron support.

This is where the advantages of a seasoned band shine through. Definitely a song I'll be listening to over and over for a long time. Perfection. A reminder of why I keep listening to new releases. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

6. "If Anything" (6:03) cool drum machine opening before synth wash joins in giving it a MIKE AND THE MECHANICS or "Captain of My Heart" feel to it. Fretless bass enters just before Peter Nicholls enters singing in a whispy upper register voice--which is unusual for him. Real drums join in at the end of the second minute. I have to admit that I really like the work of the synths, fretless, and voice. Acoustic nylon string guitar seals the "Captain of My Heart" reference. A very nice, gentle, pretty song for late night wine and fireplace sitting--at least until the second half of the fifth minute when things get E.A. Poe dark--sound effects, scary church organ and all! The only thing it lacks is a true 'hook" to make it memorable. (8.75/10)

7. "For Another Lifetime" (15:22) opens with weird circus calliope/squeeze-box-like chord sequence. Peter begins singing and it doesn't quite fit; Peter's nondescript melody line does not blend well with the synthesized calliope/squeeze box--nothing does, even the "Entangled"-like eerie synth added over the top. Just before the three minute mark Peter's voice is mute-distorted to try to create an even eerier feel and then the band breaks into a full on "As Sure as Eggs is Eggs/Apocalypse in 9/8 imitation, trying to make it their own by adding some music box tinkles and some Duke-era bass synth chords. Halfway through the sixth minute the pace quickens and a more HACKETT-like section ensues. At 7:00 the music begins to feel more like ASIA or LOVERBOY. The "resistance" chorus just lacks ... hooks. Another switch into full on GENESIS territory at 8:20 while Peter continues singing as carefully, succinctly as ever. Power chords and more eerie organ and synths in the ninth. The music keeps bouncing around, trying to vary its pace and palette, no doubt, until finally finding its "pocket" in the twelfth minute with the "for another lifetime" chorus and ensuing excellent lead guitar solo. The voice Mellotron sound definitely makes it feel like some crescendo moment in a GENESIS song. Then we devolve to a bare piano in support of Peter's end vocal passage from 13:30 to the "holding on" line and the gorgeous TFK-like end. Pretty awesome song if derivative and perhaps overly complex. The band definitely put some work into this one. A strange dichotomy is that eerie circus-like motif used for the first half and then disappearing the more powerful the song became. (27/30)

CD 2 (55:39

1. "The Great Spirit Way" (21:45) Prog by the numbers trying to be Hammond-centric. In the first half, none of the individual instrumental threads works--especially the drums, bass, and guitars; they all seem to be at odds with one another. The second half gets spread out and less dense with some electric piano and "acoustic" guitar picking before a spacey synth diversion settles us (and Peter) down. Interesting "xylophone" over strings. But, unfortnuately, it's all so obviously MIDI-computer keyboard generated. In the sixteenth minute they try to GENESIS/WAKEMAN the music back up to engage us but it's all so familiar (thought the drumming finally gets good). After the crescendo in the 17th minute, the YES-like dénouement is a big letdown. (38/45)

2. "Fire and Security" (5:26) the welcome sound of steel-string acoustic guitar strumming opens this one. Peter's vocal starts out rather typical but then gets very emotional. As a matter of fact, there are sections here that I display vocal affectations that I can't remember hearing in his voice very often. Very nice guitar soloing throughout the second half. (9/10)

3. "Perfect Space" (8:33) cymbol play, snare, bass, and classical guitar make this one sound a little jazzy or Latin-infused. Peter's voice is even mixed more forward than usual. Interesting! A new sound palette! The little electric guitar solo at 1:38 can't even destroy the feel of this one but the organ and bass pedals at 2:36 for the chorus does. The bass and drums are trying admirably to hold it together but those organs! Then the guitar turns metal and we've lost that loving Latin feeling. The return of "Get 'em out by Friday"! Let me out! Nice first half; poor second. Not even the walking bass play in the sixth minute or some solid electric guitar soloing in the final minute can recapture that awesomeness. (16.5/20)

4. "Fallout" (19:55) "CTTE 2"? What kind of lyrics are these? Nonsensical? The first three minutes sure seems so. At four minutes we finally get into some meat. I like the clavichord and rolling bass line. The singing harmonies are great but the lyrics are still so innocuous. GREAT transition into the instrumental section in the sixth minute (bass and electric guitar)--a powerful section that sustains its engaging sounds and play for several minutes. Nice drumming in the next instrumental section. And fretless bass! At the eight minute mark we go soft and spacey again (very GENESIS-like). Another sound (and key) switch in the eleventh minute: piano-base, more cymbal play, going into an instrumental section with piano solo, MIDI-ed tuned percussion, and chord section into a late-"Gates of Delirium" section for the fourteenth and fifteenth minutes. (A little too similar to "Gates," even through the guitar solo and drum end, even into the pre-"Soon" quiet, spacey section). The final two minutes is, unfortunately, also an embarrassing imitation of the "Soon" finale of "Gates of Delirium." Very nice sound. I'd rate it higher if it weren't so derivative. (34/40)

Total Time 108:37

Can we be tired of Peter Nicholls' melodies, pronunciation/elocution, and phrasing, please? Can we be tired of the Duke-like drum machines and differently engineered & effected tracks that are so blatantly and poorly spliced-together, please? Can we say we've had enough imitation and blatant derivation of the 1970's "classics?" Still this is SO MUCH BETTER than the high-acclaimed yet soulless "album of the year" from 2014, Road of Bones.

B=/four stars; if one stays away from the three epics, this is an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection and one of the better displays of Neo Prog of the 2010s.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Through a consistent string of albums that date back to 1993's "Ever," IQ has established itself as somewhat as the new godfather of the neo-prog world as well as one of the superstars of the progressive rock world in general. Carefully crafting each album and polishing them like fine gemstones which on the average has taken about five years between albums, IQ returns in 2019 with the band's 11th album RESISTANCE. Consisting of the same lineup as 2014's "The Road Of Bones," RESISTANCE continues that album's direction with even bolder atmospheric statements, new touches of symphonic orchestration and a knack for amalgamating intricate melodies with tight instrumental interplay all accompanied by Peter Nicholls' distinct and instantly recognizable vocal style.

While "The Road Of Bones" was released in two formats: a single album release and also as a double album, RESISTANCE goes for the gusto and has appeared only as a double album that is essentially two distinct albums with the second half exhibiting a different atmospheric mood that sets itself apart but never strays too far from the consistent IQ sound that permeates each and every album. With a total running time of almost 109 minutes, RESISTANCE comes across as a sprawling epic that takes the neo-prog paradigm further into the 21st century. With "The Road Of Bones," IQ upped the ante as far as instrumental deliveries go. The band saw the new keyboard talents of Neil Durant as well as former members drummer Paul Cook and bassist Tim Essau rejoining the ranks.

RESISTANCE in many ways is the continuation of its predecessor only five years into the future where it feels like technological gains have taken the band into a new futurist paradigm shift. While the classic IQ rhythms, melodies and neo-prog essentials are the backbone of RESISTANCE, the album excels in many ways. Firstly, Neil Durant has expanded his keyboard duties to include a whole host of new techniques and sonic timbres that expand in myriad directions. It's almost as if the mere role of keyboards as been expanded into the entire sprawling genre of progressive electronic, where Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze surreality has created a complete secondary backdrop to the rock aspects but only used tastefully.

Also taking the band into further fields of complexity is the excellent drumming skills of Paul Cook whose percussive drive seemed to lead rather than follow on "The Road Of Bones" and continues that trait on RESISTANCE however in many cases he backs off and takes on the traditional role as merely keeping the beat while the atmospheric constructs and melodic development of the themes expands its tentacles into the sprawling behemoth tracks that tackle the usual suspected emotional tugs and musical dramatic flair that IQ has mastered so well. While the heavy guitar parts were toned down beginning with the last album, they still existed and used as contrast and that is still the case with much of the album seeming almost devoid of guitar sounds and others such as the Floydian "Shallow Bay" providing the Steve Hackett wailing guitar licks and others like "Rise" showcasing the heavier bombast not so prevalent on this album.

With this much music there's always bound to be a throwaway track or two and RESISTANCE is not well resistant to including such filler. Tracks like "If Anything" seem a little too tame and derivative of past glories and pale in company of the stronger tracks but at the same time they are not completely gag reflex inducing, just a bit tame and verge on the border with AOR sensibilities. "For A Lifetime" on the other hand is one of the strongest tracks with carnival music providing the main melodic theme which allows an interesting array of creepy atmospheric gloom and a slinking theremin sound that ratchets up the dread. Perhaps the most unique IQ track ever as it breaks into slow-tempo rock and meanders over the 15 minute mark.

The second disc features the two longest tracks of all. "The Great Spirit Way" just missing the 22 minute mark is one of the strongest of the lot. In many ways the build up reminds me of some aspects of 90s Dream Theater in how the guitar stomps slowly build but the atmospheres and keyboards are clearly in IQ's neo-prog turf. Durant creates some of the most memorable ambient backdrops on this one. He also creates dramatic keyboard stabs that remind me of classic 70s rock bands like The Who. Overall the track meanders through a vast territory of past and present ideas. It includes cool passages that exhibit wind chimes and orchestrations. It flows perfectly and shows IQ at its most innovative.

The second lengthiest track is the near 20 minute closer "Fallout," which features a heavenly ambient intro that incrementally ratchets up the tension and extends the ideas of a single track into a monstrous behemoth of a track. Notable for not merely being a bunch of ideas stitched together but feeling like a consistently morphing track that sticks to a theme. So all in all, RESISTANCE is another excellent development in the IQ universe with two stellar discs worth of impeccably produced material that finds the aspects of the album in perfect cohesion. The greatest development is clearly the highly developed ambience and atmospheric constructs however the band has continued to become bolder as time goes.

Once again, i find the latest IQ release to be an excellent album but as with most of the band's efforts, it seems to fall short from perfection. My main gripe with these grandiose instrumental developments is that Peter Nicholls still exhibits the exact same style without expanding the vocal possibilities. Add to that a few filler tracks and the album tends to become a bit of a chore to sit through at least in one sitting. While there is plenty to love for neo-prog fans here, i just wish a few of the shorter tracks were edited out and that Nicholls would find a way to sound less monotonous as every album starts to sound like the same vocal motifs despite the musical accompaniment. Perhaps a second vocalist adding counterpoints would solve this. Still though, a well done album and an instant prog classic.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars You'd have thought that sooner or later IQ would have released a bad or mediocre album to break the run of top- notch studio releases they've been on since 1993's Ever, but that day has not come yet; Resistance is another double- album of high-quality neo-prog from a band who've been the undisputed kings of the style for the last quarter of a century.

In latter years IQ have been cautious about the pace of their studio releases, affording themselves ample time to polish their material before unleashing it on our ears. This time around, they reward patient fans with an abundance of material, with the album running to two CDs as standard. (The Road of Bones also had two discs in its special edition.)

As others have noted, the new twist IQ offer this time around largely comes in the form of the keyboard work of Neil Durant, who'd spent Road of Bones acclimatising himself to his new role. Here he expresses more of his own distinctive sound, rather than mimic IQ keyboardists past, and with it adds a certain wistful, cinematic flair to proceedings. With songs ranging from heavy, crushing hard prog to almost pop-like ballads to more standard IQ fare, this is an album which is easily as diverse as the similarly melodramatic Subterranea, and I look forward to unfolding its secrets for many years to come just as I have with that piece.

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Founding Moderator
4 stars IQ and Marillion arguably "started" neo-prog (with their near-simultaneous 1983 releases, Script for a Jester's Tear and Tales from the Lush Attic, respectively). And they continue to be its standard-bearers, and most consistently creative, innovative and virtuoso bands. And although I don't agree with many of my colleagues here that Resistance is BETTER than Road of Bones, it is certainly equal (or almost so) in its relentless brilliance of lyrics, musicianship, and sound. Few bands can provide the stunning beauty of If Anything, the progressive fireworks of A Missile and Stay Down, the extended progressive magnificence of for Another Lifetime and The Great Spirit Way, and the sonic intensity of Alampandria all on one album? Peter Nicholls continues to write some of the most wonderful, if often esoteric, lyrics, and he has been and continues to be my favorite current vocalist in prog. And the band, with keyboardist Neil Durant now comfortably ensconced, continues to write and play some of the most compelling music in the genre. As others have pointed out, IQ is most heavily influenced by Genesis (as were so many early neo-prog bands), but as I have noted ad nauseam on these pages, for me the success of a neo-prog band is in the way in which they channel those influences through their own individual filters. IQ (and Marillion) does this better than anyone: I have always felt that they essentially continue to re-write Genesis' long-form songs (everything from Watcher and Friday, to Can Utility and Supper's Ready, from Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show, to Lilywhite Lilith and One For the Vine), particularly with Holmes' sound (the reverb and echo-heavy sound that Hackett made his own) and playing (Hackett's style is quite evident). This is not a criticism, it is the highest of compliments. I don't think there is a band whose new albums I anticipate more than IQ. They are simply a wonder. The consistency of their writing and performance, and the technical virtuosity of their playing, as well as Nicholls' expressive vocals, make them among the best of the best of prog. Bravo.
Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars After the excellent "Road To The Bones", I was not sure if the band could surpass themselves with another double album. From the first song, we get hooked by the heavy driven music. The genuine melodic ease of the band is present throughout this long journey that contains some new melodies never heard before and some brilliant arrangements with attention to detail for the production and the clarity in the sound. The band uses the latest technology with some electronic effects and at the same time, they open up with an oriental passage in the song "Alampadria". The guitar is quite heavy on the first titles and the music can't get as intense for too long and after one hour, I felt the need to take a break. You can't enjoy as much this double album if you listen to one take, even more, when the second album begins with a big epic. After repeated listening, this one is now my favorite IQ album. It's rare to see a band make great albums after 36 years. IQ is the perfect model for all the New Neo-Porg bands out there not only because the band is at the top of their class, but they can also teach you how to come close to perfection!
Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Since 2004's 'Dark Matter', IQ may have slowed the release schedule in that this is only their third album since then, but they show no sign at all of slowing down in terms of consistency and sheer power in their music. Neil Durant joined the band back in 2010, but this is only his second new IQ album, and it is now that he is allowing his musical wings to spread. There is a confidence here from a keyboard player who doesn't feel that his primarily role is just to reduce the average age of the band (Mike Varty of course filling exactly the same position in Credo), but instead knows he can take control when he wishes to with soaring keyboards and multiple banks of sound at his command. This has also allowed the rest of the band to relax and the result is one of the best releases from the IQ canon, and given they have very rarely produced anything apart from essential, that is quite some statement.

Strangely enough, the person who seems to be relishing this most is Paul Cook, the man who has been behind the drums for all except one of their albums, 2009's 'Frequency'. I have never heard his playing to be quite so dramatic, quite so in your face, and it is down to his rhythm partner Tim Esau to keep things pinned down to allow Cookie the freedom to be more expressive. Esau has also settled back into the band, actually being the "new boy" having only been back in the fold since 2011 ? strange to think he has now been back in the band as long as he was in it first time around ? and keeps everything simple, yet complex at the same time. As for Michael Holmes, the only person who has appeared on every single IQ release, he is relishing the opportunity to produce some of the heaviest guitar I have ever heard from him, but yet again he has the confidence to not play at all for whole passages, letting Neil and Peter have the show to themselves if that is the right thing to do.

Ah, Peter Nicholls. I do love the two non-Peter albums, and indeed play them frequently still, but Peter is the real voice of IQ and his stage presence is unsurpassed. Here he provides us with multiple persona, whether it is being reflective on "Stay Down" or being the rocker on 'A Missile". When talking about the album, Michael said: "It's taken a while for this album to develop, but to my mind that's given it a nice 'organic' feel with some quite diverse atmospheres. The initial idea for Resistance was to have a single CD with an accompanying 'extras' disc, but the closer it got to the release the more we felt that everything just gelled as a proper double album. That's also meant we were able to give each track just the right amount of breathing space, whether that's a three-and-a-half-minute thing or a more substantial twenty-two minute 'workout'."

Michael describes the album as organic in the way it came together, but for me this is all about confidence. The confidence of a band who have been atop the progressive world for so many years, nearly 40 years since they came together, and 36 years between the debut and their latest (with four of the five musicians involved in both). Simply brilliant in every way, essential, superb.

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I bow to no one in my admiration of this fine band, and the prospect, following a long wait, of a new album was mouth watering, especially given the fact that, to these ears, the predecessor album, Road of Bones, remains one of the best in my collection.

By God, though, I have struggled with this. Of course, those of us who have listened to prog for many years, and have the privilege of writing down our thoughts, will be familiar with many exceptional works which on the first few listens sound average or even dreadful, but, with growing familiarity turn out to be that belter of a classic five star work.

I know that this is going against the grain somewhat, but I do not think that Resistance is one of those albums, and, sorry, I think this is the weakest IQ album since Peter Nicholls returned gloriously to the fold.

To the ears of Lazland, the fault lies with the first cd. Very little of it progresses seamlessly. It is almost tuneless in parts. I dislike opener A Missile intently, with the overly layered keyboard effects hammering the theme somewhat relentlessly. Rise reminds me in parts of tracks from Frequency, but, unlike that fine work when the band worked together, this sounds very much like some post- production vocals stuck on top of a hotch potch of sounds, and guilty of the abiding sin of this whole work, which is far too much production, by which I mean the lack of emotion and emotive music, which to me are the hallmarks of this band.

The quieter pieces on Road of Bones dripped with menace and emotion, whereas Stay Down is merely rambling. I like the opening pipe on Alampandria, but could have done without the synth backdrops, again rather over-produced. The song then segues into a by-numbers IQ riff.

Shallow Bay is a somewhat typical late period IQ track, and is very good, and the first time on the album that the band make me sit up and take notice of proceedings, especially with the marvellous rhythm section of Esau and Cook work throughout, and a trademark Cook guitar solo.

Much of If Anything could have been transposed onto a late period Genesis album. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I like late Genesis. But the quieter moments on Seventh House, Dark Matter, Frequency, and Road of Bones were welcome and emotive parts of a whole body of work. It must be me, but I simply don't get how this fits into whatever narrative is being told here, and, once again, the sound effects towards the end strike me as simply being a noise. The church organ could have been marvellous, but feels way out of place.

None of this, however, comes anywhere near the awfulness of the closer on cd 1, For Another Lifetime. I hate this bloody track, and I really have tried to feel otherwise. The circus theme is damned annoying. The sound effects which come with it are shocking, and (I never thought I would say this about one of my beloved acts) it is soporific. Nicholls' vocals are soporific. The keyboards are, yes, soporific. I like experimentation. It is a critical part of musical excellence, but this is damned depressing. Different for the sake of being different, and I struggle like hell to see how it fits within whatever album narrative is being expressed to us. The rest of it is formulaic, but mostly I simply switch off well before this.

I doubt that I will listen to cd1 ever again, unless I am in a self-harm mood.

Thankfully, cd2 has much to recommend and please.

There are two huge epic tracks, opener The Great Spirit Way, and closer Fallout. The commencement of the former has a lovely, and thoroughly welcome, feel of a band jamming its way to the theme, but with surety and purpose. Cook and Esau thunder along, and, for the first time on the album, Durant's keyboards support, rather than dominate, the music. Nicholls, again for the first time on the album, sounds as if he not only means what he is singing, but he does it in time with the music. Some of Holmes' work is delicate and quite lovely. The whole track has some exceptional moods, signature changes, and soars wonderfully in places. There is a rather lovely piano and acoustic guitar passage in the middle section, and then thoughtful keys before the track reasserts itself in grandiose fashion. So, yes, an IQ epic, and whilst I would not put it up against classics of yore, in all honesty, it is so welcome after what came before, you cannot help but love it.

Fire and Security is of a muchness with much of the first cd, and is, therefore, somewhat forgettable. Not bad, but not much of anything.

Perfect Space opens thoughtfully, and is interesting, especially the snare, bass, and guitar interplay before we are transported back to more familiar IQ fare in the shape of Holmes guitar and Durant whirling away. Not a classic by any means, but okay, and could have been great had the opening themes been explored far more.

All, though, is almost forgiven when you listen to album closer, Fallout. This most certainly is a classic IQ epic track. A thoughtful and ambient opening sequence moves into darker territory. Once again, Cook and Esau absolutely shine in pushing the music along, Holmes dominates when he soars, and (I really hate to say this, because I think he is an excellent musician) Durant pulls off a marvellous Orford contribution - by this, I mean he complements the music with some delicate and thoughtful touches, rather than a sampled mess. This is a monster of a track, and thoroughly enjoyable. It has been placed as a worthy addition to the Lazland IQ playlist.

So, to a rating. Three stars for this. A generous two stars for cd1, and a probably equally generous four stars for cd2. I like to think that IQ have at least one more classic in them. Unfortunately, Resistance is not it.

Review by Hercules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is going to hurt me. A lot. I love IQ. They are indisputably one of my favourite bands and make up a large part of my listening schedule. I love each and every album with Peter Nichols and even like the Menel ones. I wondered if they could produce another masterwork without the genius that is Martin Orford, but they achieved it with The Road of Bones, an album so good that even the bonus CD is better than most albums by anyone else. So when the new album was announced, my vinyl order was in immediately and, when it arrived, it was straight on to the TT. Two hours later, I was sitting in bewilderment. This was clearly IQ, but the wonderful melodies, variation of mood and the flow from part to part that was so characteristic of their music was missing. There's none of the beauty of Constellations or the drama and menace of the title track of The Road of Bones itself. The musicianship is, as ever, exceptional, and both Paul Cook and Tim Esau spread their wings more than on TROB. Neil Durant's keyboards are well played if a bit dominant; he hasn't found the consistent magic that Martin Orford had of being both bombastic yet supportive of and complementary to his bandmates. Mike Holmes, who is one of the truly great guitarists but seemed slightly subdued on TROB, stretches out with more of his characteristic solos than on TROB. Peter Nicholls has improved as a vocalist too since the early days and is now a very fine singer. However, the lyrics on this album are a bit like someone took 10000 words on a bit of paper, threw them in the air and sang them as they landed. A bit like Yes, in fact, and not like the coherent story telling on some previous tracks. The problem is none of these guys' playing: it's the material. I've listened to this album about 5 times and I really don't think I will ever listen to it again. The composition of the music is uninspired. IQ have done marvellous epics like Harvest of Souls or The Narrow Margin, but the ones on here are just nothing special. The whole first CD (or its vinyl equivalent) is just desperately substandard for IQ. Things do pick up a bit on CD2. The Great Spirit Way has its moments and Fallout is excellent, but I just wish I didn't have to wait almost 100 minutes for it. In truth I had warning that the new album might be a let down: I saw them live at The Met in Bury in 2018 and they played 2 songs from the new album they were working on, which were both instantly forgettable. I hope IQ will keep going and produce another master work. Sadly, this album is not it. 2.5 stars, which I will round up to 3 because I'd have to commit seppuku if I gave them 2. God, writing that review REALLY hurt.

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