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IQ

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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IQ biography
What's the difference between a band and a cult band? A charismatic frontman, able to seduce the audience with a single look? A mastermind, conducting his fellow geniuses to sheer excellence? A dedicated and addicted following lasting three decades? An outstanding live concept combining stage charisma, true emotions and self-ironic humor?

Take it all, add a catalogue in which every new entry is described as 'the latest masterpiece' and you get IQ.

Rising from the ashes of THE LENS in 1981, the original line up of Peter NICHOLLS, Michael HOLMES, Martin ORFORD, Paul COOK and Tim ESAU formed a band achieving the impossible - the combination of such diverse styles as prog, punk, jazz and even reggae. Their first cassette album, later re-released on GEP as 'SEVEN STORIES INTO 98', is still an outstanding example of that.

Both their first vinyl albums 'TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC' and 'THE WAKE' gained instant classic status in the 'new wave of British progressive rock'. Soon the band became a regular in London's world famous Marquee club, performed more than 200 gigs each year in the UK (as seen in the 'LIVE FROM LONDON' video from 1985), and quickly attained a strong and loyal following.

After signing to POLYGRAM in 1987 with new singer Paul MENEL, they released 'NOMZAMO' featuring the single 'PROMISES' which made it high in the Dutch charts. European tours and the album 'ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?' followed, but MENEL and bass player Tim ESAU left the band shortly after in 1989.

What could have been the end was in fact just another beginning. NICHOLLS rejoined and was welcomed back enthusiastically at concerts in London and Paris. At the same time GEP was founded by musicians and associates of IQ with the rarities album 'J´AI POLLETTE D´ARNU' becoming the label's debut release.

In 1993 IQ's new album 'EVER' thrilled fans old and new with a modern and yet traditional interpretation of progressive rock. With new bassist John JOWITT (ex-ARK) the band embarked on a storming tour of the UK and mainland Europe, and played acclaimed festival appearances in the USA and South America. The tour was captured on film at the celebrated 'FOREVER LIVE' show in Kleve and was released in a special box set featuring video, double CD and large booklet.

In 1997, IQ released 'SUBTERRENEA', a classic double concept album with a very fresh approach which amazed both critics and fans alike. Brought to the stage with a stunning visual ...
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IQ official website

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The Road of BonesThe Road of Bones
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$18.10
$25.73 (used)
FrequencyFrequency
Inside Out U.S. 2009
Audio CD$13.99
$108.34 (used)
Dark MatterDark Matter
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$10.73
$8.99 (used)
SubterraneaSubterranea
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$12.25
$12.25 (used)
Seventh HouseSeventh House
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.93
$9.25 (used)
NomzamoNomzamo
Universal Music & VI
Audio CD$9.97 (used)
EverEver
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$10.85
$9.57 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.47
$8.99 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Import
2008
DVD$16.56
$26.38 (used)
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IQ shows & tickets


  • IQ at Tufnell Park Dome, London on 3 Apr 2015
  • IQ at Impérial de Québec, Québec on 11 Apr 2015
  • Be Prog! My Friend on 11 Jul 2015

IQ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IQ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 337 ratings
Tales From The Lush Attic
1983
3.78 | 434 ratings
The Wake
1985
2.77 | 237 ratings
Nomzamo
1987
2.75 | 221 ratings
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
1989
4.04 | 465 ratings
Ever
1993
3.91 | 483 ratings
Subterranea
1997
3.45 | 96 ratings
Seven Stories Into 98
1998
4.03 | 481 ratings
The Seventh House
2000
4.02 | 713 ratings
Dark Matter
2004
4.13 | 688 ratings
Frequency
2009
4.35 | 696 ratings
The Road Of Bones
2014

IQ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 59 ratings
Living Proof
1986
3.81 | 72 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.31 | 13 ratings
Subterranea Tour Live Germany
1999
4.21 | 10 ratings
Head Long to Argentina
1999
4.27 | 11 ratings
La Maroquinerie, Paris 18 Nov. 2000
2000
4.23 | 59 ratings
Subterranea: The Concert
2000
4.57 | 21 ratings
The Archive Collection - IQ20
2002
4.48 | 39 ratings
The Wake - Live At De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
2010

IQ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.33 | 46 ratings
Subterranea - The Concert
2000
4.41 | 47 ratings
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show
2004
3.75 | 22 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.43 | 89 ratings
Stage
2006
3.79 | 23 ratings
Forever Live
2007

IQ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 44 ratings
J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
1991
4.69 | 24 ratings
For Ever Live
1996
3.42 | 52 ratings
The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
1999
4.33 | 21 ratings
The Wake 2010 Remaster
2010
3.80 | 5 ratings
Re:Mixed
2011
4.57 | 58 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix
2013

IQ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fascination
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Awake And Nervous
1983
1.50 | 2 ratings
Barbell Is In
1984
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Legendary IQ Free Record
1984
2.70 | 29 ratings
Nine in a Pond is Here
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
Corners
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
Nomzamo
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Intelligence Quotient
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Promises (As The Years Go By)
1987
3.33 | 3 ratings
Here There And Everywhere
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
No Love Lost
1987
3.00 | 3 ratings
Passing Strangers
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
One More Boxer
1989
3.25 | 8 ratings
Sold On You
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Drive On
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bulba Neeny Noo
1992
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Darkest Hour
1993
3.67 | 27 ratings
Frequency Tour
2008

IQ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars This is the album of the year 2014. I didn't think IQ were going to get anywhere near as masterful as "Ever", or for that matter, to reach the heights of the brilliant "Frequency", but "The Road of Bones" tops the lot, and that is no mean feat given the quality of IQ's back catalogue. This album continues to showcase the star quality of Peter Nicholls powerful melodic vocals and the incredible guitar playing of Mike Holmes. The rhythm is a powerhouse factory with Tim Esau's bass and Paul Cook's drums. However the real standout for me on this album is the extraordinary keyboard wizardry of Neil Durant. He is a revelation to this current lineup. It is a stunning collaborative effort from all involved.

The tracks are only 5 in total but they are all killer and no filler. The album has an immediate impact on the listener that they are hearing something very passionate and special, but the greatest thing about the album is it grows on you and simply gets better and better with every listen. There is a bonus album and these tracks are excellent too. Perhaps it could have been a 2 CD set. Still as a bonus album there are some delights for those who can get it, such as 'Knucklehead', 'Constellations' and 'Hardcore '.

It is an instant classic with Nicholls' vocals precisely executed on every note and the lead guitar breaks are dazzling and at times emotional such as 'Oceans'. Also the melodies are so infectious that it feels like it might be listening to IQs greatest hits. indeed some of their greatest hits are here such as the epic 'Without Walls', 'From the Outside In ' and the title track. All five songs have a quality and mesmerising hypnotic essence of their own. It's a concept album about a serial killer's mind and it's dark in content but the music is more upbeat and lively than the themes themselves.

This is definitely an album that will take some beating but I believe IQ are able to, given their wonderful lineup at this point in their career. I can't wait to hear some of the songs live in concert on a DVD or perhaps a live CD release coming up soon hopefully. IQ remain one of the quintessential Neo Prog artists on the planet and this album certainly proves that they are far from losing their creative and innovative spark. It is simply a wonderful album on every level.

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 Subterranea by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.91 | 483 ratings

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Subterranea
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Losimba

5 stars Another concept album from a Neo-Prog band. That's what one might think when they stumble across Subterranea for the first time. But hold on, for me this is a wee bit different.

I got Subterranea shortly after it was published, and I already had all older IQ albums at the time, so I thought I knew what I could expect. Well, most of those expectations came true, just not always in the expected way. I'm confusing you, ain't I? Ok. I expected Neo-Prog which Subterranea definitely is, and a sound similar to the album before, Ever. This is what I didn't get, because Subterranea is far rockier than the other album. Yes, the keyboard sound carpet (don't know if this is really an English term or just the word-by-word translation of an German expression) by Martin Orford is the same as on all IQ albums. Peter Nicholl sounds the same, too. But the guitars are more edgy, some rhythms could easily stand the comparison to heavier acts.

Then there is the story behind the album. I might be biased because I grew up not far away from the venue of one of most famous real stories of the kind, the Kaspar Hauser saga. Unlike others inspired by it, IQ chose to give Subterranea the same ending as the real story (maybe other life stories of this kind really ended the other way) and let the "hero" opt to return to the underworld he was familiar with.

Normally I don't highlight particular songs in concept albums as I have the impression that it is often quite difficult to understand them without the context. While this is true on Subterranea, there are two songs which are musically an even higher class. Lacking alternatives, I have to use my 6 star song cliche again. They are Failsafe and the title track which stands out even slighty more than the other. All other songs rate between 4.5 and 5 stars, which makes the overall rating of the album quite easy. 4.9 stars nicely round up to 5.

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 Tales From The Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.85 | 337 ratings

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Tales From The Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Formed by Mike Holmes and Martin Orford all the way back in 1981, IQ were amongst the first bands in the 80s to resurrect the styles of Genesis and Yes and progressive rock in general along with other early neo-prog pioneers Marillion, Pendragon, Twelfth Night, Pallas and others. Although this debut album by IQ starts out sounding like a mere Genesis clone with Gabriel era vocals and keyboard runs, it really picks up after few minutes and takes the listener on most unexpected journeys.

Genesis were masters of creating a new sound and then suddenly jettisoning it in favor of a new one. In the wake of their musical disposals first encountered on "Trespass" countless bands hungrily devoured the carcasses of their former sounds and incorporated them into their musical beings. After Gabriel left, the band changed their sound to a more neo-prog sound and eventually to a symphonic pop sound abandoning all the prog they so ambitiously created in the first place. Bands like IQ boldly resurrected these progressive traits first heard in the 70s and added a little zing to the whole mix.

TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC expands the Genesis inspired universe into farther reaches of that musical universe. Technically the second album after the cassette-only "Seven Stories Into Eight" it was nonetheless the first major release. Although Peter Nicholls echoes the Gabriel era of Genesis, at times he actually sounds like a bit like Rikk Emmett of Triumph at times showing a more diverse range in the octave department.

This album is a surprise actually. Coming to this late in the game after hearing the 21st century releases first, i have to say that i really love this debut. It shows great maturity in the composition department and the musicianship is on an excellent level matching that of any technical level of other 80s genres such as metal, jazz or classical. Martin Orford is particularly brilliant on the keyboards on this one and i even hear a little Philip Glass wizardry influence here and there. The rest of the band is nothing less than phenomenal in their ability to maintain a tight and steady progressive time signature frenzy as well.

A very promising start to a long lasting career with this one and even though there were a few speed bumps on the way, IQ has remained a steady and incrementally waxing force in the progressive rock arena for three decades at this point (2014). I find the music on this one brilliant but it is the blatant Gabriel vocal impersonation here that keeps me from rating this higher. It's just tooooo Peter most of the time. The best parts are the instrumental ones but even with vocals as they are and all i still really dig this scene.

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 Tales From The Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.85 | 337 ratings

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Tales From The Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by steelyhead

5 stars Beautiful way to start a band. Beatiful way of express yourself in a world where Disco and Punk has ravaged the musical world and got bands like Genesis and Yes running for cover.

This is the band that, with the help of Marillion, put the word "progressive" again in the tongues of many, many people, myself included, and who up to the year (2014) I am writing this are keeping the flame alive.

This is not a perfect record, but the way the first song crawl into your heart with Its luscious keyboard and the voice You'll think Genesis never went away to the Phil Collins inferno but stayed just one more recording.

IQ is not a Genesis clone band. Yes, They use Genesis as a foundation, but sure as hell, They have their own musical ideas and They developed in an ample manner here in their first CD.

Maani is right, You need to give this CD five stars beacuse of the music that is in It but also because of the historical importance of the moment. Give It a try and I am sure You'll be with me in this.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by eugenia43

5 stars Five years on from 'Frequency', IQ delivers yet again another sublime album, only this can be called a masterpiece of progressive rock (hence the 5 star rating) unlike Frequency that is an excellent album like many IQ albums before that. This is the best album that they've ever released. I have listened to the 2 CD album, and I have to say that disc 2 is almost as good as the first one, well worth your time (and money). The only downer is that we have to wait another 4 to 5 years for another IQ release, but if it's anything like The Road of Bones, the wait will be worthwhile.

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 The Wake by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.78 | 434 ratings

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The Wake
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

2 stars IQ is a band that I'm not terribly familiar with, but I've heard a decent amount of their discography. Neo-prog as a whole is a genre of which I know only a handful of bands, and is still something that I'm still attempting to delve into. Because IQ is considered one of the seminal bands in the genre, I figured it was only fitting that I attempted to get into their music.

I must say, that while much of the content on this album is fairly well-written, it's simply music that I could not really get into, despite several listens. Not really any tracks stood out, and the flow of the album in my opinion was a little shaky. However, only personal opinion really gets in the way of my enjoyment of this album; I can very well see that the members of IQ are very talented at what they do.

This is an album that I can't really listen to for enjoyment, and that I don't find myself wanting to go back to. It does, though, have redeeming qualities, and I'd urge fans of the band or genre to give this a try.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by guillermo68

5 stars IQ have delivered another prog-rock masterwork. The Road of Bones is easily the album of the year so far for me, and maybe one of the best albums ever made. It is easily Iq's best album to date. Every song on both cds' is excellent. The musicianship, the sound, the vocals, and the lyrics, are top notch, I guess just everything about the album is very good. I highly recommend that you get the 2 CD edition because both CDs are full of great IQ music. Maybe the only downside is that, with IQ, we will have to wait another five years for the next album.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Rikki Nadir

5 stars My first listening experience of the current IQ line Up was the live album IQ30 - Live In Zoetermeer (2012) and my overall impression was 'Um & Aargh!, the band sounds thinner', so my approach to the new Studio Album was cautious at first, but after a few listenings I completely surrender to this 'new' incarnation. Thinking back, at the beginning of the ´90s, I deeply missed the departure of Tim Esau, then I fell in love with JJ, but now I am so glad to notice that the strongest ingredient within this studio effort is the founding rhythm section of one of my top 5 rock bands ever. Every drum beat and bass note are precise and of such good taste. Production departament is top class again, but Mike's guitar work is at the second row, so in a way this album seems to be the effort of a different band than 'Frequency'. Bonus Disc is full of prog nonsense to good amount, so what else can I ask for? Enjoy or Die. Essential Prog.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by WatcherOfThePortal

5 stars OK you listen to Prog. Have you heard the newest IQ Album "the Road of Bones"? If not go get it right now. Both CD's are worth it. This is the best new album I have heard in quiet a while. Passages that meld from one to another. Old Genesis but Better! New sounds with synth excellence. I have listened to a lot of Prog starting around '73...but this has the marks of a classic. I like PT. Genesis, Camel, RPFL,BBTrain and many other types of Prog. Each song is built to listen again and to gain more depth each time. Ocean is a favorite but the whole CD1 is great. CD2 is worth every minute spent as well esp "Constellation". When was the last time you sat and listened through a whole album stunned? This is your journey now. Start soon.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.35 | 696 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog and Crossover Teams

5 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

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

That was the beginning of my last IQ review, a three star effort wrought with disappointment from one of my favorite bands laying a dud. As such, I was less than enthusiastic about "The Road of Bones", it took me a while to finally give it a spin. I had pre-judged the album, it's another IQ album similar to the last three, how can it have such a high rating. I was prepared to come in and bash the album.

I was wrong, I was horribly wrong!

Ok, so there are similarities and differences between Frequency and The Road of Bones. For starters, both albums have the harder edge that's been going through the ranks of Neo as of late, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The difference is that the engineering has taken a leap, the mix sounds so much better. Peter Nichols voice shines through as always, but Neil Durant's keyboard is some of the best that IQ has seen in years, including some of the later albums with Martin Orford. Another huge improvement is the rhythm section of Tim Esau and Paul Cook. It's both the new and old rhythm section, but they sound fantastic together and again, the mix makes them sound even better. Certainly not forgotten, Mike Holmes continues to rip out fantastic solo after solo. The occasional influence of a Spanish acoustic here and there is greatly appreciated.

"From the Outside In" is a typical IQ song and honestly, when I first heard it, I was convinced that this was just a continuation of the latest trend. After multiple listening's it still leaves me underwhelmed,

The title track is one of the first tunes that really hit me as something different. I love the distinctive sound of the vibraphone line standing out amongst the ambience of the rest of the synths. Neil Durant paints a beautiful soundscape here. Towards the middle of the song we get a glimpse of Tim Easu's tasty fretless bass (mmm, tasty bass. . . ). This is a great departure, something fresh and new.

"Without Walls" is a full on nineteen minutes of hit and miss. Ok, that's an exaggeration, the first three minutes is a forgettable, Genesis-esque ballad that could have been tucked away on "We Can't Dance". Luckily, this is quickly discarded for a nod to Frequency with the heavy triple chunk of the guitar over the Kashmir style drums. This is the IQ that we're used to, and I'm not saying this as a bad thing, I like change, but there still needs to be a common point of reference.

Neil Durant wears his Tony Banks influence on his sleeves, particularly for the keyboard lines in "Ocean". I kind of like Ocean as a ballad, though it is nonetheless, a ballad, a relatively underappreciated vessel in the prog sphere. Peter Nichols' voice stands out as more emotional and vulnerable than usual, a pleasant departure.

"Until the End" has some bright spots as well, the part at the five minute mark is a wonderful study in tastiness and space. Paul Cook in particular sounds great here. The end of the song is typical of IQ in that it's a slow reflection back on the past few songs, but unlike the previous albums, this one is slightly less predictable in that it's slower and quieter. Rather than making the big statement ala "Guiding Light" or "The Narrow Margin" this one tapers off nicely.

So, at this point we're at the end of the first CD and I'm waffling between a high three or a low four, it's good but I'm not convinced it's the next masterpiece. On to disc two.

"Knucklehead" has an exotic, almost Indian feel to it, the rhythm section shines throughout the first few minutes with a flurry of accent hits. Some of Mike Holmes best guitar work can be heard throughout this song, first there's the acoustic part that ends the Indian section, followed by a case of the heavies and then a nice arpeggio. The rhythm section again shines throughout this entire song. This song is a nice improvement over the first disc and really got my attention.

"1312 Overture" just plain kicks butt the whole way throughout the song, we start with a nice reference to the 1812 overture then there's four minutes of instrumental bliss featuring Neil Durant showcasing his talents over a sick rhythm. This is another great song.

"Constellations" is a Genesis themed song with similar themes to the last two songs, Tony Banks sounding keyboard patches with Mike Holmes doubling at times, or soloing over them at other times. This is the third fantastic song in a row and I'm starting to feel this album.

"Fall and Rise" is another beautiful song and Tim Esau shines here, the warbling of his fretless intertwining with Paul Cook's meandering drumming is sublime. Just when it's all well and good, Mike Holmes rips out a Spanish sounding acoustic guitar solo that meshes beautifully with Peter Nichols voice. This is another song about musical space and something that's been sorely missed on the last couple of IQ albums. In case that isn't enough, Neil Durant takes us out with his own beautiful solo. This band is firing on all cylinders in this song.

I can't say enough about "Ten Million Demons". It starts out with a Dr. Who nod for the bass and just builds to an intense rocker. I can't say enough about Neil Durant, his patch choice throughout this song was the final kicker that pushed the cd to masterpiece status, at times he pulls a patch from 'Mama', other times just a wonderfully tasty chord progression with a soft pad behind the pounding groove. The important thing though, is that this song is fantastic thanks to Mr. Durant. I can't play this song loud enough. Yes, this is the moment that pushes this album to a full five star rating. Best line of the album, Peter Nichols growling 'Get yourself unwrecked, time to resurrect'.

Hardcore is a great ending to the whole CD, we get five minutes of nod to the first CD, nice, more Neil Durant keys in the vein of ' . . . And Then There Were Three" but then something amazing happens. We get into a soft, outro with just soft keys and ambience. This slowly grows into a full out outro similar to "Fall and Rise" in that the instrumentalists of the band are shining and locking in together. Mike Holmes adds first a Hacket sounding solo then another acoustic solo over the groove as the song slowly fades out. This was such a beautiful ending.

I am so happy to give this cd a full on five star rating and so glad to see something this good from IQ. This is the best album that they've ever released. Good job to you all, this is a masterpiece and I'm so glad you guys kept working at this band. It would have been easy for Mike Holmes to have called it quits multiple times. This is fantastic and I'm so glad you kept at it.

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