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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

Buy IQ Music


The Road of BonesThe Road of Bones
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$20.05
$34.97 (used)
Dark MatterDark Matter
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$9.54
$9.97 (used)
Are You Sitting ComfortablyAre You Sitting Comfortably
Import
Inside Out Germany 1998
Audio CD$11.86
$6.86 (used)
EverEver
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.94
$9.57 (used)
Seventh HouseSeventh House
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.54
$9.94 (used)
FrequencyFrequency
Inside Out U.S. 2009
Audio CD$11.05
$10.05 (used)
Tales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-MixTales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$22.88
$18.75 (used)
SubterraneaSubterranea
Import
Imports 2012
Vinyl$36.73
$50.08 (used)
SubterraneaSubterranea
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.97
$20.29 (used)
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More places to buy IQ music online Buy IQ & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for IQ DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

IQ shows & tickets


  • IQ at The Met, Bury on 11 Oct 2014
  • IQ at Boerderij, Zoetermeer on 6 Dec 2014

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)

3.83 | 316 ratings
Tales From The Lush Attic
1983
3.78 | 405 ratings
The Wake
1985
2.77 | 222 ratings
Nomzamo
1987
2.73 | 206 ratings
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
1989
4.04 | 438 ratings
Ever
1993
3.91 | 457 ratings
Subterranea
1997
3.47 | 81 ratings
Seven Stories Into 98
1998
4.03 | 447 ratings
The Seventh House
2000
4.02 | 666 ratings
Dark Matter
2004
4.13 | 640 ratings
Frequency
2009
4.43 | 446 ratings
The Road Of Bones
2014

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

2.96 | 52 ratings
Living Proof
1986
3.88 | 8 ratings
Headlong
1991
3.85 | 70 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.56 | 18 ratings
Subterranea Tour Live Germany
1999
4.18 | 9 ratings
Head Long to Argentina
1999
4.56 | 9 ratings
La Maroquinerie, Paris 18 Nov. 2000
2000
4.26 | 61 ratings
Subterranea: The Concert
2000
4.53 | 41 ratings
The Wake - Live At De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
2010

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

4.72 | 29 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.38 | 52 ratings
Subterranea - The Concert
2002
4.44 | 52 ratings
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show
2004
3.83 | 28 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.44 | 94 ratings
Stage
2006
3.79 | 19 ratings
Forever Live
2007

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

3.57 | 44 ratings
J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
1991
3.45 | 54 ratings
The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
1999
4.62 | 27 ratings
The Archive Collection - IQ20
2003
4.64 | 22 ratings
The Wake 2010 Remaster
2010
3.80 | 5 ratings
Re:Mixed
2011
4.60 | 61 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix
2013

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

5.00 | 2 ratings
The Legendary IQ Free Record
1984
2.68 | 27 ratings
Nine in a Pond is Here
1985
5.00 | 1 ratings
Here There And Everywhere
1987
5.00 | 1 ratings
Passing Strangers (12'')
1987
3.50 | 6 ratings
Sold On You (EP)
1989
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Darkest Hour (Promo-EP)
1993
3.69 | 26 ratings
Frequency Tour
2008

IQ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Deathangel

5 stars Never expected this.

I've always had a fondness for IQ - after all, they were one of the very few bands that kept the flag flying during the 'wilderness years', and everything they do has a certain quality to it. Having said that, they've released some less than great stuff IMHO so I'm not one of those 'IQ=autobuy' guys. But, after reading all the glowing reviews of 'The Road Of Bones' I thought I'd check it out for myself, and I'm sooo glad I did. Here's a band in their 30th (at least) year still managing to push the boundaries of their musical world, and the result is some of the best music they've produced in their entire career.

I think more than a few people were waiting to see what they'd be able to do without Martin Orford, and I must admit I had my doubts as to whether this line up could deliver the goods, but wow: goods delivered, and then some.

Starting with the first disc, the whole thing runs beautifully. The heavier edge adds a sense of urgency to the songs which elevates the band to another level. All five tracks on this disc are really kicking, even the ballad 'Ocean' works where it is, sandwiched between the epic 20 minute 'Without Walls' and the closing song 'Until The End' which, at 12 minutes is pretty epic in itself. The title track is just gorgeous, with the 'false sense of security' beginning, the introduction of the creepy noises and uneasy lyrics and the final massive riff bringing in the whole band on a relentlessly hypnotic groove. Best thing they've ever done. All the band are working overtime on this disc, with my only reservation the relative lack of guitar solos.

But the really incredible thing about The Road Of Bones is the second disc of so called 'extras'. Very different in feel to the first disc, but each one is worthy of a proper release, the quality is so good. 'Constellations' is classic prog a la 'Wind And Wuthering' (they've never quite lost their Genesis influence) and 'Fall And Rise' has a sublime, sexy fretless bass line running through it that you just can't ignore.

Very impressed that IQ can pull this out of the bag at this stage in their career - can't wait to see what they do next.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 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
4.43 | 446 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
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

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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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

BUY
The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by prog61

2 stars I honestly do not understand how people can call this album a masterpiece. For me IQ reached their highest peak with "Dark Matter", really their most progressive album. The following "Frequency" was a big disappointment, and this latest album is no better. Unfortunately, in recent years the music of IQ has lost much of the usual fantasy and the typical progressive components: all the songs have more or less the same structure: simple times, some instrumental passage, very melodic vocals, but nothing that will really get interesting to ears accustomed to prog. Unfortunately, the lack of Martin Orford is felt more and more: the progressive soul of the band was really him. I'm sorry to say that, but I think IQ have now very little to say in progressive music: better to go to listen to the various "Dark Matter", "Ever", "Wake" and "Lush attic"

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by FXM

5 stars For my debut review on Progarchives I have decided to select what is so far the outstanding release of 2014.

I thought IQ had reached the pinnacle of their career with Dark Matter. For me Frequency was a very good but a bit weaker. But Road of Bones is superb, in my opinion this is by far their best release to date. A five star review is something that should be give to only a very special album. There are too many discs here that are undeserving of the five star rating they receive but this is truly a masterpiece. This, their 11th studio recording, is the crowning achievement in a long career spanning 32 years.

Everything about this release is class. Good artwork, crisp clear production and superb musicianship. There is not a dull moment on the entire disc. The epic "Without Wall" is probably my favourite, it starts quite mellow and slow builds into one of those majestic sounding IQ tracks.

The other four tracks on the main disc are also excellent, there is a fine interplay of bass and drums, great keyboard work from the newcomer Neil Durant and of course Mike Holmes guitar playing is first class as usual. Peter Nicholls voice is in top form and he gives space for the music to develop. When I heard that John Jowett had left the band and was replaced by Tim Esau, their bass player from the 1980's I was a bit worried but my fears were unfounded and he has performed superbly

On the Special Edition they have added a bonus disc which could easily have been a release on its own. All too often bonus material is second rate but not in this case, the six tracks are all good, not a filler amongst them.

Unless something special is released over the next few months Road of Bones will be easily be at the top of my best of for 2014.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars IQ are band I have had a firm interest in over the past few years. Having a slight firm interest in Neo Prog, along with Marillion, IQ are probably one of my most favourable bands still carrying the Neo prog sound. Their last album "Frequency" was a critically praised album and got a lot of praise, and it deserved it. And this album got the same praise...and it deserved it...well kind of.

One criticism I would have with this album is summed up in IQ's overall sound. The band's sound is really pushed by Peter Nichols' vocals and the keyboards. Drums and bass do play a small role but the guitars only come in now and then to add a few chugs now and then. In fact sometimes the guitar riffs on this album sound very similar to each other. I do think "Frequency" was a slightly more cohesive and enjoyable album, but this one isn't too bad to be honest. If I was to best describe these guys impact, I would say they are like a mellower and less heavier Threshold, both in style and presentation. But at least these guys are sticking to their guns.

The bands sound is very unique. In fact out of all the neo prog bands, IQ's sound is probably one of the most distinct, but it is also one of the most consistent Neo prog sounds, which means the band can be a slightly bit repetitive. But it doesn't mean the band can't excite and entice. One of the biggest baits for the band is the voice of Peter Nichols. Very noticeable and enjoyable in tone, he reminds me of a lower Tobias Sammet (from Edguy fame) with slight tributes to Fish and Steve Hogarth now and then.

The opening track "From The Outside In" is a great intro to the album. Probably one of the band's heaviest songs in their repertoire. In fact I would even say this is a progressive metal song. Great intro with some pretty head banging riff and a pretty good chorus too.

The title track is probably one of my personal favorites on the album. Starting off almost like a ballad the song has some nice melodies and moving segments before exploding into a rather heavy climax.

The album's longest track "Without Walls" is a good example of how to make a long epic song. Full of interesting moments showing off the bands versatility with a lot of different dynamic changes throughout. The end has a pretty great climax showing off the bands more experimental side with some nosey crescendos.

The albums shortest song "Ocean" is more of a ballad. The amazing keyboard work on this song is the real highlight. Some nice melodies and some cool twists and turns throughout too.

The final track "Until The End" is probably one of the darkest tracks on the album. Full of discords thrown in now and again, it goes through a good amount of emotional moments with a great finale too.

In conclusion, this album is a brilliant follow up to "Frequency." The bands sound hasn't changed too much over the years, but this album is one of their heaviest and shows off the bands direction towards a more metal sound. Overall it bodes well with the bands sound and is a push in the right direction.

7.9/10

Genres: Progressive Rock, Neo Prog, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, Art Rock

Country of origin: England

Year of release: 2014

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 The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999) by IQ album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.45 | 54 ratings

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The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars While the next couple of years IQ focused on promoting ''Subterranea'' via live performances, they did not stay away from regular appearances on music stores' shelves.First comes the 98' re-recording and release of their 82' premature ''Seven stories into eight'' album, which was a trully exciting trip to the past, and then, in 1999, comes a nice collection, entitled ''The lost attic''.This albums contains recordings spanning from mid-80's to the millenium and includes alternates versions of some of IQ's most well-known numbers, live sessions, covers, demo executions of studio pieces and even some leftovers.

Part of the album offers pieces, originally included in singles heading for the fan club of the band: A lovely performance on the middle section of ''The last human gateway'', a surprising execution of the Folk-oriented ''The bold grenadier'' with beautiful orchestral synths and synthetic vibes in a MIKE OLDFIELD-like enviroment, a version of ''Fascination'' with Paul Menel on vocals, and one of IQ's rarest cuts, ''Hollow afternoon'', which features a big symphonic sound with powerful keyboards and excellent guitar soloing, not far from the sound of ''Fascination''.

The cover presented is ''Apathetic and here, I...'', originally written by Geoff Mann for his album ''Second chants'' and this version comes from the 94' tribute album ''Mannerisms''.It's got a weird New Wave vibe over an atmosphere of acoustic lines with a discreet Neo Prog feel.''N.T.O.C. (Resistance)'' was originally part of the 93' SI compilation ''Disc too'' and here the group exhibits a style reminiscent of the Paul Menel era, featuring a somewhat rockin'/poppy vibe on vocals but also an impressive instrumental depth with full-blown synths and sampled organs as well as some great guitar runs.

''Awake and nervous'', Just changing hands'' and ''Widow's peak'' are the three pieces coming from an 84' BBC session, no more to add, fantastic songs, arrangements and live capturing by the band in three classic cuts of IQ's endless, succesful repertoire.

The ''Subterranea'' outtakes are represented here by ''Eyes for the blind'' and ''The universal scam'', which work as complementary tracks and are up there with the album's atmosphere.Starting with the first, the atmosphere is melancholic, laid-back and lyrical with only bass and keyboards in the forefront, while the second one is bombastic Neo Prog with a rich and dynamic style with the sign of IQ all over the place.

Other tracks include a 1999 re-recording of the lost-in-time ''Hollow afternoon'', the excellent acoustic ballad ''Wintertell'' with its amazing British flavor, the humoristic, almost cartoon-like ''My legs'' with the vocal distortions and the following effects and a rather pale, Reggae-like edition of ''Barbell is in'', which could be a nice listening, while drinking a mojito at a beach bar.

All in all a pretty cool compilation of archival and more recent recordings by IQ, which varies from Pop Rock to bombastic Neo Prog and scans different periods of the band's history.Great addition for all IQ fans, but also a nice purchase for lovers of diverse music discoveries, always surrounded by a proggy background.Recommended.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by JCDenton

5 stars I'm surprised. This is a tremendous album. IQ never show off too much technicality and are not a flashy group by any means, but the band do well with what they have. They wrote a great, melancholy album here. It has many great atmospheric textures and a well-polished sound. It's still jamming at many times and hard-hitting, but very full of emotion and heart. That's where this album majorly succeeds. There's nothing complicated about it (if not "Ocean" having just a bit of an unusual, but good beat for a cheery tune). I don't find a moment of music I don't enjoy here. Each tune is lengthy but doesn't cover more ground than it can handle. Each idea is present to satisfactory extents and always keeps me interested. It's great! Been listening to it non-stop for weeks! What didn't click at first only clicked more and more with time! There's very little wrong with this album!

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.43 | 446 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars I own the special edition double CD release of this album, so my review is somewhat slighted by the "overall" impression that this collection of songs has left me. The Road of Bones contains a lot of very polished neoprog. None of it is very sophisticated. Most of it is fairly straightforward and repetitive with the occasional pleasing twist or turn. Peter Nichols' vocals are very clear and easy on the ears yet they lack whatever it takes to get the listener really engaged and excited. I find myself most drawn to the keyboard work--which is most often fairly simple though very lush and fully-filling of the aural landscapes. Mostly, I guess I just like the sounds and tones used by Neil Durant. The album does have a few gems--and, IMHO, they have improved their delivery from Frequency--though many of the "hooks" used effectively on that 2009 album are again used here. From Disc 1, "The Road of Bones" (8:32) (9/10) is great, beautiful, mature. The epic/show piece "Without Walls" (19:16) (8/10) and the Wind and Wuthering-like "Ocean" (5:55) (8/10) are both nice songs but neither leaves me with adrenaline pumping, neither lures me back for the "replay" button push. From Disc 2, "Knucklehead" (8:11) (9/10) is the best--offering the most complex and exciting music of the entire collection. Both "Hardcore" (the first half) (10:53) and "Until the End" (12:00) reminds me too much of Frequency's best song, "Ryker Skies." The rest of Disc 2's songs are a step below the offerings on Disc 1. The instrumental, "1312 Overture" (4:18), is engaging but it makes me feel as if the band is going through a rhythmic warmup exercise. The acoustic guitar play on Disc 2 and use of programmed drums gives the music a cheesy lounge New Age music sound. "Ten Million Demons" (6:10) leads the best of the rest. "Constellations" (12:25) sounds like it came right out of Genesis' And Then There Were Three/Duke era--I mean, straight out, sometimes note and sound-for note and sound.

Overall, The Road of Bones is a pleasant listen even if it doesn't excite me enough to extoll its masterpiece status. Still, I do recommend prog lovers give it a listen.

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Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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