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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.05 | 710 ratings

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4 stars With this release, IQ added a lot of flavor into the neo-prog genre.

In a category of music often cited as being fairly stale and not very involved, IQ stands as one of the most innovative and creative forces. Not content just to rehash sounds first heard from the symphonic acts of the 70s, IQ dances forward with some modern sounds and a good bit more appropriate aggression. I think the divining factor here that makes IQ and especially Ever is the level of energy the band puts into their music. A lot of neo-prog bands write long songs with progressive elements, but they power these songs with melodic melancholy more often than not. While IQ's music is not necessarily happy or even not melancholic, somehow they pump their music full of some sort of interest and energy. One factor in this is the voice of the band, Peter Nicholls. His charismatic and unique voice adds a level of excellence to this band that is missing from most of their peers. Also, the rest of the band plays on a high wire, balancing fast but melodic guitar lines with excellent drum and bass rhythm work.

Each of the songs here has its own identity and its own strengths. The opener The Darkest Hour is a more standard IQ tune, setting the benchmark for what their average song should sound like. Fading Senses and Out of Nowhere are both high energy bits with some great keyboard patches and a lot of bottom (also an element often missing from neo-prog). The album epic, Further Away, is probably the least interesting track to me, but even still it is a splendid tune to listen to. Leap of Faith features a wonderful instrumental conclusion with wild bass and some absolutely lovely keyboard work. The final track, Came Down, flows from Leap of Faith very nicely, and wraps up the album in a very gentle and beautiful way. The tracks all stand on their own, true, but the album works very nicely as a whole.

If you aren't very familiar with the neo-prog genre, this is an ideal place to begin. This is probably the height of the genre, right here.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |


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