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IQ - The Road Of Bones CD (album) cover

THE ROAD OF BONES

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.24 | 1260 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars IQ is arguably the most prolific neo-prog group of the 21th century so far. I started listening to 'The Road of Bones' after I got hooked on its follow-up 'Resistance' from 2019. Both these albums have a full second disc of strong B-material, which brings the playtime of this album over the 100 minutes.

'The Road of Bones' album (the first disc) offers a gentle, adult and well-produced version of IQ that seems especially keen on honoring and up-dating its debut album 'Tales From the Lush Attic'. References to 'The Last Human Gateway' can be found in choice of sounds, chord progressions and how the compositions flow. There is lots of atmospheric spaciousness in these compositions and little of the rock/metal density that for instance 'Dark Matter' from 2004 offers. The compositions are given the space to evolve and there's relatively little instrumental keyboard melodies/progressions or guitar-leads for an IQ album. The album has some bleaker moments in which Peter Nicholls sings in a lamenting tone (the title track comes to mind), but overall the album doesn't offer much the sci-fi doom that would dominate 'Resistance'. By referencing to their early period and adding a layer of adult atmospheric growth (like Pink Floyd would do on The Division Bell) the band has found itself a renewed interest from the broad progressive community. I myself am not blown away by this first disc, because I think its beautiful content is a bit spread out. IQ sounds extremely well-versed in advanced symphonic progrock, but in the meanwhile looses some of its spontaneous edge.

The second disc is quite the opposite. Notably less detailed in its production (though the quality of the sound is equally good), it shows the band experimenting with drum-loops, drones, sound samples, heavy prog, electronic soundscapes and a more diverse type of song-writing. The compositions are less finished and refined, but the chord progressions and melodies are more to my liking here; more nerve-wrecking, dark and abstract. This is IQ in its free-thinking mode and it really triggers my attention, for it makes the music that less predictable.

I think the combining of the finesse of the first disc and the experimental side of the second disc of 'The Road of Bones' is what makes 'Resistance' one my favorite albums ever made. For this album I can highly recommend the 2cd version that should offer more than enough neo-prog delight for all fans of IQ.

friso | 4/5 |

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