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IQ - The Road Of Bones CD (album) cover

THE ROAD OF BONES

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.23 | 1313 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I must say it took me a long time really enjoy this album. At the time I got The Road Of Bones I had also had bought several others CDs and I guess others pleased me more at first listen, so I sest this one aside for a while. And everytime I took the trouble to listen to it again I was not captivated by the first two tracks,and I usually ended my session right there. It just sounded too much like Subterranea or The Seventh House, not my favorite IQ stuff. That kept happening until recently, when, by mistake, I put the second CD on and was amazed of how good it sounded. The bonus material was much better than the "official" one, or at least thatīs what I thought then. Nowadays, after repeated spins,I discovered that the whole work is one of their very best.

I guess this CD was a challenge for the band, being the first one to be completely written without founder member Martin Orford .And I did not know at the time that not even Orfordīs replacement on the previous Frequency (2009), Mark Westworth, was gone and newcomer Neil Durant had taken over keyboards duties! On the other hand, original members Paul Cook (drums) and Tim Esau (bass) are back, thus meaning that 4/5 of the classic line up is playing here! And both are on top form, with Esau showing great bass lines here, specially when he plays some fretless bass.

What really amazes me the most if the fact that this is surely a keyboards driven record, with novice Neil Durant taking a major role on this record. Although his style is not exactly the same as Orfords, his extensive use of vintage sounding keyboards, along with few more "modern" stuff, gives the tracks an unmistaken IQ feeling on all tracks, and yet he also brings some fresh and exciting new tones and colors to the music. He is the main figure here. The downside is the fact that Michael Holmes trademark, tasteful guitar solos for some reason are few and far between. The Road of Bones would be a five star record if he had add more of that on this album.

As for the songs themselves, this is a killer album, with only winners and no fillers. Their sound is becoming more and more complex and symphonic, even if still melodic and accessible. The first CD is a concept album about a serial killer and thatīs the one that takes more time to really sink in, but itīs a magnificent work, while the bonus disc is, at least, as good as the official one. Itīs hard to pont out a highlight since the quality of the stuff is so high and varied. But I must say that the 19 minute epic Without Walls is defintely one, while Constellations and Until The End are also favorites. But, nowadays, I always hear them both from start to finish now without skipping a single track. The production is excellent, as are the arrangements and performances.

Conclusion: One of the best IQ CDs,ever. If it was not for the lack of more Michael Holmes guitar solos this could be their very best. But a brilliant and inspired opus that will please anyone who likes great synmphonic prog music. 4,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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