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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.05 | 679 ratings

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3 stars Out of the three IQ albums that I've experienced so far Ever is easily my favorite but that isn't really saying much considering that I can't call it an excellent album experience.

The album consists of six compositions where two are masterful, two great and two not so much. The Darkest Hour belongs to the latter category because it doesn't justify its length of 11 minutes. If anything, this is more like a 5 minute composition stretched out to the 11 minute mark by adding a keyboard and guitar solos. It might have just as well been stretched out to a 15 minute mark by adding a bass and a drum solo as well! The chorus melody is pretty bland and doesn't make the whole experience all that interesting to my ears. Fading Senses is a nice ballad that somehow manages to incorporate a very grand sounding conclusion that doesn't really have much to do with the first 4 minutes of the song. Out Of Nowhere is a miss for me since this is just another uncomfortable stab at creating a single and doesn't add up to much for us who want to hear Neo-Prog.

After a weak first half the album manages to pull off a majestic second act that at first even made me believe that Ever had a chance at excellence. Further Away might not be the most interesting 15 minute composition but it does offer a solid flow from start to finish placing itself somewhere between a good and an excellent performance. Luckily once Leap Of Faith hits the speakers with the memorable keyboard intro we finally get the first truly excellent composition from IQ! What breath of fresh air after prog by numbers up until now! I also have to give the band credit for not expanding this performance into another lengthy track which might have been difficult to resist considering all of the masterful moments incorporated here. Came Down is a continuation of the previous track with a transition that reminds me of Afterglow from Wind And Wuthering. This is a luscious ballad that ends the album on a high note.

Just like Marillion's transition from Script For A Jester's Tear to Fugazi and Misplaced Childhood the sound offered on Ever is not on this as dark as it was on The Wake, especially since the '90s production makes a huge improvement in the sound production department. The album comes close to excellence and have it not been for the shaky first half then I wouldn't hesitate to give it a higher rating.

***** star songs: Leap Of Faith (7:21) Came Down (5:56)

**** star songs: Fading Senses (6:35) Further Away (14:30)

*** star songs: The Darkest Hour (10:52) Out Of Nowhere (5:09)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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