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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.06 | 714 ratings

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5 stars A True Masterpiece of Neo Progressive album!

Friends .. something has gone totally wrong with me: how come I've been reviewing 572 prog albums in this site and I never touched this master piece album? Oh no . this is a fatal error! In fact, this album means a lot to me because it remarked the return of my trust with prog genre in 1997 / 1998. Why? Practically after Fish left Marillion, I did not see any future of prog music and I was not aware at all by the time this album was released. Until one day I visited my old prog friend, Ricky, 's house in Bandung sometime in 1997/1998. He played me this album and it struck my head the first time he spun the CD for me. Fabulous music! I asked him on how he purchased the CD and he introduced me to Malcolm of Cyclops where I finally placed my order of this CD. Yeah man . prog's back to my life again after practically 5 years (or so) I was a passive prog lover. What I mean "passive" was that I still proggin' but I did not grow my collection - I just played old stuffs of Marillion first four albums, early Genesis, Pink Floyd, VdGG, Gentle Giant, IQ The Wake, etc.

As I mentioned at my review on "ForEver Live", this album was uniquely released through a live performance that was recorded and released later in the double CD format of "ForEver Live". So it's a critical album as far as the band's career in prog music arena. The masterpiece of masterpiece of six tracks presented here is Further Away where the band admitted themselves that this song which consumes 14 minutes duration was hard to play on stage. They dropped this track to be featured in the live CD after long tension during rehearsal. I have to admit that this track is so powerful in terms of neat composition, multi-part structure, many tempo changes with very smooth transition. It starts off with a mellow and melodic opening of keyboard and vocals, augmented with innovative bass work by John Jowitt. The first three minutes is truly a killing melody with harmonious sounds. At the end of of three minutes part the music blasts off in heavy mode with powerful soft guitar riffs and dynamic basslines. The excellent sonic quality helps elevate the great nuance of music with jaw dropping drum line. WOW! What an energetic music man ..!!! The song ends up with another mellow part with floating keyboard work. Masterpiece! (Note: whenever I play this album I always repeat this track for 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 times. It's so rewarding my friend ..!)

Nothing is good track in this album as each track is totally excellent PLUS or masterpiece. The opening track "The Darkest Hour" has a hard driving rhythm and pounding bass lines augmented with keyboards. This rocking track with heavy 70s prog touch is performed excellently by the band. The band then provides a slower track with "Fading Senses" which has a catchy melody using excellent combination of Nicholl's voice and long sustain keyboard work by Orford. "Out Of Nowhere" brings the music back into another upbeat tempo and high energy combining the work of drums, bass and keyboard nicely - in a sort of staccato style music. Powerful music. The two concluding tracks "Leap of Faith" and "Came Down" wrap the album excellently. These two songs also very strong in melody.

It's actually not a concept album from IQ. However, listening (read: enjoying!) this album is like going through a series of parts in one cohesive story because the combination of melody, tempo, compositions and beats from one song to another have formed naturally like a journey, like following a story. I have no little complaint at all with this wonderful album; even the sonic quality is excellent. I always play this album with LOUD volume at my amplifier while reading the lyrics and sing together with Nicholls. It's a great joy, I tell you ..

So, how would I recommend this album to you? Simple, GET IT man! Especially if you love symphonic prog with catchy melody in moderate complexity of the composition. Yes, most of IQ music are not complex but they are very enjoyable and accessible to many ears. This album is a masterpiece of neo prog album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild Mother Brown has lost her child ...

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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