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IQ - Dark Matter CD (album) cover





4.04 | 891 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Intense, intelligent, incredible, insightful, intuitive, these are all words I think of when I think of the letter I in the context of the band IQ. If you listened to this album, you would agree with me. Although it isn't the greatest IQ album (I reserve that for their debut), this one is nothing but stunning, with intense atmosphere, intelligent and insightful lyrics, and incredible and intuitive musicianship. Whether you're a fan of The Wake or a fan of The Seventh House, there is something to enjoy on this album, from the anxious opening of Sacred Sound with the Supper's Ready type ending of Harvest of Souls.

Sacred Sound opens the album. A strong 7/4 main theme combined with some top- notch lyrical and vocal material create a sense of ambiguity as the band connects and cohesively tramples through the song. Red Dust Shadow is a more somber song, with remorseful lyrics in "Oh no, no, where did my daddy go?" and some strong guitar from Mike Holmes. You Never Will is the next track, which again takes a slower pace at first, and then picks up during the chorus. Born Brilliant finds Peter Nicholls in the middle of self-analysis with such phrases as "I'm cold and unapproachable/Deceptive and a fraud", and more strong riffs continue, most notably a 6/4 riff that has a reprisal in the next track, the epic to end all epics as it seems to be.

Harvest of Souls has strong Genesis overtones in that it is structured similarly in the very beginning and end. 12 string guitar and keyboard dominate the first 4 minutes of the song, and then as the second section The Wrong Host begins, the main musical theme of the song begins. This song is often debated because of its anti-American sentiments "The hand of God defends America/And who would not defend America?" but despite this, the track has some stunning work from all members of the group, especially Mike Holmes, who shines throughout with lead and rhythm work.

Overall, IQ hit the mark again with this sensational statement of an album. Hopefully they will grace America one day with a tour, but until then, we can only wait. This album is one of their very best, although it doesn't have that masterpiece feel to it. My only real gripe is that sometimes the riffs feel out of place or they sound a little off-beat, but maybe that's just me. You can't get much better than this, I give this a very high recommendation for those who are just getting into IQ. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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