Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.05 | 679 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars "Ever" has that iconic cover that I always seemed to correlate with the music of IQ; curvy blue radiance and a beautiful Romanian visage with cubist features. It is the radiant beauty and jagged edges that remind me of their music. The band revel in complex time changes and a heavy emphasis on virtuosic instrumentation. The vocals on this are wonderful from the same vocalist of IQ's "The Wake" which was a mere sign of the master quality of "Ever". The lead guitar expertise of Mike Holmes is always a delight, as are the wondrous keyboards of Martin Orford.

It begins with the epic sounds of 'The Darkest Hour' that has a delightful melody and very powerful guitars. The lead break at 5 and a half minutes in is excellent and it is followed by ribbons of synths. This interlude is neo prog at its best, and in fact the entire song is one of IQ's finest compositions. The lyrics are transfixing; "out of the way of anyone, wilder than you are, anyone who ever had a heart, wouldn't deny me, woe betied the one not to be undone, who will remember, start it again when does it end, I'm in there somewhere, nobody can carry me over." The lead guitar solo follows and it culminates in a tranquil passage of ambience. The piano, guitar and synth pads generate a peaceful backdrop to Nicholl's final thoughts; "if I should fall from your side, keep it in your mind, how I tried to keep it here, how I promised you'd be safe, and you never said a word, and you never cried." One of the best IQ tracks in their long tenure in the neo prog scene.

After this glorious opening the next track is 'Fading Senses', that is in two sections, i. After All, ii. Fading Senses. This one has quiet, relaxing synths and vocals. It builds to a heavier beat and lead guitar solos that are very emotionally charged, and a time sig shift is augmented by heavier sounds, that merge seamlessly back to a spacey synth. The musicianship is mesmirising throughout and as good as it gets for prog in the early 90s, when prog was beginning to make a comeback. This is one of the best IQ tracks in their quitter repertoire.

'Out Of Nowhere' comes in with a syncopated guitar and drum rhythm, sounding like Genesis for a time. The distorted guitar riff chugs moderately as Nicholl's crystal clear vocals speak of not giving in to doubt; "some are born into their lives, with a need to be destroyed, it's the wrong thing on my mind, the only thing we can't survive." I love this song with its melodic upbeat style, and Nicholl's inimitable vocals. It has a more straight forward commercial sound but it works well enough as a melodic break from the complexity previously.

'Further Away' is another lengthy track at 14:30, and begins with Marillion-style chiming synths that lock into a motif layer for the flute to float on. The vocals are lower register and very relaxed; "torn from my hand so heavy now you're a world away, these little lies are grown so cold and will I see you when I turn around." The flute embellishments are gorgeous, adding a haunting beauty. The heavier guitars and odd rhythms are strong and drive the track along on its journey. Along the way there are scintillating keyboard solos, spacey synthscapes and lead guitar solos emotionally pouring out like golden honey.

'Leap Of Faith' follows with passages of tranquillity leading to glorious synth and lead guitar trade offs. It segues directly into 'Came Down', with a steady beat and lead guitar melodies. The vocals are melancholy and subdued; "all the time we didn't share, when we set adrift half forgotten lies, will the madness still be there, when you turn away, the distance in your eyes speaks the words that you won't say." The verses lead to an uplifting chorus with harmonies and the distinct feeling the album is drawing to a close. The final instrumentation gives us one more chance to hear Holmes' lead soling, simply stunning in its execution.

"Ever" is a masterful symphonically-driven album, creatively rich and infused with soulful passion and dramatic energy. After 8 years absence from the band, Peter Nicholls returns and injects a refreshed enthusiasm and vibrancy to the band's sound. Every track is delightful featuring some of the best neo- prog I have had the pleasure to hear. It is an absolute joy to listen to a band that does not shy away from complex musicianship and keeps everything upbeat and positive. At the end of the album I feel refreshed and I know I have heard something very, very special indeed. The album comes with a plethora of rave reviews, and has enthused lovers of prog over the years who hail it as a masterpiece. Often these albums are overhyped and do not live up to expectations but in this case, the hype is well deserved. "Ever" is a bonafide masterpiece and is one of the reasons the band are so well known and have garnered a massive following. With music this good, it is impossible to ignore IQ, and this album is one of the treasures of 1993, and indeed the 90s decade itself.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this IQ review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives