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IQ

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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IQ picture
IQ biography
Founded in Southampton, England in 1981

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2019 ⭐

What's the difference between a band and a cult band? A charismatic frontman, able to seduce the audience with a single look? A mastermind, conducting his fellow geniuses to sheer excellence? A dedicated and addicted following lasting three decades? An outstanding live concept combining stage charisma, true emotions and self-ironic humor?

Take it all, add a catalogue in which every new entry is described as "the latest masterpiece" and you get IQ.

Rising from the ashes of THE LENS in 1981, the original line up of Peter NICHOLLS, Michael HOLMES, Martin ORFORD, Paul COOK and Tim ESAU formed a band achieving the impossible - the combination of such diverse styles as prog, punk, jazz and even reggae. Their first cassette album, later re-released on GEP as "SEVEN STORIES INTO 98", is still an outstanding example of that.

Both their first vinyl albums "TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC" and "THE WAKE" gained instant classic status in the "new wave of British progressive rock". Soon the band became a regular in London's world famous Marquee club, performed more than 200 gigs each year in the UK (as seen in the "LIVE FROM LONDON" video from 1985), and quickly attained a strong and loyal following.

After signing to POLYGRAM in 1987 with new singer Paul MENEL, they released "NOMZAMO" featuring the single "PROMISES" which made it high in the Dutch charts. European tours and the album "ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?" followed, but MENEL and bass player Tim ESAU left the band shortly after in 1989.

What could have been the end was in fact just another beginning. NICHOLLS rejoined and was welcomed back enthusiastically at concerts in London and Paris. At the same time GEP was founded by musicians and associates of IQ with the rarities album "J'AI POLLETTE D'ARNU" becoming the label's debut release.

In 1993 IQ's new album "EVER" thrilled fans old and new with a modern and yet traditional interpretation of progressive rock. With new bassist John JOWITT (ex-ARK) the band embarked on a storming tour of the UK and mainland Europe, and played acclaimed festival appearances in the USA and South America. The tour was captured on film at the celebrated "F...
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IQ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IQ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 557 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic
1983
3.79 | 663 ratings
The Wake
1985
2.82 | 388 ratings
Nomzamo
1987
2.78 | 352 ratings
Are You Sitting Comfortably ?
1989
4.07 | 757 ratings
Ever
1993
4.00 | 751 ratings
Subterranea
1997
3.39 | 192 ratings
Seven Stories into 98
1998
4.00 | 749 ratings
The Seventh House
2000
4.06 | 1017 ratings
Dark Matter
2004
4.11 | 1006 ratings
Frequency
2009
4.25 | 1388 ratings
The Road of Bones
2014
4.15 | 515 ratings
Resistance
2019

IQ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 96 ratings
Living Proof
1986
3.91 | 111 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.18 | 22 ratings
Subterranea Tour Live Germany
1999
4.10 | 20 ratings
Head Long to Argentina
1999
4.10 | 20 ratings
La Maroquinerie, Paris 18 Nov. 2000
2000
4.29 | 95 ratings
Subterranea: The Concert
2000
4.46 | 41 ratings
The Archive Collection - IQ20
2002
4.54 | 77 ratings
The Wake - Live At De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
2010
4.50 | 6 ratings
De Boerderij Zoetermeer Holland 23 October 2011
2012
4.65 | 57 ratings
Live On The Road Of Bones
2015
4.81 | 17 ratings
A Show of Resistance
2020
4.92 | 17 ratings
IQ40: Forty Years of Prog Nonsense
2023
5.00 | 1 ratings
Subterranea Live At De Boerderij
2023

IQ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.35 | 75 ratings
Subterranea - The Concert
2000
4.42 | 67 ratings
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show
2004
3.79 | 37 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.42 | 129 ratings
Stage
2006
3.93 | 38 ratings
Forever Live
2007
4.47 | 40 ratings
Scrape Across the Sky
2017

IQ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.30 | 71 ratings
J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
1991
4.66 | 36 ratings
For Ever Live
1996
3.43 | 81 ratings
The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
1999
4.38 | 59 ratings
The Wake 2010 Remaster
2010
3.06 | 18 ratings
Re:Mixed
2011
4.62 | 106 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix
2013
4.71 | 44 ratings
Ever - 2018 Remix - 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2018
4.67 | 6 ratings
The Archive Collection 2003-2017
2021

IQ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 5 ratings
Fascination
1982
3.80 | 5 ratings
Awake And Nervous
1983
2.85 | 13 ratings
Barbell Is In
1984
4.14 | 7 ratings
The Legendary IQ Free Record
1984
2.80 | 5 ratings
Corners
1985
2.72 | 40 ratings
Nine in a Pond Is Here
1985
3.20 | 5 ratings
Nomzamo
1986
3.33 | 6 ratings
Intelligence Quotient
1986
2.87 | 6 ratings
Promises (As The Years Go By)
1987
3.25 | 4 ratings
Here There And Everywhere
1987
3.00 | 4 ratings
No Love Lost
1987
3.22 | 9 ratings
Passing Strangers
1987
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Big Balls Of Bert Christ
1989
2.00 | 2 ratings
One More Boxer
1989
3.27 | 11 ratings
Sold On You
1989
3.00 | 3 ratings
Drive On
1989
2.00 | 2 ratings
Bulba Neeny Noo
1992
4.00 | 7 ratings
The Darkest Hour
1993
3.67 | 32 ratings
Frequency Tour
2008
4.10 | 32 ratings
Tales from a Dark Christmas
2017

IQ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Wake by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.79 | 663 ratings

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The Wake
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by progrockeveryday

2 stars Time for the second album, nothing special again (I'm listening to all their albums). They were trying to find their own sound, but again it's very similar to their prog heroes. I think there's more cohesive material, better arrangements, but I can't stop thinking and remembering classic songs, and again a bit boring for me, especially the synths and mellotron used during the entire album, it's 1985... There were many synths and possibilities at that time and they chose the most strident ones. Anyway, a good album anyhow, but not for me. Hoping to find a better album, maybe a chronological listening is not always the better choice.
 Resistance by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.15 | 515 ratings

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Resistance
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by progrockeveryday

3 stars It might seem I'm a hater of IQ... 😂 not true, I've enjoyed their albums (at least some of their songs). But again, this album hasn't blown my mind. Resistance, 2019 album of the year on Progarchives... Well... I have to say that there's a huge difference between their first records, they sound a lot better, but so metal-ish this album... I didn't expect that.

2 CDs... Ok that's not always great. CD1 starts really boring with a bad choice for a starting song, there's nothing to say there, just a regular heavy song without anything special, any changes, monotonous. Then it becomes better but nothing that I would say is great.

The last 3 songs of CD1 are the best for me, really great arrangements and a change of style. The rest of the album it's the same vibe all the time (kind of a metal thing, trying to be spooky post-apocalyptic like the artwork, idk how to call it haha). But these three songs are really fresh in comparison.

CD2 seems to be better... Something is wrong, it should be CD1 haha. Bad choice of songs imo. However, I enjoyed the first 15 min epic more than the epics of CD2. I don't understand how people say it's soooo great. It's good, but they have better records.

 Tales from the Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.80 | 557 ratings

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Tales from the Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by progrockeveryday

2 stars At that time they were, as many neo prog bands, trying to imitate Genesis prog style with modern influences. Here, Nicholls tries to sound like Gabriel, but not very accurately. The band itself doesn't sound really good, due to the poor mix but also because of weird songs and arrangements like the last ones. The first track, which is the epic, begins really nice and promising, but with the passing of time, it becomes (for me) more boring and monotonous. I mean, in this album you can hear great music but nothing special and original, it's very influenced by classic prog. However I know IQ are a great band, so I'll listen to the rest of their discography.
 IQ40: Forty Years of Prog Nonsense by IQ album cover Live, 2023
4.92 | 17 ratings

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IQ40: Forty Years of Prog Nonsense
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars On 16th September 2022 IQ stepped onstage in Barcelona and performed the concert we now have here, celebrating 40 years as a progressive rock act. That it was a year overdue was caused by the pandemic of course, but that it was a special night was never in doubt. Mike Holmes has been the only constant throughout the band's career, but Paul Cook, Peter Nicholls and Tim Esau were all there at the beginning as well, it is just that they all had some time off for good behaviour. The line-up is, of course, completed by Neil Durant, who has now been there for more than a decade, and it is strange to think that at one time he was an avid fan of the band he now plays in (as with Mike Varty in Credo, one of Neil's key roles is reducing the average age of the band).

I first saw IQ when they supported Magnum some time a million years ago, and unless one was heavily involved in the prog scene back in 1993 it is hard to understand just how huge 'Ever' was when it was released, heralding the return of IQ with Peter Nicholls back in the fold alongside Mike, Paul, Martin and new bassist, ex-Ark stalwart John Jowitt. That album kicked off with "The Darkest Hour", showing that IQ were back to lay claim to the prog throne as they belted into one of their heaviest numbers, and after an intro that is the first song on this set, sounding just as powerful and dramatic as it did nearly 30 years earlier. This is then followed by "It All Stops Here", taken from the 'Seven Stories Into Eight' demo before we move into the latest album.

That they can do this so seamlessly displays the depth of material available to them, and it must have been a nightmare to devise a setlist which covers their career but ensures they do not miss out on the latest albums of 'Resistance' and 'The Road of Bones'. I was not the biggest fan of the album prior to those, 'Frequency', but given I have awarded every other album of theirs the highest marks possible it is fair to say they have had an amazing career so far, and even with a running time of 135 minutes there are still many classics missing from this set. Anyone who has been a fan for any length of time will always complain something should have been included, but given the delights on offer, combined with stunning performances throughout, any comments like that are quite churlish indeed.

Highlights? Oh yes, way too many to mention. The band sound as tight as one who have been playing together for many years yet are still fresh and vibrant ? this is not a group of hacks who are only in it for the money, they are exciting and powerful. Listen to "No Love Lost", where Peter makes the song very much his own, even though it was originally sung by Paul Menel, and Neil has somehow managed to totally capture the original synth sounds while Cookie is still rolling around the kit, Tim provides additional bass runs, and Mike is the perfect foil, rocking hard at some points and keeping it tight at others.

I would have to check the racks to see how many live IQ albums I have, but it is a few. The one I generally play most often is 2000's 'Subterranea: The Concert', as that always struck me as very special indeed, but there is something about this mix of old classics and new which really captures the essence of IQ and is indispensable to both fans of the band and those who may be wondering just what is the fuss all about? IQ ? 40 years young, and still leading the way.

 Resistance by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.15 | 515 ratings

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Resistance
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I just can't give that fifth star despite wanting to. I want to because I like how they have changed things up on this album. It reminds me of when "Dark Matter" came out with that heavier sound, well this one just sounds different because of the new keyboardist Neil Durant who joined the band on the previous effort "The Road Of Bones". We get the same lineup as the previous recording in fact.

There's more space on this album, more atmosphere. My first spin through that second disc had me consciously saying I've never heard so much organ on an IQ album. Peter Nicholls sounds better than ever if that is possible. If you don't like Peter's vocals you probably don't like this band because he dominates each album as he does here.

Great album cover, that gate fold opens up looking apocalyptic then opening the package we get cold and ice as everything is blue and white. Contrasts right? Both apocalyptic but different. We get plenty of contrasts on here. Album of the year on here for 2019? A Neo Prog album? Says something right there because that was a first for this site. I like how balanced this record is although more heaviness would have been appreciated as they do seem to meander a lot in those spacey moments. Again I'm okay with this I'm just excited at how good this one is and how slightly different it is as well.

We get three massive tracks with the 15 1/2 minute closer "For Another Lifetime" on disc one plus the 22 minute opener "The Great Spirit Way" on disc two along with the 20 minute closer "Fallout". "The Missile" and "Rise" the first two songs off disc one start the recording off perfectly in my opinion, that nice heavy crunch plus some emotion is what this band is all about.

Without question a top five album for me for 2019 and really the only other Neo band that comes close right now in the '20's is PENDRAGON.

 The Road of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.25 | 1388 ratings

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The Road of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N 684

Few things could be as exciting to a prog rock fan, including myself, than a new IQ album, especially considering they take some time to releasing them. They're one of the few remaining prog rock acts to have truly grown and improved with each release, or at least, their last releases hit a peak of quality very close but hard to outdo of their albums "Ever", "The Seventh House", "Subterranea" and "Dark Matter". They're all great examples of the best prog, expertly mingling heartfelt emotion with a complex but eminently melodic musical sensibility. IQ is my favourite British prog band today.

Since their beginnings in the 80's they've been dubbed neo-prog for their borrowing of the prevalent symphonic and emotional tendencies of some 70's bands like Genesis. They play prog rock in a comfortable and atmospheric way. Their synth rich style generates an atmosphere that gravitates around spacey sounds as much as the symphonic, incorporating the two into long and extended backdrops before which the well defined rhythms proceed in due course. But, the most obvious is the vocal performance of Peter Nicholls. In terms of mood his unique style is difficult to describe, it's not quite downcast and not uplifting, but seems to find a stable and comforting temperament in-between.

Thus, after five years of waiting, the UK progressive rock legend, IQ, a band who have worked hard at keeping the "second wave of prog" from the early 80's alive now for over thirty years, returned with their eleventh studio album "The Road Of Bones", which was released in 2014. It's the first album to feature Neil Durant on keyboards and it marks the return of original members Paul Cook on drums and Tim Esau on bass, the latter appearing on an IQ album for the first time since 1989. So, the line up on "The Road Of Bones" is Peter Nicholls (lead and backing vocals), Mike Holmes (guitars), Neil Durant (keyboards), Tim Esau (bass guitars and bass pedals) and Paul Cook (drums and percussion).

There are two versions of the album, the single and the limited version. The single version has five tracks. "From The Outside In" is a great opener full of power. Opening with suitably spooky atmospheric synths, things soon get going with some solid pumping bass lines backed by synth flourishes and Peter's voice cutting through it all. There's more atmospherics to come, before a return to the pumping rhythms. This is a great sign of things to come. "The Road Of Bones" is the title track. It starts quiet and really builds to a climax. It has a new slow burner opening again with synths and piano. This is a particularly haunting track, and Peter's lyrics and vocals are astounding. The slow understated bass driven take us to an amazing tension all over the song. This is a wonderful track that showcases IQ's talent for building tension in their music. It's one of IQ's finest tracks, indeed. "Without Walls" is the first long track clocking it at nineteen minutes. It starts simple with piano and a drum machine, and again it builds and builds. There are some nice sections and some good soloing all over it. The first couple of minutes are very simple but during its nineteen minutes it morphs several times and ends up going all over the place quite brilliantly. This is actually quite common right across the album, which is what makes it so appealing. There's always something unexpected around the corner. "Ocean" is a pleasant song with a nice chorus. It's the shortest track on the album and one of the less energetic. But, there's power, warmth and intricacy that carries it along quite nicely to a satisfying conclusion. All in all, this is a pleasant track and a good breather between the two most epic tracks on the album. "Until The End" starts with a haunting theme that takes us to an intense musical journey. This is another stunner with plenty of atmospherics and an amazing performance by all band's members. It's another highlight, an unexpected way to close the album with a very refreshing ending, indeed.

I must admit that I bought the limited version and I really enjoyed the second disc as well. Some of the material is very strong, but it's quite evident why the tracks were left out of the album, as they don't seem to keep the composure throughout the duration, most of the time. Still, the material is better than most bands' best tracks. And that's saying a lot, indeed. IQ must be one of the best choosers of tracks for albums and many prog rock bands could learn something with them about trimming down albums. We don't need 80 minute albums if half of the music seems unfinished or raw.

Conclusion: It's hard to believe a band keeping getting better and more ambitious with each release after thirty years of career, but IQ does it. In every aspect, from the choice of sounds to the lyrics not forgetting the performances, this is a work of true masters. IQ has lost nothing with the personnel changes. In fact I think they're probably a tighter unit, both musically and as a band. As I said before, the sound quality is excellent and the playing is some of the best IQ has produced. "The Road Of Bones" first disk alone is a garden of melodic delights, unquestionably one of the best musical rides that we can get, but that wasn't enough for IQ. They had to throw a second disc. The second disk would have suited quite well on its own as the new album. Still, the first album is definitely the more cohesive listening experience.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Frequency by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.11 | 1006 ratings

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Frequency
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N 679

IQ has been at the forefront of prog rock music for more than forty years. Along with some other like minded British outfits, IQ picked up the torch and carried it proudly into the 80's and beyond, beginning with their cassette 'Seven Stories Into 98' of 1982 but only released in 1998. 'Frequency' is the ninth studio album of IQ and was released in 2009. A special edition with a bonus DVD, which is mine, was also released. This DVD contains the complete recordings of the live performed on 1 December 2007 at the Boerderij in Zoetermeer, in Holland, which is a nice addition to the album.

'Frequency' is the first album from the group recorded with the two new band's members, Andy Edwards on drums and Mark Westworth on keyboards. They substituted their two former band's members the drummer Paul Cook and the keyboardist Martin Orford. Both left the group at the same time. So, the line up of 'Frequency' is Peter Nicholls (lead and backing vocals), Mike Holmes (guitars and keyboards), Mark Westworth (backing vocals and keyboards), John Jowitt (backing vocals and bass) and Andy Edwards (drums and percussion).

'Frequency' has seven tracks. All songs were written by IQ and all lyrics were written by Peter Nicholls. The first track is the title track 'Frequency'. It's an excellent and very interesting track where IQ also manages to join to their usual trademark sound an extra dose of energy and heaviness. This is really a track perfectly divided into the antagonistic feelings, melody and aggression, old and new, which is clearly destined to become a classic IQ song. The second track 'Life Support' features Westworth's piano and a beautiful vocal performance by Nicholls. Some subtle orchestrations and a tiny bit of guitar conclude well the first part of the song. The second part of the song is for Holmes' guitar and Westworth's keyboards, very well supported by a delightful drumming by Edwards and a great bass line by Jowitt. The last final part of the song is a very ambient sounding piece of music. This is another great track, indeed. The third track 'Stronger Than Fiction' represents the second great epic of the album. This is a mid tempo song at the beginning with a melancholic singing and leading by Westworth. The second part of the song is more powerful and Nicholls' voice can be heard on both channels changing from left to right. The last part of the song is perfectly in the same vein of the best music that IQ could offer, carried of great keyboard sounds. The fourth track 'One Fatal Mistake' is the ballad on the album. The first part of the song is compared with the second track of the album and in the second part the music contains some musical elements of ambient music as well as the first notes from the next track 'Ryker Skies'. This is in general considered the weakest song on the album, and there is may be some truth in that, indeed. However, this is a very beautiful and lovely song and it's truly a pleasure to hear it. The fifth track 'Ryker Skies' is another lengthy track that gives once more the opportunity to each member shine. This is probably one of the most interesting tracks on the album that shows a different and modern edged side of the group. This is may be mainly due to the presence of the two new band's members. In reality, it's a very dark track with a very heavy keyboard work. This is really a great track with some incredible musical contributions by Westworth. The sixth track 'The Province' is the lengthiest track on the album. It starts with Holmes' strings soon followed by Westworth's keyboards. Again, we have good vocal performance by Nicholls especially in the acoustic first parts. The track changes to a more powerful piece of music featuring the music sounding between Genesis and Dream Theater. The powerful and rhythmic organ driven some musical moments which brings to my memory Tony Banks on 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed' and 'The Musical Box' of Genesis. The seventh and last track 'Closer' is a very beautiful ballad and a very sensitive piece of music with a touch of pop music blended in all IQ musical moments. This is a very nice way to close this excellent and surprising album from IQ.

Conclusion: Since their landmark fifth studio album 'Ever' released in 1993, IQ have been producing great studio works that range from their most complex and consistent studio album to date 'Subterranea', released in 1997, their weaker but even excellent album 'The Seventh House', released in 2000 and their probably most brilliant album 'Dark Matter', released in 2004. So, until today, they are a perfect guarantee of a great quality work. And 'Frequency' isn't an exception. This is an outstanding offering by IQ and proves that with Westword and Edwards in the line up, the band is yet reaching their peak. 'Frequency' is a must for every IQ fan and is highly recommended to all fans of the melodic progressive rock, especially for fans of Genesis in the 70's. And, as I wrote above, if you have the luck of have a copy of the special edition, you have an extra DVD as a bonus. It features the wonderful full live gig in Zoetermeer, that includes two old tracks 'Awake And Nervous' and 'It All Stops Here', recent tracks from 'Subterranea' and 'The Seventh House' and two new tracks from 'Frequency', 'Frequency' and 'Crashed And Burned' ('Stronger Than Friction').

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Dark Matter by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.06 | 1017 ratings

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Dark Matter
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N 659

'Dark Matter' is the eighth studio album of IQ and that was released in 2004. How many bands can manage to maintain a consistent quality over all their albums and all over the years? There are very few bands really. Unfortunately, the list is, undoubtedly very small, indeed. But one of those bands that securely fit the bill is the English progressive band, IQ.

The line up on 'Dark Matter' is the same of their last three studio albums 'Ever', 'Subterranea' and 'The Seventh House'. So, the line up here is Peter Nicholls (lead and backing vocals), Mike Holmes (guitars), Martin Orford (backing vocals and keyboards), John Jowitt (backing vocals and bass) and Paul Cook (drums and percussion).

'Dark Matter' has five tracks. All songs were written by IQ and all lyrics were written by Peter Nicholls. The first track 'Sacred Sound' opens the album with an IQ's classic sound. This is one of those typical IQ album's openers that immediately makes you like of this release and therefore compare it with other classic IQ's songs like 'Darkest Hour' and 'Wrong Side Of Weird'. Martin Orford is the big star on this song, creating soundscapes, mainly on church organ, and he plays it solo after solo. Most of the keyboard sounds that Orford chose for this album have a real retrospective feel that reminds us the good old 70's progressive days. By the other hand Mike Holmes plays his usual melodic guitar solos, Peter Nicholls' imaginative lyrics are sung with beautiful and often catchy melodies, and as for the rhythm section, Paul Cook's is at his best and is very well complemented by John Jowitt on bass. It's a terrific album's opener which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The second track 'Red Dust Shadow' takes the mood down with a very plaintive acoustic guitar style over a stark keyboard sound. It starts as an emotional ballad with some delightful guitar work, both acoustic and electric, and halfway the full band comes in and turns into a massive progressive rock song with dark guitars and menacing organ. It's a song that sounds to me as a reminiscent of some of the more reflective musical pieces on 'Ever'. This is probably one of the most emotional music pieces in all IQ's musical repertoire. The third track 'You Never Will' is a song that begins with a clicking clock that provides the percussive introduction to the song. But, suddenly, it's soon drowned out by John Jowitt's crisp bass riff that recurs throughout the song. Some energetic drumming by Paul Cook leads into a quieter keyboard musical section, the lull before the storm, as the ticking clock reappears, and its stopping signalling the unleashed of an explosive maelstrom of guitar and keyboards. The fourth track 'Born Brilliant' is one of the most interesting tracks on the album because it shows a certain little venture into their music. It starts with a dark keyboard and bass rhythms that reminds us in a certain way 'Welcome To The Machine' of Pink Floyd. Peter Nicholls recites the lyrics in a monotonous way, with a distorted voice and the bass line, consisting of the characteristic IQ sound, driving the song forward to the climax of roaring guitar and effects. The song ends with a sound clip from the mood landing. This is, in reality, a splendid song with great lyrics that takes IQ in a new and interesting musical direction. The fifth and last track of the album 'Harvest Of Souls' is divided into six parts 'First Of The Last', 'The Wrong Host', 'Nocturne', 'Frame Of Form', 'Mortal Procession' and 'Ghosts Of Days'. No matter what the rest of the album contains, but there's no doubt that the major focus would fall on this last track. With almost twenty five minutes long, it's the longest track IQ has ever recorded and represents, without any doubt, the best and the great epic on the album. Furthermore, what really strikes me more with this song is that the so called British neo-prog bands that emerged in the mid of the 80's, all seemed to be heavily influenced by Genesis, but this is probably that IQ really sounds more like that 70's giant band. It's an epic, separated by several musical sections with a terrific musical composition where there is literally never a dull moment. 'Dark Matter' is progressive rock music at their best, indeed.

Conclusion: With 'Dark Matter' IQ produced another fine and classic album, another masterpiece. Everything on it, is of the highest quality, the writing, playing, production, art work and lay out defy the limited budgets that are available to the band. They have even encased the album in a slipcase that shows off the rather disturbing artwork to a full effect. Who usually read my reviews on Progarchives knows that I wasn't particularly impressed with IQ previous studio effort 'The Seventh House'. But, with 'Dark Matter', fortunately for them and particularly for me, IQ went back to their roots and created a truly masterpiece and one of the best works produced in the beginning of this new century. Recognition is probably the best word to describe this great album, because, all the things on this album sounds mostly like IQ. By going for the typical IQ sound and not worrying about trying to be too much innovative, the group have created a very accessible and instantly likeable progressive album. Concluding, with 'Dark Matter' IQ created one of their best and finest studio albums. With 'Subterranea' and 'Dark Matter', IQ produced two of the best progressive rock albums ever.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Seventh House by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 749 ratings

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The Seventh House
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N 639

"The Seventh House" is the seventh studio album of IQ that was released in 2000. Somehow, I must confess that I was taken by surprise that IQ came up with a successor to "Subterranea" so quickly. It's not so long ago when the live version of "Subterranea" was released. And we know that IQ isn't particularly one of the most prolific bands, really. But they did that. "The Seventh House" is probably more aggressive, less unwieldy yet just as melodic as "Subterranea" is.

The line up is the same of "Ever" and "Subterranea". So we have Peter Nicholls (lead and backing vocals), Mike Holmes (guitars, guitar synthesizer and keyboards), Martin Orford (backing vocals and keyboards), John Jowitt (backing vocals and bass) and Paul Cook (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Tony Wright (saxophone).

"The Seventh House" has six tracks. All songs were written by IQ and all lyrics were written by Peter Nicholls. The first track "The Wrong Side Of Weird" is a great intro to the album. It starts with some nice keyboard sounds, a gently guitar slowly enters, and then, the melody line kicks in, and suddenly, the vocals begin with the characteristic and unique voice of Peter Nicholls. This is a track with some lovely instrumental parts that combines and contrasts perfectly well with the heavier parts in a very nice way. The track is a typical IQ track and represents the second lengthiest track on the album. The final result is an excellent and very recognisable IQ track. The second track "Erosion" is the shortest track on the album. Lyrically it picks up where "The Wrong Side Of Weird" ended, with the question "Where do I start?". This is a very efficient and a very strong track. It opens with synthesizers and vocals, but soon a guitar and a bass riff comes in and suddenly the bombastic middle section of the song explodes with the vocals turning from despair to anger. The song features a very dramatic melody, sung in a brilliant way by Nicholls, in both parts of the song, in the bombastic and the calmer parts of the song. This is unquestionably one of the best tracks on the album that became as one of the favourite songs of their fans. The third track "The Seventh House" is the title track song and represents the lengthiest track on the album. It starts slowly in a very typical IQ manner with a gentle combination of guitar and vocal works. The middle part of the song is introduced by a great instrumental part, with great riffs and great breaks. This is, in my humble opinion, one of the most complex songs ever made by the band. For instance, the second half features a musical section where the rhythm section is playing in a completely different time signature than vocals and keyboards. This is, without any doubt, the greatest highlight on the album. The fourth track "Zero Hour" is a more straightforward song, but nevertheless it also appeals to me. The combination of the nice melody, Peter's gentle vocal work, the simple but warm bass line, Tony's saxophone solo and the acoustic and electric guitar solos offer enough elements to make of this a very nice and enjoyable track. However, I find this one of the two less interesting tracks on the album. The fifth track "Shooting Angels" is, for me, the other less interesting track on the album, despite being also a very nice track for me. It's a track that starts with a gentle guitar opening and where the lyrics have some good lines and the saxophone sounds very nice. However and unfortunately that isn't enough to save the track of being the weakest of all the tracks on the album. Sincerely, I think that it's a shame, but it hasn't quality enough for the usual IQ standards. The sixth and last track "Guiding Light" represents fortunately another IQ classic track. It finishes the album in a great way. A quiet piano vocal part opens the song with a very lovely melody before the heavy and middle section of the song explodes in a bombastic way with dark riffs and breaks that reminds me other more heavy bands like Rush and Dream Theater. After the return of a guitar theme from "The Seventh House" the song parts into a great final, including bass pedals and a nice guitar solo. This is, without any doubt, a great song that represents an excellent way to close this great album.

Conclusion: "The Seventh House" is a great album that remains as one of their best works that must be appreciated by all IQ fans. Still, it has its weaknesses, the two songs that I mentioned before, "Zero Hour" and especially "Shooting Angels". By the other hand, its sound seems to be as if it was chronological between "Ever" and "Subterranea", and no after the latter one, indeed. So, and despite all I said before, I really love the album and this is for me one of the best IQ albums. Still, it can't be considered by any meaning an innovative album in any sense, but a step back into their music, in a certain way. So, I wouldn't recommend "The Seventh House" as a starting point to anyone that isn't familiar with the music of this great progressive band. Sincerely I think that we are in presence of an album a bit unbalanced to be another classic album o IQ. IQ has made better studio albums and live albums. For instance "Ever" can be considered a better album because is more balanced. In my humble opinion, a beginner must start by some of their best studio albums, for instance, "Subterranea" or "Dark Matter", which are, for me, two of the best progressive albums ever made.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Ever - 2018 Remix - 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition by IQ album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
4.71 | 44 ratings

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Ever - 2018 Remix - 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars IQ, JADIS, ASIA, BIG BIG TRAIN, ARK, ARENA and others, here are the few groups that speak to you and in which IQ members have also worked. IQ is one of the neo-prog dino bands that could have exploded even more than MARILLION if..... but hey, we won't repeat the past; good IQ it's prog because it's melodic, with a drawer, it's worked compositions that take you to the Charisma Label space, that of Lewis, of the rabbit, of the man in the hat. So if I put it in OMNI it's because it cleared the way for the next mega 'Subterranea', cult album more than UFO in fact, you follow me ok ... it's normal and the reason for this 'tip'.

1.' The Darkest Hour' begins quickly on synths to show the paw of the group; Martin indicates that he listened a lot and adored GENESIS, its freshness with ambient sounds of APSARAS; in short, Peter, whom many have decried, arrives with his progressive voice, he returns for the greatest pleasure after the Menuel getaway; the break is provided, complex, it reminds you that it took you time to integrate and ingest it, Mike's solo just what you need; brief delicate nugget. 2.' Fading Senses' in 2 parts, the syrupy melody and the prog incursion as one dreams of it, drum roll, gripping bass then the incisive guitar; the arrival of the nervous keyboard, the choirs, remember, it doesn't stop, the synth-guitar fusion, the oriental getaway in the background, a candy. 3. 'Out of Nowhere' connects, another progressive sign, the drums-synth on an obvious title of GENESIS, we are well inside. This heavy riff that made me prick up my ears 'at the time' in prog in the text, a proto-fusion prog metal before its time, don't forget it at the time when the progs snubbed the hard; that's said. The air on an 'Abacab' which goes to the countries that we all have in mind and that we hide from others. Small paradox in the progueux who thinks he has the best discography and who can't stand that the other next door speaks better about the group he venerates, in short. Genesis finale. 4. 'Further Away' for the big track that opens the B side for those who stayed on vinyl, it will allow them to put this LP on the turntable with a joint of CBD like in 'The Sons of Man'; consensual title for me, yes! Maybe because I'm always waiting for this obvious break that comes halfway through, diabolical with these explosions and this Wallian organ, with this Andalusian arpeggio, with Peter and his bucolic voice to the point that one would say a hit in another album; well I won't say more about this title, everything is sensitive, subjective, dreamlike and purely personal; and then I don't want some people to take my prog dreams and incorporate them, no but; only the final too long and redundant. Pearl for those who did not understand. 5. 'Leap of Faith' title in which I find the most sound of Gabriel, look at the clip it looks like his eyes inside. Well, I'm waiting for Mike's solo and I'm diving back into the sound of GENESIS 'Selling', anyone following me? Ok it's pure IQ too, good the guitar does its job accompanied by other instruments without showing off too much and Peter knows how to leave his place 6. 'Came Down' goes on, again not to let the breath fall, yes a little lame but isn't the goal to make you think about why and how this album is good? Title that comes in happy ending, a goodbye we had a good time together, like on the end of 'Wind and Wuthering'... remember.

IQ has signed an important album, pushing its limits to compose rare, beautiful, good, divine neo-prog, that's said. If there were to be only one, take this one, it smells like IQ, firm at the edges and creamy in the middle, yes that's also the zik prog, you can taste it. (4 at 4.5 for the original album).

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to projeKct for the last updates

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