It seems the past couple of years have seen a flurry of top notch prog
rock albums including Arena, Marillion, Jadis, Quecia, Magenta, Karnataka
and now IQ, who were one of the bigger bands to rise out of the 80’s prog
rock revival and are now back with a stunning album.
‘Dark Matter’ is unashamedly classic sounding prog with banks of keyboards, soaring guitar
solos and dark lyrical matter. Plus the closing track clocks in at over 25
minutes! The production and vocal arrangements on here are something else -
‘Red Dust Shadow’ is crystal clear and sees vocalist Peter Nicholls in fine
form, along with some wonderful Mellotron - a prog rock essential!
Elsewhere ‘Sacred Sound’ opens with a Vangelis styled intro before launching into a
classic tune full of keys and guitars. The epic Harvest of Souls’ closes the
album in fine style and builds from a gentle acoustic start to include all
manner of musical passages by the tracks end. Parts have a ‘Season’s End’
era Marillion feel, mainly in the acoustic passages.
Quite simply the best album the band has ever made and it is a must for
all fans of prog rock (Yes fans in particular will enjoy the vocal and
keyboard arrangements). If, like me, you haven’t heard much prog rock since
the late 80’s then this and the aforementioned bands should be high on your
shopping list, as the music is even better then the 80’s albums.