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IQ 'Dark Matter' GEP (GEPCD1034) (2004)


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.

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Review by Jason Ritchie

Buy this CD

Harvest Of Souls

© 2004 IQ/ Giant Electric Pea. All rights reserved.

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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