IQ - Dark Matter

Year of Release: 2004
Label: GEP
Catalog Number: GEPCD1034
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:16:00

In 1997 IQ released Subterranea, a superb album, which is still one of their greatest achievements. But, it had also the disadvantage that all releases that followed were compared to that one. In 2000 they released The Seventh House, which soundwise was similar to Subterranea. Now, for years later, their new studio album, Dark Matter is out. Do yourself a favour (as did I myself) and don't compare it to either Seventh House or Subterranea, but just listen to it.

Dark Matter is another highlight in the career of IQ, which lasts already some 20 years, and features the classic line-up of Peter Nicholls (vocals), Martin Orford (keys), Mike Holmes (guitars), John Jowitt (bass) and Paul Cook (drums). While the albums does have the characteristic IQ sound, very early in the album, in the opening track "Sacred Sound," the familiar Genesis / Tony Banks sound is heard. I picked up some more touches of Genesis, also a great solo by Holmes in "Harvest of Souls," is very similar to Steve Hackett.

Despite all these influences, I think this is one of the best IQ albums available, as it falls back on the sound of the early days, still melodic and atmospheric, but at times also with attitude. The band sounds like a well oiled machine, they are all so great. Martin Orford is definitely in his element, with all the lush keyboard arrangements. Both Cook and Jowitt play their parts, but slightly in the background, although in "You Never Will," Jowitt's playing is brought more to the foreground. Holmes shines with his modest playing, although I love his solos on the album.

Then there is Peter Nicholls. I just love his vocals on the IQ albums, and here there is no exception. His lyrics are a challenge for the mind, and the way he sings them, combined with the music, creates the brooding atmosphere, where IQ is famous for. Dark Matter has everything IQ has to offer, with the advantage it does not sound like Subterranea! I have played the album over and over and still I can't get enough of it. Once again IQ proves to be at the top in progressive rock and I see no reason why they shouldn't stay there for another 20 years?

In conclusion: Dark Matter should be a blind purchase as it is one of the best albums of 2004.

Also released by InsideOut (SPV 085-60802 CD)

[This review originally appeared July 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site.]

Sacred Sound (11:40) / Red Dust Shadow (5:53) / You Never Will (4:54) / Born Brilliant (5:20) / Harvest Of Souls (24:30)

Peter Nicholls - lead vocals
Martin Orford - keyboards, bass pedals, backing vocals
Michael Holmes - guitars John Jowitt - gass, backing vocals Paul Cook - drums, percussion

Tales From The Lush Attic (1983)
The Wake (1985)
Nine In A Pond Is Here (1985)
Living Proof (1986)
Nomzamo (1987)
Are You Sitting Comfortably? (1989)
J'ai Pollette D'arnu (1991)
Ever (1994)
Forever Live (1996)
Subterranea (1997)
Seven Stories Into 98 (1998)
The Lost Attic (1998)
Subterranea: The Concert (2000)
The Seventh House (2001)
The Archive Collection - IQ20 (2003)
Dark Matter (2004)
Frequency Tour CD 1 (2008)
Frequency Tour CD 2 (2008)
Frequency (2009)
The Wake: Live At De Boerderij (2010)
The Wake (Deluxe Edition) (2010)
Re:Mixed (2011)
The Archive Collection - IQ30 (2012)
Tales From The Lush Attic 2013 Remix (2013)
The Road Of Bones (2014)
Live On The Road Of Bones (2016)

Subterranea: The Concert Video (VHS) (2000)
Subterranea: The Concert DVD (DVD) (2002)
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show (DVD) (2004)
Live From London (DVD) (2005)
Stage (DVD) (2006)
Forever Live (DVD) (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 16th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster

Artist website:
Hits: 774
Language: english


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