IQ: Dark Matter CD 2004. England’s Progressive Rock legends with The classic IQ line-up. Check audio (whole album) + 2 video album reviews


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The 9th studio album from England’s legendary IQ. With a career that spans nearly 25 years, IQ remains one of the biggest names in the world of Progressive Rock.
Dark Matter marks a new beginning for IQ as this album will be their first US release in nearly 20 years. As would be expected from the title, this is a dark, brooding album, bristling with attitude and aggression reminiscent of the band’s early days but Dark Matter also contains moments of great melodic beauty. It is pure progressive rock in all its glory with soaring guitar melodies backed up with the classic sounds of Mellotrons, Moog and Hammond organ and offset by Peter Nicholls’ ever impenetrable lyrics. The classic IQ line-up of Nicholls, Martin Orford, Mike Holmes, John Jowitt and Paul Cook remains very much intact and they are all in great form on Dark Matter

1 Sacred Sound IQ / Peter Nicholls 11:40
2 Red Dust Shadow IQ / Peter Nicholls 5:53
3 You Never Will IQ / Peter Nicholls 4:54
4 Born Brilliant IQ / Peter Nicholls 5:20
5 Harvest of Souls IQ / Peter Nicholls 24:29


5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of its genre.
Not being a fan of IQ’s previous material, I was surprised to find myself liking the track ‘You Never Will’ on a compilation CD. Intrigued, I bought the album last year and have played it at least once a week since then.
To my mind, this is a classic progressive rock album, with nods (although not slavish) to Pink Floyd, King Crimson (especially the mellotron samples) and Genesis. ‘Harvest of Souls’ is a superb multi-part track that has keyboard and guitar textures that hark back to ‘Supper’s Ready’. That’s a compliment, by the way.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best EVER
I have now lived with a pre-ordered copy of Dark Matter for several weeks. It’s an album that sounds even better with each repeated listening. For IQ fans the sound and ambience closely matches, what was until now my favourite IQ album, EVER. However, the band’s collective and individual performances and writing seem to have reached a new peak. Nicholl’s singing, not always to everyone’s taste, is at its best and most accessible. Offords wall of keyboard sounds (mellotron, Hammond, church organ) is simply awesome. Cook’s drumming has a lighter more jazzy feel to it and Holmes’ guitar work, particularly the acoustic work, is his best yet. Jowitts’ base work combines wonderfully with Cook.
At times they do sound like early Genesis (and one track like Floyd), but simply because they use the same sound scapes, the songs are original and have that distinct IQ sound.
The albums absolute highlight is the epic Harvest of Souls, clocking in at 25 minutes there is not a dull moment. This epic contains four or five of IQ’s best EVER melodies and has to be their best track to date. The album opener Sacred Sound has a very typical IQ feel to it and is another corker. Squeezed in between are three very interesting shorter tracks.
Highly recommended to all lovers of progressive rock outstanding album.

2nd video album review:


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