For any successful rock band with a proven formula for success, there is often a reluctance for them to move outside of their own static bubble and as such not develop their art further along a more enlightened path. But one of the main attributes of IQ is that they have always and continuously pushed their music ever forward at all times creating and expanding on new ideas, audio combinations and themes.
Certainly with their latest album ‘ Resistance’ ‘IQ’ have firmly dispelled of their old Neo-Progressive tag moving firmly now into the wider realms of the entire progressive rock spectrum. The integration, for example, of multitudes of luscious symphonic keyboard, melodic guitar passages and even trickles of power riffing to bloister the overall sound. Without doubt, IQ have become an all-embracing and internationally recognised ‘total progressive’ outfit.
Just as central to the overall sound, and as significant as the instruments themselves, are the superb driving and forceful vocals of Peter Nicholls. His intonation, vocal projection and delivery are such an essential part of IQ’s DNA. It is not only the energy he injects but also the stamina he brings to the proceedings. When you consider the extent and complexity of the lengthy vocal parts it is quite breathe taking how he is able to deliver such a monumental contribution particularly as there is very little in the way of harmony accompaniment and assistance.
Truly, at over 100 mins of continuous music, you are treated here to extensive plethora of totally absorbing music, a journey of epic proportions saturated with an abundance of varying time changes and instrumental complexity. There is a distinctly ingenious classical feel to the proceedings especially that of the melodious piano sequences and other wonderfully arranged keyboards all of which fuse seamlessly together with a lead guitar of delicate proportions. Just like an orchestra where all of the separate instrumental components interweave magically together reaching multitudes of individual pinnacles and dancing perfectly in cohesion with the intricately delivered vocal patterns.
Like any form of art, whether it be literature, painting or good music, the beauty that lies deep within can only be fully realised with subsequent study and the determination to understand what it is all about. So as is with this album, the music needs to be dissected, absorbed and listened to several times before it all falls gloriously in to place. The appreciation of the musicality and contributions of the harmonious bass lines and the ever-changing multifarious drum patterns might just escape your attention on first play. Also too the extensive range of synthesiser contributions particularly in terms of tonal effects, spatial colouring and dynamic intervention are revealed with subsequent plays.
Summary: A double album of epic proportions full of melody, beautiful musicianship and excellent vocals.
DISC ONE A Missile, Rise, Stay Down, Alampandria, Shallow Bay. If Anything, For another Lifetime
DISC TWO:-The Great Spirit Way, Fire and Security, Perfect Space, Fallout
Paul Cook – Drums
Neil Durant – Keyboards
Tim Esau – Bass
Michael Holmes – Guitar
Peter Nicholls – Vocals