IQ are one of the founding fathers of the resurgence of progressive rock along with Marillion, Pallas and Twelfth Night. They were formed in 1981 by Mike Holmes and Martin Orford. Shortly after Peter Nicholls and Tim Essau joined along with Paul Cook and they have produced a constant stream of intelligent, thought provoking and intriguing albums of the highest quality for the best part of 40 years. A new IQ album is an event as is their Christmas concerts they hold each year. This album, titled Resistance, is no different and is hugely anticipated. The only change to the line up from the early days is Neil Durant replacing Martin.
You are going to get your moneys worth. This is a double CD with six tracks on the first and four on the second. Yes, there are some long tracks here. The first thing that strikes you is how dark their sound has become. It got quite dark on the previous The Road Of Bones (2014, see review) but this goes even darker. There is a lot of Mellotron choir with Hammond organ and it makes for a dark pallet. Some might say its been overdone too much because after a while you expect some relief. Sometimes it doesn't come for a while.
The Road Of Bones is a fabulous album and I didn't hesitate to give it 5stars when I reviewed it in 2014. This new one has got a lot to live up to and to my ears it just doesn't quite make it. Don't get me wrong. Is it a good album? Yes. Is it worth buying? Again Yes. Did I enjoy it? Yes I did. Its an IQ album. But delve deeper and there are little things that start to notice. It all starts merging into itself. The afore mentioned darkness overpowers it. I have listened to it over and over again and if challenged, I couldn't hum you one line of melody. Peter has a style of melody writing that has served him well for years but to me its getting to be the same.
But us Prog fans like that sort of thing. We like the comfort of knowing what's going to come. We rejoice in picking out lines that have been repeated in other songs even on different albums....by different groups. Have a listen to the very last track (Fallout) on the album and tell me its not the same chord sequence to Awaken by Yes.
So to sum up. Its a good album and worthy of your collection but do not think for a moment that its anything that will change the world of Prog.
**** Dave Smith
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2019