IQ -
Tales From A Dark Christmas.

(CD 2017, 49:40, IQ Self Released. AC008)

The tracks:
  1- Christmas intro/For Christ's Sake(8:24)
  2- I Believe In Father Christmas(5:50)
  3- Merry Xmas Everybody(5:36)
  4- O Tannenbaum(4:15)
  5- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!(5:07)
  6- The Dark Christmas Suite(20:24)

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I think every Background Magazine reader knows IQ.
And for 20 years they have arranged the Legendary Christmas Bash shows at selected venues just before Christmas. A show with the Legendary IQ music and much fun, costumed performances all in the Christmas spirit. The Blu-ray Scrape Across The Sky (2017, see review) gave you a perfect insight of these shows. But wait...there is more!

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of those Christmas bashes IQ had the idea to give every attendee of those Legendary shows a free CD with Christmas carols, totally “IQified”. These actions make this band so adorable. In the history of IQ this has happened several times.
This collectors gem begins with the intro music from the Christmas bashes. A revamped version of For Christ's Sake a track that goes way back to the Seven Stories Into Eight tape. And it still sounds crisp!
Followed by a few Christmas songs that are made up by IQ and are based on some all-time classics. Its brilliant to hear how this band gives these carols their own twist. Just pour a shipload of Mellotrons over it, and change the majors in to minors and voila. It's a joy to listen to. Yes, the jazzy instrumental O Tannebaum too.
Extra credits to Neil Durant who puts his keyboard playing to an absolute high.
And then, The Dark Christmas Suite. Flowing over from Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! This 20 + minute epic leads you into a very dark IQ Christmas. More Mellotrons, more minor chords, more IQ! It's amazing how this band creates this dark atmosphere. I can't get enough of it. Nice to make a guessing game of it. How many Christmas carols can you recognise? How many are used? I'll leave that to you, the listener.
A tonne of non-serious music that is seriously worth listening to. A must have for every IQ fan, every prog fan! to play on Christmas.

While writing this review the Christmas Bashes for 2018 are already planned. Be there to enjoy the IQ Christmas spirit!

***** Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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