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IQ
Dark Matter

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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IQ Dark Matter

CD Number: Inside Out Music

 

  Since this is my maiden voyage with IQ-Marillion, The Flower Kings and Peter Gabriel came to mind more than once while listing to their spectacular new album Dark Matter. Peter Nicholls has a very entrancing vocal style, much like the lead singer's of the band's I just mentioned. If you look at the track listing, there are only five, yet if you look at the time of each individual track the time begins to pile up very quickly.

The way "Sacred Sound" opens up the album, it makes you feel that a Lon Chaney movie is about to begin, not to worry though, everything changes and develops quite rapidly inside an IQ song. "Harvest of Souls," their curtain closing magnum opus chimes in at 24:29 and it is sheer brilliance, prog-rock at its very best, it gave me chills up and down my spine several times. Soaring sweet vocals punctuated by powerful guitar riffs and sweeping magnificent keyboard strokes are what their songs consist of. In its entirety, this album is the stuff dreams are made of, you can take that to the bank. Any prog-rock enthusiast will devour this ear candy with splendor; I have absolute confidence in that. I would go as far as saying that it rivals Marillion's new masterpiece Marbles, and that my friends is a huge compliment as that album will stand as one of the best of 2004, and I have no doubt that this one will as well, it is that strong. "Born Brilliant" is a song that cuts like a razor's edge with thoughts and attitudes that come from the depths of a deranged mind.

The first verse goes like this: "I'm cold and unapproachable, deceptive and a fraud, don't need to keep attention, I hate to be ignored, the soul of no discretion, belligerent, won't think outside the box, I'm critical and careless, my open mind is shut and firmly locked " and "The baggage that I carry would sink a thousand ships." Oh my, sounds like the kind of person you would want to avoid at all cost!

The cover is unquestionably eye grabbing isn't it? It reminds me of the scene in the Wizard of OZ when Dorothy and her cohorts bring the broom of the wicked witch of the west to the fiery wizard. The title of the album obviously points to the dark matter or matters should I say that lie in the depth of our brains, the stuff nobody wants to admit or ever talk about. Nothing is taboo in the world of music and it is the best vehicle for our subconscious minds to play out all of those less tasteful scenarios and fantasies. Some songs always say everything we really want to say in our heart of hearts. I may have not been born brilliant (thank G-d) but I know great music when I hear it, this is a superb rendering of progressive rock wizardry. To think that this is only the beginning for me, how exciting is that? Now I must seek out their entire back catalog and see what else that is in the dark matter of IQ to explore. 

 

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