Rating:
N/A
IQ - The Road Of Bones
3 May 2014


Disc I
01. From The Outside In
02. The Road Of Bones
03. Without Walls
04. Ocean
05. Until The End

Disc II [Bonus Disc]
01. Knucklehead
02. 1312 Overture
03. Constellations
04. Fall And Rise
05. Ten Million Demons
06. Hardcore


Silence is always my initial reaction to an IQ album.

This band has become particularly adept at lulling listeners into states of silence over their last few records. They play progressive rock, and in such a comfortable and atmospheric way that I really have no choice but to pay close attention to this new album, and some would describe such an inclination as being "compelled." That's the kind of reliability a band can establish in its fans, by producing carefully written albums that never mimic those which came before, let alone the inspirations to whom they've been likened so closely by progressive rock listeners at large.

Since their beginnings in the 80's they've been dubbed "neo-prog" for their borrowing of the prevalent symphonic and emotionally highlighting tendencies from some of the genre's earlier proprietors, such as Genesis, especially for the latter, and IQ do seem to accommodate that descriptor. Their synth rich style generates an atmosphere which at times gravitates around spacey sounds as much as the symphonic, incorporating the two into long and extended backdrops before which the well defined rhythms proceed in due course. The latter aspect is particularly emphasised here on their tenth album, and The Road Of Bones is something of a special occasion.

Yes, this is progressive rock, but a furrowing of the listener's brow at anything patently complex or ostentatious is unlikely, since IQ handle things their own way, opting to disregard particularly abstruse song writing in preference for gentle but heavy soothers. To describe the approach as simplistic would itself be simplistic, not to mention misleading, considering the structural weight and density that their song writing carries despite its rather smooth and accessible textures.

But the most obvious warmth to their music is best manifested in the vocal performance of Peter Nicholls. In terms of mood his unique style is difficult to describe, it's not quite downcast and not quite uplifting, but seems to find a stable and comforting temperament in-between. This is well suited to pursuing the rather pensive vibe conveyed in this new record, which bears a much more compact track arrangement than the band typically creates.

Going into this I get a sense of trepidation, and I get a sense of impressionable finality going out. It's the kind of album constructed in a particular way to fix the start and end points into your mind, the substance which comes between forming an appreciable and introspective journey from A to B. Seems only fitting that they called it The Road Of Bones.


 



Written on 04.05.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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BloodTears - 04.05.2014 at 11:35  
I want this!
Ivor - 04.05.2014 at 11:53  
IQ has always been excellent and this album is no exception. I'm still warming up to this one but so far I like it. Maybe the bonus disc even more than the main one.

I.
Deefer46 - 04.05.2014 at 17:00  
What a totally fucking stunning piece of prog/rock this album is - an absolute triumph.
tea[m]ster - 04.05.2014 at 17:25  
Written by Ivor on 04.05.2014 at 11:53

IQ has always been excellent and this album is no exception.


I feel like they are decent but for some reason IQ have never really clicked with me. Not sure why because I love Spock's Beard, Sylvan, Pendragon, Satellite and especially Sieges Even/Subsignal and it's basically all the same. Will have to give this one some attention.
Ivor - 04.05.2014 at 20:26  
Written by tea[m]ster on 04.05.2014 at 17:25

I feel like they are decent but for some reason IQ have never really clicked with me. Not sure why because I love Spock's Beard, Sylvan, Pendragon, Satellite and especially Sieges Even/Subsignal and it's basically all the same. Will have to give this one some attention.

I can't say I like all IQ (not sure I've even heard all) but some of their stuff has stunned me. I loved Subterranea and always wanted to see the live version of it. Never got around to buying the dvd as it was on sale at a ridiculous price. Maybe I should look into it again as I love that album.

Btw, on a sidenote - while I thought Sylvan as rather good I was massively disappointed with them as a live act when I saw them. Struck me as a ridiculously boring band. Haven't had the courage to listen to their albums again after that.

I.
Ag Fox - 05.05.2014 at 20:39  
Written by Ivor on 04.05.2014 at 11:53

Maybe the bonus disc even more than the main one.
i like the bonus disc more =P
Lethrokai - 06.05.2014 at 12:18  
I've never really been one from the neo-prog sound, and since I thought that IQ was pretty much a representative of it, I avoided quite them quite a bit.

After reading this review though, I guess it's time to give them a shot; see what all the fuss it about.
Ivor - 07.05.2014 at 09:47  
Written by Lethrokai on 06.05.2014 at 12:18

After reading this review though, I guess it's time to give them a shot; see what all the fuss it about.

There's not much fuss about it, just quality prog. The question is, whether you like the vocals or not.

I.
JohnDoe - 07.05.2014 at 13:59  
Quote:
Quote:


I feel like they are decent but for some reason IQ have never really clicked with me. Not sure why because I love Spock's Beard, Sylvan, Pendragon, Satellite and especially Sieges Even/Subsignal and it's basically all the same. Will have to give this one some attention.


For quite a while, Sylvan were an IQ clone (and not a good one if you ask me), yet you like them?!

Subsignal/Sieges Even and Spock's Beard are a different kind of prog than IQ, I do not see the point of bringing them into discussion.
Tomo96 - 08.05.2014 at 22:55  
Travelled down to the album launch for this in London, only thing I can say is it took me by surprise, absolute masterpiece!! they created an amazing atmosphere which was backed up by a great performance. my opinion is I would recommend anyone to get this!

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