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IQ

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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IQ picture
IQ biography
Founded in Southampton, England in 1981

What's the difference between a band and a cult band? A charismatic frontman, able to seduce the audience with a single look? A mastermind, conducting his fellow geniuses to sheer excellence? A dedicated and addicted following lasting three decades? An outstanding live concept combining stage charisma, true emotions and self-ironic humor?

Take it all, add a catalogue in which every new entry is described as 'the latest masterpiece' and you get IQ.

Rising from the ashes of THE LENS in 1981, the original line up of Peter NICHOLLS, Michael HOLMES, Martin ORFORD, Paul COOK and Tim ESAU formed a band achieving the impossible - the combination of such diverse styles as prog, punk, jazz and even reggae. Their first cassette album, later re-released on GEP as 'SEVEN STORIES INTO 98', is still an outstanding example of that.

Both their first vinyl albums 'TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC' and 'THE WAKE' gained instant classic status in the 'new wave of British progressive rock'. Soon the band became a regular in London's world famous Marquee club, performed more than 200 gigs each year in the UK (as seen in the 'LIVE FROM LONDON' video from 1985), and quickly attained a strong and loyal following.

After signing to POLYGRAM in 1987 with new singer Paul MENEL, they released 'NOMZAMO' featuring the single 'PROMISES' which made it high in the Dutch charts. European tours and the album 'ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?' followed, but MENEL and bass player Tim ESAU left the band shortly after in 1989.

What could have been the end was in fact just another beginning. NICHOLLS rejoined and was welcomed back enthusiastically at concerts in London and Paris. At the same time GEP was founded by musicians and associates of IQ with the rarities album 'J´AI POLLETTE D´ARNU' becoming the label's debut release.

In 1993 IQ's new album 'EVER' thrilled fans old and new with a modern and yet traditional interpretation of progressive rock. With new bassist John JOWITT (ex-ARK) the band embarked on a storming tour of the UK and mainland Europe, and played acclaimed festival appearances in the USA and South America. The tour was captured on film at the celebrated 'FOREVER LIVE' show in Kleve and was released in a special box set featuring video, double CD and large booklet.

In 1997, IQ released 'SUBTERRENEA', a ...
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IQ official website

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Buy IQ Music


The Road of BonesThe Road of Bones
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$17.92
$17.91 (used)
Wake: Expanded EditionWake: Expanded Edition
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$11.65
$11.70 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Import
2008
DVD$32.49
$47.77 (used)
EverEver
Import
Giant Electric Pea 1998
Audio CD$11.79
$10.59 (used)
Dark MatterDark Matter
Import
GEP 2013
Audio CD$13.35
$10.60 (used)
Are You Sitting ComfortablyAre You Sitting Comfortably
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$16.83
$11.84 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Import
Inside Out Germany 2004
Audio CD$14.98 (used)
Live On The Road Of BonesLive On The Road Of Bones
Double CD · Limited Edition · Import
Archive Collection
Audio CD$39.99
Tales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-MixTales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$19.53
$13.97 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Sonia Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy 7" vinyl single record UK ZB44935 IQ 1991 USD $15.37 Buy It Now
IQ Sold On You Dutch 7" vinyl single record 872490-7 SQUAWK 1989 USD $16.76 Buy It Now
Best of the Iq Builder USD $3.47 Buy It Now
LOW IQ 01 - Master Low For ... - Japan CD - NEW J-POP USD $13.90 Buy It Now 57m 25s
IQ "Havin' Fun / Feel Good" (Single) Rare Classic Hardcore G-Funk Rap USD $5.00 [0 bids]
1h 39m
IQ - Live From London (DVD, 2012) USD $10.26 Buy It Now 11h 5m
Ark Mean Fiddler 31 August 1988 Ticket Stub Signed by John Jowitt (IQ, Frost) USD $11.22 Buy It Now 13h 19m
IQ Legendary Christmas Show, Mean Fiddler, 10th December 2005 t-shirt - Size L USD $39.30 Buy It Now 13h 32m
2014 Grammy Nominees Pianodisc CD or IQ mp3 USD $23.55 Buy It Now 14h 4m
IQ - Barbella Is In 12" P/S 1984 Sahara Records 1Q 12 1002 Ex USD $5.60 [0 bids]
14h 40m
IQ ?- Passing Strangers Label: Vertigo Records ?- VER 30 UK Vinyl 7 inch Single USD $32.80 [0 bids]
16h 50m
Childrens CD lot of 7 Travel Songs Baby Genius Brain IQ nursery rhymes Christmas USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 8m
NEW - Mozart for Mommies and Daddies - Jumpstart your Newborn's IQ USD $10.17 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Xmas Show Ticket Stub, Mean Fiddler, London 2005 + Martin Orford signed beer USD $25.26 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ Zero - She's So Rare c/w Crazy Dolls 7" UK 1980 VG/EX # New Wave USD $28.08 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ - The Wake Live At De Boerderij CD/DVD - GEPCDDVD2001 - Mint USD $32.08 Buy It Now 1 day
KERRANG 223 LORRAINE LEWIS IQ TESLA + GST METAL PULLOUT USD $8.41 Buy It Now 1 day
IQ - Are You Sitting Comfortably? NL LP 1989 + Innerbag /3* USD $19.49 Buy It Now 1 day
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IQ - Road of Bones [New CD] UK - Import USD $20.90 Buy It Now 1 day
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IQ - "Drive On" - ORIG 1989 US PROMO ONLY - 12" SINGLE - VERY RARE!! USD $10.88 Buy It Now 1 day
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD welcome to the pleasuredome DOUBLE LP EX/EX ZTT IQ1 uk USD $32.64 Buy It Now 2 days
I.Q. IQ Intelligent Qube FINAL/PERFECT MUSIC FILE Soundtrack CD/Game Japan USD $39.15 Buy It Now 2 days
2 x LP: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome - ZTT - ZTT IQ1 USD $14.03 Buy It Now 2 days
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD welcome to the pleasuredome DOUBLE LP EX/EX ZTT IQ1 uk USD $28.52 Buy It Now 2 days
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The Wake in Concert, IQ CD | 5026297020014 | New USD $16.96 Buy It Now 2 days
Subterranea, Iq CD | 5026297012132 | New USD $17.30 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ-THE ROAD OF BONES (REGULAR EDITION)-JAPAN CD Fi83 USD $29.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Iq - Road Of Bones (CD Used Like New) USD $13.73 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ - The Seventh House CD - GEPCD 1028 - Ex USD $13.32 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ ?- Promises (As The Years Go By) Vertigo ?- Squark VER 34 UK 7inch Single USD $13.86 [0 bids]
2 days
EVENT Human Condition CD Progressive Rock / Metal NEW Arena / IQ / Pallas 2001 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 2 days
NIEZGAL - Statut digi CD '15 - SEALED Black TSK IQ Evilwinged USD $7.02 [0 bids]
2 days
(FU255) DJ IQ ft Dubbledge, 9 - 5 - 2007 DJ CD USD $2.79 Buy It Now 2 days
RENAISSANCE - TUSCANY 2001 1PR RARE! PORCUPINE TREE CAMEL IQ PENDRAGON ÄNGLAGÅRD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
IQ - Are You Sitting Comfortably (NEW CD) USD $16.84 Buy It Now 3 days
Unou Ikusei: IQ Breeder JAPAN Nintendo DS 2007 NEW USD $93.29 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ - Wake: Expanded Edition [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.44 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ - Wake: Expanded Edition [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.39 Buy It Now 3 days
Subterranea - Iq Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $18.20 Buy It Now 3 days
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Alternative Rock(4) - Mix&Match Music CDs U Pick *NO CASE DISC ONLY* USD $3.53 Buy It Now 3 days
Iq - Seventh House (Vinyl Used Like New) USD $26.45 Buy It Now 3 days
LOW IQ 01 The Very Best Of PX-191 CD JAPAN 2009 NEW USD $108.50 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ nine in a pond is here 2 x VINYL LP self-released 1985 ultra rare UK PRESSING USD $49.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Iq - Wake:expanded Edition (CD Used Like New) USD $12.44 Buy It Now 3 days
ANEKDOTEN Vemod / 1995 / MC CASSETTE KING CRIMSON, LANDBERK, THULE, IQ, TOOL USD $23.99 Buy It Now 3 days
DJ Red/Maldini/IQ Collective- Here comes Trouble Vol 4 TOV Drum USD $35.10 Buy It Now 3 days
RE-FLEX/IQ/ASTRAKHAN/JENNY JAY Praying To The Beat/Beef In The Box/And She USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy 12" VINYL UK Iq 1991 2 Track Extended Club USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ Subterranea CD German Spv 19 Track Double (Gerspv09528532Cd) USD $15.45 Buy It Now 3 days
ASAVIOUR AND DJ IQ A Loop Fever DOUBLE CD European Saving Grace 2008 2 Disc Set USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Only Fools 12" VINYL UK Iq 1991 2 Track Extended Club Mix USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
PACK FEATURING NIGEL BENN Stand And Fight 12" VINYL UK Iq 1990 2 Track Original USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA You To Me Are Everything 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Be My Baby (Zb45121) USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
BABY O Ritmo De La Noche 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/w A'bailar (zb44905) Release USD $5.88 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 White Label Test USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
J4L&P Keep Me Satisfied 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Instrumental Mix (Zb44735) USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
J 4 L & P Keep Me Satisfied 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Instrumental Mix (Zb4473 USD $2.93 Buy It Now 3 days
POSITIVE GANG Sweet Freedom 7" VINYL UK Pwl 1992 Sixteen Mix B/W Iq Version USD $5.88 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ DECIDES Cheek To Cheek 12" VINYL UK Intermelody 1989 3 Track B/w Won't You USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
SOPHIE LAWRENCE Love's Unkind 12" VINYL UK Iq 1991 2 Track Extended Club Mix USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
J 4 L & P Keep Me Satisfied 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Instrumental Mix (Zb44735) USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Only Fools 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Instrumental Version (Zb44613) Pic USD $5.88 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Used To Be My Love USD $2.95 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ DECIDES Cheek To Cheek 7" VINYL UK Intermelody 1989 Hand Written White Label USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
ASAVIOUR AND DJ IQ A Loop Theory DOUBLE CD European Saving Grace 2008 2 Disc USD $15.85 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA You To Me Are Everything 12" VINYL UK Iq 1991 3 Track Extended Club Mix USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3 days
UK MIXMASTERS Lucky 7 Megamix 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 Megamix Of Kylie Songs USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
LUCHA LIBRE Lo Iq Hi Power DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Satellite 1999 11 Track Double USD $14.17 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ6 ZANG TUMB TUUM SAMPLED Various LP VINYL UK Ztt 1985 12 Track Featuring USD $5.88 Buy It Now 3 days
MIXMASTERS Night Fever Megamix 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/w I Don't Need No Cure USD $2.93 Buy It Now 3 days
SONIA Only Fools 7" VINYL UK Iq 1991 B/W Instrumental Version (Zb44613) But Pic USD $4.41 Buy It Now 3 days
IQ Nomzamo 7" VINYL UK Tortured Artists 1986 1 Track 1 Sided Demo Version Fan USD $52.29 Buy It Now 3 days
Into Insignificance I Will Pale by Paul Menel (IQ) (CD, Nov-2012, Menel) USD $96.75 Buy It Now 3 days
Carpenter From Nazareth Seeks Joiners by Paul Menel (IQ) CD USD $68.75 Buy It Now 3 days
LOW IQ 01 - That's The Way It Is - Japan CD - NEW J-POP USD $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
LOW IQ 01 Master 3 PX-119 CD JAPAN 2004 NEW USD $30.44 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ - Subterranea (NEW CD) USD $17.19 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ6 Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled, ZTT IQ6, Various Sampler Album, Ex Condition LP USD $14.03 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ-are you sitting comfortably? '89 UK SQUAWK LP ORIG+INN UK PROG.BAND USD $21.06 Buy It Now 4 days
Sonia You To Me Are Everything UK cassette single ZK45121 IQ 1991 USD $14.03 Buy It Now 4 days
Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy Sonia cassette single UK ZK44935 IQ RECORDS 1991 USD $14.03 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ Ever UK CD album (CDLP) GEPCD1006 GIANT ELECTRIC PEA 1993 USD $20.36 Buy It Now 4 days
CREDO Against Reason CD PROG (Marillion, Pendragon, Twelfth Night, IQ, Solstice) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
AFTER THE STORM 2CD PROG: Kansas, Nektar, IQ, Echolyn, Neal Morse, Spock's Beard USD $36.99 Buy It Now 4 days
SUBLIMINAL INTELLIGENCE ENHANCEMENT AID INCREASE IMPROVE BOOST INTELLECT HIGH IQ USD $15.50 Buy It Now 4 days
Holy Shit Self Titled S/T vinyl LP NEW Criminal IQ 2007 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Sonia : ONLY FOOLS CD UK IQ 1991 CD USD $5.96 Buy It Now 4 days
Increase Your IQ, Do Better on School w/ Subliminal Hypnosis CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
IQ - Wake: 2010 Remastered - Expanded Edition (NEW CD) USD $16.48 Buy It Now 5 days
Welcome 2The Circus / Top Notch / Bra DJ IQ 2006 Vinyl (ID:14848) USD $7.92 Buy It Now 5 days
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD welcome to the pleasuredome DOUBLE LP VG/VG ZTT IQ1 uk USD $29.55 Buy It Now 5 days
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD welcome to the pleasuredome DOUBLE LP VG/VG ZTT IQ1 uk USD $28.31 Buy It Now 5 days
IQ the Road of Bones CD boxset special edition USD $9.83 [3 bids]
5 days
IQ Michael - Whatever It Takes UK 7" ROOTS NEAR MINT Black Solidarity ? USD $9.13 Buy It Now 5 days

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IQ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IQ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 433 ratings
Tales From The Lush Attic
1983
3.79 | 530 ratings
The Wake
1985
2.79 | 308 ratings
Nomzamo
1987
2.70 | 284 ratings
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
1989
4.05 | 592 ratings
Ever
1993
3.96 | 603 ratings
Subterranea
1997
3.47 | 139 ratings
Seven Stories Into 98
1998
4.00 | 599 ratings
The Seventh House
2000
4.03 | 855 ratings
Dark Matter
2004
4.10 | 833 ratings
Frequency
2009
4.25 | 1075 ratings
The Road Of Bones
2014

IQ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 76 ratings
Living Proof
1986
3.84 | 91 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.30 | 20 ratings
Subterranea Tour Live Germany
1999
4.23 | 16 ratings
Head Long to Argentina
1999
4.28 | 18 ratings
La Maroquinerie, Paris 18 Nov. 2000
2000
4.23 | 77 ratings
Subterranea: The Concert
2000
4.54 | 33 ratings
The Archive Collection - IQ20
2002
4.48 | 63 ratings
The Wake - Live At De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
De Boerderij Zoetermeer Holland 23 October 2011
2012
4.68 | 32 ratings
Live On The Road Of Bones
2015

IQ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.36 | 62 ratings
Subterranea - The Concert
2000
4.43 | 57 ratings
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show
2004
3.77 | 30 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.48 | 116 ratings
Stage
2006
3.88 | 31 ratings
Forever Live
2007
4.41 | 18 ratings
Scrape Across The Sky
2017

IQ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.30 | 58 ratings
J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
1991
4.69 | 30 ratings
For Ever Live
1996
3.44 | 65 ratings
The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
1999
4.40 | 35 ratings
The Wake 2010 Remaster
2010
3.40 | 15 ratings
Re:Mixed
2011
4.63 | 85 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix
2013

IQ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Fascination
1982
3.67 | 3 ratings
Awake And Nervous
1983
2.89 | 9 ratings
Barbell Is In
1984
4.20 | 5 ratings
The Legendary IQ Free Record
1984
3.20 | 5 ratings
Corners
1985
2.73 | 35 ratings
Nine in a Pond is Here
1985
3.00 | 2 ratings
Nomzamo
1986
3.33 | 3 ratings
Intelligence Quotient
1986
2.75 | 3 ratings
Promises (As The Years Go By)
1987
3.75 | 4 ratings
Here There And Everywhere
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
No Love Lost
1987
3.00 | 4 ratings
Passing Strangers
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
One More Boxer
1989
3.20 | 10 ratings
Sold On You
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Drive On
1989
2.00 | 2 ratings
Bulba Neeny Noo
1992
4.00 | 5 ratings
The Darkest Hour
1993
3.68 | 29 ratings
Frequency Tour
2008
4.13 | 16 ratings
Tales from a Dark Christmas
2017

IQ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Promises (As The Years Go By) by IQ album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1987
2.75 | 3 ratings

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Promises (As The Years Go By)
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Theo Verstrael

3 stars IQ never was a commercial band nor will they ever be. Thankfully there are still good things in today's world!! Yet they did a couple of efforts to become more commercially accepted, especially during the period of Pete Nicholl's absence. 'Promises' is as close as they will ever get to being commercially successful for it is a very catchy tune with an addictive theme, an easy-to-recognize melody-chorus built-up and a suitable length. And albeit that I loathe commercially inspired music, I find this a great track that I come back to regularly. It's clever, it rocks, it appeals. And from my surroundings I know that especially this track made IQ more acceptable for those who don't fancy odd time changes, heavy riffing or extensive musical suits, IQ's trademark. 'Nomzamo' is the beautiful title track of their third full length album with Paul Menel in excellent form. The quiet music is a respectful ode to Winnie Mandela for her role in fighting the horrors of apartheid. 'No love lost' is again quite commercial and dispensable for it lacks about everything that makes 'Promises' such a great track. But you'd better buy the album ....
 Dark Matter by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.03 | 855 ratings

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Dark Matter
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars IQ's "Dark Matter" is a 2004 release of Neo Prog infamy. There are only 5 tracks but the last is a 24 minute epic with 6 sections in the best traditional sense of finishing an album with a complex multi movement suite. After hearing IQ masterpieces "Ever", "Frequency" and "The Road of Bones" I knew I would return to IQ's back catalogue eventually. The revolving door of keyboardist personnel would occur following this release as it is Martin Orford's final time with the band. So here we go with perhaps the darkest IQ album.

Sacred Sound opens with melancholy atmospheres, with gentle keyboards and the crystal tones of Peter Nicholl's vocals. It builds with a strong rhythm section and moves into some great instrumental passages. Red Dust Shadow is a very tranquil song with some ethereal keyboards and a heartfelt vocal about the loneliness we feel inside and how to cope in this broken state. Again it builds into a rhythmic tempo and the organic sound has some beautiful atmospheres with an emotional resonance.

This segues into a ticking clock to signal the emergence of the next track, You Never Will. This is driven by a Hammond sound and Nicholl's powerhouse vocals "as the shadows fall on All Hallows Eve", and we "spin the tangled web" on those we deceive, and the hope that "you will come but you never will". The themes of emptiness and despair over unrequited love is recurring on the album. This song has a more accessible feel with an infectious melody and is more akin to a ballad.

Born Brilliant transitions fluidly to a darker atmosphere, with choral keys like an angel chorus, and Nicholls has a phased out vocal about nothing turning out the way he planned, including New Years Resolutions. He sings of cataloguing all his failures, and pure intentions are discarded and he feels abandoned, inarticulate and lost. Mike Holmes shines with a lead guitar break that has some soaring string bends and gives the track a melancholy edge.

Harvest of Souls (24:29) is a massive epic opening with i. First Of The Last, acoustically driven with Nicholls emotional delivery. This segues to ii. The Wrong Host, where the tempo gets stronger, then iii. Nocturne, iv. Frame And Form, v. Mortal Procession and finally vi. Ghosts Of Days. Within this epic there are many time sig changes and mood shifts including, marching drums of Paul Cook, so also plays some blast beats in one section. John Jowitt's bass lines are always present powering the music along. The themes of coping and gaining the will to carry on, forging ahead despite the lonely despair one may feel are prevalent in the lyrics. The protagonist has been betrayed and is hoping to restore the relationship but she is gone. The music reflects this emotional framework, with some very dark keyboard swells and walls crashing down.

Overall this is a solid Neo Prog album with a few moments that are innovative and masterfully executed. The darker lyrics do not resonate with me as much as the material on subsequent releases but this is nevertheless a strong album with some excellent musicianship.

 The Seventh House by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 599 ratings

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The Seventh House
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars After the critical success and arguable artistic peak of their 1997 album "Subterranea" which saw the band step it up in many ways in compositional quality, the band IQ took their usual multi-year time off before releasing a new album with the bonus of a rerelease of their demo "Seven Stories Into Eight" finding its way onto the CD format for the new ages. Living up to its numerical title THE SEVENTH HOUSE is indeed the 7th studio album of Mike Holmes' and Martin Orford's successful neo-prog band that was one of the major players of the great prog revival that swept the 90s after the botched attempt to go commercial at the tail end of the 80s with their combo effect and oft-loathed "Nomzamo" and "Are You Sitting Comfortable" debacle. Not only did the band overcome the train wreck with the strong comeback "Ever," but outdid themselves and the entire neo-prog scene with their amazing masterpiece double album "Subterranea." Having enjoyed a stable lineup, THE SEVENTH HOUSE sees a return of the exact same members including the amazing vocal skills of Peter Nicholls.

IQ once again dish out a concept based album where the sound of the musicians are designed to support the lyrical content and while lyrics are rarely the goal of my musical experience, the neo-prog branch of progressive rock certainly demands an intense attention span of lyrical content due to it being the main focus of the musical delivery. THE SEVENTH HOUSE is no exception to this general rule and meanders through a fairly nebulous tale of a person who returns to a location where he was part of some unknown battle that purportedly would make the world a better place and ultimately ended up as the only survival of the group but is redeemed at the end when he meets his guardian angel who helped him survive the ordeal. While it all sounds syrupy soap opera-ish on paper (or screen rather!), somehow IQ can take a Hallmark channel type of tear jerking story and turn it into a musical bonanza that cranks out the subtle and sensual melodic developments that ratchet up the tension that can reach the intensity of crescendoing metal guitar domination.

Upon first listen THE SEVENTH HOUSE is definitely a step down from "Subterranea" in about every way, mostly in the fact that the band seems that they have settled into their respective sound quite comfortably. Also gone is the wow factor of ratcheting up the progressiveness and complexity as well as the creativity. THE SEVENTH HOUSE certainly sounds like IQ has been there, done that before with a strong connection to the "Ever" period as well as the albums that followed. However, neo-prog isn't a type of prog that demands an incessant flow of zowie wowie ideas and gimmicks. What it all boils down for me are strong catchy melodic hooks that are suavely decked out with the appropriate instrumentation all the while fortified with a strong vocal delivery and on all counts, THE SEVENTH HOUSE delivers all the goods in every checked off department. At this stage, the band had perfected their sound and despite running on autopilot, they nevertheless created a satisfying romp through the symphonic and heavy rock universe with some jazzy touches led by Nicholls' stellar ability to connect the listener to the story.

While THE SEVENTH HOUSE won't go down as my all time favorite IQ listening experience, i can only concur that it is a consistent and satisfying one at least and a continuation of the strong albums that they would continue to unleash well into the 21st century. So overall, not a perfect album in that it continues down the path that they laid down however IQ deliver an excellent mix of symphonic mellow rock that includes piano driven segments as well as the more bombastic heavy rock episodes complete with sizzling guitar solos provided by Mike Holmes. THE SEVENTH HOUSE may not win over anyone who hasn't already joined the club but it certainly continues to keep the members who have already been admitted properly satisfied and for a neo-prog band of this calibre, that's good enough for me.

 Scrape Across The Sky by IQ album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.41 | 18 ratings

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Scrape Across The Sky
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars IQ has offered us many high-quality studio albums and many live releases over their career, "Road To The Bones" is no exception. This is their first Blu-Ray shot in a small club in Holland. They played all of the first cd of their last album, one from the second cd, plus classics from various albums. How can we say something wrong about this professionalism band in terms of playing display, the songs being performed faithfully to the studio versions. However, it is a little bit frustrating for me to hear many drops in the surround sound through the show, unlike the stereo sound that you can listen also in the extras with all the projections. The song "Until The End" was also shown in the extras at the Lorelei Festival. I would have preferred to see this complete show instead of the one they choose because it looks better on a bigger stage. In the extras, there's an interview between Peter Nicholls and the artist designer that will appeal to a few people. They should have done interviews with the band's members instead. So, thumbs up for the performance, the set list and thumbs down for some technical issue with the surround sound, that is still good for the spatialization. IQ score of 4
 Subterranea by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.96 | 603 ratings

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Subterranea
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars IQ had a rocky road at the latter part of the 80s with a couple sub-stellar releases but managed to find a firm footing in the progressive rock arenas once again with their 1993 comeback "Ever." Apparently deciding to never repeat the mistakes of such bellyflops as "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" ever again, the band now had a stable lineup with creative juices just bubbling over in mega-effervescence and spent four years polishing their craft before they unleashed the grandiose double album monstrosity SUBTERRANEA which took all the excesses of prog and ran away with them unapologetically. This behemoth of a musical extravaganza will require many trips to the buffet, periods of stepping back for proper digestion and then further revisitation for the full-on effect to properly gel within the listener's inner music box.

IQ stepped it up in every possible way on SUBTERRANEA. Firstly with the lyrical contents they deliver a highly complex story about a man (remaining mysterious and nameless) who was held captive for most of his life and deprived of the most ordinary of experiences that most of us take for granted on a daily basis. After being released he's deluged by the Captain America effect meaning that he has woken up to a world that has passed him by in every regard and his struggle to catch up leaves him destitute and grasping for his sanity. The story becomes a full-fledged musical soap opera as he falls in love with a girl named Maya, discovers others who have been experimented and detained against their will and joins forces to take revenge against the miscreants who carried out these atrocities. The plot fails and this same guy ends up back to the very isolation from which the story began thus creating a full circle approach to story telling all the while backed up by some of the most compelling progressive musical deliveries that the 90s had to offer.

Lucky for IQ that Peter Nicholls returned to the helm as vocalist and lyrical contributor in chief because he churns out some of the most compelling yet mysteriously vague story content of his career as done right in true prog fashion leaving the other members to focus exclusively on the musical accompaniment which is nothing short of brilliant as IQ dishes out some of the strongest melodies and song structures of their career with each cadence wresting a heart felt explosion of emotional reaction as keyboard lines tinkle their way into a gravitational pull that is utterly irresistible. The group interplay is beyond strong as even the longest of tracks such as the double-discker's closer "The Narrow Margin" keeps the listener enthralled for its entirety. Nicholls' vocal performance is absolutely top notch and each track successfully builds upon what came before and creates a true complete album experience like very few others of the newly resurrected prog universe of the 90s succeeded in accomplishing.

While it's no secret that IQ was always a Peter Gabriel era Genesis type of band, SUBTERRANEA can certainly bring the double album "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" to mind not only in its scope and delivery with accessible keyboard driven musical prosody accompanied by excellent lyrical elocution but offers a more obnubilated sense of meaning and only offers an impressionalist's perspective of a story that leaves more questions dangling about than it it answers however even if you couldn't give a flying bleep about the lyrics, the music on this one offers a diverse array of neo-prog perfection that adheres to all the genre expectations of beautifully laid out extended compositions that ratchet up the emotional responses in a systematic and melodic way. This isn't one for the casual listener and like many complex works requires some commitment to understand but with a little devotion can be easily extricated from its inscrutable initial impressions.

 Ever by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.05 | 592 ratings

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Ever
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by nandprogger

4 stars IQ is one of my favorite neo prog prog bands "Ever". This album shows a evolution of mixing and continous evolution of creativity and accessible music for all public. IQ have a proper style in neo prog scene that a differential in prog rock music. In general the most neo prog bands looks the same, in my point of view.

In this album, "Darkest hour" happened a balance between good neo prog and a song for hear in a car. the melody is so fixing in the head, simple variations of compass of passing music."Fading scenes" begin as a simple and envolving balad and continues with elements of hard rock and and brilliant melodies of keyboard, turn and return inter a balad and wild riffs"Out of nowhere" follow a dancing beat with mellotrons and hard rock riffs, althougha few repetitive formula of a lot neo prog music ( in special in drums) this song so fantastic. The next song " Further away" follow the line line of "Fading scenes" swings in moments of a calm balad and vigorous prog song, featured of Martin Orford. "Leap of Faith" is true balad of the album where the sync of the group show, vocals, guitars and keyboard continues with variation of compass and guitar solo. The final song is for me the most poor song,

Certainly, "Ever" is one of more important album of IQ carrer, the quality of mixing compared of "The Wake" is so noticeable, it's songs clean and define a style of group, different of others bands of neo prog. IQ is one os most important neo prog bands, and this album contributed for this.

 Ever by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.05 | 592 ratings

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Ever
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars And then like a waking up from a bad dream, IQ emerged from a tumultuous and heartbreaking period. First there were the two albums with P. L. Menel as vocalist where the band steered towards a more commercial sounding blandness but secondly and most important was a series of deaths of band members' friends and family. Not only did they lose their bassist Les Marshall a few years back but both guitarist Mike Holmes and Peter Nicholls would lose their fathers as well as their good friend Georf Mann who was taken out by cancer. After all this turmoil IQ reconvened along with original vocalist Peter Nicholls and not only rediscovered their original musical prowess that should have continued after "The Wake," but with their sixth studio album EVER initiated a new creative period that would continue up to the present. While such missteps and events can easily destroy a band's trajectory, IQ proved they were up to the challenge of channeling all of the negativity and constructing a new reality.

As with such tragedy and unfortunate events that change our realities, the members of IQ expressed their grief through their music. In addition to going back to their original goals of creating captivating neo-prog music, Peter Nicholls was back on vocals and John Jowitt would replace Tim Esau on bass. All this change and lament resulted in a therapy session via musical expression and while the universe may have taken away, it also rewarded with a refreshed and inspired direction for the band to take and one that they have not strayed from ever since. Faced with all this melancholy the band channeled their energies into their renaissance album that displays all their early confidence and deftly crafted a beautiful album that deals with the loss of friends and family and of the insecurities we all face with the fleeting impermanence of life.

With brilliantly delivered lyrical content that is strongly poetic and an excellent production to boot, each band member shines like a ray of sun through a darkened catacomb offering a glimmer of hope in the cold and brutal world. From the first energetic burst of energy as "The Darkest Hour" initiates the album's overall melancholy, we are treated to extraordinarily strong musical material with Paul Cook stepping up his drumming skills, Mike Holmes creating soaring guitar licks and Martin Orford icing the cake with his atmospheric keyboard magic as well as taking the liberty to show off some virtuosity in the mix. John Jowitt's bass playing skills are the perfect rhythmic and melodic complement to the other musicians and Nicholls proves he was the man who meant to deliver the vocals with a renewed sense of self-assurance. While there are no weak tracks on EVER, some are stronger than others. The 14 and a half minute prog workout "Further Away" takes the listener to another world with strong melodies and developments that run the gamut of the neo-prog universe with perfect execution.

While few bands recover from the major tumble IQ undertook with two unpopular albums and a series of personal cataclysms, not only did Orford and company pull themselves together with dignity but in the process not only revived their own musical career but also contributed to awakening the entire sleeping prog universe in the early 90s when a new wave of progressive rock was slowly crawling from its sleeping chambers and proving that it still had not just a pulse left but enough vitality to make a full blown comeback after lurking in the darkness for the previous decade. Yes, the nightmare had ended and EVER would become one of the most successful comeback albums in the prog universe and would turn the page and start a new chapter in its history.

 Are You Sitting Comfortably? by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.70 | 284 ratings

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Are You Sitting Comfortably?
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

1 stars I take pride in the fact that i always try to find something good in an album that is universally panned and often i have the exact opposite reaction to a certain type of experiment in a group's discography that doesn't sit well with hardcore fans, but there are times when an album deserves every bit of hatred that is bestowed upon it and the neo-prog pioneers IQ hit their absolute nadir on their 4th studio release ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? This is the epitome of a musical disaster in a band's career where really nothing went right. The pathetic thing about this one is the fact that the band sounds like they are so serious in trying to pull it off together.

This is the second album to feature Paul Menel on vocals after Peter Nicholls departed following "The Wake." The rest of the musical cast is the same as "Nonzamo." It does seem that the band were feeling some sort of jealousy over the success of their heroes in Genesis while they were killing it on the pop charts in the 80s and raking in the dough. IQ were also tempted by the pop side of the musical force and tried to emulate their influences by going in that direction. Unfortunately however, while Genesis and Gabriel had the chops to actually construct catchy pop albums, Orford and company weren't so lucky. This album just reeks of wannabeism and ultimately falls short in every manner. Dreadfully Menel's vocals display the first weakness and most obvious inferiority complex here. Although he tries, he just lacks the zingy passion that Nicholls dished out. Add the limp songwriting, lackadaisical keyboards, lazy percussion, flaccid guitar performances and woefully insipid overall production and we get a big fat turkey here but not the kind you wanna eat for Thanksgiving.

"War Heroes" starts off ok and while it doesn't sound like any particular peak of 80s neo-prog, it also isn't the most horrendous sounding track of the lot. It does however sound like a rather weak version of an 80s Peter Gabriel solo offering. Things go south VERY quickly on the second track "Drive On" where we're greeted (or cheated rather) with the most cheesy of synthesizers accompanied by an even cheesier drum beat. The lyrics are absolutely horrendous and the whole thing comes across as a Duran Duran reject that wouldn't have even reemerged as a bonus track. It really is just so very baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad and i do mean bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. The next track "Nostalgia" tries to pull off some instrumental stratagem into gaining a foothold into a more progified universe, but ends up just sounding cheap because other than the attempt to create some atmospheric sounds comes across like a weak 4/4 timed attempt to sound new wave eight years too late and then the cheesy drums and lyrics come in all gussied up with synthesized dressing and ends up sounding totally lame.

I don't need to go on. This one is just the worst attempt for a prog band to enter into the pop universe that i've ever heard and i'm hugely tolerant of progressive pop. Good pop music is a talent all itself and while many a prog band had successful navigated their talents into that musical realm, IQ were clearly out of their element. In fact, it's actually the case that the band were masters of one specific sub genre only and continue shine within it, but once stepping outside of its murky boundaries find themselves playing the role of not only a fish out of water, but a fish in the party punch with a tutu on. No disrespect for any fish that wish to do so, of course, i only am pointing out a pointless musical meandering into an almost parody zone. This one is just so bad that it truly is the worst of the worst. I found life in "Nonzamo" to the point that i could give it 3 stars, but ARE YOU SITTING COMFORABLY? just makes me feel like i'm sitting in the emergency room in line with a bunch of coughing and hacking indigents while crossing my legs because i have to pee and the bathroom is closed because someone clogged up the toilets. A classic example of WTF were you thinking, guys? Luckily, IQ would come back on the next album "Ever" and never punish us with such crap again.

 Frequency by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.10 | 833 ratings

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Frequency
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars IQ's best album of the 2000's

It's a pity one of IQ's worst cover art is on one of their best records. Not frequently cited, this tenth studio album is quite inspired and modern, while preserving the band's musical identity. The musicians real entered the new millennium this time. Maybe a little less adventurous than previously, the songs are however more coherent, incorporates elements of other progressive styles such as heavy prog or prog metal, and the quality is present.

The heavy title track contains all what you can expect from IQ at the beginning of the 21st century: a dark opening, rocky passages, enchanting trademark keyboards, pretty melodies and powerful soli. Simply one the best compositions from the band! "Life Support" can be divided in two parts. The melancholic first half is dominated by piano-driven, whereas the second half displays unreal eerie music typical if IQ. The progressive "Stronger Than Friction" is also good, alternating dark, smooth and epic atmospheres. Ironically, the romantic ballad "One Fatal Mistake" is rather soapy and out of place. Fortunately, this song is also the shortest. Therefore, this little mistake is far from being fatal for the disc.

Serious business comes back with the GENESIS-influenced "Ryker Skies", however darker and more modern. Another nice composition in the style of the band, with a good progression, futuristic beat and a spacey passage. "The Province" is the longest track of the record. It first starts with beautiful delicate guitars to then surprising become more ferocious and heavy. I bet you were not expecting that. The contrast is striking, and the dream is turning into a nightmare! Really efficient. Unfortunately, this nearly flawless hour of music concludes with the insipid and repetitive "Closer". The dark side of neo-prog...

Containing only two weak tracks, more convincing and personal than its predecessor, "Dark Matter", "Frequency" finally shows the musicians modernizing their style while preserving their soul and composition quality. Melancholic and somber, smooth and oppressive, nonetheless recommended to IQ fans, this opus is one of the best neo-progressive albums of the 21st century! Also adapted to discover the band if you're not familiar with this genre.

 J'ai Pollette d'Arnu by IQ album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1991
3.30 | 58 ratings

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J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 2.5 stars

Don't rely on the minimalistic cover art, this compilation contains a few interesting and enchanting tracks. "J'ai Pollette d'Arnu" are supposedly the first French words the band understood, althought it does not mean anything in Voltaire's tongue. Half-studio, half-live, the set-list is quite heterogeneous, featuring singer Paul Menel, except for one song with Peter Nicholls. The studio part contains 2 previously unreleased tracks and 2 reworked compositions from the debut 1981 cassette "Seven Stories Into Eight". The live part covers the 80's albums, and - unfortunately especially - the second half of the decade, more commercial oriented.

"It All Stops Here" is one of the main interest of the records. Its powerful RUSH-esque intro unveils multiple changing rhythms and as well as nervous, spacey and melancholic atmospheres. A great neo-progressive composition! This is one of the best released version of this song, with the one from "Nine in a Pond is Here", rock-ier than the original from their debut and faster than the later reworked version of "Seven Stories Into 98". In contrast, "Sera Sera", is an enjoyable soft guitar ballad recorded in 1989. "Intelligence Quotient" is the other song from the debut cassette. It also features different atmospheres, but contains cheesy moments, lacks coherency and is uneven. Only track featuring Peter Nicholls, "Dans Le Parc Du Chateau Noir" is however the other true highlight of the disc. Composed in 1984, as its title suggests, the ambiance is dark and haunting, with a beautifully touching keyboard passage and an epic finale. Quite original for IQ and neo-prog, and one their best creations! This track can now be found as a bonus on the remastered version of "The Wake".

Concerning the live part, only "Medley" is worth the listen, as it mixes extracts of material from the first half of the eighties (the good one): "The Last Human Gateway", "Outer Limits", "It All Stops Here" and "The Enemy Smacks". Not much to say about the insipid "Common Ground" and the awful "Promises", as they both come from "Nomzamo", the weakest IQ record. "Wurensh" is an anagram for "New Rush", and is also one of the best tracks from their second worst opus, "Are You Sitting Comfortably?". This unfortunately just means just an average song.

This compilation is more for connoisseurs of the band than for newcomers. Without surprises, only tracks composed in 1981-1985 are really interesting, especially "It All Stops Here" and "Dans Le Parc Du Chateau Noir". In conclusion, this disc is a bit uneven and unbalanced, only intended for IQ lovers.

Anyway, "J'ai Pollette d'Arnu" was worth it, because its hidden goal was to finance IQ's next studio album, marking the return of Peter Nicholls...

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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