IQ - The Road Of Bones review
|Album:||The Road Of Bones|
|Release date:||May 2014|
01. From The Outside In
02. The Road Of Bones
03. Without Walls
05. Until The End
Disc II [Bonus Disc]
02. 1312 Overture
04. Fall And Rise
05. Ten Million Demons
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 enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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