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IQ (UK) - 2001 - "The Seventh House"
(57 min, "GEP")



1 The Wrong Side of Weird

2 Erosion

3 The Seventh House

4 Zero Hour

5 Shooting Angels

6 Guiding Light

Line-up: Mike Holmes - guitars and add. keyboards; Martin Orford - keyboards and backing vocals; Peter Nicholls - lead and backing vocals; John Jowitt - bass and backing vocals; Paul Cook - drums and percussion

All songs written and arranged by IQ. All lyrics by Peter Nicholls. Produced by Mike Holmes. Recorded at "Nomansland" studios, New Forest, England, from August to October 2000. Engineered and mastered by Rob Aubrey.

Official IQ website:

The album. Three years have not passed in vain, and fans and critics once again are surprized at IQ with their regular album. In my opinion, since the beginning of the 1990s the band hasn't stopped, making each new album better than the previous one. And if Marillion has stopped this enviable tradition, having produced the last three uninteresting and fairly commercial discs with all their ability to play extremely well technically, these British veterans still manage to produce each new studio album in quite a different yet already distinctly original their own stylistic way. Thus, from "Ever" and "Subterranea", abounding in separate songs-masterpieces, but still a mix of Classic Symphonic Art Rock with Neo Progressive, the ensemble closely approaches a kind of more sophisticated, but still very tasteful music. Structurally, "The Seventh House" is brewed in the best traditions of the previous album "Subterranea": all these six tracks are already typical IQ's epic songs of an excellent quality with a lot of interesting instrumental and vocal arrangements. So, let's start, and a series of wonderful masterpieces follow one another, beginning with The Wrong Side of Weird and finishing with Guiding Light. "The Seventh House" teems with wonderful vocal (and lyrical!) findings in each song, backed up by variegated magnificent arrangements from the four brilliant instrumentalists. And each song on this album is a real little epos with a distinct English colouring - didn't you still forget it? From the first to the last note the new IQ album is confirming the fact that this band can easily be regarded as one of the most interesting British bands, not closed within themselves and not paying attention to the music fashion. Their search for new forms of expression deserves the most flattering words, and their ability to surprise can be envied. I have to admit that "The Seventh House" is a real progressive masterpiece; also, this is the best IQ album to date. Of course, they have other excemplars (excellent) in their collection-discography - both previous studio albums "Subterranea" and "Ever", and also "Tales From the Lush Attic", - not counting simply good albums like "The Wake" and "Nomzamo". (Actually I don't like only "Are You Sitting Comfortably?", though I haven't heard their debut and "Tales From the Lost Attic" albums.) Nevertheless, IMHO, no one of them can surpass "The Seventh House". Frankly, about IQ it happens to me for the first time - the more I listen to "The Seventh House" the more I like it.

VM. February 18, 2001


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