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IQ: The Seventh House (Reissue)

InsideOut Music continues its aggressive reissue campaign with key titles from IQ's catalog. Granted, there are no bonus tracks on either 1997's critically adored two-CD concept album, Subterranea, or 2001's single disc, The Seventh House, and there's no indication on the packaging that these discs have been remastered. But the mere fact that both neoprogressive titles are now easier to find - they were originally released on the UK's Giant Electric Pea label, which reissued the band's remastered catalog in the mid-1990s - and more affordable for North American listeners is worth noting.

I'm going to focus on The Seventh House here, because its gets lost in the adulatory wake of its studio predecessor, Subterranea. More aggressive (if that's the correct term), less unwieldy yet just as melodic as Subterranea, The Seventh House kicks off with the upbeat 12-and-a-half-minute epic "The Wrong Side of Weird" that continues vocalist and lyricist Peter Nicholls' penchant for metaphorical (and often cryptic) writing. Same thing with the title track, a 14-and-a-half-minute sonic journey into madness. The band sounds just as lively now as it did back in its heyday, propelled by Martin Orford's ubiquitous keyboards and bridging dark topics with feel-good music. In fact, "Shooting Angels" seems to revel in that mid-Eighties pop-rock production vibe, with punchy drum smacks, David Sanborn-like saxophone interludes and just enough reverb to make it retro. On the other hand, "Erosion" and "Zero Hour," the two shortest tracks here, remain the most low-key and forgettable - which is probably why (intentionally or not) the pivotal bookends of 2004's critically acclaimed Dark Matter were both major epics.

More IQ reissues from InsideOut are on the horizon

Track Listing:
1) The Wrong Side of Weird
2) Erosion
3) The Seventh House
4) Zero Hour
5) Shooting Angels
6) Guiding Light

Added: April 21st 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official IQ Web Site
Hits: 4065
Language: english

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