IQ – Resistance (2019)
Long-standing British melodic prog rockers IQ are releasing their new album “Resistance”, produced by guitarist Mike Holmes. We had to wait five years since the band’s last offering, but well worth the wait: “Resistance” is a 2-album set. Indeed, we have 2 new albums released at the same time, as both are quite different. According to the band: “it was necessary a 2nd album, because the music itself didn’t quite fit the atmosphere of disc one”.
“Resistance” is pure IQ, a band I loved since its origins. The new material exudes quality at every juncture with the instantly recognizable sound of Peter Nicholls’ vocals, Michael Holmes’ elegant guitar, Neil Durant’s silken keyboards and the impressively tight rhythm section of drummer Paul Cook and bass player Tim Esau, an impressive collection of musicians as you could wish for.
They are all on top form here, as is the production.
The album opens with the powerful and dark track “A Missile”. The keyboards and drums drive this one as Nicholl’s unique phrasing cuts through. The second track “Rise” continues with the barrage of heaviness from the album’s opener. This is IQ at their most aggressive.
Other highlights that will go on to be fan favorites include the epic progressive brilliance of triumvirate “For Another Lifetime”, “The Great Spirit Way” and “Fallout”, while the winsome beauty of “If Anything” cannot be denied.
“Shallow Bay” is one of my favorites a more straightforward rocking piece, melodic, with an elegiac feel and gives Holmes a perfect showcase for a fluid, emotive guitar solo over a titanic organ for the conclusion.
The intensity decreases significantly for the beautiful “If Anything”, demonstrating that IQ know that the darkness of previous songs needs to be contrasted with light and hope. With an opening slightly reminiscent of a song by The Cars, Nicholls’ warm vocals lays out lovely images over delicately picked Spanish guitar.
“For Another Lifetime” is the highlight for me among the more prog pieces on this release, destined to become another much loved IQ classic epic song. No other band does it quite like them.
Indeed, this album is unmistakably ‘IQ’ – they have a successful formula and they use it with great skill on this album.
IQ albums since the 1990’s only appear about every 4 to 5 years. In the world of Progressive Rock music they are truly special events as this is one of the truly great bands of the last 35+ years… does this one match up to that fine heritage?
Oh yes, there’s no weak tracks… and let’s face it even a weak IQ track is better than many band’s best tracks – this is IQ after all – the Crème de la Crème of modern melodic progressive rock.
IQ have produced another fine album – 2 in fact – of imaginative progressive rock with exemplary musicianship and poetic lyricism – it’s just what they do, and they do it so well.
It could be another 4 or 5 years until the next one so immerse yourself in this intense, varied, dark epic world and join the Resistance.
01. A Missile
03. Stay Down
05. Shallow Bay
06. If Anything
07. For Another Lifetime
01. The Great Spirit Way
02. Fire And Security
03. Perfect Space
Peter Nicholls – vocals
Mike Holmes – guitar
Tim Esau – bass
Paul Cook – drums
Neil Durant – keyboards