IQ – The Road Of Bones [2CD Collector’s Edition] (2014)
Although its street date is the first week of May, 2014, pre-orders of the sumptuous Collector’s Edition of IQ’s latest album “The Road Of Bones” have begun shipping already in order to get the sets to purchasers in time for the album launch show (tickets to which are included in the collector’s edition).
“The Road Of Bones” is tenth studio album from perhaps the most influential British Neo-Prog band from the last 20 years. It’s also the second album in a row from IQ to feature a member reconfiguration, following the incredible streak from Ever to Dark Matter where the band lineup had remained extremely solid and stable.
Paul Cook and Tim Esau are, of course, old hands in IQ, being the group’s original rhythm section), whilst Sphere3 keyboardist Neil Durant makes his first appearance on an IQ album here.
The obvious question, then, is how this shakeup affects the band’s sound? Would Neil Durant’s inclusion allow the group to continue evolving?
As it transpires, Durant is the surprise star player here, proving equally adept at a bang-up-to-date keyboard style and performances living up to the heritage of IQ’s earlier material. “Constellations”, one of several tracks on the Collector’s Edition bonus disc showcases this distinction particularly nicely.
Tonally, “The Road Of Bones” finds IQ in a melodic and reflective mood – one which often serves them well, as it did on their best records – whilst the special edition of the album provides a bonus disc with a brace of songs which to my ears are just as strong as the compositions that made the main CD, but much more dynamic, bouncy and I’d say, less ‘progressive’.
In fact, although the main disc is superb in arrangements, atmospheres and playing, the bonus disc is terrific and features my favorite compositions. It goes for more upbeat, catchy, almost commercial melodies and its awesomely varied and melodic.
If you never heard IQ you’re missing something great, being “The Road Of Bones” an excellent start to discover this brilliant band.
And if you’re a fan or love your Neo – Melodic – Prog made with class and elegance, you need this album. And make sure to get this “The Road Of Bones 2CD Collector’s Edition”, containing a bonus disc of around 50 minutes of exclusive new material to die for, plus and extended artwork.
Anyway, whether you plump for the 1CD or 2CD editions, right here you have IQ incredibly managing to continue their streak of top quality albums and still shows no signs of slowing down.
CD1: The Road Of Bones
01. From the Outside In
02. The Road of Bones
03. Without Walls
05. Until the End
CD2: Bonus Disc
02. 1312 Overture
04. Fall and Rise
05. Ten Million Demons
Peter Nicholls – vocals
Mike Holmes – guitar
Tim Esau – bass
Paul Cook – drums
Neil Durant – keyboards