IQ

Forever Live

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    6
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On June 12, 1993, IQ performed a concert at the Stadthalle in Kleve, Germany, to mark the release of Ever, the band's first studio album in four years (and its first with original singer Peter Nicholls since 1985). The show was recorded and filmed, and released in April 1996 as a two-CD plus video boxed set. The album was also released separately. Forever Live is IQ's first "real" live album, since 1985's Living Proof was released without the band's consent (and with poor sound quality), while J'Ai Pollette d'Arnu only contained a few live tracks. On this double album, one finds excellent sound, very strong musicianship, and a generous set list. New songs from Ever are beside old favorites from the first two LPs and even songs from the band's two albums with singer Paul Menel. The set opens with the classic track "The Wake," performed maybe just a bit too weakly. "Widow's Peak" has all the bombastic grandeur intended in the 1985 studio recording. "Human Nature" (from the 1987 Nomzamo album) works surprisingly well. "The Enemy Smacks" and the two sections from the epic "The Last Human Gateway" will delight any progressive rock fan. Peter Nicholls' voice remains strong and emotion-packed throughout the show. Forever Live contains everything necessary to satisfy old fans and win new ones. It makes a good summary of the band's career, stopping just before the recording of its magnum opus Subterranea. Strongly recommended.

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