[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
Contents: I. "Subterranea - The Concert" (100 min): 1. Overture 2. Provider 3. Subterranea 4. Sleepless Incidental 5. Failsafe 6. Speak My Name 7. Tunnel Vision 8. Infernal Chorus 9. King of Focus 10. The Sense In Sanity 11. State of Mine 12. Laid Low 13. Breathtaker 14. Capricorn 15. The Other Side 16. Unsolid Ground 17. Somewhere In Time 18. High Waters 19. The Narrow Margin 20. Orchestral Overture II. Part 1: Bonus tracks: 1. Human Nature (live) 2. The Wake (live) Part 2: Feature Presentation (The Making of "Subterranea - The Concert"): 1. Going Underground - Bringing To Live 2. Pre-production Part 3: Band Commentary Part 4: Photo Gallery The Players (in alphabetical order): Paul Cook - drums & percussion Michael Holmes - electric & acoustic guitars; additional keyboards John Jowitt - bass guitar Peter Nicholls - lead vocals Martin Orford - keyboards; backing vocals Special Guests: Tony Write - saxophone Michael O'Hara - actor All music: by IQ. Lyrics and Story text: by P. Nicholls. Soundtrack Producer: M. Holmes. Engineered by Rob Aubrey. Production Manager: M. Ogden.
1997 - The release of the original studio album "Subterranea" (2CD, "GEP)
Prologue. Having both the studio and the live versions of the "Subterranea" album, I was greatly amazed and pleased to receive the "Subterranea - The Concert" DVD. However, being just an average statistical citizen of our country, I don't own a DVD player. So, for the first time, I was seeing (and listening to) this double-filmed DVD at the home of one of my friends while he was taping it on a VHS cassette.
The DVD. The first film on DVD features the Subterranea concert as a whole, which lasts 100 minutes (as usual). The quality of the sound and screen image of this DVD is simply wonderful, as well as the concert itself. What a fantastic show! While the music is not unlike that on the "Subterranea Live" album, a wide variety of visual effects that accompany the band's brilliant performance, bringing a lot of additional emotions to the spectator. (Of course, being familiar with this music, I was more deeply impressed by the show than my friend.) Illuminating the band as a whole, as well as some of its members separately, the rays of light interlace with each other in quaint patterns. Their colors and intensity change accurately to any of the musical nuances. The band plays against the background of microfilms of an urban character and film slides of gothic chapels, mysterious subterranean entrances, human faces, etc. Peter Nicholls is often the main personage of the play of lights on a scene. During the show, Nicholls frequently changes into different costumes and masques. All of this, including the participation of a professional actor in one of the acts of the concert, makes the show very spectacular. In many ways, it reminds of a real theatrical performance. The musicianship of each of the band members, their joint performance and scenic images as well, are outstanding throughout the show. Each note is breathing here, and the music, vocals, and performance as a whole bring out a distinct feeling of reality of the events going on through the thematic concept. Lots of Bengal lights shimmered in a hall during all of the lyrical episodes. What is interesting is that Orchestral Overture, which reminds me of a piece of Classical Academic Music, was performed against a background of the band's new and very original logotype. The second film of DVD lasts 50 minutes. It contains two bonus tracks, both of which were performed in the same concert hall, the documentary shootings and commentaries of the making of "Subterranea - The Concert", and a very solid photo gallery. The original "Subterranea" album was recorded in 1997, when the band's stylistics was distinctly original and free from any influences already for many years. Nevertheless, the verve and scale of this epic work, as well as the quality of music and performance, reminds me of those of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" by Genesis. Speaking in a more general sense, along with the latter album and "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, "Subterranea", IMHO, is one of the best epic Rock Oratories that has ever been created in the history of Classic Symphonic Progressive.
Summary. Yes, sometimes, time revises the view even on those things that seemed to be unshakable. Not only time, though. In fact, I always knew that the viewing of a concert of an album, which was previously heard only on CD, often allows one to have a look at it in a new perspective. So, I have to admit that before I underestimated "Subterranea", which is undoubtedly the most ambitious and interesting album by IQ. (Until now, I was considering it only the third best album by the band.) So the release of the "Subterranea - The Concert" DVD is the culmination of IQ's twenty-year creation. While the latter, in its turn, is one of the most important constituents of the Progressive Rock movement.
VM. April 16, 2002
Giant Electric Pea Records web-site:
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]