IQ EVER (25th Anniversary edition with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround DVD)


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Oct 31, 2008
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I think another member has already mentioned this in another thread, but since I didn't find a dedicated thread for this release, I figured there should be one!
The bad news about this release is that according to a video post on the band's Facebook page, it looks like the audio on the DVD will be Dolby Digital only, and if so, then that's a hard pass for me, but anyway Here's all the info:

British prog rockers IQ will release a remixed version of their 1993 album Ever to celebrate the album's 25th anniversary.
Ever was IQ's fifth studio album, and saw the return of vocalist Peter Nichols after the band had released two albums, Nomzamo (1987) and Are You Sitting Comfortably? (1989) with Paul Menel.
The new three-disc set will feature a brand new 2018 remix from guitarist Mike Holmes, newly recorded live versions of the songs from a concert at Aschaffgenberg's Colos-Saal earlier this year, a 5.1 mix of both the new remix and live tracks, demos, studio outtakes, unused ideas and rehearsals and a 40page booklet. It will be released in late September/early October on GEP.

The full tracklisting is:
Disc 1 (CD): The Darkest Hour, Fading Senses, Out of Nowhere, Further Away, Leap Of Faith, Came Down. Extra tracks: Came Down – The Solos That Got Away, Lost In Paradise.
Disc 2 (CD - recorded live at the Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany, 10 February 2018): Intro/The Darkest Hour, Fading Senses, Leap Of Faith, Came Down, Further Away, Out Of Nowhere.
Disc 3 (DVD):
Ever 2018 Remix 5.1 Surround Sound Mix
Ever Live at the Colos-Saal 5.1 Surround Sound Mix
Album Demos: The Darkest Hour, Fading Senses, Unholy Cow (Out Of Nowhere, Further Away Intro, Further Away Complete, Leap Of Faith, Came Down.
Studio Outtakes: Darkest Hour, Fading Senses, Out Of Nowhere, Further Away, Leap Of Faith, Came Down.
Unused Ideas: Waltzy Song, Echo Song, The Blues Riff, Bassy Track, Guitar Thing, Quiety Demo, Some Chordage, Monks.
Rehearsals: The Darkest Hour (Pt. 2), Fading Senses - Jamming The Riff, Fading Senses #2, Unholy Cow (Developed), Further Away - Jamming The Riff, Further Away - Arrangement, Came Down - Different Intro, Sad Chords.
Amazon UK says Mike Holmes remixed himself, would that be both stereo and surround?
Amazon UK says Mike Holmes remixed himself, would that be both stereo and surround?

I think so as the answer was a bit vague from IQ facebook someone asked question the other way around:

Nick Bailey
Very fair price for a superb edition. One question, is the album on disc 1 also a new 2018 stereo remix by Mike, not just the 5.1 on the DVD?

Yes, its the stereo 2018 remix.
Ordered, hope they do more, was really hoping when they remastered "Wake" back in 2010 is was going to have 5.1, alas it was not to be *sigh* bought it anyway. Music from Wake was my entry to IQ and is still my favorite.
Just found mine in the mailbox :) listening to Evanesence - Systhesis right now, will listen to Ever after (y)

IQ Ever.jpg
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Ok, I have listened to this 3 times so far (also listening again while I write this for freshness of thought) and I can say that I liked it a little more each time. I was previously only familiar with some of the songs from this album from hearing them on Delicious Agony Progressive Rock radio streaming many years back. I do own cd's of "Tales from the Lush Attic" & "The Wake" which I quite like but haven't listened to in years, so musically this has been a a very pleasant experience. I forgot how much I enjoyed IQ. While not ready for a vote, my general impressions so far on the surround of "Ever" are as follows:

Preface: For the 1st pass more attention was paid to the actual songs, gaining familiarity and not really paying full attention to the surround, so.....

The Darkest hour - Not a lot going on 1st listen notice but wide full wraparound soundstage, by 3rd listen noticing backing vocals, mellotron, synths, guitar bits, drums rolling from front to back not as discrete stand out stuff but more of a blend with the full soundstage. very nice.

Fading Senses - Ah the Genesisness kicking in, ok the surrounds start to pick up a little speed here with birds cheeping, thunder rolling, waves crashing, more synths, more mellotron, more drums a little more noticeably discrete in the surrounds. (Additional note there is a liberal use of the Moog Taurus Bass Pedals throughout this album so watch out!;))

Out of Nowhere - Not as adventurous as Fading Senses but still very nice, again mellotron, synthy stuff, drums galloping around, vocals, guitar bits.

Further Away - Much of the same as previous, synth effects, drum and cymbal bits, vocals.

Leap of Faith - Keyboards, mellotron, synths, vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, drums.

Come Down - Again drums, synths, guitar, keyboards., mellotron or vocals ur both (hard to tell sometimes:unsure:)

In conclusion: a fine surround effort, fidelity is very good, the music itself is very satisfying, I am happy with the DD surround on "Ever" hope we get more from IQ.
Is it a "vocals in all channels" mix or are the vocals solely up front?

Well for the most part on closer inspection (all listening has been from my sweet spot where it all sounds pretty good to me) it does appear that most of the drums and vocals and other elements are doubled in the surrounds, though at a much lower volume and not always. Also apparently the center is only used for the occasional drum and synth flourish and is silent the rest of the time, no vocals or other instruments I can detect and so is the only speaker that is truly discrete, essentially 4.1 99% of the time. Not even sure the mains or surrounds are stereo left and right I'm kinda getting the sense it it may be a core square in 4 speakers (with slight variations) most of the time with elements moving around the square or popping up in 1 of the 5 speakers. Having said that I'm still enjoying what I hear, go figure. As a general rule I don't care so much how they achieve it as much as how it sounds to me, as always YMMV.
I've owned a copy of the original CD version of this album since my junior year in college - I can't remember which semester, so let's call it 1995 or 1996. Suffice to say, I know the album very well. Heck, I even recorded a one man band version of "Leap of Faith" last year.

There are a lot of dense late 80's / early 90's keyboards on this album (think Korg M1 and Roland D50), and the 5.1 mix does a great job cleaning up some of the sonic murk caused by these synths. There's more "room" for everything, if that makes sense. I could suddenly hear acoustic guitar parts that I'd never heard before (for example, throughout "The Darkest Hour"), and background vocals popped (generally in the rear speakers) in a way that they couldn't in the original mix. In "Fading Senses," between the vocal and instrumental sections, there are sound effects and even a voiceover that I'd never noticed before, each living in its own unique space. The beginning of "Out of Nowhere" sounds punchy and majestic, with some extra content being added to the subs at the right times. In general, if folks are concerned about whether this is a "discrete" mix or not, you shouldn't be. This is a very well-done, interesting 5.1 mix.

There's also a live version of all the songs from the original album, albeit in a different running order. The mix on that is consistent with the mix in their recent Blu-ray: it serves the music just fine, but it's not particularly interesting. There's also tons of outtake material, but only in stereo.

It's a minor bummer that this is all in Dolby Digital, but I'm honestly not hearing any particular artifacts as a result of the DD compression.
Jerfo, thanks for your review and thats 2 people from here giving this a thumbs up for this release so I am glad that I have this on preorder.

Also nice work by you on the IQ song, I enjoyed that :)
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I've finally had a chance to give this release a good spin. again a band I've never heard of. It is a very pleasant surprise!! In a good way. Yes its a shame they choose DD to mix it in but overall its a release that I will play again. There is not a huge use of the surround speakers but what there is adds to the overall fidelity and for those prog rockers amongst us, it is worth adding to your collection...imo. Actually, I didn't mean to pigeon hole it to the proggies, its a release for us all to enjoy. 'Which one is Pink's' review hits the nail on the head. A large 8.5 from me.(y)
I listened to it the first time today. I would say it is a 4.1 mix at all. Only rarely there is the synth audible from the center, vocals definitively not. DD is such a waste of work of the mixer!
I really don't like the sound quality on this one. I thought it was suffering quite badly due to being DD but I suspect now that it's just how it sounds - the CD bonus tracks sound similar. I can see that others find the sound OK so don't let me put you off.

On the other hand, I think the mix is excellent. There's a lot going on in the rears. It's discrete, there are pans and there is ambience when appropriate.

I tried the live versions briefly. They are more than a normal live mix - there's discrete stuff in the rears - but from a quick sampling I'm not sure there's much radically different to the studio versions so I'm not been tempted to investigate further.

Lots of extras, but only in rough stereo.

I think this is worth getting just for the main album in 5.1. I wish they would go back and remix some of their other stuff.