This is one of IQ'S best efforts. The return of Peter Nichols to the microphone yielded some of the most energetic and compelling music in the band's long career.
Not that Paul Menel wasn't adequate as a singer but the two albums he was a part of lacked most of the elements present in IQ's previous work. The songs were shorter and more pop oriented and did little to showcase the considerable talents that reside in the unit.
EVER was a return to what makes this band great. The tight compositions and thought provoking, albeit strange lyrics with Nichol's haunting vocal style. The obvious showpiece on the album is "LEAP OF FAITH" which is loaded with classic power - progressive overtones. The running guitar solo toward the end is unbelievable in it's power and grace and establishes Mike Holmes as a legitimate force at his craft.
This is an album that anyone who likes progressive rock would be proud to own. It is full of elements that make one think of all the giants that established the genre but has a sonic quality all it's own. It's hard to give it 5 stars because most progressive rock albums that came after such landmark offerings as "THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY " by GENESIS have borrowed or copied from them. It is hard to create a truly groundbreaking album in this genre when most of it has already been done. Still... EVER should be in your collection along with most of this band's releases.