Knight Area: Nine Paths
Nine Paths is the fourth effort to come from Dutch Progressive outfit Knight Area, a band who have become known for their bright and clear take on Prog Rock with a hint of Symphonic oomph. Continuing down that road – or path as you will – Nine Paths not only cements Knight Area as one of the most authentic purveyors of traditional Prog, but also finds renowned producer Neal Kernon bringing a tougher edge to the sound, with a crystal clear attack and more than the odd Prog Metal riff. If it is the subtle side to this band that gets your juices flowing, then no need to panic on that score either, with bags of melody oozing from every song, majestic vocals and an approach that musically is still hugely uplifting, even when the lyric is of a more melancholy nature.
"Ever Since You Killed Me" is a spectacular opening statement, with soaring guitars cutting a swathe for the beefy keyboards to come cavorting through. Early (and I do mean early) Marillion is strongly evoked as a gentle piano line interjects the pompous beginnings, complimenting an enigmatic vocal from Mark Smit. Garben Klazinga's keyboards continue to be a hugely influential feature running through the whole album, however the sharp riffs courtesy of Mark Vermeule make a stronger claim for supremacy as the album moves on. "Summerland" benefits from that sharper six-string attack, although the likes of "Clueless" – which has the catchiest chorus on the album – and "Wakerun" are pure keyboard led, Neo-Prog bliss.
As ever Pieter van Hoorn (drums) and Gijs Koopman (bass and Taurus pedals) hit home hard with their rock solid approach, although neither is constrained into their positions, with room to roam and flourish given and taken in abundance. Add to that the ever so sweet vocals of Smit – think a less easy-ozy Yogi Lang (RPWL) – and there's simply no denying that Knight Area have conjured up a glorious concoction capable of beguiling and captivating those of a traditional, Neo and Metal Prog nature. Delain vocalist Charlotte Wessels shows up to embellish to heady potion on "Please Come Home", but in truth you don't need any other reason to invest in this album other than its sheer class and beauty.
1. Ever Since You Killed Me
3. Please Come Home
5. The River
6. Pride and Joy
7. The Balance
9. Angel's Call
Added: October 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Knight Area Online
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|Knight Area: Nine Paths
Posted by Gert Hulshof, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-10-23 08:30:55
Dutch proggers Knight Area have released their 5th album with Nine Paths. It's their fourth studio album and is released after the live album Rising Signs From The Shadows.
When the music starts playing you are instantly grabbed and pushed back in your seat you just want to sit, and enjoy the music. But sitting still on the other hand is very hard with the catchy melody lines brought to you with a wall of keyboard sounds along with the guitars.At times they play loud and rough but mostly the music is Neo progressive, classic or symphonic progressive. Call it what you want fact is Knight Area is a strong band playing strong highly addictive music.
For people very familiar with the progressive symphonic rock scene, identifying Knight Area or reffering to other bands is something you will instantly do. I hear Arena play when IQ is up in the Pallas making Marillion leaving Eloy at Twelfth Night. Said enough here. Knight Area has a definte own style with a lot of mixtures from the afore mentioned bands. Oh yes one of them I forgot on purpose. Galahad the knight who must have given way for Knight Area to come about.
Now for the music, Nine Paths takes you on a musical journey along Ninepaths in your life. This is done in nine songs all together. All songs tell a different phase of the path you are taking. Identify them yourself. Mind you, you arise from being dead after the first track.
This is high school neo progressive rock.
I would like to draw special attention to "Please Come Home", which features Charlotte Wessels as guest vocalist. This is may be the most relaxing track on the album. Another special attention draw goes to the only instrumental track "Pride & Joy" which reminded me a lot of a Pallas song "Cut and Run".
Songs reigning from keyboard domination to more rocking guitar dominated songs pass us by in the end Drums finish up the album smashing the whole thing to a conclusion.
A lot can be said about the album, one thing stands out in my opninion it is a must have for Neo-prog fans. Knight Area as a band doesn't have to prove what and who they are, the music speaks for itself. Knight Area belong in the premier league alongside IQ, Arena, Pallas, and Marillion. Strange thought crosses my mind now as I write this. The music is typical of European or even British progressive music
A great album you will instantly love it and I must admit not one dull moment not even after 4 consecutive spins.
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