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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.

Track Listing
1. Ever Since You Killed Me
2. Summerland
3. Please Come Home
4. Clueless
5. The River
6. Pride and Joy
7. The Balance
8. Wakerun
9. Angel's Call

Added: October 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Knight Area Online
Hits: 4247
Language: english

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