Knight Area

The Progressive subgenre of Metal, sometimes referred to as "Progrock", is by it very nature […]
By Jacob Dawson
February 11, 2015
Knight Area - Hyperdrive album cover

The Progressive subgenre of Metal, sometimes referred to as "Progrock", is by it very nature experimental and unrestrained. It is generally free to incorporate as many elements from other genres as it wishes, as long as it retains that defining sound that makes the whole genre so identifiable. This could raise a whole other issue as to why, and if, categorising music is even necessary, but for the sake of staying on point we will move swiftly on.

One of the spearheads of contemporary Progressive Metal is undoubtedly DREAM THEATER, who has built a long and respectable career based on the foundations of the keyboard and guitar. While many elements of KNIGHT AREA are reminiscent of these legends, the most similar seems to be the vocals. Mark Smit can definitely carry a tune, but the juxtaposition between his soft, clean vocals and the occasionally dirty, spiralling riffs is sometimes strange to listen to, similarly to how it can be in DREAM THEATER sometimes.

The guitars and drums are a wonderful thing to listen to hear, with the synth work from the keyboards blending in beautifully with both, even in the form of soft piano sections occasionally. The drums are complex enough to impress, without leaving you miles behind them while the guitar work laid down by Mark Bogert is hugely catchy and varied between songs, so that the same riff isn't played to death over and over again.

The band have done well to place one their definitely stronger songs at the very front in the form of "Afraid of the Dark", which contains a perfect tempo and one of the most varied mixes of instrument sounds on the record.

Not far behind it is "Crimson Skies"; a brilliant culmination of Scandinavian Metal that has all the soaring vocal elements needed to uplift a screaming crowd at a festival, or an exhausted album reviewer in his bedroom.

There are a number of much slower-tempo songs on offer here as well, with "The Lost World" and "This Day" being two perfect examples. The slower beat gives the vocals the opportunity to demonstrate their ability, as well as for the synth to fill in the gaps left by the drums.

Any fans of fun, upbeat and varied Metal will enjoy this release, with Viking or Scandinavian connoisseurs possibly benefitting the most. Keep an eye out for these boys; they are more than worth seeing.<

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Hyperdrive" Track-listing:

1. Afraid of the Dark
2. The Lost World
3. Bubble
4. This Day
5. Crimson Skies
6. Avenue of Broken Dreams
7. Living in Confusion
8. Stepping Out
9. Running Away
10. Songs from The Past
11. Hypnotised

Knight Area Lineup:

Gerben Klazinga - Keyboards, Main Composer
Mark Smit - Vocals, Keyboards
Pieter van Hoorn - Drums
Peter Vink - Bass
Mark Bogert - Guitars

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