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Knight Area - Under A New Sign CD (album) cover

UNDER A NEW SIGN

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.92 | 139 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars Here it is after a good interval, so move over Rush and Porcupine Tree, this is what we all should be listening to and enjoying. Knight Area's debut "The Sun Also Shines" was well received by the Prog community for a myriad of obvious reasons but there was certainly room for improvement. Generally , many bands suffer through the "second album syndrome" but with Prog and the deliberate time spent between issues (with the notable exception of the way too prolific Flower Kings) , there is always hope that the next one will be a killer. Well, prepare the tribunal, here comes the judge ! "Under a New Sign" is definitely the next level, succeeding in sharpening the hue, content and delivery of their symphonic craft. It's all there to behold, beautiful cover art , great focused compositions loaded with massive sweeping melodies , fiery twin guitar assaults , ebullient synths and assorted keys, most notably our cultish fave, the Mellotron and liberally sprinkled with touches of strings, flute and recorders. All glued together by the startling bass guitar vroom of Gijs Koopman (of Novox and Cliffhanger fame), slinging his deadly Rickenbacker with utter gusto, popping on all cylinders and propelling the flow mercilessly. The overall quality of the crew is resoundingly superior in every single facet, with singer Mark Smit in particular, a vast improvement over his initial vocal delivery on the rookie album. The new recording is book cased with the 20 minute epic "Different Man" , raising the curtain with aplomb and waving goodbye at the end (with Part 2) . Within these walls, the compositions cascade with utter abandon, from "Exit LUMC" and the crunchy "Mastermind", to the glorious title track that is set to become a classic prog instrumental with a gasp inducing melody, interlaced with an astonishingly unexpected jazzy Hammond run. Pure bliss! Change of pace? No problem, "Courteous Love" is a medieval tinged "ballade" where Smit gets to show some of his vocal skills, aided and abetted by a cello lament. Sweet, crystalline and flowing gently into your soul, heavy on the Tron and sliced open with a bristling synth solo. Another classic cut. Just as you would expect some slow simmer, "Dreamweaver" (No, not the Gary Wright song) is a woosh straight into the deeper edges of the sonic universe, booming, sweeping, cajoling and gliding with a surprise wink to the Stones "Jumpin'Jack Flash" (more in jest, I suppose) . Cheeky Nederlanders! In closing, the return to "Different Man, Part 2", just in case the unconvinced need a little blackmail! This is a synth heavy, guitar huffing, bass puffing, grooving and moving prog extravaganza. One of those "One after another "deals. Five stars for the Dutch Knights. Thank you, Erik .
tszirmay | 5/5 |

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