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Knight Area - Realm of Shadows CD (album) cover

REALM OF SHADOWS

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.79 | 94 ratings

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usa prog music
4 stars Earlier Knight Area albums featured lighter sounds. With an ominous title like Realm of Shadows, you might infer that this will be much darker. Actually, the flip side is true. While the lyrics are categorically foreboding, copious amounts of keyboards and undulating rhythms hearten cheery feelings.

The opener, "Ethereal", is surprisingly happy. Then, "Anthology" is astoundingly vivacious. It's as if they took their discography, intoxicated it, and now it's tipsy. The only indication that there's something perilous on the horizon is a smidgeon of thunderous sound effects, but even those are muted; as not to spoil any pride or joy.

Both "Two of a Kind" and "Momentum" are trippy. While neither is the king of the hill, their rolling acclivities are catchy. Still, there's one that's fairer than them all later on.

There are some instances where their ill-omened storyline is foretold by instruments. Specifically, "Awakening" is slow and daunting like a murderous death scene, but an argument could also be made that its creepy intentions are sweet. Subsequently, "Dark Souls" is belligerent and feisty; maybe even embittered to a degree. Then again, one should let it go about its business, as its beats are neither bothersome to the brain nor a nuisance to the ears. While a bit passionate, it's not disorderly or discordant, and once contentious tempers calm; it's conscientiously clear-headed.

In spite of what you'd think, the title track is not the standout. Rather than a putdown, it's really that kudos should be given elsewhere and to the whole. With that said, "A Million Lives" grabs hold of the top prize. The reason to put this great nation at the apex is that it's so exultant. Alternatively, the introduction to "Occlusion" is the exception to the rule, as its opaque isolate is unequivocally evil. Once this harbinger of hate is banished?which occurs in less than sixty seconds?there's an epic's worth of glee material to bring the party to a close.

In retrospect, it only takes a few notes of name that tune to recognize this band; however, there are occasions where they could be easily mistaken for Marillion or A.C.T. Since they've toyed with the controls as much as possible, it may hinder one's ability to identify them in a line-up. Be that as it may, Gerben Klazinga's keyboards give their secret alias away every time it's twiddled.

When listening to this music, it's hard to keep from smiling. Due to gorgeous melodies and increased tempos, this is their best album to date; especially since its ordained morbidity borders on a funfest. And, for those who don't speak English, it's likely they'll assume this fare was done in high spirits.

usa prog music | 4/5 |

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