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Knight Area - Nine Paths CD (album) cover

NINE PATHS

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.61 | 75 ratings

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Rivertree
Special Collaborator
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
3 stars I could experience a KNIGHT AREA live show in December 2008 and was impressed with their top-notch performance. Thus I noticed with curiosity that they had produced a new album, released on Lasers Edge again. Headed by keyboarder Gerben Klazinga the line-up remained stable throughout, this also applies to the traditional symphonic/neo prog orientation music-wise. Consisting of nine pieces the song collection represents a mix of uptempo rocking songs and ballads as usual. The music of 'Nine Paths' is complemented by the fantasy art of graphic designer Dennis Sibeijn (Damn Engine) who also creates the artwork for other prog bands.

KNIGHT AREA try to implement new impressions, some songs like Summerland and The Balance add a harder touch to the overall impression, predominantly caused by Mark Vermeule's nearly metal edged guitar. And the ballad Please Come Home shows Charlotte Wessels of symphonic metal band Delain making a guest appearance. The duet with singer Mark Smit gets close to a mainstream essence though, hence does not belong to the outstanding exemplars for what it's worth, although a nice guitar solo is implemented towards the end.

Ever Since You Killed Me otherwise marks an entertaining start - the forceful bass is striking at first. In the tried and tested way energetic and charming segments are alternating - bombast keyboards, expressive guitar and vocals - this are the main ingredients for a successful prog tune. The River is something extraordinary too due to the given dynamics, starting as a ballad but - headed by a soloing synthesizer - switching to an uptempo behaviour later. Speaking of dynamics and variations I would also count Angel's Call to the winners here.

'Nine Paths' is a proper album with highs and lows, technically flawless in any case. The compositions are certainly solid, Smit's vocals are formidable. However I can't say that I'm really hooked overall, be it that I'm missing extraordinarily catchy melodies or can't detect significantly new innovative elements. Nonetheless this album is a pleasant find for a listener who is feeling comfortable on the common symphonic/neo progressive border.

Rivertree | 3/5 |

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