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Knight Area - Nine Paths CD (album) cover

NINE PATHS

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.67 | 71 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Nine Paths' - Knight Area (8/10)

Despite 'Nine Paths' being their fourth studio release to date, I have never heard of Knight Area before, and this album has proved to be something of an introduction for me to the group's music. This melodic trend in prog rock has been around for quite a while, and as any dedicated progger will tell you; there is a wide range of opinions that fans have about this. All the same, Knight Area approaches their sound confidently, and churns out an impressive batch of songs, or 'paths' here.

A lively performance and diverse host of songwriting makes 'Nine Paths' a rather consistently enjoyable album from start to finish. 'Ever Since You Killed Me' introduces Knight Area in a very complimentary fashion; they introduce the album with a powerful 'overture' that frames the rest of the album beautifully. From the start, Knight Area's greatest strength is clear, that being their performance. In particular, something that makes Knight Area stand out from the legions of other neo-prog acts is the drumming. Pieter van Hoorn's use of the double kick would probably sound more comfortable in a metal setting, but it works so well underneath the melodic synths and upbeat guitars. Throughout the album, the lead guitar is given a few moments to shine, taking the more conventional route via solos, which manage to impress. The least apparent display of Knight Area's excellence are the vocals of Mark Smit, whose first expression minutes into 'Ever Since You Killed Me' made me think this was another fairly run-of-the-mill vocalist of the genre. 'Please Come Home' and the epic 'Angel's Call' indicate otherwise however, with his voice hitting beautiful notes and inducing chills.

Their strength of performance taken into regard, Knight Area's music is still none too original. They do seem to move between quite a few moods and directions within the album, but all of these aspects feel a little too derivative for me. Instrumentally, much of this album screams Marillion, or even Dream Theater's debut. Alas, Knight Area's lack of 'newness' is quite disappointing, considering their great skill and talent as musicians. In terms of actual enjoyment however, I do not believe this hurts the actual appreciation of the music, and I am left with a powerful experience that I will certainly return to, even if it does not seek to shock me.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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