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Knight Area


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Knight Area Under a New Sign album cover
3.86 | 190 ratings | 19 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Different Man (7:50)
2. Exit L.U.M.C. (7:41)
3. Mastermind (6:17)
4. Under a New Sign (5:44)
5. Courteous Love (7:08)
6. Dreamweaver (7:38)
7. A Different Man - Part II (13:07)

Total Time 55:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Smit / lead & backing vocals, Fender Rhodes (5)
- Rinie Huigen / guitars, backing vocals
- Mark Vermeule / guitars
- Gerben Klazinga / keyboards, producer
- Joop Klazinga / flute, recorders
- Gijs Koopman / bass, Moog bass pedals
- Pieter van Hoorn / drums & percussion

- Ruben van Kruishum / cello (5)
- Bas Immerzeel / 12-string guitar (5), lead guitar (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Mattias Norén

CD The Laser's Edge ‎- LE1047 (2007, Netherlands)

Thanks to Tristan Mulders for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KNIGHT AREA Under a New Sign ratings distribution

(190 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

KNIGHT AREA Under a New Sign reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars While I enjoyed Knight Area´s debut very much, I did not really think it was the masterpiece some reviewers claimed to be. It was good, but not really exceptional. It was, after all, a well done neo prog album with nothing really new. So I was not very eager to get their new release, Under A New Sign, but, boy, am I glad I did! The Klavinga brothers & co did a fine job here! While their first CD sounded like it was made by a loose agregation of musicians, this is much more a team efford, and it shows. The music is tighter, a little heavier in some parts, still very melodic and beautiful. Certainly the the songwriting improved a lot also, but Knight Area is sounding like a band now. And a very good band!

The use of vintage keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes, etc) is a plus and sometimes the tunes remind me of the great IQ, sometimes of Eloy, still they have their own personality. The guitars soar, bass and drums, everyhting, even Mark Smit´s voice, is better now. If you liked their first CD, you´ll probably love the new one. I did. If you´re into classic neo prog, in the vein of early Marillion, Pendragon, IQ, Pallas, etc. you can´t miss this one.

A nice surprise. Great work, Knight Area. Highly recommended!

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Three years ago (in 2004) the Dutch progrock formation Knight Area released their debut CD entitled The Sun Also Rises on the known USA progrock label The Laser's Edge, owned by Tron-Maniac Ken Golden. This debut CD gained worldwide appreciation and Knight Areas was even invited on the annual Nearfest Festival in 2005, among Italian progrock legends Le Orme and Banco, the promising vintage keyboard aficionados Wobbler and neo- prog giant IQ (soon a Nearfest 2005 DVD will be released, running time 3 hours!).

On this just released new CD entitled Under A New Sign I notice that Knight Area has matured on all levels (compositions, interplay, creativity, variety). The seven tracks frequently contain catchy mid-tempo's (featuring a fluent, often propulsive rhythm- section, pleasant vocals, wonderful keyboards and strong guitar work) that shift very flowing from dreamy and compelling to bombastic. Knight Area their sound scouts the borders between mid-Genesis (twanging guitars, Moog Taurus bass pedals, Mellotron waves and synthesizer runs) and early IQ (accessible and powerful with fiery guitar and heavy choir-Mellotron eruptions). Some songs deliver surprising elements like a jazzy Hammond organ solo in the alternating titletrack and melancholic violin play in the mellow Courteous Love. This strong and pleasant CD ends in great style: a splendid closing section in the final composition A Different Man Part II (firmly rooted in the 24-carat symphonic prog tradition) with a compelling and bombastic climate featuring a deep Moog Taurus bass pedal sound, lush choir-Mellotron and a howling guitar solo, this is Progheaven, goose bumps!

Highly recommended, I am proud to be Dutch!

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I have expected this second album for about eigtheen months ! I've seen them live in October 2005, and they were already talking about a second album. Finally, here it is.

The opener "A Different Man" is 100% Genesis oriented. "Wind Of Wuthering" period. This track "borrows" a lot to "Eleventh Earl Of Mar" for some of the keys parts. Knight Area produces a fantastic symphonic number. Evey single aspect of the music we (all ?) praised is here. Fabulous keyboards, wonderful guitar, nice and gentle vocals. Still, it could have been a bit more distant from its source of inspiration. Most of us (but not all) love these beautiful moments. The guitar solo at the end of the song is a pure jewel. There is definitely an added value with this band. They produce such a nice music...

The second number "Exit L.U.M.C." sounds very much like an Arena track. Powerful, harmonious of course, with great off-beat drum and bass play. Actually, there are no exit. We are plunged into the most beautiful prog music. Fantastic guitar play as well.

Arena is still present on the third number "Mastermind". Very powerful intro for this 100% neo-prog number. the heavy bass and the vigourous drumming are rather impressive. It is the type of track that simply blows you out. Superb. Keys on this number are PHENOMENAL.

"Under A New Sign" is a more straight-forward (commercial) number. The "overture" is again very promising : those keys are so beautiful ... This instrumental track is at times jazzy, which is rather unexpected. Something different in this ocean of symphonic moments.

The almost acoustic "Courteous Love" sounds a bit lighter in comparison with the other numbers of this album. We'll get the usual beautiful keys break for the finale of course. It saves this track and keeps the level of this album to a very high standard.

"Dreamweaver" is one of the rockiest number. It will even feature a riif very similar to "Jumping JackFlash" (Stones). A strange but interesting combination. Again, even if this number is probably the weakest of this album, the closing part sounds gorgeous.

Part II of "A Different Man" " is as great as the opener could be. Of course, Genesis is revisited as well. Light acoustic intro as in "Cinema Show". Lots of nice mellotro-like moments as well. This track will almost bring you to heaven (no stairway needed). Rinie on the lead guitar plays a long and beautiful solo. I guess one has come to earth to listen to such beautiful moments... So melodic. It is of course the best (portion of a) number on this album. Extreeeeeeeeeeemely beautiful.

Kinght Area was able to confirm their very good debut album (which was not an easy task). They deliver here an excellent album, even though some might argue that it is a bit too much borrowed to one of the master in the genre (which is true). Nonetheless, it is a pure jewel for the ears. All symphonic and bombastic moments.

You really need to give Knight Area a try. If ever they are coming close to you for a gig, do not hesitate : go and see them, you won't be disappointed. By no means. If you like great and powerful keys soli, Genesis-oriented music (Trespass & Selling) this album is made for you. Most of the tracks are rather lenghty, which was not the case of their debut album. This will lead to more research and sophistication.

Knight Area deserves more exposure. Do help them !

Four stars for this beautiful album (the second in a row).

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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 .
Review by Menswear
4 stars A Trick of the Wuthering.

You probably remarked by this hilarious intro (*yawn*) that indeed, this album is a gigantic wink to the majestic period of the early non-Gabriel material of Genesis. It's so true, it's even told on the cover (in substance): 'Fans of IQ, Marillion, Arena and Genesis should take notice of this album'. But they forgot to state Camel...hmmm. That's too bad, 'cause the first album had much more flute and I kinda miss that.

Knight Area is not a band that makes a lot of noise, musically nor commercially. But it's a shame, because this record (and their first effort) is an honest effort in terms of melody, accessibility and savoir-faire. Kinght Area sounds quite professionalistic for an underdog band and they share with Arena a good sense of esthetic with their great art cover. The music is non-virtuoso (for a change in progressive world) but still above FM standards worldwide.

Musically, this is borderline néo-prog just like Arena but they hardened their sound, with some double bass drum in some tracks. Despite the clear Genesis influences, the Dutch band is tending to create and staple their sound with a voice tone that reminded me New Order.

Honestly, Knight Area is not a band that will blow your mind off, but to me they have that same 'clic' that Arena had in the first record: lot of good keyboard solos, nice melodies and shorter songs.

Again, a great sense of quality and humility that makes this record one of my picks for best album of 2007.

A real winner for the underdogs of prog.

Review by progrules
5 stars This quite new Dutch progband is a great discovery. An asset to dutch or even worldwide neo prog. I don't know their debut album yet but that will not last very long I guess. This one is a fantastic follow up for their debut in 2004.

The opening song A different man pt.1 has a very nice atmosphere, somewhat mellow but in a pleasant way. The voices remind me of Rob Reed of CYAN and the atmosphere is a little like "In the city" by EGDON HEATH, very interesting.

The other songs are varied, some are a bit rougher, there's an instrumental, but they are all very good. I always have great admiration for an album that contents no poor or lesser songs, it gives the impression that there is given maximal effort to the album and that no fill ups are allowed. This is such an album and because I'm in doubt between 4 or 5 stars I give the highest because of the overall quality.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Knight Area, this excellent dutch band coming from a new generation of brilliant musicians. Having released 3 albums in 5 years , they climb with each release higher and higher in prog scene. This is their second album from 2007 named Under a new sign. I only know this band quite recently, somewhere in spring this year I heard for the first time this album, but never own it until last week together with their next one and their most fresh from 2009 Realm of shadows. So let's say something about this second release of this dutch band. First, they play neo prog with very catchy pieces, second I was very impressed by their music, they have such a fat sound, with a proeminet bass, always very loud but keeping of course the lines with the rest. While the music is very strong, the voice is very familiar, not bad but the vocalist sounds like another one hundred ones from this genre, anyway he did a great job here in the end. Usualy I'm little restrictive about neo prog bands, some I like some I don't, some albums and bands appeal more then other to me, this time Knight Area did it, they manage to creat a solid album in neo prog scen. Alternating from more symphonic moments too a more rougher in places this dutch band is alwais great here, every piece is where belongs, nothing is left aside, everything is calculated very well and this is clear on pieces like Exit L.U.M.C. or the excellent title track, who is a instrumental one, very symphonic sound and atmosphere with some excellent keyboard arrangements by one of the most promissing musicians from this country Gerben Klazinga , great work here. So overall I was very pleased what I heared on this second album, I will give 4 stars easy, one of the best neo prog albums in last couple of years.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A really enjoyable album of Neo-prog--the kind that is filled with great warmth, great melodies, great drama, familiar sounds, and stellar production. The only detraction here is that there's really nothing new here, at times it sounds a bit too familiar. Kind of like SPOCK'S BEARD.

Album highlights: "A Different Man" (7:47) (8/10); "Courteous Love" (7:47) (8/10), and the wonderful instrumental, "Under a New Sign" (5:44) (9/10). The rest of the album is not far below these, hovering in the B-/C+ range, which makes for a beautiful listen, start to finish. This remains my favorite Knight Area album despite some good ones since.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. I do think this is an upgrade over their debut but these Neo-Proggers from The Netherlands fail to do for me what my favourite Neo-Prog albums do.There's a couple of songs that are of the heavier mode that I really enjoy but there's just not enough here for me to offer up 4 stars. Obviously i'm in the minority here as this has received high marks from the collaborators.

"A Different Man" has a spacey intro then synths and drums come in after a minute and vocals before 2 minutes. It kicks in at 3 1/2 minutes. "Exit L.U.M.C." opens with keys as heavy outbursts come and go and then stay.Vocals before 2 minutes as it settles some. A calm 5 1/2 minutes in with reserved vocals and a ballad-like mood to the end. "Mastermind" is a song I really like. It's fairly heavy with background synths.Vocals join in before a minute and we get a guitar solo before 3 minutes. "Under A New Sign" has lots of synths early then the keys and guitar trade off. "Courteous Love" is a mellow ballad-like tune with vocals. Cello too. It does turn fuller 5 minutes in when the vocals stop to the end.

"Dreamweaver" is the other song I like a lot. A nice heavy sound to start but it settles quickly and the vocals come in.The heaviness comes and goes. Spoken words end it. "A Different Man, Part II" is the longest track at over 13 minutes. It's mellow with acoustic guitar and synths early and then it kicks in with vocals after 2 1/2 minutes.Tasteful guitar before 6 minutes and the vocals are back 7 minutes in. A majestic ending to this song and album.

A good album with some excellent sections.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Knight Area's Under a New Sign finds the band experimenting a little with diversifying the synth-heavy Arena-influenced neo-prog sound of their debut album. Perhaps the most notable departure from this approach is Courteous Love, an epic love song with fairly minimal (by Knight Area's standards) keyboard interventions until the end. Their take on a love song crossed with ELP's Lucky Man, maybe? Either way, that's about as far from their comfort zone as they drift this time around; overall, I'd say the material on the album isn't quite as strong as on the debut, but it's still a competent enough effort thanks to the slightly increased diversity of the music, even if it doesn't exactly set the world on fire.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The huge success of the debut pushed Gerben Klazinga to gather a group of musicians, so Knight Area could perform live.The first gig in Holland was followed by performances in France, Germany, Belgium, highlighted by the participation at the 2005 Nearfest.Step by step Knight Area grew into a normal band.Mark Smit was now the permanent singer and former Cliffhanger Gijs Koopman (bass) and Rinie Huigen (guitars) brought some needed experience in the prog league.What more reasonable for Knight Area to record a second full-length album.''Under a New Sign'' was finally released in 207 on Laser's Edge.

Little seems to have changed regarding the style of the band.The trademarks of the debut are still present: A crystalline production, a rich and modern symphonic sound and plenty of bombastic parts.The band, obviously influenced by the modern Neo Prog approach of ARENA and PENDRAGON, sounds a bit heavier than on ''The sun also rises'', evolving into metal-like passages with strong guitar riffs.But the overall approach remains typical of the Dutch Neo/Symphonic Rock school.Among the familiar and grandiose synthesizer flights Mr. Klazinga throws in a good amount of Mellotron waves and organ runs, indicating Knight Area are still grounded on the Classic Prog field despite their ultra-modern sound.Guitars range from these powerful energetic leads to nice and sensitive almost FLOYD-ian soloing.And the band always keep a great momentum throughout the album between melody and heaviness.Knight Area's music seems to contain it all: From pleasant melodies to virtuosic solos and from huge symphonic passages to dramatic vocal offerings.Lack of personality is definitely an issue, as their sound cannot escape from the sound of the Neo Prog legends such as IQ, ARENA and MARILLION.

Quality musicianship by a group of talented Dutch musicians.Well-crafted, well-performed and sufficiently inspirational, ''Under a New Sign'' has plenty to offer to fans of contemporary Prog with enough retro setbacks.Strongly reccomended, and even more if you can't get enough of the style...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars With their second, a more proper band effort, Knight Area grow in scope and ambition, increasing songs' length to a 7-minute average, growing heavier (Mastermind) and book-ending the album with a 20-minite opus (which actually consists more of a sequence of slowly developing separate parts). The ... (read more)

Report this review (#1320496) | Posted by Progrussia | Friday, December 5, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Under a new sign is the second album from this solid Dutch neo-prog band and in my opinion it is by far their best achievement. I played the album over and over again and I loved every track. The synth sounds by main man Gerben Klazinga are as transparent and beautiful as can be, the guitar soun ... (read more)

Report this review (#1276477) | Posted by progpig66 (arnold) | Monday, September 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm going to admit, I came to 'Knight-area' as a total novice when it comes to progressive rock. So I am not the very best judge when it comes to summing up the album. However, when I put on the album, I felt they were just imitating Genesis and Yes, maybe ELP. Sure, the vocals sound like a mod ... (read more)

Report this review (#278634) | Posted by Brendan | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4 stars are too many may be, but I like this record very much. Excellent prog and very good musicians. Nothing to do with previous album which after first listening I put on a shelf where it will probably be forgotten. This album has good atmpospheres with special mention to the symphonic final ... (read more)

Report this review (#167747) | Posted by luc4fun | Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4 1/2 starsUnder a New Sign is much better than their first album. Allthough The Sun Also Rises is a good album it did not have the atmosphere that is present at this album. After reading all the reviews the album turned out not as NEO as I exepcted. Sometimes it's CAMELesk, sometimes you hear a ... (read more)

Report this review (#149518) | Posted by Aleph0 | Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a pretty good album and is very much in the neo-prog vein. As others have pointed out there are nods to Genesis but I reckon that this release would have been right at home in the mid-eighties alongside those from Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Night, etc. It perhaps has a slightly harder edge to ... (read more)

Report this review (#145705) | Posted by scarista | Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is Knight Area's second release. And it's again a very good album. IMO it's even better than their stunning debut album The Sun Also Rises, which one I loved very much. I've bought their second album after a concert in The Netherlands where they played 5 of the 7 songs live. When I heard ... (read more)

Report this review (#117906) | Posted by ProgFan | Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Knight Area's second release is awesome, hmm, perhaps that's a little too strong, but certainly a contender, in my opinion perhaps the best release of the year so far. Many references to their forebears - Genesis, Rutherford, (A Different Man is very Renaissance sounding - melody, vocal and st ... (read more)

Report this review (#117895) | Posted by huge | Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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