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Knight Area - Hyperdrive CD (album) cover

HYPERDRIVE

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.25 | 60 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars - First Review of this Album -

Hyperdrive to the charts

I recall Knight Area being a melodic Neo-prog band in the vein of IQ; however, "Hyperdrive" would only loosely fit that description, if at all. Album no.5 from the Dutch progsters is rather dynamic, up-tempo and full of hard-rock, guitar driven compositions for the majority of time. It certainly draws from a light neo-prog "aura" as Kalzinga's keyboards dress the sound, but also from modern melodic progressive metal in the style of compositions. Very strong and catchy vocals from Mark Smit who reminds me of Vanden Plas' Andy Kuntz. With very few exceptions, here we are presented with "hit" songs, destined for the hard rock charts, with influences from pop/AOR, even early 90's Helloween (!) and powerful production.

To the above category we can put the dynamite opener, "Crimson Skies" and "Running Away", who are a gear faster that the rest; "Bubble", "Avenue of Broken Dreams", "Living in Confusion" (AOR meets lush keyboards!) and "Hypnotised" belong to the mid-tempo land with the latter being the longer and more varied. Rather unfortunately, a big proportion of the album is devoted to cliche balladry, with "The Lost World" standing out because of its signature opening riff which takes us back to 1976 and The Enid's debut. "Stepping Out" is a league of its own as a short and in-your-face riff-driven instrumental with Ayreon-like keyboards.

Overall, a pleasant listening experience, "Hyperdrive" is a nice-to-have album, which will appeal to those who like the more modern path, simpler, Neo-prog (i.e. heavy-rock driven) and don't mind a good proportion of ballad-like moments.

Thanks to Freeman Promotions for the promo.

aapatsos | 3/5 |

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