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Knight Area - Hyperdrive CD (album) cover

HYPERDRIVE

Knight Area

 

Neo-Prog

3.25 | 60 ratings

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progpositivity
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I approached the new Knight Area album expecting to hear lushly atmospheric, sometimes melodramatic neo prog songs emphasizing vocals and keyboards. I expected to hear a new release from a band which, even in their more powerful moments often appropriated a form of metal I'd describe as oddly smooth. Those elements are not bad per se, nor are they gone entirely, but there is something very different happening on their latest album Hyperdrive.

I hear a sense of direction and urgency in these compositions that I've not often associated with Knight Area previously. On these songs, guitar riffs and guitar leads are more inspired. The keyboard solos soar with a new sense of vim and vigor. With this set of songs, the band seems to know exactly where they want to take us and they waste precious little time getting down to the business at hand. No wonder they named this album Hyperdrive!

The formula seems to be to alternate up-tempo numbers with ballads. But even the ballads are more tightly focused than in previous releases. Sometimes a majestic or anthemic mood permeates slower tunes to propel them forward. Other times the choruses are catchy enough to invite repetition. Almost always, the solos have a keen sense of forward movement. . Don't get me wrong. This isn't the most progressive music you'll ever hear. But stretching these songs out by slowing them down or padding them with atmospheric pauses wouldn't have made them more progressive. It would have only extended their running time and diluted their impact.

What then is this album? It is a set of high quality rock songs featuring good vocals, tastefully extended melodic (and sometimes a little shreddy) solos with emotionally full and satisfying keyboard infused arrangements.

On Hyperactive, Knight Area are onto something very good. Their songs are more succinct, more visceral and more captivating. The guitar solos are more purposeful, constantly seeking to push the songs forward musically. And all of this is done without the band losing touch with their neo prog roots. When Knight Area get powerful, I still consider their brand of metal to be a rather mellow and melodious one. Even so, they have acquired just enough crunchiness to now be the kind of mellow metal I can really enjoy sinking my teeth into from time to time.

progpositivity | 4/5 |

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