Knight Area - The Sun Also Rises


Year of Release: 2004
Label: Laser's Edge
Catalog Number: LE 1037
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:03:00

Somewhere in the near future, scientists have developed a revolutionary computer program. In this program, the scientists enter the music of the great progressive rock bands from the past decades, bands like Genesis, Camel, IQ, Arena and this computer program takes the best elements of these bands and forms one new band. As the scientists looked at the screen, they were amazed, for it read: Knight Area!

I won't bore you with the background of Knight Area, you can read all about that on their website. Let's stick to the music, as this is a superb album! Believe it or not, but the first 29 seconds of the album, which is as long as the first track lasts, will tell you what the rest of the album will be like. I was really amazed: keyboards, drums, two guitars and bass, all stuffed into this 29 second song, called "Beyond..." It creates a longing for the rest of the music. And what a reward you get when you listen to the second track, "The Gate Of Eternity," written back in 1982 by principal members Gerben and Joop Klazinga. This track totally convinced me: this is a super album, that can look any album by Camel, IQ or whomever straight in the eyes! It opens with space sounds and voice samples that reminded me a bit of Ayreon's Into The Electric Castle, followed by excellent vocals of Mark Smit (who also sings in the Queen cover band Miracle) and subtle guitars. Then such a beautiful guitar solo; man, it gave me the shivers! Too bad it is quite short. This song also features Joop Klazinga on flute and Kees Flameling on accordion. The use of a real accordion (something Alias Eye also did on their recent album), works for me, as it brings something magical to the song. I understand I'm rambling, but this really is a stunning song, which evolves into a cool up-tempo prog song.

The keyboard parts by Gerben Klazinga, who is also responsible of most of the drum parts, at times bring Martin Orford (IQ, Jadis) and Peter Bardens (Camel) to mind. Throughout "Conspiracy," the ghost of Camel roams, but the fantastic guitar solo of Jeroen Hogeboom (ex-Sangamo) makes you realize this is NOT Camel, but KnightsArea. That is what I like about the album: it is filled with songs that touch the spirit of the aforementioned bands, but still are very original and will definitely end up in history as classics. On the album, guitarist Peter van Heijningen (Toyz), really impressed me, mainly with his smooth play and virtuoso solos. I find it hard to pick a favourite song of the album, as I love the whole. Besides "The Gate Of Eternity," I also very much like the instrumental title track "The Sun Also Rises," for it's vintage sound, especially the keyboards. But also the Rickenbacker of Gijs Koopman (ex-Cliffhanger), which is all over the album, contributes to the rich, vintage sound of the album.

"Mortal Brow" features female vocals by Stephanie Lagrande; very nice, but way too short, unfortunately. One song deserves special mention, because of the story behind it, which is not a very happy one: "A New Day At Last," dedicated to Ferry Groenendijk (1997 ? 2002, so you understand what I mean). Despite the sad story, this is truly a gem, with very touching vocals by Mark Smit and a yet it has all the elements in it to make it one of the better prog songs I have heard in a long time: piano, typical prog keyboards (if such a thing exists) and great guitars.

Sure, I did not cover every song, but I don't need to ... after reading about the first track, you should have stopped reading, ran to the nearest shop, got the CD, played it and then continue reading. Play the album and you know why I am so ecstatic about it! Is it because Gerben and Joop worked on this album for twenty years? Maybe. But the result is there, an album they can be proud of and will be placed in the eternal hall of classic prog albums. Besides the excellent production and strong compositions, the artwork by Mattias Norén (www.progart.com) is a sight for sore eyes! Perfect choice, guys! Now if you don't mind, I'm putting my headphones back on and giving The Sun Also Rises another spin...

[This review originally appeared March 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Beyond... (0:27) / The Gate Of Eternity (7:21) / Conspiracy (5:38) / Forever Now (4:21) / The Sun Also Rises (5:51) / Conviction (5:44) / Mortal Brow (6:21) / Moods Inspiring Clouds (5:14) / A New Day At Last (5:21) / Saevis Tranquillis In Undis (3:14)

Musicians:
Gerben Klazinga - keyboards, drums (1, 2, 5-9), and vocals (8)
Joop Klazinga - flute (2-9)
Mark Smit - lead vocals (2-4, 6-9)
Peter Van Heijningen - lead guitar (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10)
Jeroen Hogenboom - guitar (1-5, 7-9)
Arjan Groenendijk - guitar (4, 6, 7, 9)
Gijs Koopman - bass (1, 3, 4, 5, 6), bass pedals (1, 3)
Ron Van Der Bas - bass (2, 6-9)
Mark Van Nieuwenhuizen - drums (3, 4, 5)
Vincent Frijdal - acoustic guitar (6)
Kees Flameling - accordion (2)
Stephanie Lagrande - vocals (7)

Discography:
The Sun Also Rises (2004)
Under A New Sign (2007)
Realm Of Shadows (2009)
Rising Signs From The Shadows (2010)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Score:
Artist website: www.knightarea.com
Hits: 1232
Language: english

  

[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]