Knight Area's fourth release, Nine Paths, is simply a great sounding album of melodic progressive rock. Earlier works were likely gathered under the symphonic rock genre also. But Nine Paths seems to find Knight Area upping the rock ante just a bit. With that said, don't think that founder, composer, and keyboardist Gerben Klazinga is not offering an abundance of his synthesizer finesse.
Above: Knight Area on a windy day.
Yet you'll notice an emphasis on straight melodic rock in Clueless, where prog nuances have been vacated. Even the instrumental Pride and Joy sounds more like a rock tune, even though keyboards and guitar get into some serious duets and dueling. Perhaps the clearest representation of melodic rock (also with some symphonic notes) is the incredible ballad Please Come Home, where Mark Smit is joined by Charlotte Wessels (Delain) in a brilliant duet. Yet, those rock notes arise in segments within other tracks as in the latter half of Summerland or with larger sound created by big riffs over synths in the heart of The Balance.
Fundamentally, Nine Paths is melodic progressive rock. The opener Ever Since You Killed Me looms large in both progression and instrumentation. Later, The Balance, Wakerun, and Angel's Call offer more flashes of ingenuity than some bands can offer over several albums. One overarching element amidst these three is the impressive bass line within each. Next most notable is the satisfying drum work, as within Wakerun around four minutes where it the movement with near atmospheric color. It also introduces a heavier part of the song, advancing again that greater emphasis on a rock edge.
In the end, as said earlier, Nine Paths simply sounds great. The musical canvas is large and Knight Area fills it with color and imagination to entertaining effect. Nine Paths is a must have for fans of melodic progressive rock. Strongly recommended.
Knight Area's Nine Paths simply sounds great. The musical canvas is large and Knight Area fills it with color and imagination to entertaining effect. Nine Paths is a must have for fans of melodic progressive rock.