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Under A New Sign

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Album Review

Knight Area's debut album, 2004's The Sun Also Rises, was actually a solo project from keyboardist Gerben Klazinga, who worked with select studio musicians. This group of collaborators later grew into an actual group and some could argue that this second opus, released three years later, should be seen as Knight Area's true debut. And yes, it does have that "group" feel that was slightly lacking on the first opus. If Klazinga remains the main composer, the tracks are now credited to him and the group, with other members also contributing lyrics. Knight Area's sound is maturing into a convincing form of neo-progressive rock, with much being due to IQ, but also similarities to Cross, Pendragon and Arena. The album is bookended by the partly medievalesque "A Different Man," an ambitious piece (over 20 minutes long when adding its two parts) with reminiscences of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. The instrumental title track packs more punch than expected from a neo-prog band, while "Exit L.U.M.C." and "Dreamweaver" stand out as particularly endearing and well-performed tracks. If the album contains clear highlights, it bears no real stinker — even the ballad "Courteous Love," despite its rather trite lyrics, boasts an infectious melody, delivered with confidence by lead singer Mark Smit. Under a New Sign is pretty predictable for a 2000s prog rock record, but it features competent songwriting, strong musicianship and that emotional spark that will draw fans of the genre back to it. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Under A New Sign, Knight Area
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