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‘Hyperdrive’ is the follow up to 2011's ‘Nine Paths’ and is the band's sixth album. Their line-up has undergone some changes since the release of ‘Nine Paths’ and now consists of vocalist Mark Smit, founder member and keyboard player Gerben Klazinga, Mark Bogert on guitars and the rhythm section of drummer Pieter van Hoorn and bassist Peter Vink. This release consists of 11 tracks and, although it could quite accurately be pigeonholed as a 'prog' record due to its musical approach, none of the tracks are particularly long, with the exception of the last track, 'Hypnotised', which clocks in at nearly 8 minutes.

Stylistically, the album could be compared to the likes of Dream Theater as there is plenty of melody and excellent instrumentation but also a harder, heavier edge which veers towards metal territory. The bulk of the tracks follow a similar format with the exception of 'Stepping Out', which is an instrumental that showcases the excellent musicianship of the individuals within the band and 'Songs From The Past' which is almost exclusively based around vocals and piano, save for a soulful guitar solo midway through the track. The two standout tracks for me are 'Crimson Skies' and 'Avenue of Broken Dreams'. The former features a staccato guitar riff that bookends the track, multi-layered vocals and keyboards that weave in and out the length of the cut. The latter is awash with melody but with a heavy riff, Marillion-esque keyboards and highlights the drumming skills of van Hoorn.

The literature that accompanies this review copy claims the band's sound is now heavier and fuller than previously and I think that statement neatly encapsulates the style of the band in their present incarnation. Knight Area have built up their reputation in prog circles over the years and are now quite well known and respected. However, if you are not familiar with them, and you like melodic prog with a heavy edge then I would wholeheartedly recommend this release.
The Laser's Edge
Review by Dave Uphill
20th Oct 2014
1) Afraid of the Dark
2) The Lost World
3) Bubble
4) This Day
5) Crimson Skies
6) Avenue of Broken Dreams
7) Living in Confusion
8) Stepping Out
9) Running Away
10) Songs from the Past
11) Hypnotised
"...the band's sound is now heavier and fuller than previously..."