cd_review_knightarea_realmofshadows001008.jpg about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_knightarea_realmofshadows001006.jpg
Knight Area are a Dutch band and were formed in 2003, the year they released their first album. The band is led by Gerben Klazinga, the keyboard player and main lyricist and the rest of band consists of vocalist Mark Smit, guitarist Mark Vermeule and the rhythm section of bassist Gijs Koopman and drummer Pieter van Hoorn. 'Realm of Shadows' is Knight Area's third album and the accompanying press description likens them to Marillion, IQ, Genesis and Arena. There is the odd occasion when a similarity to one of these bands can be heard but the overall sound is less prog and more melodic rock with prog overtones. The album begins with 'Ethereal' which does have a 'Script...' era Marillion keyboard sound and also more than a passing similarity to Pallas but the overall sound as mentioned above is of an AOR/Prog hybrid which, don't get me wrong, is not a bad thing. Actually, it's a pretty good track. Next up is 'Antagony' which begins with a martial drum beat and an urgency that is maintained throughout. It also features some pretty good guitar work. 'Two of a Kind' follows and is a more balladic and commercial effort, complete with harmonised backing vocals. Two short instrumental tracks, 'Momentum' and 'Awakening' follow and this is where I can't quite fathom the rationale behind the album's tracklisting. There's nothing wrong with instrumental tracks at all, and these are good, but to have them together in the middle of the album seems a bit strange. After the non-vocal interlude we have 'Dark Souls', which as the name suggests has a somewhat darker feel to it and again has echoes of Pallas about it. The title track follows and is a piano led ballad that doesn't really go anywhere. Next is 'A Million Lives', which features a staccato riff, is reminiscent of Asia in their pomp and is one of the more up tempo tracks on this release. The final track, 'Occlusion', has a looser feel to it, almost like a jam session, which is quite effective. All in all, this is a solidly competent release with some good moments and skilled musicianship. However, prog, in it's myriad forms, is enjoying something of a resurgence and, as a consequence, it's a crowded market place. As such, I feel Knight Area have to offer a little more if they are to stand out from the crowd.
The Laser's Edge
Review by Dave Uphill
4th Jan 2010
1) Ethereal
2) Antagony
3) Two of a Kind
4) Momentum
5) Awakening
6) Dark Souls
7) Realm of Shadows
8) A Million Lives
9) Occlusion
"...a solidly competent release with some good moments and skilled musicianship...However...Knight Area have to offer a little more if they are to stand out from the crowd."