Knight Area – Under a New Sign

By Mike Maher 

Knight Area is a progressive rock band from the Netherlands. I find their style similar to that of Genesis and other 70s progressive rock bands. The vocals are soft and the music is laid back. Their new album, “Under a New Sign” was released on Ken Golden’s Laser’s Edge label.

The disc has 7 tracks, with several songs clocking in at over 7 minutes (one is 13!). Since I never heard of the band before, I did a little checking and discovered that their first album, “The Sun Also Rises,” was released in 2004 and started out as keyboardist Gerben Klazinga’s solo project. The disc got great reviews and they decided to form a full time band. . These guys are self proclaimed perfectionists, taking their time creating the follow-up (3 years!!). In that time, they toured Europe and were given a spot at 2005’s NEARfest in Pennsylvania. Incidentally, for those wondering about the name Knight Area, it’s translated from the Dutch word “Ridderbuurt,” the name of the street where Klazinga’s home and studio are located.I quickly realized that, since I am more into a power and progressive metal style, this disc was probably not something I would get on my own. I’ve listened to the disc several times and have come to the conclusion that, while it’s not a style that I love, these guys are really good at what they do. Following their 70’s influence, there are tons of keyboards and even a flute (don’t worry it sounds cool). The vocal style is strong but soft and fits well with the music. You won’t have any problems listening to Mark Smit’s voice. In fact, all the members are solid musicians, and obviously take a lot of pride in what they do. Most bands would throw out a follow up to a well reviewed initial release within a year or so just to try to capitalize on the first disc, but these guys waited until they had something they were happy with.

My favorite songs are track 4, “Under a New Sign” which is a 5+ minute instrumental that sounds excellent with strong keys that ooze a 70s/80s progressive rock sound. Also, track 6, “Dreamweaver” is outstanding as well.

If you are more into the progressive metal side of music, I would advise you to stay away because this is really laid back and soft.If you are into the 70’s style progressive rock akin to Genesis and maybe Pink Floyd, you will definitely enjoy this disc.

Knight Area Website