Knight Area – D-Day : II The Final Chapter

A few months ago I did an interview with Dutch legend Peter Vink, he told me how surprised he was that Knight Area asked him to join, how happy he is with Knight Area now, and how delighted he is about guitar player Mark Bogert. So I was very curious to this new album, entitled D- Day II : The Final Chapter. About D-Day I my conclusion was: “If you are up to this heavy and accessible sounding Knight Area with its song-oriented approach, and a focus on powerful vocals and harder-edged guitar work I am sure this album will delight you, well done Dutchmen!”

 

Well, from the very first moment it’s obvious that prime mover Gerben Klazinga has a more prominent role with his keyboards than on D-Day 1, just listen to the impressive and compelling opener The Enemy Within (7.17) : from tender piano runs to fat synthesizer flights and orchestral layers, blended with awesome guitar work (propusive riffs and howling, biting and heavy runs), a dynamic rhythm-section and excellent vocals, majestic Dutch Heavy Prog, wow!

 

Next Peace Of Mind (5.26), alternating between dreamy with piano and vocals and sumptuous outbursts, halfway embellished with a flashy synthesizer flights (Old School, in the vein of Rick Wakeman), and fiery guitar leads, what a tension, topped with strong and emotional vocals, Knight Area keep on generating a lot of excitement.

 

I Believe (4:38) starts with bombastic soundtrack-like classical orchestrations, then a tight up-tempo beat with rock guitar and powerful vocals, followed by a sensational synthesizer solo. Now female choirs join to make it even more bombastic, Heavy Prog meets AOR.

 

The short For Those Who Fell (2:34) sounds like an instrumental rock ballad with tender piano and sensitive electric guitar with biting runs (Journey comes to my mind), a kind of anthem, simply wonderful.

 

The Dream (5:00) delivers first a bombastic climate with fiery guitar runs and a propulsive rhythm-section, then a mid-tempo with strong vocals and female vocal harmonies, again Heavy Prog meets AOR featuring sumptuous keyboard layers and exciting heavy guitar work (including wah wah and blistering runs), topped with powerful vocals.

The Journey Home (5:20) is a beautiful mellow piece with dreamy keyboards and vocals, shifting to a bombastic slow rhythm, tension grows, a fiery guitar solo joins, followed by a sultry sounding synthesizer solo, the vocals turns into very emotional, wow!

Crossroads (4:38) starts with howling guitar runs, then tender piano and vocals, turning into a bombastic slow rhythm with powerful emotional vocals, then shifting between mellow and bombastic with strong vocals, and another exciting guitar solo (heavy and moving, like Neal Schon from Journey).

Finally two bonustracks.

The acoustic Freedom For Everyone (5:09) features twanging acoustic guitar and orchestral keyboards, topped with strong and emotional vocals.

The instrumental Orchestra Compilation (5:57) starts with bombastic sounding orchestral keyboards, like a Vangelis soundtrack. Halfway the music turns into more mellow, with delicate piano runs and again Vangelis like keyboards, bombastic, with strong classical undertones, impressive!

My conclusion: Knight Area have succeeded to deliver a very strong album (with an ‘Old School Vinyl Running Time’), between Heavy Prog, symphonic rock and AOR, loaded with tension and dynamics, excellent vocals, awesome work on keyboards and guitar, and fuelled by a powerful rhythm-section, this is top notch Dutch Prog, highly recommended!

 

Opmerkingen

04.03.2022 15:30

Paul Marcus

Wat een bijzonder mooi geschreven en inhoudelijk zo herkenbare recensie!! Thnx 🙏

04.03.2022 16:04

Erik Neuteboom

Dank je Paul, fraai compliment!