Hyperdrive

SKU: LE1071
Label:
Laser's Edge
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Hyperdrive marks a new era for Knight Area.  The long running Dutch progressive rock band had previously released four studio albums and toured Europe and USA extensively, performing at all major prog rock festivals.  1n 2012 the band welcomed guitarist Mark Bogert as well as legendary bassist Peter Vink (Q65, Finch, Ayreon) into the fold. 

With these newcomers onboard, Knight Area introduced a heavier element and fuller sound to their repertoire.  All the classic symphonic rock traits of their previous albums are still clearly evident but the songs on Hyperdrive are more immediate and concise.

The band invited noted prog guitarist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) to participate as a special guest on one track.  Joost van den Broek, who is known for his production work with Epica, Mayan, and After Forever, mixed the album.   Rounding out the package is startling artwork by Gustavo Sazes.

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  • "In their quest to melancholize everybody’s lives and institutionalize sorrow as a beauteous condition, these Finnish metal legends have produced yet another record that is the perfect companion to a night of stargazing. As their eleventh studio album, Circle is an apt sonic reflection of the pensiveness that accompanies old age.Angst and gloom take turns to induce emotional roller-coaster rides (“Shades Of Gray”, “Hopeless Days” and “Enchanted By The Moon”) while the keyboard plays the role of a calm voice amidst electric guitar maelstroms (“Mission”, “The Wanderer” and “Into The Abyss”). Once again, Tomi Joutsen’s signature mix of powerful, guttural growling and deep, emotive clean singing does a splendid job of nailing catchy choruses. Folkish woodwind tunes (“Narrowpath”, “Nightbird’s Song” and “A New Day”) and a brief saxophone motif (towards the end of “A New Day”) give the music a soothing touch too.Alas, as beautiful as Circle is, it is one of those listenable records that you would spin to sleep to rather than energetically nod to. No new ground is trodden upon, but the starry sky above is reached once again" - New NoiseThis is the CD/DVD edition.  The CD comes with the bonus track "Dead Man's Dream" and the DVD features a "making of" documentary as well as a video clip.
    $8.00
  • "2014 surely seems to be a year of fruitful reunions; CARCASS is one we could see coming from a mile away, but alas, one name stood somewhat overshadowed by the band’s guitarist-mastermind’s main band, ARCH ENEMY; Chris Amott has brought ARMAGEDDON back to life, “Captivity And Devourment”: the first new material from the band since the last album, “Three”, in 2002. A band known for each album being a completely separate entity, genre-wise, “Captivity And Devourment” retains the blistering Melodic Death Metal from the first album, but combines modern nuances, and Chris’s own clean vocal performances, first heard on the last ARMAGEDDON album, and later, on his solo album work. This release is what ARMAGEDDON and the more aware of ARCH ENEMY fans have been waiting for the past 12 years.Fully unified and re-energized, the frontman position now takes the form of thunderous coarse vocalist Matt Hallquist provides the majority of the vocal delivery; a supermassive, unrelenting delivery of harsh growls, yet Chris’s clean singing deliveries are thoughtfully emblazon a number of tracks; the man is a master guitar player, and that is what this album shows. That being said, he a skilled vocalist in his own right.The title track opens the album, and what a monster of a song it is; hinting that this will be the band’s heaviest album to date, it explodes forth with a blast-beaten intro, before subsiding into a pummelling series of groove-ridden riffs. A powerful reminder that the ex-shredder of one of the world’s biggest Melodic Death Metal bands has once again made a foray into the Extreme Metal world, as such, the guitar work on this track drew a smile to my face.  “Locked in” is a bit more mellowed in the heaviness department, but is thickly substantiated with meaty riffs, and soaring, double-kicked sections, though the top dollar are the deliciously-catchy chord progressions .“Thanatron” was one of the first tastes we were given earlier this year, of the band’s new material. Beginning with a crisp, acoustic passage, some of the riffs on this track are as heavy and robust as you’ll hear on the album; a strong Groove Metal sound drives the main riffs. The necksnapping headbangery of this track shovels the coal into the massive engine that powers this album, from the beautiful and up-beat acoustic interlude of “Background Radiation”, through to one of my two favourite piece on the album, “The Watcher”. Seemingly more epic in stature, as the massive, thrumming intro riffs would give away, it certainly pulls no punches. This track happens to be strongly-embellished with clean vocals, not necessarily provided in the lead vocal sense but noticeable nonetheless. Chris commands the lyrics with an unusual style of delivery, sitting somewhere in the mid-range and capable of powerful belts, but with a mysterious, almost Gothic nuance about his singing. Quite frankly, he sounds like no one else I’ve ever heard; the grandiose, soaring section partway through the track will surely convince of this.A power metal enthusiast at heart, I was secretly hoping for more vocal belts; I was met with this and more on “Equalizer”, my other favourite. A virtuosic guitarist at heart, fans of his guitar playing will be at the very least satisfied and sated with the stellar lead work on this track. Chris certainly made no mistake in taking on the  best musicians for the job, either; I couldn’t be more pleased with the line-up after listening to this album, particularly the thundering bass tone provided by Sara. In fact, the overall production of this album is to be highly commended; seemingly, deliberately raw, it is far from overproduced, and everything comes across as far more organic, definitely playing a part in the heaviness factor.Am I approaching this with rose-tinted glasses/headphones? Hardly; ARMAGEDDON is a different band now. Something bigger, something stronger, and hopefully that little bit more infinite. Either way, this is the calibre of comeback I had been hoping for." - Metal Temple
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  • Mega-rare German underground organ/bass/drums trio blends Nice-like prog with some freakier moments. A great one!
    $21.00
  • "As of late, at least with their previous album, and the current Pariah's Child, Finland's Sonata Arctica has been throwing their faithful some musical curve balls. Putting them in the category of traditional Scandi power metal is no longer fitting, although they do play the same and often.No, their sound is much more diverse, enterprising, these days. A good example is the song Half A Marathon Man. It's opening strokes of guitar, keyboards, then drums could lead to most any sound. But it delivers this huge rock grooved melodic metal monster, with hooks galore, from vocals to lyrics to riffs. Then there's the power metal romp of X Marks the Spot, disguised as a rock tune, and wrapped in the motif a religious revival. It's familiar, but strange; clever and a whole lot of fun. Also of note is What Did You Do In the War, Daddy which merges the feel of classic heavy metal anthem with the bluster of power metal in places.Yet something more familiar comes with the longest number, Larger Than Life, which sounds like old school Sonata Arctica, where they draw upon their symphonic progressive power metal roots. Perhaps still more straight forward Sonata Arctica is the first half of the album. Notably The Wolves Die Young or Take One Breath are classic Scandi melodic power metal tunes, straying little from the foundation from which the band was built. Yet, fans should know that it is no less interesting than the aforementioned more crafty pieces. Once more I think Pariah's Child represents Sonata Arctica as a band being carefully faithful to their roots, yet always moving forward in their creativity. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • German reissue packages the two albums from this now defunct band at a budget price.  Superb progressive metal from Eastern Europe....
    $5.00
  • "There’s a certain irony to a band naming its debut album A Long Time Listening and then waiting five years to release its follow-up – but whether by accident or design, this is exactly what Agent Fresco have done. In the interim, however, with only occasional ventures outside of their native Iceland, the quartet have managed to build something of a cult following with music that is both electrifying and emotional in equal measure. Amongst their fanbase, anticipation levels for second album Destrier are several orders of magnitude beyond stratospheric. So how can they possibly be met?So let’s put everyone who may have clicked on this review with a sense of trepidation at ease as soon as possible, because not only have Agent Fresco met those expectations, they have surpassed them with almost astonishing ease. Destrier is, bluntly, a fucking masterpiece. Whether you read what follows this paragraph or not, you need to hear Destrier as soon as you can. You have been told.For those of you that are still with us, let’s delve a bit deeper into exactly what makes Destrier (pronounced DE-streer, linguistics fans) so very special. Like its predecessor, the contextual nucleus of the album is an extensive exploration of the complex web of emotions surrounding a pivotal event in the life of singer Arnor Dan Arnarson. Whereas the theme of A Long Time Listening was the grief following the death of his father, Destrier deals with the aftermath of a particularly violent attack that left some significant physical and mental injuries. As one might expect, Destrier is a considerably more burly – at times even angry – affair.A significant proportion of what makes Agent Fresco’s music so special is how cohesively the band operate together. Throughout Destrier, they pulse, flex, twitch and turn together like the sinews of a single, well-honed muscle. There is layer upon layer of complexity in the sound they create, yet it coalesces into something so immediately accessible that it reaches out to hug the listener like a long-lost friend even during that first, glorious, play through the record.What’s more, whilst each individual track stands firmly on its own two feet, they are given an extra lease of life in the context of the album as a whole. This is particularly apparent with lead single “Dark Water“, whose eruption out of the ominous, brooding, Massive Attack-esque tones of opening track “Let Them See Us” pushes it into a practically euphoric release. The album ebbs and flows as a single, continuous work of art that makes pushing the stop button tremendously difficult, so it’s best to make sure you have a free hour for that first listen. What’s more, as my colleague and our resident Icelander Jon Þor pointed out to me, final track “Mono No Aware” fades down to the same delicate note that opens the album after reprising the title track. This effectively means that the album loops almost seamlessly, which is a magical thing.The titular Destrier itself is a type of medieval war horse, whose use was reserved for battle alone. It is metaphorically deployed here by Arnor as a kind of spirit animal, giving him the fortitude to confront the anger and vulnerability he felt in the aftermath of the attack. This shows neatly the cryptic yet vivid imagery that Arnor is capable of conjuring through his lyrics, placing him in the same league as Maynard James Keenan, perhaps coupled with Muse‘s Matt Bellamy in both his sense of theatre and his achingly beautiful falsetto. However, without access to a full lyric sheet as I write, I’ll refrain from any hamfisted analysis of half-heard lines; I think it deserves more than that.Destrier also shows that whilst their music is almost immediately identifiable as Agent Fresco, they are not bound by any restrictions of genre, making the album as much of a musical voyage of adventure and exploration as a lyrical one. Perhaps the most surprising moment lies in the title track itself, which suddenly drops into dense, practically atonal shards of syncopated noise. Elsewhere, elements of greasy garage rock, slinky lounge music and soft, bubbling electronica can be found alongside more familiar choruses (which are often big enough to be visible from space), delicate piano-led sections and ebullient math-rock riffing.With more dynamic surprises like the vulnerability of “Bemoan” dropping into the brash savagery of “Angst” to be discovered, Destrier is a near-perfect artistic expression that stimulates mind, body and spirit in equal measure. Listeners may well find themselves immediately besotted, then even more deeply gratified through repeated listens.As you can probably tell, Destrier is a most uncommon delight. It will almost certainly prove to be one of the most essential listens of 2015, and maybe an even longer timescale than that. We can only hope that it won’t take another five years for Agent Fresco to release their next album, but even if that does happen, we will probably not have tired of this one by then. Destrier is a masterpiece; a glorious, life-affirming masterpiece that, once heard, will make you wonder how you managed without it. Go seek." - The Monolith
    $15.00
  • "Scherzoo is François Thollot's 3rd CD, with a new band, featuring Anthony Béard (bass), François Mignot (guitar), Jeremy Van Quackebeke (piano), Guillaume Lagache (sax alto) & François Thollot (drums). This is his most accomplished effort so far, the band plays tight & the music is an unlikely fusion of Zeuhl & mid/late period of Soft Machine. 6 tracks (including a 19 minutes re-written version of "Voyage au bout de la nuit" which was part of Thollot's first CD - in 2002, then recorded alone as a multi instrumentist)."
    $18.00
  • Second full length album - this one produced by Steve Albini has a more angular feel. The music is a little more towards the dissonant side and veers a bit away from the Crimson vibe that was on No Interference.
    $9.00
  • "Unavailable in the U.S. 1986 debut from this British Art-Rock/Prog-Pop quartet fronted by Francis Dunnery. Produced by former Gong member Steve Hillage, this album was the most commercial of their releases and includes the bona-fide hit single 'Calling All The Heroes'."
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  • Take 4 members of Shaman, add in Angra's incredible drummer Aquiles Priester.  Have Russell Allen produce their album and what do you get?  Well not exactly what you would expect but ultimately maybe something even better.  Noturnall's debut touches on power, trash, and progressive metal and all blended together with a melodic modern edge.  Russell Allen even provides guest vocals on one tune.  Turn this one up to 11!"What do you all expect from bands with some praised members in their lineups?Of course, all of us have great expectations, and in Brazilian NOTURNALL, with members from KARMA, SHAMAN, HANGAR, ANGRA, ALMAH, TEMPESTT and others really is above all our expectations, and their first album, “Noturnall” is a heavy piece, an excellent amount of heavy music.They play a modern and heavy form of Prog Metal, with great vocals (Thiago Bianchi is in a great shape, singing both in high tunes as in low ones), abrasive and heavy guitars (both in aggressive riffs and melodic solos, and Léo Mancini shows a very good technique), bass in a technical and heavy shape (Fernando Quesada is a excellent bass player), fantastic drums (please, it’s a work from Aquiles Priester, one of Brazil greatest drummers), and the keyboards are simple great (creating great atmospheres and passages, a fine work from Juninho Carelli). And prepare your ears, for the album is a heavy weight champion, one of best works from Brazil.The sound production is wonderful, done by SYMPHONY X’s vocalist Russell Allen along with NOTURNALL members. You can hear all instruments loud and clear, but the modern and aggressive aspect is present all time. It’s a blow in your face!The Best moments: “No Turn at All”, the heavy and with some groove aspects “Nocturnal Human Side” (great vocals, in a duet of Thiago along with Russell), the wonderful “Sugar Pill”, and the abrasive “Fake Healer”.Perfection, nothing more to say, so remember what your dear Ol’ Big Daddy here always says: buy your physical copies, for MP3 is for sissies." - Metal Temple 
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  • Budget priced 5CD set in a slimline set compiling the following:PhenomenonForce ItNo Heavy PettingLights OutObsession
    $28.00
  • Mind Colours is the debut album from this instrumental Italian quartet.  The band features the former guitarist and keyboardist from The Watch - Ettore Salati and Fabio Mancini.  While there may be some traces of fusion around the perifery, Soulengine's stock in trade is symphonic progressive rock.  Salati's leads are very fluid, reminding a bit of Steve Hackett (not surprising).  Mancini contributes Hammond organ, analog synths and of course Mellotron.  There are stretches where you will feel transported back to the 70s listening to a Genesis jam session.  Very nicely done.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "As a historical document, this release takes some beating. Recorded during the short – and only – tour that Fripp & Eno undertook as a duo, it captures a pivotal moment, not only in the development of both players, but in the live music experience itself. Here was a "rock concert" (or "superstar show" as the poster for the less glamourous Tunbridge Wells gig had it) where two of the leading lights of the art prog scene sat in near darkness improvising a series of dronic, ectoplasmic mood pieces for an hour and a half. No hits, no big riffs, no exotic costumes. In 2014, that description could be analogous to any number of live electronica events, but in 1975, it led to booing, walkouts and open hostility.Yes, there had been precedents for this type of proto-ambient music before, specifically the kosmische of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, and most pertinently, the systems music of Terry Riley, which had inspired Eno to start experimenting with tape loops in the first place. And it wasn't as if the duo hadn't already signalled their musical intentions with the release of (No Pussyfooting) in 1973. But in a pre-online world, music travelled more slowly, and a lot of people went to these shows expecting Roxy Music and King Crimson numbers. What they got instead, was an intriguing, and for some discomfiting, glimpse into the future.1975 was a liminal year for rock music in the UK. It saw the end of glam, the fading of prog and the first stirrings of punk. It also saw the biggest band of the day release one of the bleakest, most alienated albums in the rock canon, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. While operating much further along the spectrum than Floyd, there's a similarly immersive, almost enervating feel to the sounds that Fripp & Eno produce during this performance, suggesting that we're at the start of a new way of listening to and experiencing music, an opening up of new possibilities in aural pleasure. With its use of repetition and egoless explorations of sonic space, there's also a strong argument for Fripp & Eno creating the UK's only indigenous strain of krautrock.The performance begins before Fripp & Eno have even arrived on stage, with the cold, aqueous drone of 'Water On Water'. Quizzical voices can be heard in the audience, then cheers, but these soon subside as a tide of alien soundwaves continues to wash over them. As a listening experience, it goes beyond the point of nothing happening into a new realm of uncertainty, and the audience sound as much relieved as delighted when Fripp & Eno finally take their places and begin playing 'A Radical Representative Of Pinsnip' (a version of 'The Heavenly Music Corporation'). Fripp's guitar seems to intuitively tune into the wavelength that Eno is broadcasting on, a huge, ever-growing pulsating brain weaving tessellations of holy noise around the fabric of the drone. Over a pattern of discordant notes, like an evil fairground pipe organ, Fripp solos at his most atonal and nightmarish, before calmly sliding into 'Swastika Girls'. Eno's backing loop seems to mutate from the ringing of wind chimes to the squealing of pigs, while Fripp's unmistakeable shredding alternates from placid to fiercely angular. 'Wind On Wind' signals an intermission – there's no crowd noise (other than the sound of someone choking on a magic cigarette), so it's difficult to say whether the audience remains rapt with attention or have already departed en masse to the bar.The performance re-starts with 'Wind On Water', its gentle beginning leading gradually to an ecstatic ascension, Fripp's guitar like dazzlingly bright reflections of the sun on a rippled pool. We then get a series of anagrammatically-punning tracks unfeatured on any of the duo's studio albums. 'A Near Find In Rip Pop' is based on a simple loop of strummed guitar, which Fripp drops note clusters over, before peeling away to reveal (un)natural sounds of wind and distant animal cries. It's a point of mellowness midway through proceedings, soon disrupted by 'A Fearful Proper Din', its grinding chug like Sunn O))) heard at the end of a long tunnel. Fripp's soloing taps into the heaviness of Red-era King Crimson, faster, harder and more threatening than before as the track morphs into 'A Darn Psi Inferno'. Children's voices appear against the metallic breathing of Fripp's guitar at its scariest, the tension finally broken by the relative balm of 'Evening Star'.Fripp & Eno exit for a second time to 'An Iron Frappe' – another unaccompanied drone piece resembling the infinite echo of a struck bell – before returning to encore with 'Softy Gun Poison'. Here, the duo finally drift off into deep space in a trail of sinister voices and unhinged laughter, the whine and growl of their engines stretched and refracted, the ghost of a slow-motion explosion. The track culminates in perhaps the single most transcendent part of the show/recording, a warm plateau of dense drone that segues into the walk-off tape of 'An Index Of Metals', their ship caught on the lip of a black hole for all eternity, faintly transmitting back to earth.Over the entire length of this immaculately restored 3-CD set (which includes a disc of the unadorned tape loops that Eno prepared for these shows), I began to wonder if anybody needed this much Fripp & Eno in their lives – that such thoughts now feel positively iconoclastic compared with the righteous indignation that many people greeted this material with in 1975 shows just how far we've come, and how much Fripp & Eno (both as a duo and individually) helped to redefine our appreciation of what music could be." - The Quietus
    $23.00