Under A New Sign

SKU: LE1047
Label:
The Laser's Edge
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The Dutch masters of prog return with their long awaited second album “Under A New Sign”. Three years ago Knight Area stunned the progressive rock world with their debut “The Sun Also Rises”. Knight Area creates epic symphonic rock in the vein of Genesis, Marillion, IQ, and Pendragon. Originally conceived as a studio project by the brothers Gerben and Joop Klazinga, Knight Area evolved into a touring band drawing quite a bit of attention in Europe. The band was honored to receive an invitation to perform in the US at Nearfest 2005, where they picked up many new fans.



“Under A New Sign” marks the first recordings of Knight Area as a true band, with other members having creative input. The band’s installed fanbase need not worry – the music is essentially the same but with some harder edge guitars. The new album should also appeal to fans of heavier progressive bands like Arena and Dream Theater.



"Under A New Sign" is the perfect blend of old school prog married to modern production techniques. The band's signature sound - Mellotrons, Hammond organ, and flute - dizzying lead synth and guitar interplay - it's here in spades! Noted mastering engineer Bob Katz gave the music an expansive and epic feel.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Like so many of my fellow Dutchmen I often wondered why, let's say in the last 10 years, there hasn't been a Dutch progband that was able to really "compete" with the more bigger foreign names. Well, that all changed in 2005 with the release of Knight Area's debut album. Although it still wasn't on the same level as the bigger acts I immediately sensed that there was potential. And now it is March 2007 and I have just finished listening to their second album 'Under A New Sign', an album that is the end result of the evolutionary proces from Knight Area - The Project to Knight Area - The Band. First glimpses of that were shown at their performance at NEARfest 2005 but it most evidently shows in the compositions. Gone are the short songs giving way to more elaborate songs in which the musical ideas have room to breath and grow. The band has been seen reporting that the new material has become heavier but I think that is pretty much a false impression. Yes, the heavier parts are indeed heavier then on the debut, but these are balanced by more delicate passages (featuring flute or cello) and great flights of symphonic bliss. A Different Man opens the preceedings very cautiously with distant flute or recorder before a wave of Mellotron-strings and Taurus pedals comes rolling in. Jangly guitar akin to Steve Rothery's playing on Misplaced Childhood accompanies singer Mark Smit. The uptempo bit that follows is firmly rooted in 80s neoprog. Nice to hear both guitarplayers playing the melody in two-part harmony. The finale of this song is a long extended guitar solo that rivals the ones IQ's Mike Holmes regularly puts on their albums. Judging upon style and tone the first half is played by ex-Cliffhanger guitarist Rinie Huigen who then hands over on the second half of this finale to Mark Vermeule. The Moog Taurus pedals are put to great use on this section as well and it has been quite a while since I heard such a good recording that really does their sound justice. The second song, Exit L.U.M.C. is a bit more edgier, darker and maybe it is because of the similar title but it somehow reminds me of IQ's N.T.O.C. Resistance at first. Might have something to do also with the digital piano sound we hear at first. But after the first keyboard solo we definitely enter the soundworld of Pallas with the thundering basslines and prominent Mellotron-choir. The flashy synthsolo interruptions Wakeman-style make sure however that impression doesn't remain in your mind for long although right before the closing piano / vocal section they return to that glorious sound once more. Yes, it is clear by whom Knight Area are influenced but this is not an act of pure cloning, it is taking the musical elements they love and cooking this great progstew :-) With the third song, Mastermind, the level of intensity is even raised a bit more. Thunderous (and slightly distorted) Rickenbacker bass courtesy of Gijs Koopman rolls in, joined by crashing guitar powerchords and some impressive powerhouse drumming by Pieter van Hoorn. Mark Smit puts in one of his best vocal performances on this album (check out the cool harmony-parts on the choruses). Keyboardplayer Gerben Klazinga shows he is as quick on his synths as the guitarplayers in Knight Area. The instrumental title track is a much more elaborate successor to the title track of the debutalbum. Where as that one clearly evoked Genesis' Cinema Show keyboard solo-section, this one is much more Knight Area. This one is also firmly rooted in neoprog (read: IQ) territory but the mood changes quite radically with the introduction of a jazzy section with some tasty Hammond organ playing and a very tasty guitar-solo by Mark Vermeule (I guess). The torch is then again handed over to Gerben Klazinga for a very flashy organ solo. Courteous Love is the symphonic ballad of the album. Mark Smit has not only grown into his lead singing role on the more energetic material but shows on this song that he is as adapt in more gentle territory. Lot of work has evidently been put into the backing vocal arrangements on the album and it most clearly shows in this song (it hints a bit at Queen's style of backing vocals). Lovely flute playing by the other Klazinga on the album, Joop, and we also get some fine cello-playing by Ruben van Kruistum. The closing symphonic finale doesn't come surprising but has an epic grandeur that reminds me of mid-period Genesis or even Eloy. Dreamweaver at first seems to be again a more heavy (almost progmetal) song but the intro is deceiving because already in the first half we get treated to a very atmospheric keyboardsolo. The overall feeling is that the current direction isn't that much heavier then for instance Arena's Immortal or Contagion album and fans of that music should basically run not walk to get this Knight Area album. And then it is time for the final track, A Different Man Part 2 and we discover that the distant flute sounds at the beginning of the album was really a recorder. An atmosphere of early classical music is evoked but that feeling soon dissolves but a gentle flute melody steps to the fore. It is exactly this feeling of letting the music take its natural course what elevates this album to a much higher level then their debut. But soon the tempo of the song rises and I find myself bopping along with the syncopated rhythm and again some very tasty synthsolos. The long guitarsolo that follows seems a variation on the closing section of the opening track of the album. This then segues into a calm vocal section followed by an atmospheric keyboard part preparing us for the big finale. And when I say big I mean really, really big. Think Steve Hackett's massive build-up at the end of Shadow Of The Hierophant but with a much heavier sound. In 55 minutes Knight Area delivers a powerful punch with their music that really should draw in all those who are into Arena, Pallas, IQ but also mid period Genesis and Steve Hackett.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Wow after reading the above review, Im embarrased to even give my opinion, great CD just buy it....B.R.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Outstanding...
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Like so many of my fellow Dutchmen I often wondered why, let's say in the last 10 years, there hasn't been a Dutch progband that was able to really "compete" with the more bigger foreign names. Well, that all changed in 2005 with the release of Knight Area's debut album. Although it still wasn't on the same level as the bigger acts I immediately sensed that there was potential. And now it is March 2007 and I have just finished listening to their second album 'Under A New Sign', an album that is the end result of the evolutionary proces from Knight Area - The Project to Knight Area - The Band. First glimpses of that were shown at their performance at NEARfest 2005 but it most evidently shows in the compositions. Gone are the short songs giving way to more elaborate songs in which the musical ideas have room to breath and grow. The band has been seen reporting that the new material has become heavier but I think that is pretty much a false impression. Yes, the heavier parts are indeed heavier then on the debut, but these are balanced by more delicate passages (featuring flute or cello) and great flights of symphonic bliss. A Different Man opens the preceedings very cautiously with distant flute or recorder before a wave of Mellotron-strings and Taurus pedals comes rolling in. Jangly guitar akin to Steve Rothery's playing on Misplaced Childhood accompanies singer Mark Smit. The uptempo bit that follows is firmly rooted in 80s neoprog. Nice to hear both guitarplayers playing the melody in two-part harmony. The finale of this song is a long extended guitar solo that rivals the ones IQ's Mike Holmes regularly puts on their albums. Judging upon style and tone the first half is played by ex-Cliffhanger guitarist Rinie Huigen who then hands over on the second half of this finale to Mark Vermeule. The Moog Taurus pedals are put to great use on this section as well and it has been quite a while since I heard such a good recording that really does their sound justice. The second song, Exit L.U.M.C. is a bit more edgier, darker and maybe it is because of the similar title but it somehow reminds me of IQ's N.T.O.C. Resistance at first. Might have something to do also with the digital piano sound we hear at first. But after the first keyboard solo we definitely enter the soundworld of Pallas with the thundering basslines and prominent Mellotron-choir. The flashy synthsolo interruptions Wakeman-style make sure however that impression doesn't remain in your mind for long although right before the closing piano / vocal section they return to that glorious sound once more. Yes, it is clear by whom Knight Area are influenced but this is not an act of pure cloning, it is taking the musical elements they love and cooking this great progstew :-) With the third song, Mastermind, the level of intensity is even raised a bit more. Thunderous (and slightly distorted) Rickenbacker bass courtesy of Gijs Koopman rolls in, joined by crashing guitar powerchords and some impressive powerhouse drumming by Pieter van Hoorn. Mark Smit puts in one of his best vocal performances on this album (check out the cool harmony-parts on the choruses). Keyboardplayer Gerben Klazinga shows he is as quick on his synths as the guitarplayers in Knight Area. The instrumental title track is a much more elaborate successor to the title track of the debutalbum. Where as that one clearly evoked Genesis' Cinema Show keyboard solo-section, this one is much more Knight Area. This one is also firmly rooted in neoprog (read: IQ) territory but the mood changes quite radically with the introduction of a jazzy section with some tasty Hammond organ playing and a very tasty guitar-solo by Mark Vermeule (I guess). The torch is then again handed over to Gerben Klazinga for a very flashy organ solo. Courteous Love is the symphonic ballad of the album. Mark Smit has not only grown into his lead singing role on the more energetic material but shows on this song that he is as adapt in more gentle territory. Lot of work has evidently been put into the backing vocal arrangements on the album and it most clearly shows in this song (it hints a bit at Queen's style of backing vocals). Lovely flute playing by the other Klazinga on the album, Joop, and we also get some fine cello-playing by Ruben van Kruistum. The closing symphonic finale doesn't come surprising but has an epic grandeur that reminds me of mid-period Genesis or even Eloy. Dreamweaver at first seems to be again a more heavy (almost progmetal) song but the intro is deceiving because already in the first half we get treated to a very atmospheric keyboardsolo. The overall feeling is that the current direction isn't that much heavier then for instance Arena's Immortal or Contagion album and fans of that music should basically run not walk to get this Knight Area album. And then it is time for the final track, A Different Man Part 2 and we discover that the distant flute sounds at the beginning of the album was really a recorder. An atmosphere of early classical music is evoked but that feeling soon dissolves but a gentle flute melody steps to the fore. It is exactly this feeling of letting the music take its natural course what elevates this album to a much higher level then their debut. But soon the tempo of the song rises and I find myself bopping along with the syncopated rhythm and again some very tasty synthsolos. The long guitarsolo that follows seems a variation on the closing section of the opening track of the album. This then segues into a calm vocal section followed by an atmospheric keyboard part preparing us for the big finale. And when I say big I mean really, really big. Think Steve Hackett's massive build-up at the end of Shadow Of The Hierophant but with a much heavier sound. In 55 minutes Knight Area delivers a powerful punch with their music that really should draw in all those who are into Arena, Pallas, IQ but also mid period Genesis and Steve Hackett.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Wow after reading the above review, Im embarrased to even give my opinion, great CD just buy it....B.R.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Outstanding...
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  • "IIII is the fourth Papir album in about as many years. The Copenhagen trio of guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, bassist Christian Becher Clausen and drummer Christoffer Brøchmann made a self-titled debut in 2010 and followed in 2011 with Stundum, their first release on El Paraiso Records, run by Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt of Causa Sui. Munk would produce their early 2013 full-length, III, and a collaboration with Electric Moon, dubbed The Papermoon Sessions, followed later in the year. With IIII, Papir step back into their own gorgeous krautrock ambience, proffering four tracks/48 minutes of semi-improvisational instrumental work that’s concerned neither with genre nor heft, but sonically uplifting and creatively open. The cuts — “I” (10:45), “II” (9:35), “III” (21:43) and “IIII” (5:15) — run deep and personal despite their I-only titles, the effect of which is to make one think not necessarily of Roman numerals, for which the last would be “IV,” but more like the bars on the album artwork, reminding of some sort of schematic or engineering grid, if not for the bars as representing actual people, paired off as some are. Sure enough, Papir seem to be working from a schematic of their own on this material, though they end up with a breadth that’s bound to test the limit of any blueprint from which it might be working.It’s immediately noteworthy that “IIII,” which is the de facto title-track of the album, doesn’t appear on the vinyl version. That makes the runtimes on the two sides of the LP just about even and keeps IIII over the 40-minute mark in total, but it makes side B comprised entirely of “III” which only furthers the notion that that song is practically a full-length unto itself. Prior to, on side A, Papir begin with the intricate runs of “I,” all the members of the band making simultaneous entry amid gracefully mounted, unforced atmospherics. The splash in Brøchmann‘s cymbals has as much of an effect on those atmospheres as does Sørensen‘s guitar or its interplay with Clausen‘s bass, which takes an early solo leading the way past the first minute of “I.” Early on, Papir leave little room for choice. If you’re going to go with “I,” you have to go with it. When they start, they’re already off and moving, and by the time they hit the dreamy midpoint from which they build the lush second half of the track, the hypnotic effect that remains in place for the remainder of the side, “II” moving in linear fashion from a subdued beginning to fervent-but-not-overdone payoff and then lingering with enough of progressive atmospheric naturalism that I was looking to see if I might’ve missed a Gary Arce guest appearance somewhere along the line.No dice on that, but it’s one more stylistic element that Papir work into their fluid sprawl. Nowhere on IIII is that expanse more centered than “III,” and maybe that’s unfair because in comprising all of the vinyl’s second half, it’s bound to be a focal point, but it’s true all the same. As a single piece, it enacts a full-album-style front-to-back flow, unfolding the wings over the course of its first couple minutes that will carry it through to its finish, Clausen keeping a tension in his bassline that lets the listener know even if they’re not looking at the tracklisting that something grand is underway amid Sørensen‘s peaceful noodling and the wash of Brøchmann‘s cymbals. There is a swirl at hand, and it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to call the song psychedelic, but it’s important to point out that Papir never lose sight of the human side of the jam in favor of a lush construction. “III” is rich, open and progressive, coming on in two major wah-soaked waves with a quiet stretch between as the build restarts. Synth, effects and added percussion are all a factor in the heavy rock thrust that emerges, but Papir are never out of control of what they’re doing, and the result is a glorious high point to the rampantly exploratory work that is the album taken as a whole.Obviously, coming after “III” and having been left off the vinyl version of IIII doubtless for the fact that it wouldn’t fit, “IIII” is something of an afterthought upon its arrival, but though comparatively brief at 5:15, it’s also one of IIII‘s most engaging atmospheres, recalling some of the ethereal desert-ism at the end of “II” in the guitar while far-off toms hold steady behind. With one recording session for the album having taken place in Copenhagen proper and another in the Danish countryside — the latter once again helmed by Munk — it’s easy to imagine a progression like that of “IIII” arising from an attempt on the band’s part to translate a natural serenity into sound, though of course whether or not that’s how “IIII” came about, I don’t know. Nonetheless, the spirit of the closer is no less evocative for its relatively short duration than any of the other pieces on IIII and proves a serene, engaging finish to the trance in which Papir seem to prone to lead their listeners, easing back to reality with steady organ-ic hum and ringing tones. Clearly meant to be taken in its entirety, Papir‘s fourth delivers a rich listening experience that’s as satisfying to get lost in as it is easy to appreciate for its boldly progressive drive. It is both otherworldly and definitively of this earth, and presents a spin on heavy psychedelic rock that seems to belong solely to Papir." - The Obelisk 
    $29.00
  • Deluxe digipak set from this amazing trio of Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann, and Bryan Beller.  It was filmed at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA in June 2012.  The material is drawn from the Aristocrats studio album as well as the back catalog of the individual members.  Pro-shot DVD features a 5.1 surround mix courtesy of Steven Wilson.  The 2CDs feature the soundtrack to the set.  Oh yeah - the DVD is packed with live bonus material. 
    $27.00