The Sun Also Rises
Released: 2004, The Laser's Edge
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
I’m going to be honest right now…progressive rock is not my thing. With that said, Knight Area’s album, THE SUN ALSO RISES, is a Dutch progressive rock journey, twenty years in the making by the brothers Klazinga: Gerben and Joop. At first when I saw the 12-piece lineup of the band, I was expecting a progressive metal project more in the vein of Haggard, but instead, Knight Area falls more along the lines of classic prog rock bands namely Genesis, Pink Floyd, Arena, and Spock’s Beard.
With such an array of musicians, Knight Area weaves together a rich tapestry of sound to create a complex musical landscape. The album is not heavy at all, taking a more laid-back approach with wandering guitars and soft keys and synths. THE SUN ALSO RISES is a concept album of self-discovery, its story only told through the lyrics of the songs. As such, every track on the album flows seamlessly together into an epic journey. Unfortunately, the converse to that is that the songs are not allowed to fully stand on their own accord.
A few things about the album, though, prevent me from enjoying it as fully as I could. The production on the album is rather flat, leaving these compositions with somewhat of a flat and lifeless affect. Also, I would like to hear the guitars pulled forward over the synths in most areas; the addition of just a little more heaviness to the guitars would also do wonders to improve the liveliness of the album. Finally, the use of accordion and flute would be welcomed in more than only two track on the whole album.
Still, I find some of the songs on the album to be very good. The first full track, “The Gate,” “Forever Now,” and “Mortal Brow” are the fullest tracks on the album and are the standouts to me. I would like to see the heavier guitars used in “Conviction” expanded, and the Hammond organ and synths in “The Sun Also Rises” used more often. At first, I couldn’t get into any of THE SUN ALSO RISES at all, but after several listens, I began to enjoy some of it. Like I said, progressive rock is not really my thing, but I’m sure that fans of Yes, Genesis, Spock’s Beard, Arena, and the like will certainly find the album a lot more enjoyable than I did.