D-Day: II The Final Chapter is the follow up to the extraordinary Knight Area album D-Day (see review), released in 2019. This new, again war-themed album - I hope that Knight Area will not turn into a second Sabaton - lyrically focuses on the psychological strain World War 2 had on the soldiers upon returning home after the end of this gruesome war.
Musically speaking most of the songs on D-Day 2 are slightly heavier but melody luckily prevails. Album opener The Enemy Within, which is also the longest track of the entire album, features a beautiful guitar melody intro, followed by ballad-like passages, a howling synths solo, a Kayak-like chorus and two extraordinary soaring guitar solos by Mark Bogert, one of the best Dutch guitar pickers! I Believe is an Ayreon-like up tempo song filled with lots of orchestration and maybe too many vocals which makes this song kind of dull; at least compared with the other tracks on this album. The shortest song For Those Who Fell, just clocking 2:34, is an instrumental one and it is almost a military guitar hymn, featuring breath-taking, goosebump guitar melodies and solos, making this track one of the highlights of the album indeed. The Dream is another milestone for Knight Area, a rather bombastic track with again guitar domination by Bogert, who is again incredible here. The two last songs are typical Knight Area ones, meaning glorious melodic prog rock gems with lots of musical variety. The first bonus track Freedom For Everyone is an acoustic version of the last song of their previous album and you all know how I feel about acoustic songs, right? Last but not least, we get bonus track two called Orchestra Compilation which only features Gerben Klazinga on keyboards and this one is an orchestral collage from both D-Day albums; in my humble opinion a rather redundant track....
All in all, I think that D-Day 2: The Final Chapter is a tiny bit better than the D-Day album and that is mostly due to the amazing guitar picking of Bogert, hats off really, as I am kind of addicted to listening to his impressive instrumental song For Those Who Fell, play it LOUD!!
****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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