Calculated Risk is the debut album from new German prog act Force of Progress, a band comprised of Hanspeter Hess (The Healing Road), Dominik Wimmer (Sweety Chicky Jam), Chris Grundmann (Cynity), and Markus Roth (Marquette, Horizontal Ascension). All four have been pretty active on the German prog scene with their respective groups, and here they have put their talents together and created 9 tracks of powerful instrumental progressive rock packed with memorable melodies and sizzling flights. All four members are capable multi-instrumentalists, so each take part in creating the superb guitar & keyboard arrangements, with Wimmer handling the rock solid drumming throughout.
Fans of the metallic edge of Dream Theater or Liquid Tension Experiment will love the daring riffs and blazing synth & guitar solos of "Sole Survivor" and the dark, menacing tones of "Shapeshifter". The band also has a somewhat jazzy prog side as well, heard on "Ticket" and "Lift Me Up, Down By The Seaside". complete with hazy organ and blazing guitar runs, which bring to mind the great Canadian band Spaced Out or even the Dixie Dregs. More often than not though, the music on Calculated Risk balances crunchy prog-metal riffs with more atmospheric & symphonic textures, as on "Always", "The Cube", and the acrobatic title track, which is a terrific vehicle for drummer Wimmer. The bands true prog colors come shining through on the energetic, symphonic, and complex closer "The Man Who Played God", an inspiring track that contains a wealth of dazzling keyboard & guitar solos, plus some intricate rhythms and catchy melodies. As instrumental prog/metal albums go, Calculated Risk is a very good one, and Force of Progress are a new act that are well worth your immediate attention. Out now on Progressive Promotion Records.
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2) Sole Survivor
4) The Cube
5) Lift Me Up, Down By The Seaside
7) Lost In Time, Lije Tears In Rain
8) Calculated Risk
9) The Man Who Played God