Calculated Risk is the debut album of the German progressive rock band Force Of Progress. The album is completely instrumental. In my opinion instrumental albums are always a big risk. Although they have a unique selling point element, there is a risk that the album will be monotonous. I know that albums with vocals can also be monotonous but, in most cases instrumental albums
The band itself writes in their bio that Force Of Progress continues where Liquid Tension Experiment ended years ago. That is a statement!
The band's line up is Markus Roth (guitar, bass, keyboards), Matthias Klingner (bass), Chris Grundmann (guitar, bass, keyboards), Dominik Wimmer (drums, guitar, keyboards), Claus Flittiger (guitar) and Hans Peter Hess (keyboards).
After listening to the album for the first time, I must confess that I liked their style. It is melodic, heavy and progressive rock for sure. The opening track Ticket is really catchy. The thick keyboard layers, the clear piano and the fat guitar riffs are alternated with humorous keyboard parts. This is the song I really like the most.
All the other songs are basically similar in some sort of way. All songs have layers of keyboards, keyboard solos, guitar carpets on the floor of the songs and nice melodic guitar solos. The rhythm session is tight.
Is it a bad album? Absolutely not! Is it an astonishing album? No, in my opinion not.
Personally I think Liquid Tension Experiment is miles in front of Force of Progress. All musicians of Force Of Progress are great. So I think they have a brilliant future if this band develops it more and more. Personally I miss tension in the songs. Technically the songs are okay, the production is also very nice. Therefore I give this album a three as a score.
I really hope they develop themselves in the right direction. I am curious how this band will sound with a vocalist. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the next step.
At the end: for all fans of Liquid Tension Experiment and instrumental heavy prog rock in general, give this album a try! There is a certain chance you will like it.
*** Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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