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Force Of Progress: R3Design

Redesign, here stylised as R3Design, is an apt title for the third album from Germany’s Force Of Progress, as it sees the trio move their progressive rock sound further into the realms of progressive metal. Riffs and gritty guitars are no stranger to this act but here they form the backbone of many of the six tracks that make up this album.

Interestingly, what with the main players here, Hanspeter Hess (The Healing Road), Chris Grundmann (Cynity) and Markus Roth (Marquette, Horizontal Ascension) all having not just busy lives away from music, but other bands that take up their time, it would appear that the trio did not collaborate too much on the songs they wrote. That in itself may not be all that unusual, and it’s good to see each of the three having a hand in the composing. However, what is more unexpected is that no matter which of three wrote the song, the other two tend not to feature much, if at all on it. That would appear to be for logistical reasons, rather than any issues with egos, or such like, with Sebastian Schleicher (bass) and Dennis Degen (drums), both also of Marquette, helping throughout, although there is a different guitar soloist an almost every track - “Lady Lake” being the exception, what with its marvellous keyboard fixation!

Now, you’d expect that unusual approach to result in a completely disjointed experience as you go from lengthy piece to lengthy piece, but if anything, the opposite is true, with not a hint of broken continuity anywhere on R3Design. Instead, this album is hugely cohesive and hugely technical, as all involved show their skills. Personally, I find the smoothness of “Viral Signs II - Incident 3030” or even the full force barrage that is “Ultra Conservation” to be less fixated on ability and more open to melody than the previous outing from this outfit, A Secret Place, although I’d still suggest that followers of the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment fall into the target audience.

With some new (to them) elements added to their armoury, Force Of Progress have put together an album that I personally find much easier to get along with than what they’ve done previously. Even without lyrics, I’d call this album more song based, and as such it could, hopefully, appeal to a wider audience. Their talents certainly deserve it, so if technical but melody based instrumental prog metal is something that sounds appealing, then maybe you too should be ready for a R3Design.

Track Listing
1. Ultra Conservation
2. Viral Signs I - Ambassador Of Light
3. Next
4. Viral Signs II - Incident 3030
5. Lady Lake
6. Redesign

Added: December 20th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Progressive Promotions Store
Hits: 1103
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Force Of Progress: R3Design
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-12-21 02:27:16
My Score:

My reviewing colleague Steven Reid knows more about Force of Progress than I ever will, and his review does a dandy job summing up the essence of R3DESIGN. I would add that from the opening notes of the hectic lead-off track “Ultra Conservation,” this thing screams Liquid Tension Experiment. But with more keyboards (and, dare I say, melody)! The dystopian “Viral Signs I-Ambassador of Light" begins as a mellow acoustic guitar piece before it balloons into a bouquet of majestic pomp, “Next” conjures the feel-good glory days of Eighties rock (even without vocals) and “Lady Lake” would have made a terrific mid-period Saga cut. The six instrumental tracks here burst with technical progressive-metal prowess, and the album makes me wish more people would make the effort to find and listen to Force of Progress. I’m not crazy about the too-clever album title, but I’m just nitpicking now.

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