Forced Evolution

It’s stuff like this right here that I appreciate about reviewing. Even though 90% + of the stuff I get to review is either average or totally lame, there is occasionally something that shows up that catches me completely off guard – for example, this EP/demo from Belgium’s Forced Evolution.

As the name might imply, Forced Evolution are a progressive band. A quick summary might be if Dream Theater decided to do thrash, it would sound something like this. Of course, the vocals of Lionel Bauer (who has since departed from the band) differ greatly from that of James LaBrie, opting for a growl/scream approach that fits the music perfectly. Band founder and lead guitarist Ulrich Schadeck has a great understanding of his instrument, throwing down some absolutely phenomenal lead and solo work.

Of the 5 tracks here, the first two, “Overture” and “Echoes of Evolution” are instrumental. The former is a bombastic, symphonic intro that lets you know right away what you’re in for. The latter is a slow build into heavier and faster territory, greatly resembling Dream Theater’s heaviest moments. It’s a great track just to show the bands musical skill without any vocals distracting. “Unveiled” is full on prog thrash, highlighted by killer riffing, stellar lead work, and a suitably venomous vocal performance. “First Day of My Apocalypse” is a less thrashy number, taking on a choppier, chugga-chugga nature with some melody interspersed throughout. At just shy of 8 minutes, it feels like it drags just a little too long as it doesn’t really offer a whole lot of ups and downs and mood/tempo shifts as a longer song should. The closing track “The Enchanted” might be the best one with its neo-classical guitar runs littered throughout, guest female vocals and typically thrashy vibe.

Unveiled is an (unfortunately) short exercise in stellar musicianship without losing sight of the song. If they can release a full length and get some good promotion behind it, I have a feeling they’ll turn some heads – from the prog circles to thrash and traditional fans and maybe even some death metal fans – the potential to reach across several genres is here. Highly recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
November 14th, 2008


  1. Commented by: ceno

    Interesting enough. Thanks, Larry. I’ll sure be keeping an eye on them.

  2. Commented by: Nicolas Toussaint

    Hi Larry,

    thank you for reviewing my band.
    We really appreciate it.

    Nicolas, Rhythm Guitars in Forced Evolution.

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