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Sieges Even - Steps CD (album) cover


Sieges Even


Progressive Metal

3.35 | 81 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I've bought this record twice, and hated it twice. I won't make the mistake a third time. I bought it the second time because it seemed like something I should be drooling over, considering my love for brainy tech-metal. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood the first time. So then why does 'Steps' make me laugh, when albums like 'Control And Resistance' (Watchtower), 'Perfect Symmetry' (Fates Warning), 'A Sceptic's Universe' (Spiral Architect) and any number of Rush albums make me kneel in praise??? Could it be because Franz Herde's mousey squeak sounds utterly ridiculous throughout 'Steps'? Yes. And also because 'Steps' is utterly devoid of memorability. Their first album, 'Life Cycle', was plenty messed up, but it retained that necessary degree of testicular fortitude that all metal albums, prog or not, must have. Franz wasn't much better on 'Life Cycle', but here he crosses the line from extremely weird to extremely annoying. His lack of edge isn't helped by the material, which is so insanely meticulous that it tumbles over the edge from technically impressive to tunelessly forgettable.

Hear me out: the playing on 'Steps' is tremendous. You can't lose with the Holzworth brothers, and Markus Steffan's range is more than most guitarists can hope to achieve. But they work the material to such a fine point that it becomes not just cold (which can be good) but totally freezing (always bad). If you make it through all 26 minutes of the laughably-titled "Tangerine Windows Of Solace", my hat is off to you. I found that to be an extremely difficult listen, but suffered through the rest of the overlong album in hopes of some kind of memorability, or hook, or any kind of "hell yeah!" reaction. I just can't take Herde's nasally-pinched, heavily-accented voice here. The band did the right thing by parting ways with him after this album, but unfortunately their successive vocalists, while clearly better, just weren't my cup of tea. I guess Sieges Even just isn't my idea of a great tech-metal band. I'll stick with the rawer 'Life Cycle' for my Sieges fix and choose to respectfully admire the rest of their output from afar.

slipperman | 2/5 |


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