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Sieges Even - The Art of Navigating by the Stars CD (album) cover


Sieges Even


Progressive Metal

4.18 | 407 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars "The Art Of Navigating By The Stars" is a cleverly written album with very high quality song compositions. The album contains plenty of intricate time signatures, creative rhythms and a variety of excellent guitar solos! Markus Steffen's outstanding ability on guitar is beautifully painted all over this album. This is his masterpiece and I'm not just saying that because of his short classical guitar solos in the middle of both "Blue Wide Open" and "Lighthouse". The guitar work (electric and acoustic) throughout the album is a testament to his exceptional playing abilities. Many progressive rock bands use keyboards and/or synthesizers, but you won't find any on The Art of Navigating By the Stars and you won't miss them either. Steffen does occasionally use some psychedelic effects to enhance certain moments, but it's never excessively done nor is it ever distracting to the listener. That's the beauty of this album, truly an amazing piece of work.

After listening to a short baby laughing during the thirty second intro, the album is divided into eight different sequences just as they are listed on the album cover. Each sequence is linked somehow, sometimes with the catchphrase: "The view from here is frightening," which is repeated at carefully positioned intervals. I think the concept of the album is already starting to come into focus.

When I first got the album, "The Lonely Views of Condors" was an early FAV song, very catchy and easy to get into. The ever so soft and smooth "Unbreakable" moment followed and then everything just "Blue Wide Open." After a month or so, "The Weight" went into heavy rotation before "Stigmata" suddenly grew to be the centre of attention. "Lighthouse" eventually captured the spotlight and more than four months later, I'm thinking "Styx" and "To The Ones Who Have Failed" are two of the best penned tracks on the album. Actually, the album works best when listening to it from beginning to end without skipping any sequences. Even after all these months, I'm still taken aback every time I take this album out for a spin. Rare are the albums that only get better and better the more you listen to them over time. The Art of Navigating By the Stars is such an album!

The menu is filled with layers of acoustic guitars and sugarcoated with the clean tone of electric guitars. A flute makes a momentary appearance. Although vocals rule and the guitar work is very impressive, the bass and drums are ever present and provide much of the entertainment on hand. Everything is so very cleverly prepared and skillfully tied together.

There are moments in each sequence that I can't wait to hear and the build-up to each segment is just so well orchestrated as to give you a sense of complete satisfaction and jubilation every time they come around. I'm talking about truly unforgettable moments like; the chorus to "Stigmata," or the classical guitar solos found in both "Blue Wide Open" and "Lighthouse," or the very short and subtle drum pattern just before the great vocalization and last chorus to "To The Ones Who Have Failed," or the fast paced drumming section that appears near the two minute mark of "Styx." All of them highlights on the album and there are plenty more, simply to many interesting moments to list them all here.

All I want to do when I get home after a long day at work is sit down, lift my feet up and lay back in my surround sound room, hit the power button on my remote control and play The Art of Navigating By the Stars on my stereo. Sometimes I listen to it in the living room, sometimes when I'm preparing a meal, sometimes in bed or when I'm in front of my computer both at home and at work and again when I entertain friends! I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's great for every occasion.

The Art of Navigating By the Stars is a progressive rock album for the ages. I can't imagine ever getting tired of it. It's beauty lies within all the simplicity, the complexity, the melodies, the emotion, the lyrics and the overall level of artistic quality. :)

Vanwarp | 5/5 |


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