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Sieges Even - Lifecycle CD (album) cover


Sieges Even

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3 stars If I were to rate this album it would go all the way with 5 stars as it seem in the mid 80's thrash metal was the big deal a few but talented bands would step further and take new directions on composing challenging songs... at first we see a great display by the Holzwarth brothers each one giving full power and technique, and Markus steffen also doing his stuff.. about the vocals we found this high pitch raw voice, and if your not into metal this would be a fatal error. But he does it well and gives the band something Unique as he devellops until Steps(Sieges Even). this is a very underrated album and the comparisons with Watchtower are everywhere so i have to say theres just few things alike.., Sieges Even style is much prog as you can experience with each song. ending with Arcane. At first we began with Repression and resistance, life cycles and Apocalyptic disposition.. which are essentially Metal oriented.. with strong riffs and markus soloing.. the instrumental song roads to illiad which opens to the two proggier songs: david and Straggler from atlantis, comes with a great display of talent and challenging riffs.. after this David and atlantis are true prog metal over the top songs :p it's a must have if your a Tech metal fan or just wanting something different
Report this review (#24227)
Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2003 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Very promising but somewhat obscure debut by Sieges Even but it really shows this band's talents well with technically top-notch performances and solid song writing. The similarities with Watchtower are obvious yet they manage to mark their own sound well and avoid many of the clichés often used in the 80's progressive metal scene but not all. Technically speaking the band surely knows how to handle their instruments well and the music get's very complex at times though it rarely goes truly overboard and the band knows when to calm down in time. As mentioned this album sounds a lot like something Watchtower could have recorded only that "Life Cycles" has a more epic feeling to it plus being a tad more progressive and varied. The instrumentation is wonderful and the Holzwarth brothers are one of the finest rhythm sections in prog-metal and Markus Steffen's guitar playing is splendid throughout the album with a very raw and Watchtower-ish guitar tone without forgetting to add some acoustic parts at some places too.

However, there are flaws here too. Franz Herde's vocals might be an acquired taste for many. While is voice is fine sometimes but he can go a bit overboard during some parts making his voice sound a bit weird and not that great. Another flaw is the production, while it's pretty good it's lacks balance and the overall result sound a bit sandwiched together at times, but in general it doesn't bother me that much. In sum this is a great though sadly overlooked early tech-metal album with a few dominating flaws but excellent stuff overall. Unfortunately, Sieges Even's earlier albums are very hard to find but the best Internet record stores might have them so look out for them. Very recommended for Watchtower and tech-metal fans especially, and Sieges Even fans who haven't heard this one should definitely pick it up too. It might not be the best starting point for newcomers to this band, I'd recommend you to get "A Sense of Change" before this one but otherwise check this one out.

Report this review (#113432)
Posted Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Life Cycle" is the debut full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in October 1988. Sieges Even are widely considered one of the seminal German progressive metal acts. The band was started by the two brothers Oliver and Alexander Holzwarth on bass and drums respectively, Markus Steffen on guitars and Franz Herde on vocals. There have been quite a lineup changes throughout Sieges Even´s career and the only members who have always been in the band are the Holzwarth brothers. The very musically gifted and tecnically skilled brothers also play with some of the really big power metal acts. Oliver has provided bass on some albums by German power metal gods Blind Guardian and Alexander has played drums on the seveal albums by leading Italian power metal band Rhapsody (of Fire).

The music on "Life Cycle" is challenging technical/progressive metal. The album is very similar in sound and style to tech metal pioneers Watchtower´s debut album "Energetic Diassembly (1985)". If you enjoy that album chances are you will enjoy this one too. The album features lots of great tech metal tracks with high pitched clean vocals but there are more straight forward thrashy material on the album too. "Apocalyptic Disposition" is an example of that. The 12:28 minutes long "Straggler from Atlantis" is an example of the more progressive part of the band´s sound.

The musicianship is outstanding and it´s audible from the get go that Sieges Even are more skilled than average. Franz Herde has a strong voice even though his German accent is a bit too obvious at times. A minor issue though.

Considering that we´re talking 1988 the sound production is pretty strong and all in all "Life Cycle" is an enjoyable listen to those who enjoy their progressive metal with a technical twist. The Watchtower influences are worn a bit too much on the sleeve for comfort though and therefore I can´t give a full 4 star rating. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved though.

Report this review (#174971)
Posted Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Well, this is where it all began for SIEGES EVEN if you don't count the demos they had released before this their first studio album. This German band have released seven studio albums over about a 20 year period and in that time employed four different vocalists. Also the music has certainly changed over that period meaning you will get a lot of opinions on which album is their best. I just heard that WATCHTOWER has released three songs meaning a studio album may not be that far behind. Why do I bring up that American band? Well the music on "Lifecycle" is quite similar with that very technical style and over the top vocals. For those of you who are really into "Navigating By The Stars" you will be absolutely shocked when you listen to this album. I think WATCHTOWER is a good reference by the way as well as the debut by PSYCHOTIC WALTZ.

I'm not going to go track by track as the music here doesn't let up much and the vocalist is certainly an acquired taste. The music here must have blown away the people who heard this back in the late eighties and they deserve points like WATCHTOWER for being two of the early bands to play in this style. It's all so impressive and yet at the same time hard for me to enjoy. If I had reviewed this ten years ago I might have given up the fourth star but i'm still glad I own this album. A special mention needs to be made to the 12 1/2 minute song called "Straggler From Atlantis" where RUSH does actually come to mind at times. "A Sense Of Change" remains my favourite from this band and it doesn't hurt that it has a pretty strong RUSH flavour instrumentally overall.

3.5 stars for this insanely technical album.

Report this review (#1490310)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 | Review Permalink

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