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Sieges Even - A Sense Of Change CD (album) cover

A SENSE OF CHANGE

Sieges Even

Progressive Metal


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5 stars This is my favourite one from this band. This is no metal at all. The sound could rather be compared to Rush but much more complex.The singer sounds very classical and it fits to the music.The only minus is the track "change of seasons" which is a little boring.
Report this review (#24233)
Posted Friday, October 31, 2003 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is just an amazing band for me, their music is far away from the typical ProgMetal and actually from their second until their last album I could not tell which is the best of them, they are all great and I can just rate them with the highest store. "A change of change" is the one with the strongest classical and acoustic influence besides of "STEPS", but easier accessible than that one. But still the music is incredibly complex, RUSH is not a bad reference point, but imagine it more intricate, with nicer vocals. This album is not very much metal-alike, more like Art Rock, but of higher complexity and quality of any other one of this sub-genre. "Change Of Seasons", the one my co-reviewer called unfortunately the most boring one, is in fact a pure classical song with great violin, cello and acoustic guitar. Jogi Kaiser's vocals fit perfectly to the music.

"A sense of change" is a definite masterpiece and must-have in any kind of progressive music collection!!

Report this review (#24236)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars sense of change, the best progressive rock/metal/fusion/jazz album ever recorded! i bought it 7 years ago and i spent three years listening to it at least one time every day. the album is quite emotional. kaiser's voice is so pure, steffen creates new standards with his quitar and the holzwarth brothers create their own innovative view on how' prog metal should be played'. these guys make DT sound like sex pistols. sometimes i believe that god is so unfair leaving bands like sieges even, psychotic waltz and vauxdveihl to break up. wake up fans!!! you can still correct your mistakes by buying their discography!!

a life cycle-8/10

steps-10/10

sense of change-12/10

sophisticated-10/10

uneven-10/10

Report this review (#36200)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the forgotten gems from the early 90s. I originally bought this CD not having anykind of clue what kind of material it contains. The sheer instrumental virtuosity almost gave me a headache at first, but slowly I began to understand it better and better. After a while this very album became my personal favorite among the few hundred progCDs in my collection. Yes, you read it right: this is my favorite album of all time, by and band, in any genre. It's that good. With my limited english it would be impossible trying to descripe the multilayered music of the album, so I leave it to the listener to discover its greatness. Let me just say that Markus Steffen, Oliver Holzwarth and Alex Holzwarth play so ridiculously well together that they make other bands in the genre sound like carage bands. This is the tightest- sounding guitar-bass-drums combo I've ever heard. But rather than the technical side, it's the melodies and various interesting rhythmsections that burns into your mind. Markus Steffen's lyrics are very complex and full of metaphores and philosophical references and at that they go together well with the music. The 10-minute album- closer "These Empty Places" leaves me breathless every time. This is how progressive rock should be made. This very song is closest to perfection I can think of.
Report this review (#59914)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "A Sense of change", the follower of the genious "Steps", surprises with a new vocalist, Jogi Kaiser, who replaced Franz Herde, who was the only weak point of "Steps". The trend of their lowering in complexity and heaviness continues here and reaches the highest point. The songs are still quite complex, but they realeased from idols, like watchtower, but go ahead taking some influences from bands like Rush. The holzwarth brothers are awesome as usual and Jogi kaiser sounds fantastic. Markus Steffen, the guitarist, has not any glorious moments but anyway he pleases with his guitar work, full of apeggios, chords and some soft riffs. But Markus Steffen wasn't just the guitarist, he wrote all the lyrics which are fantastic, some of the best lyrics I've ever heard from a band. The drums are stunning and elate with lots of breaks and time changes, the bass play awesome and is an essential addition for the music. The vocals are great, yes they are! Finally Sieges Even accomplish to get a good vocalist and I'm happy about that. Not a masterpiece, I think the tracks overall are not varied enough, the sound is ok, and they are "quite" original and I often have the feeling Dream Theater know this album! ;)
Report this review (#61066)
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This arguably progressive metal album sounds a bit like the Rush's "Show don't tell" track of the Presto album. The rhythmic guitar even sounds a bit like the ones on the Moving Pictures album. There is however a slight nuance regarding the guitar sound: it also has some resemblances with Allan Holdsworth's solos and discrete notes, and with Andy Summers' discrete rhythmic sound like on the Police's "Driven to tears" or "Message in a bottle" songs. The music is very clean and disciplined, and it sounds more progressive "hard art rock" than progressive metal, including many sudden breaks and rhythm changes. There are very rare keyboards arrangements, and I must admit that the 3 instruments involved, i.e. the drums, the bass and the guitars are very refined and well played. There are some excellent acoustic guitar parts, and the lead vocals are very good, reminding the French Canadian singer of the Zebulon rock band. The track "Change of season" does not follow the overall genre of the album: it contains not bass, no drums, no electric guitars: it is a very relaxing classical-oriented song made of refined acoustic guitars and string arrangements. The description of this record is not complete without saying that some modern fusion elements are present in most of the tracks.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#71122)
Posted Saturday, March 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having witnessed a remarkable display of talented features, provided through PA, started a willful desire to participate in Sieges Even's audible ambrosia, delving into exiguous record stores probable to possess the album for emption, only to have it ordered from the said establishments in a vaguely nervous wait. Must say it required a modest scintilla of time to realise those weren't deities playing the respective instrument, though, it came to mind preternatural flairs weren't mandatorily required in edifying skillfully virtuous tunes, as the band writhes an autonomously emanated recognition alien to legend's grandeur. The album itself seems to have been weaved in subtle coherence, amongst the tracks' general connection with the targeted concept ever present, however, some could erroneously define it repetitive through such trait, mainly, perhaps, within guitar and drums manneuver. Nevertheless, bass lines drive artfully along powerfully established percussion to combinations more than worthy of praise; Steffen voraciously reaches a lauditive spot in the group, not only writing pleasantly unique (or so it seems to me) lyrics, bristling with modernly burnous elocution, but hauling sumptuous riffs creatively divergent of monolithic sceneries, consubstantiating strength and melody. On a not as pleasant standard lays Kaiser, whom, despite of demonstrating euphonious capabilities in auditive enjoyment, dithers and wavers frustratingly between threads of encomium and opprobrium (not by any means literally), as he either yields rhythmic harmony, adhering to his fellow musicians, or is balefully susceptible to surrogate someone pertaining to Nibelungen's performance - captious imprecations aside, he is a great vocalist and would work very well with the band, though, vocal notes seem to wistfully deprive him of congruent destinies (projecting an elongated squall, from two-to-three letter words). An intricate creation jubilantly embraced by prog, even in shorter tracks, all of which tend to condense the crafted complexity into properly bespoken congruity.
Report this review (#74423)
Posted Saturday, April 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As the dawn of the 90's appeared, Sieges Even releases their third release "A Sense of Change", a fitting title considering that this work is notably different from their first two ones. It's a rather melodic album and has a far more laid back and comfortable style to it, still, it carries a lot of Watchtower and Rush influences, but in a more melodic vein than Rush and a less chaotic and more emotional vein than Watchtower. It has some really tricky moments, there's lot's of complex time-signatures here, but the band masters them with great control and all of the songs has such a well performed and arranged style and the band glides through the music as a knife in warm butter, showing that these guys really can play, extremely well too! Jogi Kaisers vocals are excellent as well and he fits into the band well.

It's excellently produced, the sound quality is clear and the instruments are perfectly balanced. Together with the excellent music, this gives the album a unique mood to it. It's hard for me trying to find some weak moments here, the only one possibly being "Change of Seasons", a pure classical track supported with an acoustic guitar. It's a very good track, though I like the rest much better.

In sum: A unique and superb release, recommended to anyone who likes complexity in their music with great control, melodic and diverse songs backed up with flawless playing and great production. One of my finest discoveries on this site! My rating: 5/5

Report this review (#94899)
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I bought The Art of Navigating... and was (am) blown away by that album. Of course I wanted to delve into some of SE's back catalog and saw this as the highest rated album on the site. It was also the last album that featured Markus Steffen on guitar before he left the band. He then came back to record The Art so this disk was the obvious choice. The intervening albums supposedly are a lot harder edged and are more speed metal than the melody driven albums that feature Steffan.

So what of A Sense of Change? This album is nowhere in the same league as The Art. The production is very thin and constantly reminds me of the pre-Love albums from The Cult. If you have heard Dreamtime or anything else from early Cult, the production and sound are very similar. And just as The Cult did, SE got much better later on. You can hear the direction they would end up going on The Art, but the melodies, vocals and harmonizations are nowhere near as infectious. They were all very good musicians back in 1991 but the songwriting and mature sound were in its infancy and it shows. While they are listed on PA as Prog Metal, like The Art this album just bumps up against that moniker from time to time, but the heaviness is more along the lines of Rush than more overt metal acts.

Unfortunately, I can not recommend this album if you are looking to add to your SE catalog after buying the seminal The Art of Navigating by the Stars. And since the other albums they made in the 90's seemingly do not sound like the reformed version of the band of 2005, we can only hope that their future output will be as good as The Art and we can enjoy more of this talented band.

Report this review (#112809)
Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I have no words for such a masterpiece, awesame, i'm impressed. I have this album in my colection for 2 years, and everytime i listen i discover something new. This is just an amazing band for me, their music is far away from the typical ProgMetal, "A sense of change" is the one with the strongest classical and acoustic influence i ever heared. I can't choose a track because all of them are superb, well played. The voice , is the best of what they have so far, the brothers are amazing, not to mention the guitar who also did a great job. In the end i add, this is a 5 star album, and maybe one of the best prog albums in history of music. P.S. - Sometimes i belive that bands like :sieges even, the last things, psychotic waltz, lemur voice, dali's dilemma and others needs more attention from you, because they are among the best in prog metal pantheon.

Report this review (#117298)
Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. I would describe this record as a combination of RUSH and FATES WARNING. Although not as melodic as the albums of those two bands, this is definitely melodic and more complex. The lyrics are intelligent to say the least and incredibly well thought out.The only band that they thank in the liner notes is PSYCHOTIC WALTZ.

"Prelude : Ode To Sisyphus" is a short intro track that brings RUSH to mind right away.The sound is so clear as we hear outbursts of guitar,bass and drums.The vocals are very well done by Jogi Kaiser. "The Waking Hours" really is a stage for the band to display their skills.This is complex yet melodic music. The vocals really stand out as well on this one. "Behind Closed Doors" features some intricate guitar melodies and crisp drumming on a song that again brings RUSH to mind. "Change Of Seasons" is literally a classical piece of music with violin, cello, acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. I grew to appreciate it but this song (in part) keeps me from giving this album 5 stars. "Dimensions" is my favourite song on the record and the best song I have heard in some time. The RUSH like intro is amazing ! I am reminded of FATES WARNING as well in this one.The acoustic guitar and vocals sound beautiful as a powerful display of drums, guitar and bass comes in. I love the guitar, and the vocal melody is cool.

"Prime" has some crisp pounding drums as synths swirl about and the bass and vocal melody is great. Another cool vocal melody follows and I have to say that this song is so uplifting at times. And that is really in part what seperates this album from most Metal I listen to, especially complex Metal. This is so emotional at times like ZERO HOUR's latest record. "Epigram For The Last Straw" is mellow for the first couple of minutes then we get some amazing drumming.This song is blessed with lots of time signatures and strong vocals.The guitar and drum melody is impressive. "These Empty Pages" is my second favourite and the longest song on the album. More short, crisp outbreaks of drums and guitar. Some scorching guitar solos as well. Geddy-like synths come in reminding me of the "Moving Pictures" era. What an album !

This is the best SIEGES EVEN record I have heard so far.

Report this review (#122665)
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars If there's one band being an Apotheosis Of Taste it is Sieges Even. Especially this record is pure art - but one has to acquire the taste. I gave this CD so many spins I know this sophisticated stuff by heart now. Each of the tracks is worth 5 stars - maybe the title track with the string quartet is 4. The vocals are excellent - maybe not really convincing on PRIME. The drumming is beyond this world, guitar and bass are used with great effect. Other reviewers make comparisons with Rush or Fates Warning (which I can't support for this record, although Fates Warning were a huge influence on Sieges Even's album STEPS). I daresay those comparisons are a waste of time - you won't get anything precious like this record from any other band. But to give a little hint: this is not heavy music, but a rather complex intertwining of gentle melodies and some mid-hard riffs and rhythms. Delicate might be the right word. Hear for yourselves. If you don't know this release there will be a big wide hole in your prog collection. This can't be anything but 5 stars. Highly recommended; even mandatory.
Report this review (#162547)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I firmly believe there is something someone must accept before trying to review A Sense Of Change. No matter if they liked it or not, nobody ever really understood it to its full extent. In my humblest opinion, this album is like newly found oceans to any new listener. Especially to a metal fan...

Having said that, I can proceed to share my view of that unexplored land called A Sense Of Change. Well, pretty simply, it is one of the really few albums ever that deserve to be called progressive (check also: Rage For Order, Hemispheres, The Dark Side Of The Moon), meaning that it is TRULY innovative, and not just too complex or technical or just too soft to be called otherwise. Sieges Even made a great breakthrough with this, a breakthrough that unfortunately was to remain unnoticed, due to the complexity of their music. They reached out to jazz/fusion fields, keeping a prog rock core while, at the same time, they manage to sound like nothing prog or prog-like before them. This album features one of the best rhythm sections EVER in their magnum opus, and if you're a bassist or drummer, that alone is a good reason to listen to it. But besides the performance of the Holzwarth brothers, experiencing this piece of music is indescribable for the fan of progressive music. Attention! I didn't use the term progmetal fan. Sieges Even have really little to do with even the greatest progressive metal bands (Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery etc.), not because they are exceedingly better in comparison, but just because they are a whole different story. They may be labeled as progmetal so we can sort things out, but their jazz/fusion influences in this particular album are just too many and just too strong for someone to clearly state that this is metal. I know you are confused, just not SO confused when you'll be the first time you'll listen Behind Closed Doors...

Returning to what I stated in the beginning, know that trying to feel this one completely is like trying to go around the world on foot. You'll never do it. But you can try, and it will surely be a lifetime experience...

Report this review (#209808)
Posted Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Isa
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars |D| Theoretically, my favorite album of all time... ???

I don't understand why I have such a hard time enjoying this album. Everything about points to something I absolutely adore, yet every time I give it a go, I fill like I'm ramming a pill down my throat when I try not to press the stop button out of boredom and a general feeling of discomfort in my gut. The material in the album is often compared to Rush, and rightfully so. The distorted chorus-effect guitar and melodic bass scream almost too loudly the Rush influence. The drumming is really very fusion-ish in spirit, albeit on the technical side. Odd meter and meter changes abound throughout the album, reminding me of some later tech metal groups such as Blotted Science. These elements are some of my favorite elements that can be found in any music, period (as Rush is my favorite band and probably always will be), and they're all right here in this album. Which is exactly what puzzles me, this really should be one of my favorite albums of all time. I've listened to it several times in the attempt for it to "click," which usually happens around the fourth or fifth listen, but every time I come back to it it just leaves me cold.

I think the main reason for this is that, while I'm listening, I can't help but think through almost the entire album a few burning questions, "where exactly is this music going? Where do all of these notes, meter changes, and complicated structures lead to? What point and purpose are these musicians getting to with this madness?" Sadly, the answer to these questions always pops into my head as I listen to the album right now: nowhere. It's just a bunch of complicated quasi-Rush-rip-off composition with no real direction or meaning, to be brutally honest. Even the album as a whole has little cohesiveness to it, it seems like a bunch of tracks assorted to create an album with little thought on how the album as a whole would sound.

Though Rush certainly isn't the only influence for this band. The singing is much like that of Fates Warning, only this vocalist's tone bothers me even more, almost as if he has an orange stuck in the back of this mouth or something. He's a pretty good vocalist in all fairness as far as competence, but I just personally dislike his tone. Psychotic Waltz is another band that comes to mind as an influence, as some of the other reviewers have pointed out.

Though this album certainly has its good, in fact very pleasant moments, mainly when the band drops all of the complicated electric stuff and turns to acoustic instruments. The track Change of Seasons is really a wonderful track for this reason, especially the nice intro with the strings and acoustic guitar. I only wish there were more of these moments, as right after the track we go right back to the directionless Rush sounding material.

I can't stand it when I see reviewers give negative reviews on albums that seem so obviously masterpiece quality to me, but I suppose I've come to sympathize with them now, for this album seems to have collected many starry reviews. There is VERY little prog I ever encounter that I dislike, I can only think of three or four bands that I have many complaints about of the hundreds I've encountered on this site. I guess I might try some of this band's later material, from what I hear it's quite different from this, so I'll give them another shot. But as for this album, while I have much respect for the complexity of the writing and the strong Rush influence, I'm quite terribly disappointed with this album.

Report this review (#218151)
Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "A Sense of Change" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in January 1991. A lineup change has taken place as new singer Jogi Kaiser has replaced lead vocalist Franz Herde who sang on both "Life Cycle (1988)" and "Steps" (1990). The usual suspects are guitarist Markus Steffen and the Holzwarth brothers Oliver and Alexander on bass and drums respectively.

The music on "A Sense of Change" is technical progressive metal. Sieges Even have developed their technical approach to progressive metal even further since the release of "Steps". New lead vocalist Jogi Kaiser is skilled and has a strong voice. The tracks have multible sections, very complex rythms and intricate and quite melodic playing. Especially the Holzwarth brothers rythm section is incredible. Very fusion influenced, extremely tight and innovative. Guitarist Markus Steffen is also quite the asset. His playing sometimes remind me of how Alex Lifeson from Rush sounds. Actually there are many references to Rush throughout the album but also "Perfect Symmetry (1989)" by Fates Warning must have been a big influence on Sieges Even. The music on "A Sense of Change" is much more complex than anything those two acts ever released though.

There are 8 tracks on the album. Most tracks are in the trademark complex and technically challenging Sieges Even style but the track "Change of Seasons" (hmm...does that ring a bell anyone?) is a bit different because it features strings. The tracks generally take quite a while to get to know, but repeated listens help. Itīs not the most accessible music in the world and itīs probably not meant to be either. The vocal melodies are not that memorable to begin with and personally I find them a bit unremarkable if I have to be honest. Itīs often that the technical playing gets in the way of power and while the music flow pretty well I could have wished for more focus on strong melodies and less focus on impossible to play time signature changes. But itīs probably the lack of power that gets me the most. Itīs like these guys forgot that they were once a metal act. Itīs all very sophisticated but I really miss some bite.

The production is professional but a bit cold and uninviting if you ask me.

I like music to captivate me and conjure up emotions in me. Anger, happiness, melancholy...etc. The music on "A Sense of Change" conjures up nothing like that in me. In fact it pretty much leaves me cold. Itīs an excellent display of technical playing and in that field Sieges Even are way ahead of most other acts in the genre. And thatīs actually saying a lot when you consider the general high quality of playing on most progressive metal albums. The music is somewhat soulless to my ears though and while I can enjoy the technical playing on the album from a musicians point of view, the lack of emotion and power becomes a big issue in the end. Itīs not a bad album as such and thereīs a chance others might feel emotionally touched, but as I said above "A Sense of Change" leaves me rather cold and I feel like Iīm stretching when I`m giving this album a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

Report this review (#272188)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars It so happens that the most known of the seven Sieges Even albums are the softest - this album, 1991's A sense of change, and 2005's The art of navigating by the stars. A sense of change has a sparse production, features lots of clean and classical guitar and even a fully classical piece. But soft is no synonym for easy. A sense of change is probably the most difficult to get into, with its dizzying stops-and-starts, abrupt time signature and melody changes, sometimes every 15 seconds or so. Vocalist, who has a strong voice, also uses it as a sort of solo musical instrument, singing long notes in juxtaposition to the instruments and even Queen's Freddy Mercury's "ta-da-da- da-da-dams". The main influence here is not metal, but rather jazz and, from the rock canon, probably the headier Rush and King Crimson stuff, but in traces. This is no copycat band.
Report this review (#1029184)
Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars PURE MASTERPIECE!This album is one of the best ones in the world of prog rock!A fantastic vocalist and some more then competent musicians !Some call this album ,the German answer to RUSH!In a way,that's true...Yogi Kaiser is 100 times better then the annoying Geddy Lee,which ruins the genial side of the Canadians!The music is very complex,but quite accessible overall,especially because of the exceptional voice of the vocalist,absolutely stunning and without any German accent,which is very rare!The rhythm section is fantastic ,kind of Swiss precision and the guitarist is heavily influenced by Alex Lifeson,but the Germans have their strong identity!That's not an easy listening,audition,no way,but the whole album is atemporal and timeless indeed!Each audition of this album offers moments of delight and musical satisfaction ,and even now in 2018,for an album released in 1991,wow,the thrill is guaranteed!That's the trademark of a timeless and atemporal value,in my humble opinion!One of the most amazing albums ever!5000 stars if possible!
Report this review (#1912195)
Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | Review Permalink

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