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BEAUTIFUL & MONSTROUS

Subsignal

Neo-Prog


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Subsignal Beautiful & Monstrous album cover
3.94 | 129 ratings | 10 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Where Angels Fear to Tread (6:04)
2. Paradigm (6:29)
3. The Sea (7:00)
4. The Trick Is to Keep Breathing (6:21)
5. Walking With Ghosts (7:40)
6. I Go With the Wind (4:54)
7. To Hope the Road Is Long (4:15)
8. Beautiful & Monstrous (9:38)
9. The Last Light of Summer (4:02)

Total Time 56:23

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Arno Menses / vocals
- Markus Steffen / guitars
- Ralf Schwager / bass
- Roel van Helden / drums
- David Bertok / keyboards

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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Paraiso (Deluxe Edition)Paraiso (Deluxe Edition)
Import
Goldencore Records (ZYX) 2013
Audio CD$9.99
$8.88 (used)
TouchstonesTouchstones
C&B Productions 2011
Audio CD$9.76
$18.17 (used)
Beautiful & MonstrousBeautiful & Monstrous
zyx/gcr 2009
Audio CD$7.42
$18.14 (used)
The Blueprint Of A WinterThe Blueprint Of A Winter
Single
Golden Core (ZYX) 2013
Audio CD$4.79
090204640836090204640836
Import
Goldencore Records (ZYX) 2013
Audio CD$11.35
$23.08 (used)
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SUBSIGNAL Beautiful & Monstrous ratings distribution


3.94
(129 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

SUBSIGNAL Beautiful & Monstrous reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Some CDs you just get them because you feel they are good. This was the case of Beautiful & Monstrous. I just felt it might be good and bought it without even knowing who those guys were. Of course that when I heard it and got to know where some members came from it was clear they sound a lot like their former band, the german underground legend Sieges Even (around the time of their The Art Of Navigation By The Stars CD), but their sound is slightly more progressive, maybe because of the presence of a keyboards player (a very nice plus, I should say).

As usual their forte is the trademark minimalistic guitar sound by Markus Steffen, the gorgeous melodies and the incredible multi tracked vocals of Arno Menses (how do they handle those parts live is a mystery to me), both former members fo Sieges Even. Although there are now keyboards, they don´t get in the way of the overall sound, serving more as a background soundscape with just a few solos and without much noodling. This is clearly a guitar band. And one of the best, I should say. It´s hard to label this kind of music, it´s quite unique (neo prog? I doubt it, but they had to put the band somewhere, right?)

The music on Beautiful & Monstrous is highly emotional, with soaring guitars and vocals helped by a strong rhythm section and the subtle keys. It sounds maybe too simple and plain at first, but this impression is deceiving. All the songs are in fact a rich tapestry of sounds that hide the musicianss incredible skills and creativeness. So if you´re looking for long solos, explicit displays of virtuosity and pomp, look somewhere else. On the other side, if you enjoy a music that is powerful, very melodic, elaborated and passionate, this is a must have. Production is top otch. There are also no highlights, all tracks are good and have something to offer. Right now I´m in love with The Sea.

I really hope those guys release another album soon. Interesting enough my CD comes with an extra track, called Rain Is The Most Beautiful Color, and it is as good as the others. Rating: at least four stars. Maybe I should say 4,5 or even five stars, but this being only their debut, I believe they will develop their sound even more. For now, it´s an excellent addition to any prog collection.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#282479) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So, obviously Subsignal is a sort of spin-off band from Sieges Even. I'm hardly familiar with that band but I felt ready to explore this new band who made this sole release (until now). And so far a high average rating so that makes the investigation extra worthwhile.

I can hear where the high ratings come from listening to this album. Subsignal is a high quality band in almost all aspects (instrumental handling, compositions AND vocals). So what can go wrong ? Is this a masterpiece ? Not really in my perception. Despite the quality the whole thing sounds a bit flat and unoriginal. There is no track that really makes me go into raptures or even give me a high enthusiastic feeling. The few songs I ever heard by Sieges Even were with this same outcome to me. It's all very good going towards excellent but that's it.

And it's very noticeable that prog metalband Sieges Even is the predecessor because this album isn't straightforward neo prog by any means. This is a 50-50 case in between so beware in case you're looking for true neo prog. But to be honest Subsignal can't be placed in prog metal either because the rougher parts are scarce. The rating is not really difficult to decide for this time. It's a pretty obvious 4 star case though slightly rounded up as far as I'm concerned (3,8).

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#480543) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars German band Subsignal started in 2007 as an offshoot Sieges Even project with singer Arno Menses and guitarist Markus Steffen trying to treat with some of their main band's leftovers they composed.However, when both left Sieges Even the next year, the project turned into a full band with bassist Ralf Schwager and keyboardist David Bertok, both coming from veteran German Prog Metallers Dreamscape, along with drummer Roel van Helden from the Dutch Prog Metal outfit Sun Caged.Subsignal signed with ZYX Records and debuted in 2009 with ''Beautiful & Monstrous''.

Far from the very complex Sieges Even style or the bombastic Sun Caged/Dreamscape sound,Subsignal is actually a melodic Heavy Prog group of talented musicians, trying to deliver elaborate arrangements, melodic solos, catchy choruses and accesible songwriting.There are a couple of moments grounded in the metal field,but the overall approach is reminiscent of bands like ENCHANT or SKY ARCHITECT and a crossover style between the two is actually a great comparison.Powerful compositions with heavy guitars, balance between normal song structures and careful solos and good switches between dynamic passages and more mellow material based on atmospheric soundscapes guarantee a fantastic listening.Additionally Menses blows out one of his best performances with some very emotional singing throughout.Remaining quite accesible for the most of its part, ''Beautiful & Monstrous'' still is characterized by most of Progressive Rock's fundamentals: Sudden breaks, changing moods, long arrangements and grandiose atmospheres are only some of them.

This is an absolutely great entry of the band into discography, showcasing Prog Metal musicians' diverisity and long spectrum.If we are talking about how modern prog should sound like, ''Beautiful & Monstrous'' is one of the best examples out there.Highly recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#590671) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If the idea of some members of Sieges Even indulging a love of Marillion-influenced neo-prog by making an album in that general vein appeals to you, then by all means you should give Subsignal's Beautiful and Monstrous a try because that's the precise reason the album exists. However, personally I am not so impressed. There's good instrumental performances on here and a clear love for the genre, but that doesn't translate into any compelling compositions - there's nothing on here that really stands out for me as being really memorable. It doesn't have the drama and emotional rawness of Fish-era Marillion, or the dark bombast of Arena, or the complex esotericism of IQ, or really anything - it's just a melange of neo-prog motifs that fail to establish any particular atmosphere, and to me atmosphere is crucial for a decent neo-prog album.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#744180) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars 8/10 Emerging from the ashes of the second break-up of Sieges Even, Subsignal consists of Arno Menses and Markus Steffen vocals on guitars (both remaining SE)​​, and Ralf Schwager on bass, Roel van Helden on drums and David Bertok on keyboards. Beautiful and monstruous is the fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1028851) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, September 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If someone described this music to me, I would have instantly (a bad habit I'm afraid) judged it to be something that I wouldn't enjoy. The modern metal approach, the double bass drum bits, the clean precise vocals, things I usually find too "premeditated" for my taste. But I listened to some s ... (read more)

Report this review (#427386) | Posted by tmay102436 | Monday, April 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very nice sounding album, well constructed and delivered, Beautiful & Monstrous just doesn't have enough fresh/newness to be considered more than a 3 star, Good, but not essential album. There are plenty of good songs, nice melodies, a very good lead singer, an interesting and creative keyboar ... (read more)

Report this review (#299120) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not at all monstrous, simply beautiful. Ex-Sieges Even duo Arno Menses and Marcus Steffen have written a prologue to a new chapter in the story of neo-prog by forming a project named Subsignal, hopefully to continue the legacy of its successor. The band´s debut album Beautiful and Monstrous may ... (read more)

Report this review (#282248) | Posted by Oliverum | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I discovered Sieges Even with "The Art of...". In my oppinion SE were the best example of modern Progressive Rock because they were in their own league, because "they sound like SE and SE only". The were unique due to the complexity of their music (regarding the brothers' rhythm section) and the ... (read more)

Report this review (#247072) | Posted by Sophocles | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Sieges Even is still alive! If you liked the two last studio albums from Sieges Even ,The art of navigation by the stars' and ,Paramount' you will find ,Beautiful & Monstrous' excellent. I have to say it's an outstanding well composed debut album in the vain of Sieges Even. The King is dead; lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#245363) | Posted by isle | Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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