Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Subsignal Beautiful & Monstrous album cover
3.92 | 200 ratings | 10 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
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

Bonus tracks on 2009 LP release:
10. Rain Is The Most Beautiful Color (6:39)
11. The Trick Is To Keep Breathing (2008/2009 demo)
12. Walking With Ghosts (2008/2009 demo)
13. I Go With The Wind (2008/2009 demo)
14. The Last Light Of Summer (2008/2009 demo)

Line-up / Musicians

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

- Marcel Coenen / guitar solo (1)
- Julia Sebastian / violin
- Theresia Lehner / cello (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Arno Menses

CD Golden Core ‎- GCR 20048-2 (2009, Europe)

2xLP Golden Core ‎- GCR 20048-1 (2009, Germany) With 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy SUBSIGNAL Beautiful & Monstrous Music

SUBSIGNAL Beautiful & Monstrous ratings distribution

(200 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SUBSIGNAL Beautiful & Monstrous reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
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 donīt 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. Itīs hard to label this kind of music, itīs 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 youīre 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 Iīm 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, itīs an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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 keyboard player, and very nice engineering and production?but nothing really reaches out and grabs me, sucks me in, gets my adrenaline pumping or goosebumps bumping. The music often sounds like a cross between GEOFF DOWNES-TREVOR HORN era YES/ASIA and SAGA/STYX/KANSAS?none of which are my favorite music producers?they're all good, but not great; not my cup of tea. My favorite songs are "Walking with Ghosts" because of its 'HORN-DOWNES plays OCEANSIZE' sound; the pleasant, melodic "The Last Light of Summer;" the spacious, darkly mooded though too heavy for my tastes "Beautiful & Monstrous;" and "The Sea"?which reminds me of PORCUPINE TREE "Fear of a Blank Planet," TEARS FOR FEARS "The Hurting," and 21st Century (Christian) NEKTAR. Nice work, nice album. 3.5 stars.
Review by progrules
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).

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Warthur
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.

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 4, 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 4, 2011 | 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 bandīs 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

Post a review of SUBSIGNAL "Beautiful & Monstrous"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.