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Sieges Even

Progressive Metal

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Sieges Even Steps album cover
3.33 | 82 ratings | 7 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tangerine Windows of Solace (26:21) :
- a) Alba(0:34)
- b) Epitome (4:01)
- c) Apotheosis (6:29)
- d) Seasons of Seclusion (The Prison) (4:45)
- e) An Essay of Relief (A Tangerine Dream) (2:43)
- f) Disintegration of Lasting Hope (6:29)
- g) Elegy (Window of Perception) (0:46)
2. Steps (4:02)
3. Corridors (6:40)
4. The Vacuum Tube Processor (4:45)
5. An Act of Acquiescence (7:09)
6. Anthem Chapter I (4:33)
7. Anthem Chapter II (1:45)

Total Time 55:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Franz Herde / vocals
- Markus Steffen / guitar
- Oliver Holzwarth / bass
- Alexander Holzwarth / drums, electronic percussion

- Michael Morenga / guitar solo (1f)
- Norbert Beyerlein / keyboards
- Joe Pöhlmann / piano (1,6,7)
- Thomas Hellhake / violin (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Margot Gäfgen's painting "Schritte"

LP Steamhammer ‎- SPV 008-76211 (1990, Germany)

CD Steamhammer ‎- SPV 084-76212 (1990, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SIEGES EVEN Steps ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SIEGES EVEN Steps reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
4 stars "Steps" is not only the most complex album by this band, but as well one of the most intricate stuff done in Prog at all. Definitively not the kind of stuff for falling in love with immediately, but the compositions are just awesome. Plenty of odd-timed rhythms, breaks and mood shifts. ProgMetal-typical intricate riffing alternating with classical, acoustical, sometimes jazzy sections. 100% different from their debut album and in fact the only disturbing factor on this album are the almost unbearable vocals of Franz Herde. From the point of musicianship and composition this album would deserve the highest score. But for the vocs one star has to be substracted. Still like all the releases following up this one, it's a absolute must-have in any prog collection!!
Review by slipperman
2 stars I've bought this record twice, and hated it twice. I won't make the mistake a third time. I bought it the second time because it seemed like something I should be drooling over, considering my love for brainy tech-metal. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood the first time. So then why does 'Steps' make me laugh, when albums like 'Control And Resistance' (Watchtower), 'Perfect Symmetry' (Fates Warning), 'A Sceptic's Universe' (Spiral Architect) and any number of Rush albums make me kneel in praise??? Could it be because Franz Herde's mousey squeak sounds utterly ridiculous throughout 'Steps'? Yes. And also because 'Steps' is utterly devoid of memorability. Their first album, 'Life Cycle', was plenty messed up, but it retained that necessary degree of testicular fortitude that all metal albums, prog or not, must have. Franz wasn't much better on 'Life Cycle', but here he crosses the line from extremely weird to extremely annoying. His lack of edge isn't helped by the material, which is so insanely meticulous that it tumbles over the edge from technically impressive to tunelessly forgettable.

Hear me out: the playing on 'Steps' is tremendous. You can't lose with the Holzworth brothers, and Markus Steffan's range is more than most guitarists can hope to achieve. But they work the material to such a fine point that it becomes not just cold (which can be good) but totally freezing (always bad). If you make it through all 26 minutes of the laughably-titled "Tangerine Windows Of Solace", my hat is off to you. I found that to be an extremely difficult listen, but suffered through the rest of the overlong album in hopes of some kind of memorability, or hook, or any kind of "hell yeah!" reaction. I just can't take Herde's nasally-pinched, heavily-accented voice here. The band did the right thing by parting ways with him after this album, but unfortunately their successive vocalists, while clearly better, just weren't my cup of tea. I guess Sieges Even just isn't my idea of a great tech-metal band. I'll stick with the rawer 'Life Cycle' for my Sieges fix and choose to respectfully admire the rest of their output from afar.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sieges Even's second album is a somewhat bold step forwards from their Watchtower- ish debut, "Steps" is much more unique, melodic and sophisticated, sounding very much like Rush in the guitar tone but with the incredible technical skills of Watchtower mixed together. Another difference is that this album rarely has any "metallic" moments except a few harder notes on the guitar and the bass, but otherwise it's fairly calm. The arrangements are jarringly complex; I do not lie if I say that "Steps" is one of the most complex and intricate albums in the prog-metal genre. The epic opener, "Tangerine Windows of Solace" alone is stuffed with odd (and I mean ODD) time signatures and weird musical breaks, yet shows structure, focus and variation, a very challenging listen overall though and definitely not very accessible for some. The other songs are similar, only shorter but still filled with incredible complexity and very progressive and varied melodies. Sometimes they're not as focused and creative as the opening epic though, but that's only one of the two things that is weak about "Steps". The other thing is vocalist Franz Herdes' vocals, which is an acquired taste for almost all who have listened to this album; he sounds like a poorer version of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and does not handle all notes so well that he should. I think he's OK though but I think the album would have been much better if Jogi Kaiser (the vocalist on their "A Sense of Change" album) should take care of the vocals here instead.

The musicianship is brilliant; the Holzwarth brothers again show their huge talents on their instruments and they both masters this über-complex music perfectly. Notably Oliver Holzwarth does a mighty impressive job on bass and stands out as one of the finest bassist I've heard in a while. Markus Steffen's guitar playing is incredible as well and has a very unique guitar style. His work here is some of the best he's done with the band if you ask me! All three works wonderfully together and there's never any troubles technically here. Overall, this might not be the best Sieges Even album to start with though it defines their highly unique style well. "A Sense of Change" is a much better introduction since it's easier to "get" musically though they're both have similar styles to each other. If you like/love that one, you'll definitely find much to enjoy in this one. "Steps" deserves a 4.5 star rating from me!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Steps" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in Juli 1990. The lineup are the same that recorded the debut album "Lifecycle (1988)".

The music on the album is technical/progressive metal. The band are well playing, and the album features a professional and well sounding production, but like the case was on the debut album, where Sieges Even had obviously listened a bit too much to "Energetic Disassembly (1985)" by Watchtower, the band have also listened a bit too much to one specific album this time around. On "Steps" it seems like Sieges Even are very influenced by " Perfect Symmetry (1989)" by Fates Warning. Again they wear their influences a bit too much on their sleeve for comfort.

Lead vocalist Franz Herde tries hard to sound like Ray Alder. He has a good voice but his German accent is a bit cringe worthy. His singing often comes off sounding awkward too because of the complex music and many time signature changes. The melody lines simply sound randomly placed in the songs and they are not that memorable. The instrumental part of the music isvery interesting though with lots of intriguing parts. Guitarist Markus Steffen plays some beautiful parts on this album. Both acoustic and distorted parts. The rhythm section of brothers Alex and Oliver Holzwarth are very tight, adventerous and incredibly skilled.

The album opens with the 26:21 minute long "Tangerine windows of solace" which is a long track which is subdivied into smaller tracks. It´s the centerpiece and highlight of the album. In addition to the "regular" instrumentation "Tangerine windows of solace" features a violin part, which was quite an innovative thing in metal at the time although Sieges Even were neither the only nor the first metal band to use that instrument.

"Steps" is on many parameters a very impressive album, but because of the forgettable and at times almost awkward melody lines and the sometimes too complex approach to songwriting, "Steps" at times come off as an in impressive technical playing and nerdy songwriting. I personally think the music lacks emotional impact. Still it´s probably a real treat to fans of über technical progressive metal and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Sieges Even is one of the bands that for some resons never got the regonition they desearve, being many years in the shadows of other bands from prog metal filed. Is strange because the musicianship this band offers is absolutly mindblowing, the rhythmic section provide by the two brothers Holzwarth is top notch. The second album from 1990 named simply Steps is a very technical, complex and intricate prog metal , that needs sever listning to fully appreciate it. I needed more than 5 spins to get into. From the voice who is fiting perfect in this context, very complicated vocal arrangements to the instrumental passages this band never stops to amaze me. Pieces like Corridors or The Vacuum Tube Processor are simply great that shows how great this band was and how inventive aswell. The combination of Fates Warning elements with Psychotic Waltz atmosphere, on this release is a winner for sure. Even they release constantly excellent albums across the years with their absolutly peak Sens of change from 1991, they are far from being well known. Steps desearves from me 3.5 stars, not as strong and fabulous as their next one Sens of change their absolute masterpice but is a worthy prog metal as it was in the beggining of the style.

Latest members reviews

3 stars An amazing band and an amazing album. While their debut was very much a clone of Watchtower, it was with their sophmore effort that Sieges Even really came into their own. While still very much having a foot inside the crazy technical thrash of their debut, the band expanded their sound bringi ... (read more)

Report this review (#220716) | Posted by Hrvat | Friday, June 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ok, I admit, this one is not really accessible for the casual listener and it took me spin after spin to get into the strange musical maelstrom this album is. But there is a very comfortable comparison at hand: If you know PART OF THE MACHINE from FATES WARNING's PERFECT SYMMETRY album, you know ... (read more)

Report this review (#162549) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, February 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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