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SOPHISTICATED

Sieges Even

Progressive Metal


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Sieges Even Sophisticated album cover
3.94 | 80 ratings | 8 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Reporter (4:30)
2. Trouble Talker (5:07)
3. Middle Course (6:38)
4. Sophisticated (4:18)
5. Dreamer (6:24)
6. As The World Moves On (3:51)
7. Wintertime (7:13)
8. Water The Barren Tree (5:54)
9. War (5:09)
10. Fatal (3:42)
11. The More The Less (4:53)

Total time 57:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Greg Keller / vocals
- Wolfgang Zenk / guitar
- Oliver Holzwarth / bass
- Alexander Holzwarth / drums

With:
- Markus Grützner / keyboards
- Sascha Paeth / keyboard programming
- Michael "Miro" Rodenberg / keyboard programming

Releases information

Artwork: Franziska Kaiser

CD Semaphore ‎- semaphore CD 32683 (1995, Germany)
CD QuiXote Music - QXT CD57 (2007, Germany) Remastered by Mike Möller

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SIEGES EVEN Sophisticated ratings distribution


3.94
(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

SIEGES EVEN Sophisticated reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After their "almost masterpiece" STEPS (apart of the vocs) and their masterly A SENSE OF CHANGE the band created with SOPHISTICATED another album of highest quality, this time with a stronger metal orientation. The compositions are as always very intricate but still quite easily accessible with nice vocal harmonies. They found with Greg Keller a quite good replacement for Yogi Kaiser, who unfortunately left the band after the last album. As well the new guitarist Wolfgang Zenk does his job as perfect as the previous one. The rhythm section of Holzwarth brothers is just awesome as usually. It's obviously the most popular album of this band, since it's almost impossible to find it, even second-hand unless for enormous prices. The label went bankrupt, so it's out of print. But as I read in an interview with the band members, there is some hope that there will be a re-release one day. They are currently working on a reunite album, which will obviously be an one-track one, divided into multiple sections. I'm already impatiently waiting for its release. Not for the reason that they are coming from my home town, I regard SIEGES EVEN as one of the best german bands in this sub-genre. If you're a fan of excellent Progmetal, played with a high technical skill, without technicality for "technicality's sake" you should take the effort and costs to try to get this album.

AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE!!!!

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album has been very difficult to track down as it has been out of print for some time. Not because of it's popularity but because the distribution company went bankrupt leaving a shortage of the "Sophisticated" and "Uneven" albums. As with all SIEGES EVEN records this is complex and very well played. Consider they have toured with WATCHTOWER and PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. This one is harder and more difficult to digest than the previous record. There is a new guitarist who is fantastic, and a new singer who is not fantastic. I much prefer Jogi from "A Sense Of Change" to the vocals featured here. I also much prefer "The Art Of Navigating By the Stars" to this album as well.

The first and last songs on the album "Reporter" and "The More The Less" are very challenging songs that are hard to get into, very chaotic. "Reporter" opens with a sonic assault that really doesn't let up until 3 minutes in and then only briefly as some chunky bass lines come in before the onslaught continues. "Trouble Talker" has a bombastic intro although it settles down as the tempo continues to change and quickly. A blistering guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in and I like the way the song ends. "Middle Course" is my favourite song along with "War". "Middle Course" has some RUSH sounding instrumental work to open, it's so precise and complex. The soundscape sort of drifts along until the next outbreak. Nice contrast. Some great bass follows and then some intricate guitar that is set on fire 3 1/2 minutes in.

"Sophisticated" opens with bass and then it's full speed ahead after that. "Dreamer" features more RUSH-like playing as the tempo changes quickly. I really like the slower passages. There is a good acoustic section before the song roars back. "As The World Moves On" is fast and furious with a blazing guitar solo 3 minutes in. "Wintertime" has a mellow beginning with reserved vocals before becoming intense and loud. The contrast continues. A scathing guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. "Water The Barren Tree" is another favourite,a top three I suppose. The drumming is outstanding and there is some screaming guitar 3 minutes in. The song relaxes but not for long as the drums pound and the guitar fires off some melodies. "War" has such an awesome sound to open and then the guitar fills the air with metal. The vocals sound the best on this song as the tempo changes (they are always changing). "Fatal" has some complex arrangments and a good crunchy sound.

This record sure has it's moments, but for me it's a step back from the previous album "A Sense Of Change" and most of all I just don't enjoy it enough to give it 4 stars. 3.5 stars.

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After the masterpiece Sense of change, Sieges Even is back with a faster and fresher album in places than previous one. Always this band has high class musicians, everything is around the two brothers Holzwarth who are among the best musicians i ever heared, not many could top them, they remained, since they are the most important element of Sieges Even. The guitarist Markus Steffen and the vocalist Jogi Kaiser left the band. The new vocalist is again awesome, but i kinda like the one from Sense of change, the guitar sounds faster with furious riffs and solos, but of the highest calibre. Sometimes the music here is towards power metal but is so well combined with prog elements that is hard to say this is a power metal album, more like prog metal. So more catchy tunes but complex enought to be a great prog metal album. Forte tracks is Dreamer and Wintertime, the rest are super. Recommended for all prog metal fans. Very good band and high skilled. 4 stars

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Sophisticated" is the 4th full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Under Siege Records in October 1995. It´s the successor to "A Sense of Change" from 1991 and features two lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarist Markus Steffen has been replaced by Wolfgang Zenk and lead vocalist Jogi Kaiser has been replaced by Greg Keller. The remaining members of the lineup who recorded "A Sense of Change (1991)" are the Holzwarth brothers Oliver and Alexander on bass and drums respectively.

Sieges Even started out being a Watchtower clone and later they were heavily influenced by Fates Warning, but on "Sophisticated", they finally found an original sound. Most of the material on the album are in a highly energetic and very complex technical/progressive metal style, greatly influenced by both funk and jazz/fusion. Keller has a rather distinct sounding voice and vocal style, and sometimes the vocals and vocal melodies are pretty paatos filled and close to sounding like something out of a Broadway musical and other times like they belong on a German speed/power metal album.

So needless to say, that "Sophisticated" is a very eclectic release, featuring a skilled band incorporating many different musical elements and playing styles to their music. The album features one jaw-dropping technical playing moment after another, and it´s not an album with much room to breathe (and that goes for both the listener and the band themselves). There are melodic moments on the album and a track like "Dreamer" is even very melodic in style, but Sieges Even always make sure that even the most accessible elements/moments of the music is paired with some crazy technical playing.

While the main elements of the band´s sound are vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, there are also quite a few keyboards on the album, which often provide the tracks with an extra musical dimension. The keyboards are played by two of the most prolific musicians/producers of the German metal scene in Sascha Paeth and Miro. "Sophisticated" was recorded at Kai Hansen Studio, Hamburg and C.C.C. Studio, Bräuningshof, between May and June 95, with producer/engineer Charlie Bauerfeind (another German legend), and the sound production is massive, powerful, and detailed. When the album opens with "Reporter", it´s almost impossible not to by blown away by the powerful sound of the album and the high energy of the music.

Upon conclusion this is a monster of a funky, fusion influenced, technical/progressive metal album and I don´t think I´ve ever heard anything quite like it (not then, not since). It´s not a perfect release, and there are some points of critique which drag my rating down a bit, like Keller´s thick German accent, which isn´t always that pleasing on the ear, and his voice and singing style are probably also both an aquired taste, but when all is said an done, "Sophisticated" is still one of the most interesting and unique sounding technical/progressive metal releases out there, and if you´re looking for something truly progressive and different metal, this wouldn´t be a bad place to start. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Sieges Even have distinctive stages in their development. After 3 technically and structurally highly complex albums with bad vocals running the scale from thrash to psychedelia to art rock, which often rapidly hopped from theme to theme, they did 2 similar albums, the 1995's Sophisticated, rev ... (read more)

Report this review (#1024402) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sophisticated!!!! from the very beginning of the album, starts the spark of a creative teamwork for this album. I loved Keller vocals a lot!! wolfang zenk is a MONSTER!! his killing licks kick *ss! without lack of sensibility, this album is a perfect blend of metal and experimental concepts ... (read more)

Report this review (#269462) | Posted by D4y dr34m3r | Thursday, March 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Been reviewing the album STEPS by the same band some moments before. Concerning STEPS one could say: Sophistication overdone. Concerning this later release with new guitarist and new vocalist I'd say: not sophisticated enough. That's a bit embarrasing when you consider the title of the album. Ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#162555) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, February 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Newer, fresher and faster. This is the 4th album of the German prog-metal band, "Sophisticated". In contrast to the earlier releases the tracks are heavier and fast and more catchy and definitely more influenced by power metal. The guitarist Markus Steffen and the vocalist Jogi Kaiser left the ... (read more)

Report this review (#65517) | Posted by W.Chuck | Thursday, January 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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