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Sieges Even

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Sieges Even The Art of Navigating by the Stars album cover
4.15 | 416 ratings | 43 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro: Navigating by the Stars (0:30)
2. Sequence I: The Weight (10:14)
3. Sequence II: The Lonely Views of Condors (6:14)
4. Sequence III: Unbreakable (9:00)
5. Sequence IV: Stigmata (8:22)
6. Sequence V: Blue Wide Open (5:13)
7. Sequence VI: To the Ones Who Have Failed (7:26)
8. Sequence VII: Lighthouse (7:41)
9. Sequence VIII: Styx (8:55)

Total Time 63:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Arno Menses / vocals
- Markus Steffen / electric & acoustic guitars
- Oliver Holzwarth / bass
- Alex Holzwarth / drums

- Walter Dorn / flute (8)

Releases information

ArtWork: Thomas Ewerhard (Design & More)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 225 (2005, Germany)

Thanks to vaiccoco for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SIEGES EVEN The Art of Navigating by the Stars ratings distribution

(416 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SIEGES EVEN The Art of Navigating by the Stars reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars The Art Of Navigating Forward ...

This production was a big surprise for me in 2005 - they are from Germany but I never had heard from this band before. The Holzwarth brothers (drums and bass) are the constant part of SIEGES EVEN. They have searched for a new vocalist with a lot of care. Well spotted! And Markus Steffen (guitar) who produced the first three releases with the band is back. The result is extraordinary because very unique - great complex rock songs where you can hear the prog metal school.

'The view from here is frightening' - some sequences are repeated through the songs and so it looks like a concept album. The sound quality is really superb - full and heavy but every instrument can be heard crystal clear - excellent. All of the songs are containing amazing vocals and various acoustic and electric guitar work. Ignoring the intro the release starts with'The weight and I first thought: Oh boy - what else can follow after this wonderful thing? But The Lonely Views Of Condor, Unbreakable and Stigmata are on the same level. Blue Wide Open is a melancholic ballad with acoustic guitar.

Something totally new for me and therefore it seems to be a step forward in the development of Progressive Rock! I would not call this a typical Prog Metal album - metalheads may be disappointed. 'The Art Of Navigating By The Stars' can also be recommended to Neo Prog and Art Rock fans.

Review by AtLossForWords
5 stars The Art of Making Beautiful Music

The Holzwarth brothers are European Progressive Metal legends. The creatvity and skill of these two alone is downright amazing. After ten years, Sieges Even has finally released a new album. Arno Menses and Markus Steffen are the latest musicians to walk through the revolving door the Holzwarths frequently open.

Progressive Metal is a sophisticated genre. There is a myriad of adjectives that can be used to describe many albums made by amazing musicians in this genre. This album however is one of the few I would use the world beautiful to describe. That's right, this album is downright beautiful music that can be absorbed by a listener each and every time.

The composing is different from what many have come to know Sieges Even for. This album is focused much more on creating an intimate connection with the listener. It's a concept album. The concept is one that revolves around maturing and aging, what better concept to go along with such intimate emotional music. There's great depth to the harmonies and time signatures throughout this album. The transitions are really brought out by drummer Alex Holzwarth, so the listener can never miss an important music change; unless of course the listener isn't even listening, therefore resigning his role as a listener.

Oliver Holzwarth puts in one of the artistic bass performances in the genre. His rapid scale runs and strong polyrythymns can fascinate those who could consider themselves deaf to basslines. He shows an incredible ablity to shift positions and articulate. Holzwarth is able to do so many stylistic things that many bass players in the genre do not do. His playing is smooth, sharp, light, or heavy whenever the situation calls. Holzwarth exhibts both great technique and great artistic sense, two things which are very difficult to mix.

Alex Holzwarth does many of the same things brother Oliver does except on drums. Alex Holzwarth can play the difficult polyrythymns and the technical fills. All four limbs for Holzwarth are costantly being used to play the most sophisticated rythymn parts possible. He is as dynamic on his set as Oliver is on his bass, creating great stylistic soundscapes to make beautiful music. The rythymn section of this band is above that of many five star quality albums.

Markus Steffen is the new guitarist. He is an interesting fit. His abilities do not reflect that of a typical progressive metal guitarist, but that may be one of the things makes this album so special. Steffen has a great ability to play smooth cycling arpeggio figures. He makes great transitions between keys and chords, a sign of a great choice of leading tones. Steffen has excellent technique, but rather than showing it off in solos, he has great chemistry playing with a band. Steffen is a skilled guitarist that does not get in a listener's face.

Arno Menses did not quite have the positive impact Markus Steffen did. Menses' vocals don't quite have the chemistry the rest of the band has, at least on the first lesson. With every listen Menses' vocals consistently seem to fall more into place. His vocal abilities are extraordinary with great intonation and tone, but an unconventional tone for the genre.

The production is crystal clear. The more impressive thing about the production is the variety of tones each individual instrument has while retaining this clarity. The drums, bass, guitar, and vocals all change throughout the album. This album is a tonal masterpiece that fans of active production will absolutely swoon for.

Fans of harder and faster progressive metal may not appreciate this album as much. Fans of more inventive and softer forms of progressive metal will definately appreciate this album. None the less, this album showcases great musical abilities combing excellent technique with stylistic abilities that we need musicians for. This album is one of the most human in progressive metal.

Review by Vanwarp
5 stars "The Art Of Navigating By The Stars" is a cleverly written album with very high quality song compositions. The album contains plenty of intricate time signatures, creative rhythms and a variety of excellent guitar solos! Markus Steffen's outstanding ability on guitar is beautifully painted all over this album. This is his masterpiece and I'm not just saying that because of his short classical guitar solos in the middle of both "Blue Wide Open" and "Lighthouse". The guitar work (electric and acoustic) throughout the album is a testament to his exceptional playing abilities. Many progressive rock bands use keyboards and/or synthesizers, but you won't find any on The Art of Navigating By the Stars and you won't miss them either. Steffen does occasionally use some psychedelic effects to enhance certain moments, but it's never excessively done nor is it ever distracting to the listener. That's the beauty of this album, truly an amazing piece of work.

After listening to a short baby laughing during the thirty second intro, the album is divided into eight different sequences just as they are listed on the album cover. Each sequence is linked somehow, sometimes with the catchphrase: "The view from here is frightening," which is repeated at carefully positioned intervals. I think the concept of the album is already starting to come into focus.

When I first got the album, "The Lonely Views of Condors" was an early FAV song, very catchy and easy to get into. The ever so soft and smooth "Unbreakable" moment followed and then everything just "Blue Wide Open." After a month or so, "The Weight" went into heavy rotation before "Stigmata" suddenly grew to be the centre of attention. "Lighthouse" eventually captured the spotlight and more than four months later, I'm thinking "Styx" and "To The Ones Who Have Failed" are two of the best penned tracks on the album. Actually, the album works best when listening to it from beginning to end without skipping any sequences. Even after all these months, I'm still taken aback every time I take this album out for a spin. Rare are the albums that only get better and better the more you listen to them over time. The Art of Navigating By the Stars is such an album!

The menu is filled with layers of acoustic guitars and sugarcoated with the clean tone of electric guitars. A flute makes a momentary appearance. Although vocals rule and the guitar work is very impressive, the bass and drums are ever present and provide much of the entertainment on hand. Everything is so very cleverly prepared and skillfully tied together.

There are moments in each sequence that I can't wait to hear and the build-up to each segment is just so well orchestrated as to give you a sense of complete satisfaction and jubilation every time they come around. I'm talking about truly unforgettable moments like; the chorus to "Stigmata," or the classical guitar solos found in both "Blue Wide Open" and "Lighthouse," or the very short and subtle drum pattern just before the great vocalization and last chorus to "To The Ones Who Have Failed," or the fast paced drumming section that appears near the two minute mark of "Styx." All of them highlights on the album and there are plenty more, simply to many interesting moments to list them all here.

All I want to do when I get home after a long day at work is sit down, lift my feet up and lay back in my surround sound room, hit the power button on my remote control and play The Art of Navigating By the Stars on my stereo. Sometimes I listen to it in the living room, sometimes when I'm preparing a meal, sometimes in bed or when I'm in front of my computer both at home and at work and again when I entertain friends! I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's great for every occasion.

The Art of Navigating By the Stars is a progressive rock album for the ages. I can't imagine ever getting tired of it. It's beauty lies within all the simplicity, the complexity, the melodies, the emotion, the lyrics and the overall level of artistic quality. :)

Review by hdfisch
4 stars After eight years of silence Sieges Even was releasing their sixth album and it became their most untypical one and certainly their most accessible one. Of course Holzwarth brothers Oliver and Alex had not been completely idle during all those years but did some guest appearances with Blind Guardian (Oliver) and Rhapsody (Alex) after guitarist Wolfgang Zenk left the band to form 7 For 4. Rejoining with Markus Steffen in 1999 they carried on under the name Looking-Glass-Self releasing a promo-EP called "Equinox". After they lost (once again) their lead vocalist Andre Matos (ex-Angra) and found a brilliant replacement with the Dutch Arno Menses they decided to restart again under the new name Val'paraiso in 2003. But soon after they had recorded the new material they realized that it contained all features which are typical for the music of Sieges Even and switched back to the band's original name.

Though I said above that TAONBTS is their most untypical album it's nonetheless true that it's still sounding without any doubts like Sieges Even and everything what we (as fans of this exceptional band) always loved with them is still there. A highly versatile and playful guitar play, one of the best rhythm sections available and complex, convoluted compositions, that are at the same time highly memorable which was hardly ever the case in their history though. Whereas previous albums had been dominated by high technical skill and therefore might have sounded a bit cold to some ears their latest work became very atmospheric revealing plenty of emotion. The compositions became that much memorable - actually one could almost whistle them walking along on the street - I would never have expected from them and this was almost a reason for me to be disappointed right after the first spin. But never mind, though I usually do not prefer music having catchy hooks, TAONBTS became more and more enjoyable for me with every additional spin. This is not really a metal album (thought there are definitely some great metal riffs present) and some old fans adoring their thrashy debut might probably be disappointed (certainly nothing like "testicular fortitude" to be found on here). The closest comparison within their discography is probably "A Sense Of Change", not only because the line-up is almost the same (apart from the singer) but also due to the absence of any real heaviness. The high degree of emotionality shown here brings also POS's Be-album into my mind, although the variation of different music styles is absent here of course. But alone the deep, thoughtful and human lyrics are justifying this comparison I think.

To sum up my review I just can recommend this album not only to fans of this bands or of progmetal in general but to anyone liking more sophisticated, complex and at the same time easily accessible slightly harder-edged rock music. If I wouldn't have rated already two of their albums with 5 stars I would not hesitate to give the full score. But 4,5 stars really!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I would never have guessed this was a German band if I didn't know already. Also, I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this a Prog-Metal album. I was more reminded of ECHOLYN then any other band with their harmonies, short instrumental outburts and complex arrangements. Also, this is far more song oriented then the technical records of SIEGES EVEN's past.

The first song is a short intro with baby noises before we get into "The Weight" the longest song on the record. The drumming is TOOL-like in the intro before we get quick outbursts of drums after the calm vocals.There are some good harmonies and a guitar solo 4 minutes in, but the sound after 8 minutes sounds beautiful. "The Lonely Views Of Condors" opens with vocals and a guitar melody, while the bass and drums come and go. "Unbreakable" is one of my favourites on the record. Drums slowly pound as the guitar plays a lazy melody, then vocals come in. 4 minutes in the pace picks up. Nice bass lines as heavy guitar comes in and outbreaks of fast drums. The sound 6 and a half minutes in is full and heavy, it's great !

"Stigamata" has a RUSH feel to it and gets better as it goes. The sound 8 minutes in is dark with TOOL-like drumming. "Blue Wide Open" is a mellow song with vocal harmonies to open. They are replaced by gentle guitar as vocals come back. Some good intricate guitar melodies. "To The Ones Who Have Failed" is a good song, fairly heavy with meaningful lyrics. The chorus is lighter with vocal harmonies. Nice guitar solo 5 minutes in with some killer drumming and bass to follow. "Lighthouse" is a mellow tune, while the final tune "Styx" opens with some beautiful guitar. The song gets heavy on and off, with some good harmonies.

Although this wasn't what I expected at all, it turned out to be an enjoyable, melodic album. I really appreciate how well these guys play and they pulled off something special here.

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars My first Sieges Even album. It showed me what a great band I had missed out on. SE prove that keyboards are not necessary to sound progressive, as the guitars, bass, and drums lead us through infinite twists and turns, to the point that I kept looking at my iPod to see if the track had changed. Alex and Oliver Holzwarth have recruited guitarist Markus Steffen and vocalist Arno Menses. Menses is my favorite Sieges even vocalist, and Markus is adept at feeding off the incredible rhythm of the brothers (it helps that he's played with them before).

Oliver has some of the most prominent bass in prog metal, which has the unfortunate tendency to bury bass guitars. His inventive playing is highly technical, but it is never showy. Likewise, Alex plays impossible rhythms and counter-rhythms without taking up space sonically. Markus plays with texture and feeling as opposed to seeing how many notes he can shove in a minute. Anso is really the first vocalist for Sieges Even to meld his voice with the instruments. He has a great sense of harmony, though he is a bit emotionless (not unusual for prog metal, so it's not too bad). The lyrics, as always are nothing special, but the concept ( seems to have upped the ante on the songwriting, so the words here are better than on previous efforts. The music reminds me of Fates Warning: incredible melodic and technical performances without dazzling displays of proficiency.

This is one of the better albums of 2005. Sieges Even are the kind of metal band you share with people who don't like metal. It has atmosphere and it is barely heavy enough to qualify as metal. If you like Fates Warning, the odds are good you'll like this album. It is the most emotional album in the band's discography, which is weird considering the coldness of Menses' voice (the harmonizing gives it a softer quality, though). Highly recommended

Grade: B

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After reading so many glowing reviews about this band I've decided to get what they called their best. And boy, was I surprised by their sound! I know it is hard to label them, but to call it prog metal is going a bit too far. There is nothing vaguely metal here. In fact, if not the lenght of the songs and the shifting moods and the skilled musicanship you could almost mistake Sieges Even for a pop/alternative band (almost).

Don't get me wrong: they are prog. Even with no keyboards at all, those guys cannot be nothing else but progressive (long songs, the sudden tempo changes, the intricated musical parts and so on). The vocal lines are also great: Arno Menses has both the pleasant voice and the vocal technique to match his bandmates instrumental expertise (wonder how they play those songs live, with all the guitars overdubs, sometimes in the vein of Steve Howe from Yes, and the many harmony vocals). What strikes me is the fact that their songs are melodic enough to please even pop music lovers, while their craft will leave many listeners open mouthed. Different and hard to label, indeed. Production is top notch, you can hear everything very clear.

Since this is my first contact with this interesting band, I can't say much about their earlier and/or latter work, but surely it made me very curious about them (future reviews on them will come). Worth a (careful) listen. My rating for this album: 3,5 stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars After almost a decade pause Sieges Even is back with a new album from 2005 named The Art Of Navigating By The Stars. Well, I've always like this band, what they offerd in the '90s is the best from their catalogueand is high calibre prog metal with complex technical passages. With this album they change little bit the direction, musicaly and vocaly, with a new voice Arno Menses who done a good job but is far from the complicated and jawdropping vocal parts done by my fav vocalist from them and their best from all they had Jogi Kaiser from Sense of change. The music is the light side of prog metal, with lots of slow and mid tempo parts, only here and there they speed up little bit to come with a contrast in arrangements, aswell the vocalist even is not bad at all , is to clean and far more less theatrical then predecesors. I don't really know how to judge this release, is not a typical prog metal album, has some complicated moves here and there, but is less intricate and complex then the 90's albums. The best tune to me is Unbreakable, the rest are ok, but nothing more, really. 3 stars. For sure not their best.

Review by Warthur
4 stars One of the things that's often said about The Art of Navigating By the Stars is that it heavily downplays the metal side of Sieges Even's sound, to the point where some have argued that it isn't really a prog metal album. Whilst it's true that it isn't especially heavy and for long sections Markus Steffen doesn't break out anything you'd recognise as a particularly metallic riff, I think it is an interesting experiment in applying specifically progressive metal compositional attitudes and approaches to less metallic material, with the end result being an unusual and unique album which will appeal to prog metal fans provided they don't go in expecting much in the way of heaviness.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A German band led by the stalwart Holzwarth brothers (bass and guitars), the band has its roots in Prog Metal-- where much of their previous music may have fallen, but this one would be more appropriately labeled Heavy Prog, in my opinion, or even Crossover (due to the remarkably smooth and harmonic CSN&Y-like multi-voice vocal harmonies.)

1. "Intro: Navigating by the Stars" (0:30) effected baby noises with background synths.

2. "Sequence I: The Weight" (10:14) heavy, rolling bass and guitars with solid drums and a few rounds of gattling guns set the stage for sparse musical support of vocalist Arno Menses opening salvos--which are surprisingly soft and pretty. His voice (and the music) sounds a bit like RUSH's "Fly by Night" but the music develops and shifts in many more surprising directions--especially the CSN&Y-like perfect harmonized choral voices. At 4:20 we shift a couple gears into a faster pace for an instrumental section --though still sounding surprisingly like RUSH. Great song with some incredibly engaging music and vocals (both Arno and the harmonized collective banks); where it falls short is in failing to deliver a "knockout punch." (18/20)

3. "Sequence II: The Lonely Views of Condors" (6:14) a good song with interesting music and lots of nice use of space; they just don't deliver enough melodic hooks in the music or in the vocals. (8.5/10)

4. "Sequence III: Unbreakable" (9:00) third song in a row in which the guitarist is using the same chorus effect. When the bass and drums join in to underline the slow pace, I'm reminded of both Nina Hagen's amazing debut band (SPLIFF). And then the vocals enter reminding me of soon-to-arrive on the scene IAN KENNY from Aussie band, Karnivool. At 3:50 we switch into another "Fly By Night" motif for 100 seconds of instrumental "discipline" and soli. Then everything cuts out save for some delicately picked acoustic guitar as Arno sings plaintively. When he is joined by choral bank harmony singers it signals a shift back into more upbeat pacing--where the music almost becomes straightforward classic rock. Though they're rather infrequent, the CSN&Y-like bolts of vocal lightning are so bewitching. Still, there is something lacking? (18/20)

5. "Sequence IV: Stigmata" (8:22) more RUSH ideas taken further and made Seiges' own. Until the fifth minute, I hear a lot similarities to WOBBLER's Rites at Dawn in this song, but then it almost goes Post Rock and Brothers Johnson "Strawberry Letter 23"! GREAT shift/change at 7:40--so close to the end--to give us a kind of TOOL ending! (17.5/20)

6. "Sequence V: Blue Wide Open" (5:13) a cappella choral vocals open this one before giving way to a weave of picked acoustic guitars (at least three). In the second minute, Arno's classic rock voice sings--using two tracks to time his continuos delivery--which the guitars continue to pick away. Just before the two minute mark, the guitars switch to strumming for the chorus, but then they cut back and turn to a display of classical flourishes (two or three tracks) before returning to the picking weave of the opening section. There's a little Steve Hackett/Genesis feel here--as well as FIREFALL ("Strange Way [to Say I Love You"]). Pretty song with some awful nice guitar play and recording ideas. (9/10)

7. "Sequence VI: To the Ones Who Have Failed" (7:26) if Rush were composing for TRIUMPH, TOTO, AMBROSIA, or REO SPEEDWAGON. Then it turns THIN LIZZY in the middle instrumental section before returning to the TRIUMPH motifs of the opening half. Nice song. (13.25/15)

8. "Sequence VII: Lighthouse" (7:41) guitar harmonics with plaintive singing by Arno, but then the harmonized choral approach enters to set up the slow ramp up to full power. As we get to third gear in the fourth minute, I'm again reminded of some of the country-tinged song and vocal sound palettes. Nice classical guitar solo in the fifth minute is followed by a relaxing pastoral flute solo before everything shifts into fourth gear. Little River Band and Ambrosia come to mind here. Very nice song--also very unexpected (on a "metal" album). (13.25/15)

9. "Sequence VIII: Styx" (8:55) sadly, this one has the weakest songwriting and instrumental showmanship on this otherwise-wonderful album--almost "RUSH--for-beginners, by-the-numbers". It's not until the 4:45 mark that the band seems to finally come alive--and it does in fine fashion, in a kind of KING CRIMSON way--at least until it returns to the Southern Rock sound/style with Arno's vocal. (What happened to all of those magical choral vocals?) Fortunately, the wonderful final two minutes help salvage some of the magic. (17/20)

Total Time 63:35

There is a lot of RUSH-influence in these songs: sounds, chords, riffs, changes/shifts, drumming, even the vocals. And yet, they manage to make it sound fresh and like it's all their own. Plus, they use--to great effect--much more space and spaciousness than Rush. I love the unusual prominence of the bass and the fascinating way in which the instrumentalists play off each other both harmonically and rhythmically. Truly in interesting and refreshing. Again, if this is "metal," then I'm a convert! (It's not: I'm not quite there yet.) Also, if this is a concept album, I've not found it (i.e. the common thread).

B+/4.5 stars; a wonderful addition to any prog lover's music collection and one of my favorite "heavy" albums of the Naughties.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Art of Navigating by the Stars" is the 6th full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through InsideOut Records in September 2003. Sieges Even split-up after the release of "Uneven (1997)", so "The Art of Navigating by the Stars" is their first release in 6 years. The Holzwarth brothers Oliver (bass) and Alexander (drums) spend the time doing session work/touring with artists like Angra, Blind Guardian, and Rhapsody of Fire, but after reuniting with original Sieges Even guitarist Markus Steffen (who appeared on the first three albums by the band and left in 1992), and hiring new lead vocalist Arno Menses, a new band lineup was complete.

Stylistically the return of Steffen results in a sound which is closer in style to the mellow and thoughtful progressive metal of "A Sense of Change" (1991), than to the two succeeding energetic and bombastic jazz/fusion and funk influenced albums which didnīt feature Steffen. So in some ways "The Art of Navigating by the Stars" is a step back to some of the elements of their early 90s sound, but theyīve evolved too, and one of the features which has been scaled down is the use of distorted guitars. In fact most of the music on the album is more appropriately labelled progressive rock and not progressive metal. When the rare chugging distorted heavy metal guitar moment occur itīs actually the least interesting part of the music.

The music predominantly features non-distorted electric guitars, which are sophisticated in style, but still mellow and pleasent to listen to. The rhythm section are also more subtle playing than on the last couple of releases, and often have a light-jazzy/fusion touch to their delivery, although both bass and drums also play more harder edged and heavy parts. Use of unusual time signatures and the occasional complex instrumental part are still a part of the bandīs music.Menses has a strong voice and a passionate delivery, and his vocal style is bit more "normal" than the preceding vocalists in the band. At times even leaning towards mid-range alternative rock vocal stylings. Choirs and vocal harmonies are often used.

After a short intro the remaining tracks on the album are part of one long thematically connected composition/lyrical concept. All tracks except the intro are titled "Sequence I-VIII)" and then a subtitle. The lyrics are philosophical in nature, but mostly a bit vague in terms of what they are actually about. Maybe a celebration of life/our world and how we deal with it as humans... Thereīs definitely a positivity flowing through the album though, and itīs not a dark and brooding listen, but instead an uplifting listening experience (with the occasionally more dark and melancholic moment).

"The Art of Navigating by the Stars" is a very well produced release. Itīs interesting because the sound and production of the instruments and the vocals could easily have been featured on a harder edged metal album, but instead the metal production aesthetics are now heard on a predominantly much less heavy and more mellow sounding release. The sound is clear, powerful, and detailed, suiting the material perfectly. Upon conclusion this is a pretty unique sounding release. Probably not heavy enough for those coming to it from a heavy metal background, but maybe still too much rooted in progressive metal for the more regular progressive rock listener. Personally I find the songwriting lacking memorable hooks, and only a few tracks into the album, Iīm starting to wonder if Iīm still listening to the same song as the one I just heard (Iīm aware the tracks are thematically connected, but there are still not enough hooks and variation between tracks). So compositionally I donīt think this is a perfect release, but itīs still very interesting because of how unique is sounds. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

5 stars Ok, so I'll make this short for no other reason than I don't need to go into much detail over this fantastic record. Furthermore, it's not my style (to write lengthy reviews) and I'd also like to mention that this is my very first review on Progarchives so I'd like to set some sort of tone for ... (read more)

Report this review (#1142937) | Posted by AgostinoScafidi | Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A sublime work. Sieges Even are perhaps best known for complex rhythm section and abrupt shifts in melody. This approach is still evident here, but has been restrained to the point of being, well, sublime. As one reviewer pointed out, these songs could easily be amplified and heard as metal. But ... (read more)

Report this review (#1025143) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Listening diary 24th August, 2021: Sieges Even - The Art of Navigating By the Stars (progressive rock/metal, 2005) Considering all the acclaim this used to get back in the day, it's a fairly unremarkable slab of vanilla prog metal, and revisiting it many years after my last listen proves my thoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#822703) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, September 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I should note that overall, Sieges Even, while a talented group, are not my preferred taste in progressive music. However, there are a few gems in their repertoire that I enjoy. Most of the songs on this album feel like they are trying too hard to be complex and original without finding a good ... (read more)

Report this review (#544625) | Posted by briggstte | Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 This is not just good. It's phenomenal. It is magnificent. It's perfect. It Sieges Even. This is the name of the German band that won me over with his sixth album, entitled The Art of Navigating by the Stars. Launched in 2005, this album marked a return to the band's music scen ... (read more)

Report this review (#525569) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, September 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars beautifully done! Sieges Even nails it right here...even though this was the first SE album i heard (after seeing the superlative ratings and reviews on this site). Arno Menses works terrific for this sound...and i think he makes the difference on this album. SE have always been quite strong inst ... (read more)

Report this review (#477342) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here we are! Sieges Even have produced their best work: a concept album unravelling itself through 9 songs (one "Intro" plus 8 "Sequences"). Every piece is kind of an impressionistic picture suggesting several moods we can easily catch, select and tune to our own one. I came across this album late ... (read more)

Report this review (#456741) | Posted by bigmo | Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Lots of praise for this one, and it's understandable why - prog metal fans have a fetish for polish, and this album is nothing if not slick. A little too slick, if you ask me, though...I do miss the way that Sieges Even would employ instrumentals in the past to explore their music rather than just d ... (read more)

Report this review (#341184) | Posted by Postulate | Thursday, December 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OK. This one is amazingly special ! I must start by saying that I am a keyboard/piano player... and there is no keyboard at all in this CD music. Just to put you in the context... You might expect that I will reject this one as being completely outside of what I like to hear. Well, it is the s ... (read more)

Report this review (#277251) | Posted by Progdaybay | Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Progressive metal is the genre I find myself least surprised by these days. Bands tend to nail the technicality pretty easily, but after that tend to be lacking in one of three areas; vocals, compositional memorability and/or lyrical sensibility. Hence, I suppose, my utter surprise at the fact ... (read more)

Report this review (#264491) | Posted by Candlejack | Friday, February 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is actually the first progressive album that I've listen to and it's also the one that brought me to Progressive music altogether - and made me want to listen to more. The third track, "The lonely views of Condors", was the first track that I've heard from that album and I immediatly liked i ... (read more)

Report this review (#224370) | Posted by yuastnav | Friday, July 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I discovered Sieges Even just on this website by reading reviews of A Sense Of Change, where the reviewers talk about a masterpiece of prog-metal with a lot of technical elements... I heard that album just to have a picture of this band and I liked it but when I heard this The Art Of Navingating ... (read more)

Report this review (#184559) | Posted by The Cerberman | Friday, October 3, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Looking back at an old review of mine, this album still stands the test of time. It was my introduction to Sieges Even and I couldn't have been more impressed at the time. It remains a constant on my listening schedule. Not quite progressive metal, but retaining those complex jazzy progressive met ... (read more)

Report this review (#173423) | Posted by praj912 | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not so much of the Metal but a lot of the progressive, the new vocals have finally taken a good band and made it great, some of back ground commetry in the odd track is a little 'has been', but all the tracks are solid and have good meloic depth while still not too un-heavy. ... (read more)

Report this review (#172315) | Posted by Serpico | Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great, timeless record, with Markus Steffen (again) and Arno Menses (newbie). The merits of the Holzwarth brothers are beyond measure, as everone knows. Although (or maybe because) this is a very good record that belongs in every progger's household I had to kind of conquer it - and I still wr ... (read more)

Report this review (#163044) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Art of Navigating by the Stars. this is the first record and experience i had of this band, recently. i turned into sophisticated and a sense of change and i found maturity, musicality, taste and a very emotional aproach on this one. Arno menses has a sweet tone of voice. acording to the ... (read more)

Report this review (#157047) | Posted by muhamad dlai | Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't know where to start with this. It has to be one of my favourite CDs and I have a big collection. I loved this album almost from the get-go. Every song is outstanding but I think it's wrong to classify it as prog metal. It's almost classic prog rock rather than metal, save for a numbe ... (read more)

Report this review (#150371) | Posted by wrax | Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yesterday I was searching for an example of a progressive album with unique sound. Something far ahead but still enjoyable to your ears. And unconsciously my hand reached for this true jewel of music. This record a year ago was my introduction to Sieges Even. I tried to explore their music and I ... (read more)

Report this review (#116537) | Posted by Sophocles | Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Art of Navigating by the Stars is honestly one of the most interesting prog-rock/metal recordings i have ever heard. Its just amazing how people create melodies like this, how do they do it? I mean, after listening to PoS your amazed at how they make their songs. But with Sieges Even its ... (read more)

Report this review (#112541) | Posted by Whacky | Sunday, February 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my introduction to Sieges Even and it absolutely floored me. Having been a metal head as well as a prog freak for more than 30 years and a published music critic in the late '80 and early '90s it takes a lot to stop me in my tracks. Navigating By the Stars did just that. The album ... (read more)

Report this review (#102517) | Posted by davemuttillo | Sunday, December 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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