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SUBSIGNAL

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Subsignal biography
Founded in Munich, Germany in 2007

German outfit SUBSIGNAL was at first a side project for Sieges Even members Arno Menses (vocals) and Markus Steffen (guitars). The first creative output from this duo actually made it onto the Sieges Even album Paramount - a track called Eyes Wide Open.

In the summer of 2008 they left Sieges Even, and decided to turn this side project into a band, and with the addition of Ralf Schwager (bass), Roel van Helden (drums) and David Bertok (keyboards) a full line-up was in place. The aim of the band is to more or less continue where Sieges Even left off, but with a greater variety in terms of musical expressions.

In the spring of 2009 they started recording material for their first production, and in September 2009 the debut album Beautiful and Monstrous was released.

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SUBSIGNAL Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy SUBSIGNAL Music


La MuertaLa Muerta
Gentle Art of Music 2018
$16.80
$101.00 (used)
The Beacons Of Somewhere SometimeThe Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime
Limited Edition
Golden Core Records (ZYX) 2015
$10.35
$19.93 (used)
Paraiso (Deluxe Edition)Paraiso (Deluxe Edition)
Goldencore Records (ZYX) 2013
$12.76
$26.67 (used)
TouchstonesTouchstones
C&B Productions 2011
$11.59
Beautiful & MonstrousBeautiful & Monstrous
zyx/gcr 2009
$4.29
$21.42 (used)
The Blueprint Of A WinterThe Blueprint Of A Winter
Single
Golden Core (ZYX) 2013
$4.06
Beautiful & Monstrous by SUBSIGNAL (2009-10-06)Beautiful & Monstrous by SUBSIGNAL (2009-10-06)
zyx/gcr
$36.94
Paraiso (Deluxe Edition) by Subsignal (2013-10-15)Paraiso (Deluxe Edition) by Subsignal (2013-10-15)
Goldencore Records (ZYX)
$53.27
The Beacons Of Somewhere Somet by SubsignalThe Beacons Of Somewhere Somet by Subsignal
Golden Core Records (ZYX)
$54.58
090204640836 by Subsignal090204640836 by Subsignal
Goldencore Records (ZYX)
$42.62
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Beautiful & Monstrous [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Subsignal USD $43.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Paraiso [Doppel-VINYL - BRAND NEW LP] [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Subsignal USD $48.06 Buy It Now 3 days
The Beacons Of Somewhere Somet [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Subsignal USD $44.35 Buy It Now 3 days
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5 days
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SUBSIGNAL - THE BEACONS OF SOMEWHERE SOMETIME USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $17.79 Buy It Now 7 days
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SUBSIGNAL - Beautiful & Monstrous - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $25.95 Buy It Now 16 days
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SUBSIGNAL : LA MUERTA -GATEFOLD (LP Vinyl) USD $37.46 Buy It Now 18 days
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SUBSIGNAL - Touchstones - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $56.95 Buy It Now 23 days
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PRE-ORDER Subsignal - La Muerta 4046661568219 (Vinyl RELEASE: 22 Jun 2018) USD $34.05 Buy It Now 29 days
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SUBSIGNAL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SUBSIGNAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 178 ratings
Beautiful & Monstrous
2009
3.87 | 211 ratings
Touchstones
2011
3.83 | 125 ratings
Paraíso
2013
3.59 | 92 ratings
The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime
2015
3.80 | 43 ratings
La Muerta
2018

SUBSIGNAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUBSIGNAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.67 | 9 ratings
Out There Must Be Something
2012

SUBSIGNAL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUBSIGNAL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Even the Stars Don't Shine (radio version)
2018

SUBSIGNAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Muerta by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.80 | 43 ratings

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La Muerta
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Back with their fifth studio album, it has been a while since I last heard this German band that morphed out of Sieges Even, as there have been two other albums between this and 2011's 'Touchstones'. I would have classified their last album as solid neo-prog, but while I do think that classification is still the best place for this as a whole, there is much more crossover in what they are doing now. This has a lightness and deftness of touch to it, yet at the same time there is a maturity and feeling of a band knowing exactly what they want to get across to the audience. Bringing in RPWL's Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner to undertake the production was a touch of genius, as that act has also been through a great deal of change as they have moved to adulthood, and together they have all combined here to show that here is a prog band that has very much come of age.

The current line-up, consisting of Markus Steffen (guitar), Arno Menses (vocals), Ralf Schwager (bass), Markus Maichel (keyboards) and Dirk Brand (drums), has remained unchanged for quite some time. Markus and Arno starting working together in Sieges Even before moving away, while Ralf (Dreamscape) and Dirk Brand (Axxis, Geoff Downes & John Wetton) also have strong reputations, but it is as this quintet that they are now becoming best known. The vocals soar, the melodies hit while the harmonies and musicianship are all that one would expect and want from a band like this.

The approach is far more songs-based than before, and although they can hit hard when they want to (witness the keyboard-led melodic hard rock introduction to 'Every Able Hand'), they are also content to lighten it up and let Arno take centre stage. This is an incredibly accessible progressive rock album, one that brings the bands of the Nineties right up to date, and also not being afraid to use hints of the Seventies when the need is right, but all wrapped up in commercially acceptable radio-friendly songs that are a delight.

 La Muerta by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.80 | 43 ratings

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La Muerta
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars Less progmetal, less neoprog, more pop but most important; more grown-up.

The band have released only great albums, don't get me wrong, but this album sounds the most consistent and coherent to-date. I thought they could never reach the level of Touchtones, but this album could be their best. Time will tell, if this album stands the test of time.

First thing that is directly noticeable is the role the keys platy on this album. 'For the first time the keyboards have a leadrole (together with the vocals and leadguitar). And it's done with much taste and detail. The production is the capable hands of Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang (both RPWL and Blind Ego), and that is very good thing.

Of course singer Arno Mendes and guitarist Marko Steffen are responsible for the style and sound of the mind, wich is unmistakenly Subsignal. But I find it a great achievement to create such a diversity in songs like Subsignal is always capable of. I love that the vocals remind so much of Jon Anderson/Yes.

I konw that many prog-fans are allergic to pop, but pop means great songs, great hooklines and melodies, and of course a lot of focus which this album is full of. And believe me: there's enough great guitar/keyboardsolos, great technical drumming (both heavy doublebassdrumming as Police-like groovy drumming) and tastefull and groovy basslicks.

Highly recommended....

 The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.59 | 92 ratings

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The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Subsignal, which arose from the ashes of a seminal German prog band Sieges Even, continue with their brand of melancholic adult-oriented power pop, but still showing its metal roots. This is their lengthiest album with more complex songs, as these average 6 minutes, and also with a 20-minute loosely tied quasi epic. So I guess you can call it boredom squared, ha-ha, since there are few things more boring than AOR and prog metal. But seriously, you'll find all the Marcus Steffen and Arno Menses trademarks you love here: hard riffs followed by soft ones, soaring vocals, classical guitar runs and pretentious lyrics. On the flip side, production is more muffled than on their earlier releases, and several instances where they use double kicks as a contrast to nice melodies are annoying, less effective device than the contrast between harder and softer guitar.
 The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.59 | 92 ratings

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The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

2 stars I had to knock off stars due to the mix. There are times it is so noisy that you cannot make out the vocals. The end of Ashes Of Summer for example sounds like two different songs playing at once. It could have been a strong album if it wasn't for such a bizarre mix. I am very bitter about this release, and feel like I got ripped off for supporting this band. They should remaster this album, release it FOR FREE on Bandcamp to the people that paid their hard earned money for it. There is no excuse for releasing this album in this shape with no beta testers or QA of any type. Fans are customers. Beyond the initial excitement of a new album, I have no desire to return to this one in the current state.
 Paraíso by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Paraíso
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Subsignal do not stray from their modestly comercially successful formula of heavy melodic adult rock, with alternating uplifting/mysterious and lighter/heavier motifs. In fact, there is an effort to make it even more popular this time around. There are even more huge emotional choruses (although the tattooed and ear holed singer looks on the official photo scary as hell :), classical guitars, keyboard embellishments, pretentious/poetic titles and those phylosophically sounding songs. And less metal, although guitar, when electric, is in full mode, washing over the listener. There is some branching out, towards more familiar neo prog, radio- friendly male-female duet, some interesting bridges and bouncy 80s style verses, but in general Subsignal does not offer anything we haven't heard from them before. 3 stars for the style, and 4 stars for the execution and melodic ear.
 Paraíso by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Paraíso
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Sometimes, an album simply blows me away from the very first listen. However, I find that the ones that require several listens to appreciate tend to be the best. The latter is the case for Subsignal's third album, "Paraiso". I'm a big fan of their first two releases, and I even thought their last one, "Touchstones", was a masterwork. However, I was somewhat concerned with this release, as the band lost an integral member of its sound, the drummer Roel van Helden. In stepped Danilo Batdorf to take his place, and I was not familiar with his work at all.

I say I was concerned because Roel's drumming was always a perfect median between technical and appropriate, and his performance always seemed to drive the melody to greater places. I'm happy to say, then, that Danilo's performance is just as good, if not better. However, I think this album represents a greater balance for Subsignal overall.

With "Paraiso", Subsignal has tweaked their sound to perfection. The glorious vocals of Arno Menses are far less layered, and thus come across as pure, raw, and more emotive. The drums are not over-loud this time, as they join the chorus of great bass, strong riffing guitars, atmospheric use of keys, and a stuttering grooviness that is really catchy. The band has also made use of strong piano pieces to drive many of their songs. Lastly, the album is a bit softer overall, which is welcome as I felt a few songs on "Touchstones" were too loud for their purpose.

Indeed, this album full of ridiculously creative track titles is also full of ballads to a degree. The thing about Subsignal is that each track is full of different styles. So, technically, every song is a ballad, but every track is also a rocker, too. Heck, "A New Reliance" even includes a salsa interlude! There isn't a weak track on this album, especially when you give this album time to grow. "Paraiso", "A Heartbeat Away", "A Long Time Since the Earth Crashed", "A Giant Leap of Faith", and "The Colossus the Bestrode the World" are all favorites, but all the other tracks are strong, too. It's just one of those albums that seems to be inspired from beginning to end.

Overall, then, I think this is Subsignal's best album. I feel their maturity is showing, as they focus more on complex melodies than on heavy riffs. I feel that they have come into their own with the harmonies, as Arno doesn't hog them all to himself now, and every part of the song complements the whole. I feel that they have finally captured the essence of what they set out to do after Sieges Even, and they have the synth solos, the magnificent climaxes, and the excellent composition to prove it.

 Touchstones by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 211 ratings

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Touchstones
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Subsignal is a marriage between two excellent, but below-the-radar prog metal bands, Sieges Even and Dreamscape. More precise, the marriage of their more melodic parts - the pop vocal of Arno Menses, the mood-creating guitar of Marcus Steffen and the strong keys of David Bertok, who, according to the band's website, share writing duties. The result is accesible metal for the middle aged, or AOR slash metal, with lyrics aiming for the poetic to the extent of the German writers translating abilities.

This is slightly heavier that the first album, Beautiful and Monstrous, which had a more spacy 80s feel. The main types of songs here are layered, energetic pop rock, mysterious and dramatic slow-burners, and more metal numbers with frequently alternating hard/clean guitar, which Steffen was fond of on the last Sieges Even album. I must add, that for all the band members' pedigrees, songwriting, while good and catchy, is not as detailed and up to the parent bands' standards. Some songs here are overreliant on the vocal melodies or simply overstay their welcome. Menses and Steffen miss the creative collaboration with the Holzwarth brothers, I think.

 Touchstones by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 211 ratings

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Touchstones
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 8/10

With Touchstones, Subsignal continues to evolve its brilliant sound that not only contains a progression of what was being tarabalhado by Sieges Even in his later albums but also introduces new elements, presenting an accessibility combined with a dose masterful technique, melody and emotion in his music. While they have no intention of sounding prog metal masters still exhibit a pleasant [avel dose complex in their songs, but all washed down with a stylish defnitivamente melodic sense that is the hallmark of this phenomenal band.

However, as other reviewers have pointed out, this is an album that could be shorter, not necessarily needing to have their 75 minutes - about 15 less and it would be great. I really felt that he was a little "filled" in my first audition, but that feeling was passing along the wiretaps. I believe, although Touchstones not better than Beautiful and Monstruous, it is not worse. Structurally this album reminds me a lot the classic Awake, from Dream Theater.

Again, the band members perform their roles with perfection. There is the addition of some external factors, such as the strings in Ember and the gorgeous oboe in the title track (I really have a weakness for oboes). These two are the longest tracks on the album, and although they are masterly aren't my favorite. My highlights are the opening Feeding Utopia, which blends perfectly sound prog metal / Porcupine Tree-esque with electronic elements, Echoes in Eternity (that repeats a melodic theme addressed in the first album), Wingless, The Lifespan of a Glimpse (I do not know who is this female singer, but she has a great voice!) and closure Con Todas Las Palabras, which is definitely my favorite here.

4 stars.

 Beautiful & Monstrous by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.94 | 178 ratings

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Beautiful & Monstrous
Subsignal Neo-Prog

Review by voliveira

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 first of its three albums released so far in 2009.

Stylistically speaking, I can not say because the band is listed as Neo-Prog, when his style is a visible extension of what we saw in Sieges Even's last two albums, The Art of Navigating by the Stars and Paramount. Ok, is a prog metal not-so-metal? Yes, it is. It is a more lightweight and affordable, as well as a bit atmospheric, but also full of weight. Okay that neo-prog is not my area, but still, it was up to me they would be classified as prog-metal. But anyway ...

Musical and technically speaking, this album is flawless. The Art of Navigating by the Stars is one of my favorite prog metal albums of all time, and the band is expanding the wonderful sound that was developed in the last years by SE. The highlight is the guitar quite eclectic and minimalist from Steffen, who is obviously a very talented guitarist underrated, unfortunately. However each member shines. The crystal clear production and excellent allows one to appreciate all equally, without any being disadvantaged.

And the songs are all featured as well, although the album seems to end in either of anticlimax. That's because my version comes with the bonus track Rain Is The Most Beautiful Color, which seems to be somewhat forgettable. Three tracks stand out: Paradigm, which offers an eighties vibe tied with outstanding vocal Menses (which offers some harmonies here) and a wonderful instrumentation, atmospheric and The Sea and Walking With Ghosts. There are some passages (especially regarding guitars) that remind me of Madlin of the Well, in some ways, especially in its current phase post-rock.

4 stars. Excellent album!

 Beautiful & Monstrous by SUBSIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.94 | 178 ratings

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Beautiful & Monstrous
Subsignal Neo-Prog

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.
Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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