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SIEGES EVEN

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Sieges Even biography
The story begins in the 80's when guitar player Markus Steffen and bass player Oliver Holzwarth founded their first band in Munich, Germany. With the addition of Oliver's brother, Alex (drums) and singer Franz Herde, SIEGES EVEN were born in 1985.

The following year the group cut its first demo, "Symphonies of Steel" and three more demos followed up to 1988: "Apocalyptic Disposition", "Violent Alterations" and "Repression and Resistance". This latter 4-track-demo called the attention of producer Kalle Trapp and German record label SPV to which SIEGES EVEN finally got signed. At Kalle Trapp's 'Karo-Studio', Munster, the group started recording its debut "Life Cycle" in the spring of 1988. The outcome was a very rough and energetic sound, a unique hybrid of technical thrash metal, progressive rock and complex jazz fusion. The comparison with Watchtower was unavoidable and this contributed to the band's rising popularity. After the release of their debut and the positive feedback, SIEGES EVEN instantly began writing new music for a second album.

In March/April 1990, the band started recording "Steps" at 'Lakeside-Studios' in Utting nearby Munich, with a different producer this time, Charlie Bauerfeind. The album featured intricate guitar riffs, rapid-fire sledgehammer rhythms and abrupt mid-tempo breaks, but in a more sophisticated way than the debut, showing the band was evolving. Again, the response from the press was more than positive, but the band was worried with the live situation, as opportunities during those years were rare. However, a highlight in the bands history was the show in the German city Verl in 1991, where SIEGES EVEN were the support act for the US band PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. In 1991, the band enters the studio to record "A Sense of Change" with the same producer. This was the perfect title for their most 'mature' album to date. It was indeed a big change in the band's sound and song writing, featuring influences from 80's Rush, while the guitar work was cleaner and based more on melodic chords and solos. Unexpectedly, Franz Herde left the band during the recording sessions. After 3 months of searching and recording material with a US female vocalist, SIEGES EVEN picked the unknown Jogi Kaiser, who recorded all of the songs in 3 days! His jazzy and clear voice was a perfect match to the novel sound of the new album.

After playing their last show in Wiesbaden in the summer of 1992, Markus Steffen decided to leave the band ...
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Buy SIEGES EVEN Music


ParamountParamount
Inside Out Music 2007
Audio CD$351.84
$16.95 (used)
Art of Navigating By the StarsArt of Navigating By the Stars
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$14.70
$12.95 (used)
StepsSteps
Import
Steamhammer Europe 2000
Audio CD$7.60
$6.69 (used)
Sense of ChangeSense of Change
Import
Steamhammer Europe 1995
Audio CD$32.98
$18.00 (used)
PlaygroundsPlaygrounds
Inside Out Music / SPV 2008
Audio CD$7.49
$17.89 (used)
Life CycleLife Cycle
Import
PID 2010
Audio CD$930.34
$75.00 (used)
UnevenUneven
Quixote Music
Audio CD$23.93
$19.95 (used)
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SIEGES EVEN discography


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

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

3.32 | 35 ratings
Lifecycle
1988
3.35 | 64 ratings
Steps
1990
3.99 | 120 ratings
A Sense of Change
1991
3.83 | 61 ratings
Sophisticated
1995
3.58 | 46 ratings
Uneven
1997
4.16 | 292 ratings
The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
2005
3.90 | 150 ratings
Paramount
2007

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

3.94 | 32 ratings
Playgrounds
2008

SIEGES EVEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.67 | 3 ratings
Demo '87
1987
4.33 | 3 ratings
Repression & Resistance
1988
3.50 | 2 ratings
Napalm vs. Sieges Even
1990

SIEGES EVEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Art Of Navigating By The Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.16 | 292 ratings

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The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by AgostinoScafidi

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 what could be expected of my contributions in the future.

I discovered The Art Of Navigating By The Stars in 2013. I don't remember how, but oh man was I happy to have made such a discovery! Every time I'd pop it on I'd actually WANT to write about the album and share my love of it with people! I've finally done it, case in point!

Anyway, as far as progressive metal goes, this is up there with the best of them. Now when I say "the best of them" I have no intention of comparing or dropping any names, but what I'm trying to get across here is that if you take some of the ideal aspects of this genre and put 'em together then that should equate to "the best of them". Again, I don't want to elaborate on that, I feel like subjectivity will win here and any true progressive metal fan might understand that I'm referring to the highlights and defining characters of the genre.

The album itself isn't the heaviest but it's definitely heavy enough. It also has great dynamics in it so if you're looking for something really musical and great at mixing the heavy with the mellow, then you'll love this record.

It's smart, it has those tinges of European metal which elicits excitement from me personally, it has great rhythms and musicianship. It's a great ride!

One of my favourite tracks on it is Sequence VI: To The Ones Who Have Failed. Sequence IV: Stigmata is also a fabulous piece that stands out for me.

Well, I guess this review wasn't as short as I set out for it to be! Thank you for reading.

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 A Sense of Change by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.99 | 120 ratings

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A Sense of Change
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars It so happens that the most known of the seven Sieges Even albums are the softest - this album, 1991's A sense of change, and 2005's The art of navigating by the stars. A sense of change has a sparse production, features lots of clean and classical guitar and even a fully classical piece. But soft is no synonym for easy. A sense of change is probably the most difficult to get into, with its dizzying stops-and-starts, abrupt time signature and melody changes, sometimes every 15 seconds or so. Vocalist, who has a strong voice, also uses it as a sort of solo musical instrument, singing long notes in juxtaposition to the instruments and even Queen's Freddy Mercury's "ta-da-da- da-da-dams". The main influence here is not metal, but rather jazz and, from the rock canon, probably the headier Rush and King Crimson stuff, but in traces. This is no copycat band.

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 Playgrounds by SIEGES EVEN album cover Live, 2008
3.94 | 32 ratings

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Playgrounds
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

5 stars The final release from the polyrhythmic metal-fusion-art rock combo Sieges Even before they broke up for the second time, apparently for good. This live album consists of selections from the last two albums, plus two of the more accessible numbers from 1991's A sense of change. That means this is the softer, art-rockier side of Sieges, with the penchant of frequently hopping from light to heavy.

The last two albums, especially the delicate and melancholic Art of navigating by the stars, had a remarkably clear and detailed production. Such studio trickery, of course, can't be reproduced live, so it's interesting to see what they come up with to compensate. It means that while the songs structurally remain the same, they still sound different, and this merits their inclusion in your collection. Mostly the instruments are still very clear but louder, especially the bass is fat and loud (and it was very prominent even in the studio albums). This really brings out the power in the opening lines of the Weight, for example, and energizes the ballad Unbreakable. Because, lets face it, Sieges, for all their virtuosity, do have a few tedious numbers.

As for rating, I'm confused. A live album probably doesn't merit 5 stars. However, if this was a studio album and we heard these songs for the first time, it would be a must-have, as is Sieges Even in any serious prog/metal collection.

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 The Art Of Navigating By The Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.16 | 292 ratings

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The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

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 there's almost no distortion here. It's layered, but drenched in melancholy and bittersweet melodies and has the cleanest production I've heard. You can literally hear every pluck of the bass string and click of the drum stick. Vocals are in the higher register, bright and strong.

As for drawbacks, I have to admit its kinda boring, even for this lover of melancholy on a countryside night. Even my wife, who likes her music not aggressive, says it bores her. So unless your friend is a prog head, I don't recommend giving it to your partner in life. And the title - Art of navigating by the stars - is on the borderline of depth and pretentiousness, depending on your point of view. I prefer deep.

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 Sophisticated by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 61 ratings

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Sophisticated
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

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, reviewed here, and 1997's Uneven, in a more power metal style, heavily influenced by wild jazz and funk. The changes are, believe it, less abrupt. If you are not that much into avant-garde and this is your first Sieges Even album, you'll probably ask how is it even possible that this is not their wildest stuff. It's still a challenging listen. Most songs are hyperactive, with instruments flying out in all the directions. Vocalist shows off too, sometimes venturing out to Freddy Mercury-ish theatrics. Even so, there are more melodic tracks here, like Dreamer for example.

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 Paramount by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.90 | 150 ratings

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Paramount
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars On their last album before breaking up for the second time, Sieges Even marry their two sides - complex metal and melancholic art rock. The result is more straight-forward than their more known works, but strikes the balance between complexity and melody. Holzwarth brothers, who form the rhythm section, are more known as session musicians for commercial metal bands. Sieges Even was their first band started in the 80s, and since became more of an outlet for the soul. Markus Steffen, the guitarist and a good lyricist, in addition to the metal, plays a very clean guitar. Arno Menses, the vocalist, has been with the band only for their last 2 albums. Compared with previous power wailers, he is more of a pop crooner. He and Steffen stayed together and formed Subsignal, which more or less continues the style here, plus prominent keyboards. The duo are apparently big Yes fans, as can be seen here in Bridge to the divine, and their post-Sieges work. Sieges Even are a very distinctive band. It's a pity that they are no longer are active, but this makes their few albums all the more valuable.

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 The Art Of Navigating By The Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.16 | 292 ratings

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The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Art Of Navigating By The Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.16 | 292 ratings

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The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Steps by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.35 | 64 ratings

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Steps
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Paramount by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.90 | 150 ratings

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Paramount
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by 1791 Overture

3 stars This is an album of songs, some incredible, some good, and one questionable. I feel a similar effect when listening to this album as with Fates Warning's "FWX" - a late-career decision to dabble in song-oriented modern rock, creating a listening experience that sometimes works wonders and sometimes falls more flat.

The incredible: the two openers, both melodic powerhouses with smart, punchy songwriting. Duende, a winding, exciting slice of unique prog metal, accompanied by an ode to the creative power of art (which the band has dubbed the "permanent disease" of mankind - so true). The closer, the fascinating "Paramount," which makes use of some great dynamics and a stunning chorus like a splash of ice-cold water to the torso.

The good: The middling rest of the album - I had hoped for more instrumental interplay from Sieges even, as well as more compositional creativity; clearly, the approach here is miles away from The Art of Navigating by the Stars. Some parts of "Bridge to the Divine" and "Leftovers" are disappointingly formulaic and tiresome, but they are still solid overall. Lots of crunchy guitar riffs and energetic drums. Oliver Holzwarth's role on bass here is not as prominent as previous releases, but where he is noticeable he shines, as always. Feel free to express confusion over the born-again Christian track, "Iconic," made even more confusing by the fact that Sieges Even previously released a song mocking Christianity entitled "What's Up God?" Maybe Steffen wrote it, since he wasn't in the band for the latter song? Or someone had a conversion? Either way, it's twee and a little bit creepy lyrically, like much of this album, but it's surprisingly well-written nonetheless.

The questionable: "Eyes Wide Open." Eugh. The chorus melody is nowhere near strong enough to build a song around, and the muddy accompaniment makes it sound forced. Overall, not the most pleasant listening experience. Interestingly, this song was originally written for the band Subsignal, then a side-project, yet it's nowhere near as good as the material that the band itself would come to release after Sieges Even disbanded.

And there you have Paramount, take it or leave it. Sieges Even is still one of the only prog metal bands releasing any interesting material by 2007, even if this record has its flaws.

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