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SIEGES EVEN

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Sieges Even picture
Sieges Even biography
Founded in Munich, Germany in 1982 - Hiatus 1997-1999 - Disbanded in 2008

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 s...
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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)

3.38 | 54 ratings
Lifecycle
1988
3.34 | 80 ratings
Steps
1990
4.06 | 167 ratings
A Sense Of Change
1991
3.94 | 79 ratings
Sophisticated
1995
3.71 | 64 ratings
Uneven
1997
4.20 | 402 ratings
The Art of Navigating by the Stars
2005
3.98 | 190 ratings
Paramount
2007

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

4.25 | 39 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)

3.60 | 5 ratings
Demo '87
1987
4.20 | 5 ratings
Repression & Resistance
1988
3.50 | 4 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
4.20 | 402 ratings

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The Art of Navigating by the Stars
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 Sophisticated by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.94 | 79 ratings

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Sophisticated
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

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. Itīs 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 itīs 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 bandīs 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", itīs 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 donīt think Iīve ever heard anything quite like it (not then, not since). Itīs not a perfect release, and there are some points of critique which drag my rating down a bit, like Kellerīs thick German accent, which isnīt 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 youīre looking for something truly progressive and different metal, this wouldnīt be a bad place to start. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 A Sense Of Change by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.06 | 167 ratings

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A Sense Of Change
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

5 stars PURE MASTERPIECE!This album is one of the best ones in the world of prog rock!A fantastic vocalist and some more then competent musicians !Some call this album ,the German answer to RUSH!In a way,that's true...Yogi Kaiser is 100 times better then the annoying Geddy Lee,which ruins the genial side of the Canadians!The music is very complex,but quite accessible overall,especially because of the exceptional voice of the vocalist,absolutely stunning and without any German accent,which is very rare!The rhythm section is fantastic ,kind of Swiss precision and the guitarist is heavily influenced by Alex Lifeson,but the Germans have their strong identity!That's not an easy listening,audition,no way,but the whole album is atemporal and timeless indeed!Each audition of this album offers moments of delight and musical satisfaction ,and even now in 2018,for an album released in 1991,wow,the thrill is guaranteed!That's the trademark of a timeless and atemporal value,in my humble opinion!One of the most amazing albums ever!5000 stars if possible!
 Lifecycle by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.38 | 54 ratings

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Lifecycle
Sieges Even Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, this is where it all began for SIEGES EVEN if you don't count the demos they had released before this their first studio album. This German band have released seven studio albums over about a 20 year period and in that time employed four different vocalists. Also the music has certainly changed over that period meaning you will get a lot of opinions on which album is their best. I just heard that WATCHTOWER has released three songs meaning a studio album may not be that far behind. Why do I bring up that American band? Well the music on "Lifecycle" is quite similar with that very technical style and over the top vocals. For those of you who are really into "Navigating By The Stars" you will be absolutely shocked when you listen to this album. I think WATCHTOWER is a good reference by the way as well as the debut by PSYCHOTIC WALTZ.

I'm not going to go track by track as the music here doesn't let up much and the vocalist is certainly an acquired taste. The music here must have blown away the people who heard this back in the late eighties and they deserve points like WATCHTOWER for being two of the early bands to play in this style. It's all so impressive and yet at the same time hard for me to enjoy. If I had reviewed this ten years ago I might have given up the fourth star but i'm still glad I own this album. A special mention needs to be made to the 12 1/2 minute song called "Straggler From Atlantis" where RUSH does actually come to mind at times. "A Sense Of Change" remains my favourite from this band and it doesn't hurt that it has a pretty strong RUSH flavour instrumentally overall.

3.5 stars for this insanely technical album.

 The Art of Navigating by the Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.20 | 402 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.

 A Sense Of Change by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.06 | 167 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.
 Playgrounds by SIEGES EVEN album cover Live, 2008
4.25 | 39 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.

 The Art of Navigating by the Stars by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.20 | 402 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.

 Sophisticated by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.94 | 79 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.
 Paramount by SIEGES EVEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.98 | 190 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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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