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Sieges Even - The Art of Navigating by the Stars CD (album) cover


Sieges Even


Progressive Metal

4.21 | 399 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |


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