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Sieges Even - The Art Of Navigating By The Stars CD (album) cover


Sieges Even


Progressive Metal

4.20 | 379 ratings

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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, just few days ago, and I cannot stop listening to it yet. As a prog, and in particular symphonic- and metal-prog fan, I find myself home in the melodies following one another. The changes in rhythm, strictly odd in the best prog tradition, the awesome lyrics and the complex musical texture are perfect to make me consider this album as a perfect "prog product", not only for its strong technical and formal contents but mainly for its huge soul. The sounds remind me the atmospheres fashioned by Everon, Mind's Eye, Enchant or Dream Theater in their symphonic performances. Such a mixture of symphonic and metal prog, in which tough and heavy sounds to melodic and lyric passages are perfectly blended, results in an astonishing combination. Besides, it is amazing how a classic hard rock line-up, with no keyboards aid at all, makes it possible to produce such a typical prog sound. The guys are first class professionals: Arno Menses' voice is superb and perfect for the band's sound, Markus Steffen's guitar is actually the second voice when not the first, Alex Holzwarth is a complete prog drummer and his brother Oliver's bass support is crucial. Besides, overall arrangements and orchestration are undisputable as much as the technical ability of the band members. Now, given that I consider myself as a "soul examiner", I try to scrutinize the tracks one by one, skipping the "Intro". "The weight" carries our thoughts far away and, with its circular motion, leads them to the sea, possibly by the Irish shore. "The lonely view of condors" makes us fly over the mountains covered by snow in springtime, with the surrounding nature reviving yet again. "Unbreakable" brings us back to the sea, with its ripples sound at the beginning, but transmits us a strong sense of loss. "Stigmata", my favourite, is like a river rolling down its course, increasing and decreasing its speed and ending in a waterfall at times when the sound, shrouded for some moments, is brought back to life by large broadenings of the melody. "Blue wide open" is an acoustic interlude in which the guitars play with one another in a voyage through the ocean. "To the ones who have failed" goes back to the stylistic structure of "The weight" but with a definite metal structure interposed to symphonic moments in a crescendo of sensations typical of the dry land after the previous voyage. "Lighthouse" is a quiet lyric poem reminding the shore once again, with an awesome guitar solo prompting flamenco atmospheres and ending up in a ballad. "Styx", the last track, is the sum of all the previous pieces. Being the epilogue of the album, it lives on itself but refers many times to the other songs. "The art of navigating by the stars" is full of all the stuff a progster loves and expect from an album. It must definitely be considered as a progressive rock masterpiece, one of the best of the 2000's first decade. The Munich quartet confirms its definite growth right with this work. Previously they had shown first class ideas and capability but this time they have reached their climax . Bravo, then! Sieges Even is the band I will refer to from now on when I think to very well made and performed "sympho-metal-prog".
bigmo | 5/5 |


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