SIEGES EVEN
Progressive Metal • Germany

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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
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Art of Navigating By the StarsArt of Navigating By the Stars
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SIEGES EVEN Discography

SIEGES EVEN albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.35 | 5 ratings
Life Cycle
Progressive Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.40 | 7 ratings
Steps
Progressive Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 12 ratings
A Sense of Change
Progressive Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.33 | 6 ratings
Sophisticated
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.34 | 7 ratings
Uneven
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 21 ratings
The Art of Navigating by the Stars
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 2.98 | 12 ratings
Paramount
Progressive Metal 2007

SIEGES EVEN EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Napalm vs. Sieges Even
Progressive Metal 1990

SIEGES EVEN live albums

.. Album Cover 2.14 | 2 ratings
Playgrounds
Progressive Metal 2008

SIEGES EVEN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 86
Progressive Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 87
Progressive Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Repression & Resistance
Progressive Metal 1988

SIEGES EVEN boxset & compilations

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SIEGES EVEN Reviews

SIEGES EVEN A Sense of Change

Album · 1991 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"A Sense of Change" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in January 1991. A lineup change has taken place as new singer Jogi Kaiser has replaced lead vocalist Franz Herde who sang on both "Life Cycle (1988)" and "Steps" (1990). The usual suspects are guitarist Markus Steffen and the Holzwarth brothers Oliver and Alexander on bass and drums respectively.

The music on "A Sense of Change" is technical progressive metal. Sieges Even have developed their technical approach to progressive metal even further since the release of "Steps". New lead vocalist Jogi Kaiser is skilled and has a strong voice. The tracks have multible sections, very complex rythms and intricate and quite melodic playing. Especially the Holzwarth brothers rythm section is incredible. Very fusion influenced, extremely tight and innovative. Guitarist Markus Steffen is also quite the asset. His playing sometimes remind me of how Alex Lifeson from Rush sounds. Actually there are many references to Rush throughout the album but also "Perfect Symmetry (1989)" by Fates Warning must have been a big influence on Sieges Even. The music on "A Sense of Change" is much more complex than anything those two acts ever released though.

There are 8 tracks on the album. Most tracks are in the trademark complex and technically challenging Sieges Even style but the track "Change of Seasons" (hmm...does that ring a bell anyone?) is a bit different because it features strings. The tracks generally take quite a while to get to know, but repeated listens help. It´s not the most accessible music in the world and it´s probably not meant to be either. The vocal melodies are not that memorable to begin with and personally I find them a bit unremarkable if I have to be honest. It´s often that the technical playing gets in the way of power and while the music flow pretty well I could have wished for more focus on strong melodies and less focus on impossible to play time signature changes. But it´s probably the lack of power that gets me the most. It´s like these guys forgot that they were once a metal act. It´s all very sophisticated but I really miss some bite.

The production is professional but a bit cold and uninviting if you ask me.

I like music to captivate me and conjure up emotions in me. Anger, happiness, melancholy...etc. The music on "A Sense of Change" conjures up nothing like that in me. In fact it pretty much leaves me cold. It´s an excellent display of technical playing and in that field Sieges Even are way ahead of most other acts in the genre. And that´s actually saying a lot when you consider the general high quality of playing on most progressive metal albums. The music is somewhat soulless to my ears though and while I can enjoy the technical playing on the album from a musicians point of view, the lack of emotion and power becomes a big issue in the end. It´s not a bad album as such and there´s a chance others might feel emotionally touched, but as I said above "A Sense of Change" leaves me rather cold and I feel like I´m stretching when I`m giving this album a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

SIEGES EVEN Steps

Album · 1990 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Steps" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in Juli 1990. The lineup are the same that recorded the debut album "Lifecycle (1988)".

The music on the album is technical/progressive metal. The band are well playing, and the album features a professional and well sounding production, but like the case was on the debut album, where Sieges Even had obviously listened a bit too much to "Energetic Disassembly (1985)" by Watchtower, the band have also listened a bit too much to one specific album this time around. On "Steps" it seems like Sieges Even are very influenced by " Perfect Symmetry (1989)" by Fates Warning. Again they wear their influences a bit too much on their sleeve for comfort.

Lead vocalist Franz Herde tries hard to sound like Ray Alder. He has a good voice but his German accent is a bit cringe worthy. His singing often comes off sounding awkward too because of the complex music and many time signature changes. The melody lines simply sound randomly placed in the songs and they are not that memorable. The instrumental part of the music isvery interesting though with lots of intriguing parts. Guitarist Markus Steffen plays some beautiful parts on this album. Both acoustic and distorted parts. The rhythm section of brothers Alex and Oliver Holzwarth are very tight, adventerous and incredibly skilled.

The album opens with the 26:21 minute long "Tangerine windows of solace" which is a long track which is subdivied into smaller tracks. It´s the centerpiece and highlight of the album. In addition to the "regular" instrumentation "Tangerine windows of solace" features a violin part, which was quite an innovative thing in metal at the time although Sieges Even were neither the only nor the first metal band to use that instrument.

"Steps" is on many parameters a very impressive album, but because of the forgettable and at times almost awkward melody lines and the sometimes too complex approach to songwriting, "Steps" at times come off as an in impressive technical playing and nerdy songwriting. I personally think the music lacks emotional impact. Still it´s probably a real treat to fans of über technical progressive metal and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SIEGES EVEN Life Cycle

Album · 1988 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Life Cycle" is the debut full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Sieges Even. The album was released through Steamhammer Records/SPV in October 1988. Sieges Even are widely considered one of the seminal German progressive metal acts. The band was started by the two brothers Oliver and Alexander Holzwarth on bass and drums respectively, Markus Steffen on guitars and Franz Herde on vocals. There have been quite a lineup changes throughout Sieges Even´s career and the only members who have always been in the band are the Holzwarth brothers. The very musically gifted and tecnically skilled brothers also play with some of the really big power metal acts. Oliver has provided bass on some albums by German power metal gods Blind Guardian and Alexander has played drums on the seveal albums by leading Italian power metal band Rhapsody (of Fire).

The music on "Life Cycle" is challenging technical/progressive metal. The album is very similar in sound and style to tech metal pioneers Watchtower´s debut album "Energetic Diassembly (1985)". If you enjoy that album chances are you will enjoy this one too. The album features lots of great tech metal tracks with high pitched clean vocals but there are more straight forward thrashy material on the album too. "Apocalyptic Disposition" is an example of that. The 12:28 minutes long "Straggler from Atlantis" is an example of the more progressive part of the band´s sound.

The musicianship is outstanding and it´s audible from the get go that Sieges Even are more skilled than average. Franz Herde has a strong voice even though his German accent is a bit too obvious at times. A minor issue though.

Considering that we´re talking 1988 the sound production is pretty strong and all in all "Life Cycle" is an enjoyable listen to those who enjoy their progressive metal with a technical twist. The Watchtower influences are worn a bit too much on the sleeve for comfort though and therefore I can´t give a full 4 star rating. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved though.

SIEGES EVEN The Art of Navigating by the Stars

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
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.

SIEGES EVEN A Sense of Change

Album · 1991 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
1967/ 1976
Sieges Even is probably the missing link between Rush and Thrash Metal least listening to "A Sense Of Change", which, at the end of the show is a jazz album! I can not see this thing, which for me is crucial. If I seek a band highly technical and I don't want to go to trouble the band Death Jazz I got to fall here. Not because "A Sense of Change" is an expression of the title, power to unite Rush, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report with Metallica, Megadeth, Santana etc... without going to try at all costs free virtuosity. Power of 4 unique and uncompromising musicians (Holzwarth brothers Markus Steffen and Jogi Kaiser) that too naturally, give birth to music that is also copied by bands like Dream Theatre (it seems the result of evolution, not emulation, which otherwise would sound bad). But, because without music trivia, the Sieges Even trying to carve out their slice of paradise, and since, it must be said, they try to start from a basic thrash metal, jazz and added too vehemently. Another strong point. Don't think that folk is absent in this album. The orchestral "Change Of Seasons" is a reference to the Folk Rock of American singer-songwriters and presents rhythm research very close to Baroque music, though it may go unnoticed unless you are experienced.

It may seem strange, but "A Sense Of Change" could easily be made in the 70's, without which seemed a great album. Composed in 1991 sounds innovative and integrated into the brutally Jazz Metal genre invented by Ian Gillan at the end of the 70's. I know many of you will find what I said too close to my humble (and only my) thinking. But I see it that way. Also I see in this proposal the musical evolution of fusion, a genre that many considered dead and buried.

At the end "A Sense Of Change" is the real start of modern European Prog Metal and since "A Sense Of Change" is a pure masterpiece...

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