SIEGES EVEN - Paramount

Sieges Even - Paramount

10 songs
61:46 minutes
***** ***


Next to the recently reformed Mekong Delta, Sieges Even are one of the bands that defined progressive metal in Germany. Starting out as a so-called techno thrash band in the late Eighties, they released three mind-bending albums that saw them turning gradually to more accessible music. In the late Nineties they disappeared with their rhythm section, the Holzwarth brothers, playing in several more popular bands (Blind Guardian, Avantasia, Rhapsody Of Fire, Angra). Two years ago Sieges Even resurfaced with a new singer and their new album The Art Of Navigating By The Stars to generally good reviews.

Their new CD Paramount doesn’t veer off from the chosen course, and you get again ten songs, none shorter than five minutes, that have little to do with the thrash moods on their debut Life Cycle or the head trip of their second epic Steps, until two of my favourite prog albums. This doesn’t mean that Paramount is disappointing, only that Sieges Even have matured and leave the complex antics to younger bands. Instead you get songs that seem very easy on the surface, but once you dive deeper into their sound, you will still discover their excellent skills. Markus Steffen is probably one of the most versatile guitarists in Europe, adding jazzy touches to his playing. Bassist and drummer play tight beats that that always have room for unexpected fills. Vocalist Arno Menses has a melodic voice that discerns the band from their origins, and is probably the main reason why Sieges Even are today rather a rock than a metal band. Apart from the ballad Eyes Wide Open which is too mellow even for Sieges Even, the album only contains great material including the interesting Mounting Castles In The Blood Red Sky which uses a famous Martin Luther King speech as its backdrop.

Comparing them to Dream Theater for instance, it is obvious that Sieges Even don’t have that folly de grandeur to always write longer songs, play longer solos and losing themselves eventually in labyrinthine structures. Sieges Even are a mature progressive rock band that puts all the focus on the song. I must say that I prefer their earlier material, but I respect their decision to follow their path consequently. Fans of melodic progressive rock should get a lot of pleasure out of this unpretentious offering.

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