SIEGES EVEN - Playgrounds

Sieges Even - Playgrounds

10 songs
69:49 minutes


Don’t let yourself be deterred by the low rating of this review! Sieges Even haven’t become disastrous overnight. I only feel that I have the right, as a fan since their first LP, to be disappointed by this lazy effort of a live document. Sieges Even were, next to Mekong Delta and WatchTower, the proselytizers of technical thrash metal in the late Eighties, and as such, they released three highly regarded albums in their first incarnation, then came backin the mid-Nineties, minus the original guitarist, to release two very good but totally unnoticed albums. They split up, reformed with the original guitarist, tried two different band names, and then finally decided three years ago to come back as Sieges Even. Why not? They don’t sound as daring anymore as on their first three records, but their carefree prog metal “light” is not bad after all.

What is bad, is that a band who can look back at seven very good to great album, takes half of the songs from last year’s Paramount CD, three more from the 2005 comeback album The Art Of Navigating By The Stars, and finally two from the excellent A Sense Of Change (1991), their last one before disbanding a first time. If I can somehow understand that the first more thrash albums have been left out (although it would have been a quite interesting experience to see some of the songs newly interpreted), where are the also quite fantastic contributions from Sophisticated and Uneven.

What’s left is something which eventually sounds more like a showcase than a concert, with the highlights being a tight version of Tidal from last year’s album, and of course the two old tracks, where especially These Empty Places proves seventeen years after its inception that it’s still one of the best prog metal songs ever, with a dynamic momentum Fates Warning would have been proud of.

Playgrounds is an ok live document, but so much less than this band could have been capable of. Their fans have a right to expect more of this band that has been pioneering prog metal nearly all by itself in Germany.

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