Sieges Even
A Sense of Change


4.0
excellent

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
September 1st, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A taste of Germany's finest

Sieges Even is a band that has stayed in obscurity for a considerably long time. Formed in Germany during the early 80’s, under the affection of prog metal giants like Fates Warning, Queensryche and the supersonic heroes Watchtower, Sieges Even entered the new decade of 90’s with the very promising Steps, an album that showed a technically flawless band striving to shape their sound. A year later, the band introduced us to what many call their masterpiece, A sense of Change. We are one year away from Images and words, and as the album’s name subtly proclaims a change is about to happen.

The so-called progressive rock could have easily been declared long dead, but for the sake of each newfound metalhead who delightfully ***s his pants by listening odd time signatures in an extra heavy Gojira song, or proudly states that he joyfully listens to Meshuggah as a breakfast background, bands like Sieges Even paved the way for technicality to be acknowledged in the way it is today. The fact that bands started to face it not like a mean to an end , but an end itself, is another long story which happens to concern musicians and critics alike. Siegen Even directly stand on this thin line. They seem to have things to tell, and also have the way of telling them, but somewhere along the way they happen to miss that train.

Excellently performed, and adequately produced, A Sense of Change is a great progressive album with many redeeming features. We are introduced to a furious yet delicate musical experience right from the slightly spacey "Prelude: Ode to Sisyphus". Melodies and smart riffing keep swirling with a labyrinthine sense, engrafted with soulful solos, which are usually strategically placed. The rhythm section consisting of the Holzwarth brothers is truly solid and stands as the bands biggest advantage. Detailed, clear and well produced, the drum and bass sound successfully sets the scene for the equally splendid guitar work. Truly well executed and at times even great, usually when the acoustic guitar lines come up, adding to the whole sound. All of these can be heard in the epic "Dimensions”, a song which summarizes the album pretty well. Jorgi Kaiser’s voice is deeply expressive, and his accent is a bit strange, however his performance is way above average. The lyrics are also interesting enough, dealing with several questions and philosophical problems (Jorgi used to study philosophy).They are simply written, with no exaggerated sophistication, and straightforwardly deliver the wanted meaning or engrossment. A honorable mention, the delicate “Change of Seasons”, is a classical piece, mostly written by Steffen, with great guitar and violin arrangements, shrouded by a vision of innocence and hope.

However, even with all these virtues, A Sense of Change somehow fails to be a classic album, with the same way Fates Warning failed with Perfect Symmetry. The album has a truly cold feeling that can be sensed from a first time listener to the most trained ear. The flawlessly executed pieces, seem incapable of delivering those emotions that otherwise simpler song structures could deliver. The turgid passages are common here, but they usually don’t climax in a way the listener would cherish the songs. The production is heavily shorn, letting the 3 main instruments to form a quite frigid atmosphere. This approach leaves otherwise great melodies to “die” quite quickly, while in the first place it seems impossible to find a memorable riff here. All in all, although the impressing songwriting, it’s difficult to relate to the music, because the album neither conjures up emotion , nor focuses on strong melodies. Great moments seem sacrificed and the album’s lacking the power a metal act should have.

Taking everything into an account, A Sense of Change, despite it’s cold nature, still manages to be one of the best progressive albums of the 90’s.Its’ musical superiority in terms of complexity is remarkable while the band’s playing seems extremely solid and well worked.

“Tenacity and acumen are privileged spectators of this inhuman show, in which absurdity, hope and death carry on their dialogue”

A quote by Albert Camus in the booklet of the album, ironically enough portrays the very essence of their work: Sieges Even, created a wonderful piece of art with rare tenacity, able to stand against time. Having the acumen to recognize the Sisyphean road laid ahead of them, their stance shows integrity and modesty with the most sincere way. All this time hiding in the shadows , they deserve to take a step back and admire what they’ve accomplished.



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2010


15981 Comments


in order to make the italics work, the last bracket should be [/i]

like this

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

scissorlocked
September 1st 2010


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes I found outthat mistake!!

gonna fix this right now,thanks bro

scissorlocked
September 1st 2010


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

at last fixed!!

I thought that this album desperately needed a review,and not many sputnikers know about this band,so I tried as I could

constructed criticism is welcome



Jethro42
September 1st 2010


12438 Comments


Excellent work on the review dude. I only own 'The Art of Navigating' and while great, album is also (like you said) lacking the power a metal act should have.

scissorlocked
September 1st 2010


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks a lot Jethro!!!

yeah I know, it's still a bit bitter record,however I enjoy "the Art of.." more than this.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Congrats for your review. This record definitely needed one.


a few minor typos:

philosophical problems(Jorgi used to study philosophy)

separate the word "problems" from the parenthesis.


meaning or engrossment . A honorable mention

omit the spacing before the period.


Jorgi Kaiser’s voice is deeply expressive , and his

omit the spacing before the comma.


it’s quite difficult to identify with the music

to relate to the music.




Some constructive criticism to a terrifically written review (Pos'd):

In the third paragraph, you write about the guitar solos being soulful (Melodies and smart riffing keep swirling with a labyrinthine sense, engrafted with soulful solos), and that the lyrics of Jorgi are deeply expressive (Jorgi Kaiser’s voice is deeply expressive).

But in the fourth paragraph you say that the album transmits a cold feeling overall.

There is an unintended controversy here, in my humble opinion.

Having listened to the record numerous times as you did, i would say that there is an oscillating balance around the following:

a)the soulful/warm voice of Jorgi and the truly emotional electro-acoustic lead guitars (there is no guitar distortion in this record, you don't write that in the review).

b) the rhythm electro-acoustic guitars ,which are equally soulful and "cold".

and c) the flawlessly executed rhythm section, which is indeed "cold".

Adding also the extreme complexity of the song structures (listening to the songs is nearly a spiritual experience, but they are not memorable) and we have an inaccessible gordian knotted record, on one hand, but also a highly attractive/mesmerizing one, on the other.

The record, while highly complex, is "warm" one moment and "cold" the other, as all people in their natural lives.

This is the band's great achievement in this record.



Keep up the good work, mate.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

scissorlocked
September 2nd 2010


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you Voivod!!You must have read the review very carefully!!

I get your point,and I agree that I may controvert up to a point,specially because of the words I chose(soulful,expressive)

I suppose I just wanted the band to amplify some moments,cause there are truly great ideas here

your approach on the sound of the album is very interesting

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sieges Even are one of my favorite bands.

This record is monumental.




jrowa001
September 2nd 2010


8750 Comments


i havent heard anything by this band prior to TAoNBtS

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This does not resemble TAoNBtS by any means.

Here the lyricism, the songwriting complexity, everything is going red.

This record is highly demanding, but it's highly recommended to everyone who's fond of progressive rock/metal in general.

jrowa001
September 2nd 2010


8750 Comments


cool i will give it a shot. i love their last two albums (not counting Playgrounds) so ive been meaning to listen to their prior stuff

lostforwords
March 19th 2012


446 Comments


Well, I was just listening to "The Art..." and I remembered how great this record is. Although I've always been a bigger fan of the misty "Steps".

Change of seasons is my favorite here.
Btw, very good review

KILL
October 15th 2012


71796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so much rush

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


20662 Comments


Gotta check this.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

KILL
February 2nd 2013


71796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

always ALWAYS always lies a sense of chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaange


DrHouseSchuldiner
May 9th 2013


5643 Comments


Well Kill and Sonic have this album at 4 so i need to check out tonight !

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 9th 2013


5643 Comments


Im prog addict so dl'ing whole discog ... but i will start with debut today!

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 12th 2013


5643 Comments


This is amazing ....awesome band/album !!

ksoflas
August 7th 2013


389 Comments


Great review.
Pos'd.

Geadom
September 26th 2013


2812 Comments


this album is beautiful. POS



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