Sieges Even - 2005 The Art Of Navigating By The Stars

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ARTIST: Sieges Even
ALBUM: The Art Of Navigating By The Stars
LABEL: Inside Out Music
SERIAL: IOMCD 225
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Arno Menses - vocals * Markus Steffen - guitars * Oliver Holzwarth - bass * Alex Holzwarth - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro: Navigating By The Stars * 02 Sequence I: The Weight * 03 Sequence II: The Lonely Views Of Condors * 04 Sequence III: Unbreakable * 05 Sequence IV: Stigmata * 06 Sequence V: Blue Wide Open * 07 Sequence VI: To The Ones Who Have Failed * 08 Sequence VII: Lighthouse * 09 Sequence VIII: Styx

RATING: image

Background

Pure prog candy. Back in the 90's, Sieges Even were a band struggling to find its fanbase - it didn't help that founding member Markus had to bail out in '92 and that they could never settle with a convincing singer.

In '97 they split up, but thankfully they reformed and found their defining frontman Arno Menses in a fairytale manner - he had previously never sung professionally before, but was encouraged by his wife to send in demos to the band members because he was the biggest fan of Sieges Even prior to their breaking up.

The Holzwarth brothers and Steffen loved it, and he became a member of a lineup that wrote one of my favourite prog albums.

The Songs

After the generic 'Babies Crying' intro, we rush in straight into the surrealistically picturesque 'The Weight'. Quite a dark track, and as a relief and counterweight to it, the second album 'sequence' is the dreamiest song I'd ever heard, with lyrics fit for a disheartened idealist's manifesto. This idealist, however, is still holding on steadfastly to his beliefs.

'Unbreakable' is painfully personal, slow, almost awkwardly emotional, and 'Stigmata' is as sparkly and fresh as a summer sunset after a hailstorm.

'Blue Wide Open' brings to mind the heat and vast open space of Mediterranean landscapes, almost like a companion piece to a great old Serbian romantic poem that recalls a moment of tranquility in the purple, hot, summer noon near a great water.

'To The Ones Who Have Failed' is evocative and strangely comforting, and 'Lighthouse' just knocks it out of the park with the uplifting feeling of common beauties of life that are in our reach that only music can allude to.

'Styx' is a beast of a song, somewhat reminiscent of 'Stigmata' earlier on, full of changes and intricacy and surprise twists, and an apt closer.

In Summary

If you want to listen to something thematic, atmospheric, uplifting, touching; something that sounds like Rush that grew up on a steady diet of art rock in the 90's and fronted by Steve Walsh if he were an AOR singer with a penchant for Yes-like vocal harmonies, this album is your best bet.


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