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Sieges Even - "Playgrounds" (CD)

Sieges Even  - "Playgrounds" CD cover image

"Playgrounds" track listing:

1. When Alpha and Omega Collide (5:34)
2. Tidal (4:22)
3. Unbreakable (9:32)
4. The Waking Hours (4:55)
5. Iconic (5:03)
6. These Empty Places (9:07)
7. Duende (5:10)
8. Paramount (8:14)
9. The Lonely Views of Condors (6:44)
10. The Weight (11:09)

Reviewed by on February 3, 2009

"The musicians of Sieges Even don’t flaunt their talents with non-stop solos, but instead craft wonderful songs with each member playing an essential role in the song development."

Progressive music is found in a wide range of genres and all over the world. Sieges Even is a prog band from Germany who has been around since the late 80’s. “Playgrounds” is a live album, and while that may turn many off, it is not like many other live albums out there as the sound quality is amazing from start to finish. I would not classify Sieges Even as a “heavy metal” band, but they definitely incorporate hard rock elements into their music as other prog bands have done, such as Porcupine Tree. Their sound is more closely linked with the 70’s prog bands like Yes or Pink Floyd. The singer, Arno Menses, has a great voice for this prog band. He is similar to the vocalist of Dream Theater, but with a lower voice that provides much more tolerable vocals. Each member in the four person act has lots of talent and each track shows it. The musicians of Sieges Even don’t flaunt their talents with non-stop solos, but instead craft wonderful songs with each member playing an essential role in the song development.

The first track “When Alpha And Omega Collide” is a galloping hit and a perfect song to get a crowd going. The music is energy filled and the lyrics are thoughtful and delivered perfectly. The track “Tidal” is a catchy prog tune that has a Marillion feel to it. “Unbreakable” is an epic song with a strong 80’s prog influence, which again gives the singer’s vocal abilities the opportunity to shine. One of the highlights on “Playgrounds” is the track “These Empty Places,” which has a strong Yes vibe to it. With “These Empty Places” clocking in around nine minutes it has everything a prog fan would want as far odd time signatures, guitar solos, and impressive drumming.

Through and through “Playgrounds” is impressive. Sieges Even hasn’t received as much notice as other prog giants, but the band has paid tribute to progressive music in general by incorporating elements of many early prog bands. I think the best way to describe this band would be a mix of Yes and Marillion with some added heaviness, although they make their sound their own. Fans of Kansas would probably also enjoy “Playgrounds.” Those who mostly follow the death metal or black metal scene shouldn’t bother to check the band out, but fans of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, or Riverside may want to give them a listen. Sieges Even may seem to speak to an older generation but they have enough to impress and satisfy the modern prog fan as well.

Highs: They provide a nice blend of early 70's prog elements with a slight heavy twist

Lows: Some tracks don't seem to have a lasting listening appeal

Bottom line: If you enjoy bands like Yes and Marillion then give this band a try.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)