Sieges Even - Steps review


19 users:
Band: Sieges Even
Album: Steps
Release date: 1990

01. Tangerine Windows Of Solace
02. Steps
03. Corridors
04. The Vacuum Tube Processor
05. An Act Of Acquiescence
06. Anthem Chapter I
07. Anthem Chapter II

Sieges Even was a weird band. I have no information on how well spread their music was around the globe at the time, but considering this is a record from 1990 and brimming with ideas that later became sort of trademarks of certain genres, I am inclined to believe everyone who went into the "extreme" side of metal in the '90s was inspired by them.

The whole album doesn't really care about (or purposefully ignores) conventional rhythms, song-defining grooves, or leading threads of melodies; the compositions dance on a very thin line between genius and completely random/bad. Some ideas were explored in the music and some were not - but I think the balance has often been thrown out of the window for sake of edginess or showing off - frequently breaking flow for the sake of silent interludes. These guys (the instrumental section at least, more on the vocals later) are very solid musicians, but that alone does not produce greatness. Biggest problem (for me) with this kind of music is that you don't get the payoffs of a well-crafted passage, because there isn't one: it's like the child's first time in the candy store; he is looking at everything that catches his attention but unable to enjoy anything, or alternatively simply gets diabetes from stuffing his mouth full as soon as there is an opening.

With all that said, there are some really great moments/minutes on this 55-minute record. It first sets sails into a 26-minute long, 7-part epic, showing off the insane complexity/randomness (leaving it up to decide for yourselves) as quickly as possible. Some of the heavier riffs are reminiscent of early Atheist/late-era Death. For me the other highlight would be the first part of the album closer, entitled Anthem - probably their most structured song on of all here. Without reading into any of the lyrics, my impression of the frequent changes overlaid with clean guitar passages and piercing drums kind of invokes a feeling of late-'80s psychological thrillers, mania, and abrupt variations between hope and feeling lost.

The production is very much all right for this style of music; slightly clouded by the myriad of overflowing clean-upon-clean-upon-slightly-over-driven guitar tones - nothing really heavy, but that is kind of a signature for this band. The drum mix is definitely very balanced, and the bass is very much sitting in the same place as on their later successful records. The vocalist's higher register is not quite there in the sweet spot, and when he's jumping between high and low notes can be quite a nightmare (the verse of the song Corridors would be a prime example of this). To his credit, though, compared to what can be heard on what is often cited as their masterpiece/follow-up, A Sense Of Change, Franz Herde's voice is still nowhere so nasal as Jogi Kaiser's. One could argue tone over technique, but looking at this objectively they had an upgrade later on.

Oh yes, this was my first listen to the record. For me it falls around 7, but to say it's average couldn't be farther from truth. Rather it's to satiate a very peculiar taste. One thing is for sure: Steps will never ever get old for anyone.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: -
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by qlacs | 08.11.2018


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 10 users
13.11.2018 - 17:07
Bad English
Nice intro, its hard to tell how they spred info back in the days, but today seems we have better, internet, well yes who cares that we download, small bands did not get rich and money even in 90's and manowariors, mania roaders and specially they fans can say grunge killed metal, well maybe but interenet brought it back from the grave and gave better oportunities for small bands!
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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