Sieges Even

Sieges Even
Arno Menses (Vocals), Oliver Holzwarth (Bass Coldseed, Power Quest, Blind Guardian, ex-Paradox (GER), ex-Demons And Wizards), Alex Holzwarth (Drums Dol Ammad, Rhapsody Of Fire, ex-Blind Guardian, ex-Angra, ex-Paradox (GER), ex-Avantasia), Markus Steffen (Guitar), Börk Keller (Keyboard), Wolfgang Zenk (Guitar), Greg Keller (Vocals), Jogi Kaiser (Vocals), Markus Burchert (Guitar), Franz Herde (Vocals)

The story begins in the 80's when guitar player Markus Steffen and bass player Oliver Holzwarth founded their first band in Munich, Germany.

With the addition of Oliver's brother, Alex (drums) and singer Franz Herde, SIEGES EVEN were born in 1985. The following year the group cut its first demo, "Symphonies of Steel" and three more demos followed up to 1988: "Apocalyptic Disposition", "Violent Alterations" and "Repression and Resistance". This latter 4-track-demo called the attention of producer Kalle Trapp and German record label SPV to which SIEGES EVEN finally got signed.

At Kalle Trapp's 'Karo-Studio', Munster, the group started recording its debut "Life Cycle" in the spring of 1988. The outcome was a very rough and energetic sound, a unique hybrid of technical thrash metal, progressive rock and complex jazz fusion.

The comparison with Watchtower was unavoidable and this contributed to the band's rising popularity. After the release of their debut and the positive feedback, SIEGES EVEN instantly began writing new music for a second album. In March/April 1990, the band started recording "Steps" at 'Lakeside-Studios' in Utting nearby Munich, with a different producer this time, Charlie Bauerfeind.

The album featured intricate guitar riffs, rapid-fire sledgehammer rhythms and abrupt mid-tempo breaks, but in a more sophisticated way than the debut, showing the band was evolving. Again, the response from the press was more than positive, but the band was worried with the live situation, as opportunities during those years were rare.

However, a highlight in the bands history was the show in the German city Verl in 1991, where SIEGES EVEN were the support act for the US band PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. In 1991, the band enters the studio to record "A Sense of Change" with the same producer.

This was the perfect title for their most 'mature' album to date. It was indeed a big change in the band's sound and song writing, featuring influences from 80's Rush, while the guitar work was cleaner and based more on melodic chords and solos.

Unexpectedly, Franz Herde left the band during the recording sessions. After 3 months of searching and recording material with a US female vocalist, SIEGES EVEN picked the unknown Jogi Kaiser, who recorded all of the songs in 3 days! His jazzy and clear voice was a perfect match to the novel sound of the new album. After playing their last show in Wiesbaden in the summer of 1992, Markus Steffen decided to leave the band for personal reasons.

From that point, Oliver and Alex continued with SIEGES EVEN, while Markus pursued a modern classical guitar path, recording Unsheltered Places and writing a book on the guitar in 1999. In the meanwhile, - under a different label, but with the same producer - SIEGES EVEN recorded "Sophisticated" in 1995 and "Uneven" in 1997, yet another move towards a more metal/fusion sound with complex rhythms and angular shred guitar.

New members, Wolfgank Zenk (guitars) Bjorg Keller (keyboards - Uneven) and Greg Keller (vocals) contributed much to this sound change. In the following years, and while SIEGES EVEN remained inactive, the Holzwarth brothers gained a lot of live experience touring with Emerson, Lake and Palmer and, furthermore, being recruited by internationally acclaimed bands, such as Blind Guardian (Oliver) and Rhapsody (Alex). However, the feeling that something was missing and a simple phone call were meant to bring Alex, Oliver and Markus together again.

After 6 years, in the summer of 1999, they met at their first rehearsal, without having heard anything or played with each other. They wrote a first track called "Equinox" and decided to carry on as a new band under the name LOOKING-GLASS-SELF, feeling that they were lacking the chemistry.

The problem with the vocals was initially solved with the addition of Andre Matos (Angra) and their first promo "Equinox" was released, containing four tracks: "Equinox", "Stigmata", "Footprints of Angels" and "The Valparaiso Dreaming". Andre Matos never became a full member, as he was participating in many bands and solo efforts, thus, the band kept on composing and searching for a permanent singer. Almost two years later, Arno Menses, originally a drummer with a lot of backing-vocal experience, became the lead singer, and in January 2003, the band entered the studio to record the vocals for two new tracks, "The Lonely Views of Condors" and "Were Our Shadows Sleep", already recorded a year before.

The band continued under a new name: VAL'PARAISO. After a short period of time, the band felt that the new material was showing all the typical SIEGES EVEN characteristics and the 'reunion' under the SIEGES EVEN name was a fact.

The first reunion show was held in April 2004 at the Headway Festival in Amstelveen, NL, followed by their first gig in 7 years in Frankfurt, Germany (October 2004). Their new album "The Art of Navigating by the Stars" was released in September 2005 under Inside Out label, co-produced by the band and Uwe Lulis.

The coming of Arno Menses brought many lyrical elements, which, combined with the trio's chemistry in songwriting, produced a modern melodic technical progressive rock/metal album, different from anything they had produced in the past. The new record received global recognition, confirming their dynamic comeback in discography after 8 years.

The successful formula of this record seems to have been applied to "Paramount", the second effort with Arno Menses, released in September 2007, co-produced by the band and Kristian Kohlmannslehner. ''Playgrounds'' was the first and only live album that Sieges Even released in 2008 as in the summer of the same year the band decided to split due to internal differences. Markus Steffen and Arno Menses formed the band SUBSIGNAL, while the Holzwarth brothers formed the band BRUTAL GODZ. Sieges Even remain to date as one of the most important acts of the German and European progressive metal scene, with their albums ''A Sense of Change'' and ''The Art of Navigating by the Stars'' receiving, not unjustifiably, critical acclaim..

German progressive metal band Sieges Even formed in Munich in 1985, originally comprising singer Franz Herde, guitarist Markus Steffen, bassist Oliver Holzwarth and his drummer brother Alex. The following year the group cut its first demo, Symphonies of Steel, trailed in 1987 by Bootleg-Cassette; three more demos -- Apocalyptic Disposition, Violent Alterations and Repression and Resistance -- appeared before Sieges Even signed with Steamhammer to make their official debut with 1988's Life Cycle. In the wake of 1990's Steps, Herde left the lineup, and was replaced by singer Jogi Kaiser for 1991's A Sense of Change. Both Kaiser and Steffen soon exited Sieges Even, with their next LP Sophisticated -- recorded with new frontman Greg Keller and guitarist Wolfgang Zenk -- not appearing until 1995; Uneven followed two years later and was the group's swan song, with Steffen and the Holzwarth brothers later reuniting in Looking-Glass Self. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi.

Progressive metal band from Munich, Germany.