Released: 2007, Inside Out Music
Sieges Even is a unique band because of their ability to walk a tightrope between prog rock and prog metal so delicately. While they are certainly more of a prog rock band, they avoid that genre’s predominant pitfall, i.e. sounding too much a remnant of the seventies with tons of stock seventies keyboard sounds and such, and by doing so they finish with an album of music that is as current sounding as it is reminiscent of the great landmarks of artful rock. PARAMOUNT, their most recent effort proves to be a crowning jewel of progressive music, focusing on dynamics and song craft rather than frivolous wankery.
A song like “Tidal” showcases a band who can take the beautiful melodies and harmonies from the best days of the band Yes and throw them together with riffs reminiscent of Dream Theater’s OCTAVARIUM album, ultimately arriving at a perfect song that is somehow uniquely their own. Following on the footsteps of this great track comes a different, softer side of the band in “Eyes Wide Open.” With verses that strongly resemble the beautiful blend of clean guitars and sweet vocals of the early days of Steve Hogarth’s reign in Marillion and a powerful, hook laden chorus, this track is a masterpiece. With “Iconic” they arrive at something musically that is as close to contemporary Rush as you could get, finding progressions in brilliant layers of instruments and perfect melodies. Even when dabbling with modern sounds and approaches, such as the darker, synthesizer parts of “Duende” and the brief electronics that kick off “Bridge to the Divine,” they always arrive at something that is sonically interesting. When they get experimental, as they do with “Mounting Castles in the Blood Red Sky” that uses only sound clips from Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech as the only spoken words, they still make a solid impact. You never know what to expect throughout the entire journey, especially in the brilliant conceptual title track that features darker elements of recent Fates Warning efforts before highlighting a saxophone solo that seems to come out of nowhere but works perfectly.
What makes PARAMOUNT succeed where so many other of their progressive music piers fail is that the songs themselves are unique and memorable. Everyone in the band can obviously play his instrument expertly, which is certainly highlighted throughout the album, but this fact is never exploited at the expense of a song’s central theme and direction. All of the songs have dynamic edges, big harmonies, and imprinting melodies. Wrapped in a flawless production, Sieges Even has offered a testament to progressive music that will please fans of King Crimson as easily as fans of Dream Theater and fans of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer as easily as fans of Pain of Salvation.