Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

anneke van giersbergen

CD review VUUR “In This Moment We Are Free – Cities”

Veröffentlicht am 18. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Vuur, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Rock, News, CD Review, Inside Out Music, Anneke van Giersbergen

CD review VUUR “In This Moment We Are Free – Cities”

(7/10) The announcement of Vuur was a moment that immediately rose some expectations, knowing that the band members belong to the ‘who is who’ of Dutch rock and metal. So who’s on fire at Vuur. The band is the brainchild of former The Gathering singer Anneke van Giersbergen who teamed-up with Dutch drum icon Ed Warby (Hai Of Bullets, Ayreon and ex-Gorefest), Jord Otto (ex-Revamp), Johan van Stratum (Stream Of Passion) and Ferry Duijsens. Next to these excellent musicians it was Joost den Broek at the helm, providing the debut with a nuanced and powerful sound – all good preconditions for a successful release.

Van Giersbergen started Vuur next to The Gentle Storm, mainly based on a slightly different sound. “In This Moment We Are Free – Cities” is a bit darker and partly heavier than what we know from The Gentle Storm. This expression is based on Van Giersbergen’s ambition to differentiate, an endeavor that was also well supported by co-songwriters. Mark Holcomb (Periphery), Esa Holopainen (Amorphis), Daniel Cardoso (Anathema) and Vuur’s guitar dou has been part of a creation of songs that  follow a certain overarching theme.

“In This Moment We Are Free – Cities” is about bigger cities and the freedom connected to them. But it’s also about the flipside of this liberty which is anonymity. Each of the eleven tunes on the album addresses the topic from the viewpoint of another metropolitan area – from Berlin via Rotterdam and Rio to San Francisco.

This acoustic world trip is an excellent idea, also providing opportunities when it comes to sound and expression of each of the songs. It is an open invitation to experiment a bit more than usual. But here comes the weak spot of the album. Besides all the technical finesse and capabilities of everybody involved “In This Moment We Are Free – Cities” misses the highlights. After having heard the first tracks you can easily get the idea of a repetition, not when it comes to the details - more from a general perspective. It feels like a missed opportunity of not making use of musical inspiration provided by the different cities/regions being connected to each of the tracks. It’s these arcs of tension that are missing. All the right ingredients are there and they are all put together in a good fashion, but it’s the pepper that’s missing. Somethings that spices-up things and adds the final touch.

In that sense, “In This Moment We Are Free – Cities” is a good album, done by highly experienced musicians. No doubt. It’s a bit like the sleeping giant that opened up one eye first. Imagine how things would be if the giant would unveil the entire power and potential.





  1. My Champion – Berlin
  2. Time – Rotterdam
  3. The Martyr and the Saint – Beirut
  4. The Fire – San Francisco
  5. Freedom – Rio
  6. Days Gone By – London
  7. Sail Away – Santiago
  8. Valley of Diamonds – Mexico City
  9. Your Glorious Light Will Shone – Helsinki
  10. Save Me – Istanbul
  11. Reunite! – Paris


Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: October 20st, 2017


CD review THE GENTLE STORM "The diary"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2015 von Markus W. in The Gentle Storm, Arjen Lucassen, Anneke van Giersbergen, Prog Rock, Rock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review

(9/10) When two of Hollands best musicians team-up the result can only be something outstanding. And this happened when multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen and vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen decided to create a fantastic new album called "The diary".

Both musicians know each other already since quite a while. The first cooperation took please many years ago. It was in 1998 when the "Into the electric castle" from Ayreon was released and the same thing happened again ten years later for "01011001". 

Their new project is called The Gentle Storm. "The diary" is the name of the longplayer, that is actually a double CD. Both CDs contain the same songs, just differently arranged. The first disc is called 'storm version' and comes with the more powerful arrangements, while CD 2 is the 'gentle version'. And names are self-explaining. 

"The diary" is a concept album. It is build on a story of a sailor that starts a two years journey, leaving his wife back in Holland. Since the story takes place in the seventeenth century the only way to keep contact was sending letters. It's those writings that are the center of the story.

The songs are all brilliant. It's not metal and it's not prog. It is soulful rock music that, if you close your eyes, starts a movie about the two protagonists. Both CD's are mainly acoustic and Lucassen experimented with a lot of different acoustic instruments - around 40 in total. This includes also orchestrated parts that add another moment of tension to each song. The same goes for the embedded folk elements with string sections which are spot-on.

Tunes like the melodic "Shores of Inda" or the outstanding "Haert of Amsterdam" are musical pearls that offer so many details that you can listen to them again and again and again. The 'heaviest' track on the album is probabaly "The storm". Of course, a song with such a title can't be a ballad. It comes with a quite dynamic guitar and the tune spreads a gloomy atmosphere. 

It took a year to make this longplayer and it was very well invested time. The result is  a marvelous sonic journey into a moment long ago. 

I can recommend this diverse and intense album. This is music on a very high level that you should not miss.





CD 1: (Storm version)

  1. Endless sea
  2. Heart of Amsterdam
  3. The greatest love
  4. Shores of India
  5. Cape of storms
  6. The moment
  7. The storm
  8. Eyes of Michiel
  9. Brightest light
  10. New horizons
  11. Epilogue: The final entry

CD 2: (Gentle version)

  1. Endless sea
  2. Heart of Amsterdam
  3. The greatest love
  4. Shores of India
  5. Cape of storms
  6. The moment
  7. The storm
  8. Eyes of Michiel
  9. Brightest light
  10. New horizons
  11. Epilogue: The final entry


Label: InsideOut Records

Genre: Rock

CD review THE GENTLE STORM "The diary"

First lyric video from THE GENTLE STORM

Veröffentlicht am 22. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in The Gentle Storm, Arjen Lucassen, Anneke van Giersbergen, Prog Rock, Rock, Classic Rock, News, Video

Arjen Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen started a project called The Gentle Storm. The iconic musicians from The Netherlands have worked together and produced and album called "The diary".

A first song of this album is published. The track is called "Endless sea" a lyric video can be watched.

Both musicians comment: “Endless Sea is the album opener and it serves as an introduction to our story-based album. Susanne, the main character, sings about her husband Joseph, who has just sailed out on another long voyage to the Far East. We are very excited to offer everybody a first taste of our forthcoming album with the release of these lyric videos. This is such a special album to the both us."

Furthermore the band will also play some accoustic dates in a few cities:

February 17 2015 - Planetarium, Budapest HU

February 18 2015 - Bronx, Istanbul TR

February 19 2015 - Hard Rock Cafe, Bucharest RO

February 20 2015 - Modern Theatre, Sofia BU

February 21 2015 - Traffic Club, Rome

February 22 2015 - K17, Berlin DE

February 23 2015 - Nosturi, Helsinki FI

February 25 2015 - Lo-Fi, Milan IT

February 26 2015 - Locomotive, Bologna IT

February 27 2015 - Hybrydy, Warsaw, PL

February 28 2015 - Pod Minoga, Poznan PL


And there will be some more dates in the full line-up (unfortunately with Arjen Lucassen):

March 26 2015 - Melkweg, Amsterdam NL

March 28 2015 - ROCK ITtervoort Festival, Ittervoort NL

April 03 2015 - Hedon, Zwolle NL

April 03-05 2015 - Paaspop, Schijndel NL

April 11 2015 - Paard van Troje, Den Haag NL

April 15 2015 - Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg DE

April 16 2015 - Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen DE

April 22 2015 - Divan Du Monde, Paris FR

April 23 2015 - The Garage, London UK

April 24 2015 - The Musician, Leicester UK

April 25 2015 - The Roadhouse, Manchester UK

April 26 2015 - Prog-résiste Convention, Soignies BE

June 19 2015 - Dokk’em Open Air, Dokkum NL

July 09 2015 - Masters of Rock, Vizovice CZ

July 30-Aug 01 - Wacken Open Air, Wacken DE


First lyric video from THE GENTLE STORM

1st album details from the upcoming LIV KRISTINE

Veröffentlicht am 19. August 2014 von Markus W. in Liv Kristine, Theatre Of Tragedy, Leave's Eye, Anneke van Giersbergen, Kari Rueslatten, Rock, News, Tour

Norwegian metal singer Liv Kristine, known from Leave's Eye and Theatre Of Tragedy, is working on a new album. It will get the name "Vervain" and will be released on October 24 via Napalm Records. The metal lady revealed also the cover of "Vervain".

Furthermore Lic Kristine is plying some shows with two more powerladies - Anneke van Giersbergen and Kari Rueslatten. The shows are under the header "The sirens in concert" and here are the dates:

14.10.2014 GER - Bonn / Harmonie
15.10.2014 FR - Colmar / Le Grillen
16.10.2014 UK - London / Proud
18.10.2014 BE - Wieze / Metal Female Voices Fest
19.10.2014 NL - Oss / De Groene Engel
17.12.2014 NL - Zoetermeer / Boerderij
GER - Jena / F-Haus
GER - Nagold / Alte Seminarturnhalle
20.12.2014 FR - Paris / Divan Du Monde


1st album details from the upcoming LIV KRISTINE