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VUUR: In This Moment We Are Free - Cities

Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen has become one of my favourite singers in the prog metal scene. She was the lead vocalist of The Gathering from 1995 to 2007 and has worked with a number of artists since including Ayreon, Devin Townsend and Anathema. She also has five solo albums and most recently collaborated with Arjen Lucassen on The Gentle Storm project. Her latest endeavor is VUUR, a prog metal band featuring Ed Warby (drums) and Johan van Stratum (bass), both having played on The Gentle Storm disc, as well as Ferry Duijsens (guitar) and Jord Otto (guitar).

For those of you wishing for Anneke to get back to her heavier roots, In This Moment We Are Free will be a fine listen indeed. First and foremost are the lead vocals which of course are as heavenly as we would expect them to be. Whether she sings in a high or mid-range register Anneke nails the vocals in every track starting with the album opening "My Champion Berlin". The guitar crunch begins early and often with a catchy riff progression and a hard driving sound. That said there is also an underlying moodiness, the use of layered guitars does a nice job replacing a keyboard sound which is not really missed at all. The calmer parts are interwoven with crashing chords overlaid with Anneke's lovely vocals. The heavy riffage continues with the hefty "Time Rotterdam", again featuring some nice changes of pace and soaring vocals. On the melodic "The Martyr And The Saint Beirut" the fiery neoclassical shredding flows beautifully while the vocal arrangement on the earworm inducing "The Fire San Francisco" is on full display as Anneke's harmonizing backing vocals are pure ear candy. The tasty acoustic and electric guitar in "Freedom Rio" and the dramatic "Days Go By London" are more highlights.

In This Moment We Are Free Cities is heavy, catchy and really quite memorable. If you are into heavier musical forms I strongly urge to give this one a try. If you are a fan of Anneke, well, nothing else needs to be said.

An Inside Out Music release.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing:
1. My Champion Berlin
2. Time Rotterdam
3. The Martyr And The Saint Beirut
4. The Fire San Francisco
5. Freedom Rio
6. Days Go By London
7. Sail Away Santiago
8. Valley Of Diamonds Mexico City
9. Your Glorious Light Will Shine Helsinki
10. Save Me Istanbul
11. Reunite! Paris

Added: November 4th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 793
Language: english

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VUUR: In This Moment We Are Free - Cities
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-11-04 07:38:38
My Score:

From the opening riff-o-rama blast of "My Champion-Berlin", it's immediately apparent that ex-The Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen's new band VUUR is set to take the singer back into heavier waters once again. In This Moment We Are Free-Cities is an 11 track affair of brooding heavy metal and atmospheric rock, Anneke's soaring vocals in fine form as always (let's face, she doesn't get enough credit for spearheading the whole 'female as metal' vocalist thing) as she leads her talented new band through some truly thrilling material. "Rotterdam" is equally as crunchy, Ferry Duijsens & Jord Otto's guitars massive, while the lighthearted prog-rock touch adds a melodic element to "The Fire-San Francisco", "Freedom-Rio", and "Days Go By-London". Some of the more moody, atmospheric tracks, such as "Valley of Diamonds-Mexico City" and "Your Glorious Light Will Shine-Helsinki" really show off the majesty of Anneke's vocal talents...honestly, she's never sounded better, and though the singer really impressed on The Gentle Storm release and her more recent solo output, it's this return to heavier music that is really where she excels at. "Save Me-Istanbul" might be the most impressive song here, a prog-metal gem jam packed with ethnic influences and Anneke's just shooting her voice to the heavens. Wonderful stuff.

VUUR have just released one of the more impressive outings by a new band here in 2017. Welcome back to crushing metal Anneke!

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