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(Inside Out Music)
Release Date: September 23rd 2013

Michael Foley

michael foley

anneke van geirsbergen

Since her departure from Dutch prog-Metal outfit The Gathering back in 2007, Anneke Van Giersbergen has pursued a hard working musical journey, including guest appearances with Anathema and Within Temptation. Despite such notable cameos, her main focus has been her solo work, in partnership with her hubby the drummer Rob Snijders initially using the monicker Agua de Anique and now under her own name.

'Drive' is her fourth studio album, and from opener 'We Live On' through to the final notes of 'The Best Is Yet To Come' proves to be her most accessible work to date. It's the usual mix of sensitive ballads and rock tunes, but this time with an added pop sheen.

Now this might be a real turn off for some folk, although if like this pop-tart, you can appreciate ABBA as much as Alter Bridge, then you'll love this album for its mix of pop sensibilities with rock instrumentation.

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This approach is no better demonstrated than on the first two tracks 'We Live On' and 'Treat Me Like A Lady'. Both tunes are fine examples of what used to be called power-pop, especially the latter song which marries an instantly memorable melody with intelligent lyrics. Rock ballad 'She' keeps up the quality, and then unfortunately things take a dive with the title song, which is the kind of clichéd piece that 12-year-olds could enjoy. It boasts a refrain of "Aye aye ah aye oh" which is all one needs to know.

Thank heavens for the CD player's skip button, for that takes us to what I regard as a real highlight of the album, 'My Mother Said'. It's a beautifully sung piano based ballad, which paints an evocative picture of parent and child love. If this was an Adele song it would be all over the radio.

There is one song on 'Drive' that strays from the commercial groove and it's called ' Mental Jungle'. This track blends Asian/Arabic sounds with traditional Metal instrumentation and this clashing of cultures makes for an exhilarating listen.


The quality of the songwriting on this album would be sadly wasted if the performances were not up to scratch and luckily they are superb. The quality of playing, from her regular touring band, is top notch, and packed with feeling. This is, in no small part, due to the fact that this album was recorded, in the main, live in the studio, with the musicians interacting together. This makes a refreshing change from the sterile nature of much modern music where each player emails in his part from some far flung studio and makes for an album with a nice organic groove. Producer Arno Krabman deserves much credit too, for capturing these natural sounds.

Anneke herself is blessed with a truly lovely voice, and is able to mix purity of tone with ballsiness. These qualities enhance the best songs here, and save the weaker tracks from mediocraty.

Overall, apart from a couple of clunkers, the songs on 'Drive' are enjoyably catchy, with much to enjoy both musically and lyrically. It's not a heavy album, filled with big statements, and that's no bad thing. There is a place for serious music that tackles big issues, but there's also a need for albums that just makes the listener feel good, and 'Drive' is exactly that kind of record.

It's not an album that'll be played every week, but when the depression hits hard and the mood needs lifting, 'Drive' is definitely an album that's going to be returned to. It ain't perfect, but it's damned enjoyable and fully deserves the number of pints imbibed by yours truly while writing this. Four pints please, stout yeoman of the bar!

Track Listing:
1 We Live On (03:41)
2 Treat Me Like A Lady (04:00)
3 She (03:08)
4 Drive (03:43)
5 My Mother Said (03:21)
6 Forgive Me (03:11)
7 You Will Never Change (04:03)
8 Mental Jungle (03:44)
9 Shooting For The Stars (04:33)
10 The Best Is Yet To Come (04:04)

Anneke van Giersbergen - vocals, guitar
Gijs Coolen – guitar
Ferry Duijsens – guitar
Joost van Haaren – bass
Annelies Kuijsters - keyboards, backing vocals
Rob Snijders - drums





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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