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13th September 2017

andy rawll
Words: Andy Rawll


With an ever-expanding CV of collaborations, from Icelandic ambient folk Árstíði to transcendental Metal with Devin Townsend, Anneke van Giersbergen's latest project offers a return to the heavier sound of some of her early work with The Gathering, but with the contemporary progressive twist unfurled with The Gentle Storm.

The new band name, Vuur, couldn't have been better chosen, given that it translates as fire, passion or drive, which perfectly describe the dense, powerful and melodic sound of their debut album, 'In This Moment We Are Free – Cities', released on InsideOut Records on 20th October.


Full tracklisting:
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

Anneke is keen to emphasise that this is as much as live band as it is a studio project, with the planned setlist for the forthcoming Vuur tour dates encompassing both new songs as well as catalogue favourites that fit the heavier template of the band.

"I will always play songs from The Gathering and Devin Townsend because I love them," she says. "I also know for a fact that people want to hear those songs, so I'll never leave them out. I also have my absolute favourite songs from The Gentle Storm that I will keep playing. We should look at Vuur as my ultimate heavy outlet."


There's also a cohesion to the album, highlighted by the title: 'In This Moment We Are Free - Cities', as Anneke explains:

"The lyrical themes of this album revolve around cities and freedom. Exposure to big cities can be overwhelming and you can feel engulfed by everything around you. At the same time, it's easy to be a stranger in a big city and for me that brings out a feeling of freedom as well.

"This past year I've thought a lot about the virtues of rural versus urban life, since me and my family are moving back to the city. It's very exciting, but at the same time I know that sense of urban solitude from past experiences."

MetalTalk's Andy Rawll met up with Anneke to find out more about how events and circumstances had influenced her ongoing musical journey, in particular how her personal experiences from travelling had fuelled the lyrical content on the new album. Here's the conversation in full:

There is one constant and that is the quality of Anneke's singing. Her lovely rich and expressive voice combines character and raw power in contrast to all those identikit nymph Metal clones with cod-operatic vocals. Just listen to first track on the new album, about which she states:

"This song is about Berlin after World War II. The Goddess on the Berlin Victory Column was raised to commemorate military victories, but in the song the city speaks to her and is asking her for help to overcome troubled times."

By contrast, the song for England, 'Days Go By – London' has a darker, fiery theme (find out more in the interview), yet is equally powered by Tremonti-tight riffs and Kamelot-class searing melodies.

Anneke and Vuur have recently announced that they are teaming up with Scar Symmetry for a short co-headline tour in December. Opening act for these exclusive shows will be My Propane.

7th December: Le Trabendo Paris - France
8th December: Biebob Vosselaar - Belgium
9th December: The Dome London - UK
10th December: Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht - Netherlands

Preceding that, Vuur are the main support for Epica's extensive European tour:

9th November: Klub Studio, Krakow – Poland
10th November: Masters of Rock Café, Zlín - Czech Republic
12th November: Kesselhaus, Berlin – Germany
13th November: Markthalle, Hamburg – Germany
14th November: Essigfabrik, Cologne – Germany
15th November: La BAM, Metz – France
17th November: Stereolux, Nantes – France
18th November: Krakatoa, Bordeaux – France
20th November: La Riviera, Madrid – Spain
24th November: Razzmatazz, Barcelona – Spain
25th November: Le Moulin, Marseille – France
26th November: Le Transbordeur, Lyon – France
29th November: Backstage Werk, Munich – Germany
1st December: Estragon, Bologna – Italy
2nd December: Z7, Pratteln – Switzerland
3rd December: L'Aéronef, Lille - France

Finally, in May 2018, Residentie Orkest in The Hague will host a career-spanning concert with orchestral arrangements.

18th May: 013 Tilburg - Netherlands
19th May: Paard The Hague - Netherlands


Vuur are:
Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) - vocals
Ed Warby (Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, ex-Gorefest) - drums
Jord Otto - guitars (My Propane, ex-ReVamp)
Ferry Duijsens - guitars
Johan van Stratum (Stream of Passion) - bas


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