VUUR is a purely magical experience for fans of The Gathering, Gentle Storm and her work with the incredible Devin Townsend. Anneke van Giersbergen formed VUUR in 2016, Anneke decided for the sake of clarity to narrow her musical focus, choosing to go in an acoustic direction as a solo artist and in a heavy progressive metal direction as a band vocalist. The name VUUR, translated from Dutch as “fire”, can also be interpreted to mean “passion” or “drive”. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing their upcoming album ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’ which is out for release 20/07/17!
VUUR’s full length debut was produced by Joost van den Broek, who was also involved in the writing process. Other co-writing partners are Mark Holcomb (Periphery), Esa Holopainen (Amorphis), Daniel Cardoso (Anathema), and both of VUUR’s guitar players. The lyrical themes of the album revolve around cities and freedom. Here is my journey with VUUR throughout the Cities.
Up first we have the incredible track ‘My Champion – Berlin’. From the first note hit on the guitars you know this song is going to be a body shaker. An extremely catchy riff guaranteed to get your head banging from the start, partnered with the incredible vocals of Anneke it is a song of pure texture. This song combines the heavier styles of music provided though the guitars and drums along with the lighter tones of the melody lines, it is a beautiful song.
We are taken now on a musical journey from Berlin to Rotterdam with the riff-tastic ‘Time – Rotterdam’ which puts me in mind of some of Anneke’s work with the incredible Devin Townsend combining the use of softer vocals with a blend of strength in the fuller sections of the track which enables the vocals to take the listener further into the musical journey with the artist. I love the emotions portrayed in ‘Time – Rotterdam’ as it has elements from both The Gathering and Gentle Storm as well as managing to evoke its own unique sound.
‘The Martyr and The Saint – Beirut’ has once again feels of Anneke’s older work with a unique twist which has managed to provide yet a further emotional sound from this singular track. There are so many elements combining which gives the lyrical content deeper meaning, making this my personal favourite song from the album so far. I love the light are dark elements present throughout the album and how each city is represented through different sounds, its an amazing concept and has been executed to an outstanding level.
Onwards to yet another hauntingly beautiful song with a very different feel ‘The Fire – San Francisco’. The bass provides a heavy background paired with the haunting vocals of this track once again provide something very unique and catchy for the listener whilst being taken on a journey through light and dark with VUUR.
‘Freedom – Rio’ has a lighter element instantly provided both through instrumental content as well as vocally. The listener is taken on a very different journey to its previous tracks which has an almost Paramore – ‘Riot’ feel throughout the drumming, guitar and bass tones present in this track. The harmonies in this track are angelic as well as being almost hypnotic in nature, its yet another beautiful piece of work provided to all who listen.
Overall this is an outstanding album I would highly recommend giving a listen to, there are so many highlights throughout which makes it incredibly difficult to pick an overall favourite track. To all those involved in this project, you have done an absolutely incredible job and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, its outstanding.
Prepare to be taken on a musical journey with the incredible VUUR.
Anneke van Giersbergen – vocals
Ed Warby – drums
Jord Otto – guitars
Ferry Duijsens – guitars
Johan van Stratum – bass
My Champion – Berlin
Time – Rotterdam
The Martyr and The Saint – Beirut
The Fire – San Francisco
Freedom – Rio
Days Go By – London
Sail Away – Santiago
Valley Of Diamonds – Mexico City
Your Glorious Light Will Shine – Helsinki
Save Me – Istanbul
Reunite – Paris