VUUR - In This Moment We Are Free - Cities

Vuur - In This Moment We Are Free - Cities

11 songs
64:50 minutes
***** ****


When Anneke Van Giersbergen joined The Gathering in 1995, she instantly elevated the erstwhile death doom metal band to entire new levels. Mandylion and Nighttime Birds are justly considered two classics of female fronted metal, but even their later, more experimental albums like How To Measure A Planet were still quite great. So when Anneke left The Gathering in 2007, I was rather sad, and her new projects Agua De Annique and especially The Gentle Storm left me rather disinterested. Now shes back with her third project post-The Gathering: Vuur, the Dutch word for ":fire":, finally sees Anneke live up again to her previous greatness.

Most of all, Vuur is a return for Anneke to her metallic roots. But there are also plenty of progressive elements, which makes sense, considering her recent collaborations with Devin Townsend. In This Moment We Are Free Cities is a concept album where Anneke transcribes the feelings she had when touring in different cities. Its of course rather impossible to discern which song stands for which city, but thats not relevant. Upfront is always the clear and powerful voice of Anneke Van Giersbergen, and even though nowadays there are myriads of female metal vocalists, none of them can achieve the unique class of her.

It would be a mistake though to limit yourself to the vocal aspect of the album, because the four musicians, some of whom played already with their frontwoman on previous projects, really deliver a solid performance. The eleven songs can be labelled as progressive metal, but they each come with different characteristics. Time Rotterdam is dramatic and captivating, the complex The Martyr And The Saint Beirut contains some truly epic moments. Freedom Rio is a little catchier, whereas Sail Away Santiago is an unusually brutal track. Your Glorious Light Will Shine Helsinki comes with two vocal lines and Save Me Istanbul combines oriental and pop sounds in quite the original way.

In This Moment We Are Free Cities is an album without a single weaker track. Its been over ten years since Anneke Van Giersbergen did something this great, and I guess her fans wont hesitate to get their hands on this incredible album.

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