VUUR, the new band featuring renowned Dutch vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen, will release its debut album, "In This Moment We Are Free – Cities", on October 20 via InsideOut Music. The disc was produced by Joost Van Den Broek, who was also involved in the writing process. Others co-writing partners are Mark Holcomb (PERIPHERY), Esa Holopainen (AMORPHIS), Daniel Cardoso (ANATHEMA), and both of VUUR's guitar players wrote a song as well.
An album preview, including snippets of all songs, is available below.
The album will be available on special edition CD digipak, gatefold 2LP + CD (including etching on side D) and digital download.
Regarding "In This Moment We Are Free – Cities", Anneke says: "The cover is designed by Black & Finch, with whom I've previously worked on the 'Verloren Verleden' release.
"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. The cover artwork represents this duality."
"In This Moment We Are Free – Cities" track listing:
01. My Champion - Berlin
02. Time - Rotterdam
03. The Martyr And The Saint - Beirut
04. The Fire - San Francisco
05. Freedom - Rio
06. Days Go By - London
07. Sail Away - Santiago
08. Valley Of Diamonds - Mexico City
09. Your Glorious Light Will Shine - Helsinki
10. Save Me - Istanbul
11. Reunite! - Paris
In early 2016, Anneke decided for the sake of clarity to narrow her musical focus, choosing to go in a folk 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", which can also be interpreted to mean "passion" or "drive" — was chosen as a moniker to represent Anneke's metal side, with the idea that when fans buy a ticket with the VUUR name on it they will be getting her heavy progressive music, while an Anneke Van Giersbergen show will be entirely different.
"It's like I'm searching for contradictions," Anneke said of splitting her focus in two. "I want the heavy to be really heavy, and the soft acoustic stuff that I can do can be almost silent and inward. I'm trying to find those outer limits. I'm still writing and collaborating with different people, so VUUR's style is still kind of different from THE GATHERING and THE GENTLE STORM. You could say VUUR's music has the melancholy of THE GATHERING and lots of elements from THE GENTLE STORM, but it's a bit darker with fewer folk elements. It's still melodic and warm, but heavy."
The band shares some members with THE GENTLE STORM live band, and you can find the full lineup below:
* Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-THE GATHERING) - lead vocals
* Ed Warby (HAIL OF BULLETS, AYREON, ex-GOREFEST) - Drums
* Jord Otto (MY PROPANE, ex-REVAMP) - Guitar
* Ferry Duijsens - Guitar
* Johan Van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) - Bass
Anneke commented: "The band has a different name, because the music will be slightly different from THE GENTLE STORM, but most band members are still involved and the music will be heavy too, so in that perspective not a lot will change, especially in the live situation. I think people will really embrace VUUR as a live band because there are nothing but stars in this band. [Laughs] They're some of the best heavy metal players in Holland so I didn't want to let them go."
VUUR begin playing live this summer and has also been confirmed as main support to EPICA in late 2017.
The band also recently announced they will team up with SCAR SYMMETRY for a short co-headline tour in December. Opening act for these exclusive shows will be MY PROPANE.