Anneke van Giersbergen, the Dutch singer known for her work in progressive metal group The Gentle Storm and The Gathering and as a featured vocalist with Devin Townsend Project’s albums like Epicloud, Dark Matters and Transcendence, has announced a new band called VUUR. The progressive metal band features an array of talent from bands like Hail of Bullets, My Propane, Stream of Passion and more.
VUUR is literally translated from Dutch as “fire” but also has more metaphorical interpretations such as “passion.” The idea behind forming a new band is that she plans to channel her metal tenancies into the VUUR project while her titular concerts and releases will be a completely different animal. She explained:
“I want the heavy to be really heavy, and the soft acoustic stuff that I can do can be almost silent and inward.”
She went on to explain that VUUR will be different from her work with The Gathering and The Gentle Storm. The new band will incorporate melancholic elements from The Gathering as well as other elements from The Gentle Storm. However, it will be a darker and less folk-oriented project. She promised the project will be “melodic and warm, but heavy.” She stressed that this is a band, and not just a project.
The lineup of the band features, of course, van Giersbergen on vocals. Joining her is Ed Warby (Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, ex-Gorefest) on drums, Jord Otto (My Propane, ex-ReVamp) and Ferry Duijsens on guitars, Johan van Stratum (Stream of Passion) on bass and Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) providing additional vocals.
van Giersbergen admitted the “supergroup” makeup of the band will be a big draw for them as a live entity. All of the players have been in some of the most well-respected and longest-running groups in progressive metal and elsewhere.
She gained recognition when she joined The Gathering, in many ways changing the tide of the “cliche” female metal vocalist. In addition to her work with The Gathering and The Gentle Storm, she has a robust solo career under her own name as well as the name Agua de Annique.
She has released over 20 albums, the latest being an album with with Icelandic indie-folk group Árstíðir titled Verloren Verleden. She also notably provided vocals on the recently released Devin Townsend Project LP Transcendence; she has a long-term musical partnership with Townsend. He refers to her as a “heavy metal Tinkerbell.” The Gentle Storm released their excellent album The Diary in 2015.