Powerfully Haunting Vocals
Vuur is an exciting new band started by Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering fame. Also an accomplished folk singer, van Giersbergen decided to create the band to continue her career in the metal world. The word “vuur” is Dutch for fire, and accurately represents van Giersbergen’s incredible commitment and spirit to her chosen art. Coming out of Vuur’s creation is their debut album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities, a unique album that combines van Giersbergen’s folksy voice and metal talent. This album doesn’t exactly fall into one genre, and many of the songs follow a similar formulaic path, but van Giersbergen’s beautiful voice sets it up for success.
“My Champion – Berlin” is the perfect song to start off the album, as the opening guitar sets the listener up for van Giersbergen’s almost haunting voice. The way she sings each verse proves true artistry, and though her voice is not that of a typical metal artist, she sings with great power in this song.
Another early song that exemplifies van Giersbergen’s voice beautifully is “The Fire – San Francisco.” Her powerful “oh” opens the song, rising high above the instruments, and captivating the listeners instantly. Her vocals continue to be the center focus of the song, and the way that she hits the exact melodies of the chorus is fantastic.
“Days Go By – London” falls more into a traditional hard rock style. The instrumental beginning followed by van Giersbergen’s singing definitely adheres to more traditional standards. What makes this song stand out, however, is the guitar playing of Jord Otto and Ferry Duijsens. In an album that is more recognizable for its vocal prowess, it shows true mastery of the guitar to stand out. Another song worth noting for its unique style within the album is “Valley of Diamonds – Mexico City.” The slower nature of the song suits van Giersbergen’s voice well. This song also contains the namesake of the album in its lyrics, “In this moment we are free.” Feeling much like an anthem of sorts, this is arguably the most powerful song on the album, and is definitely one that listeners will enjoy and remember.
Despite van Giersbergen’s amazing vocals and some instant classics on the album, In This Moment We Are Free – Cities falls flat sometimes. Much of the songs on the album sound very similar, and sometimes the vocals feel repetitive. The very folk inflection of van Giersbergen’s vocals as well can make the album feel disjointed at times unless a listener is already knowledgeable in, or a fan of her previous work.
All in all, Vuur’s debut album is a beautiful and interesting work of art that shows the years of experience that each member of the band has. van Giersebergen continues to have fantastic vocals, reaching notes that most could never hit. Whether one is a fan of her already or is listening for the first time, In This Moment We Are Free – Cities is definitely worth a listen. Vuur is currently touring Europe.