The Diary is the long-awaited and thoroughly unlimited double-concept album from the collaborating genius-minds of Arjen Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen — aka The Gentle Storm — it will be released on March 23, 2015.
This expansive musical project covers two CD’s and promises a combination of ‘classical meets metal’ and ‘acoustic folk’.
The work includes just a few songs — but each is crafted in a different way, in order to provide different interpretations.
So you get Gentle & Storm versions (there are also instrumental variations to be had too.)
Our Scriba Pontificus had a listen:-
Opener ‘Endless Sea’ has a trudging, trolling pace with some bleating, distant bells.
The voice is as bright as the frost on the upper rigging, as Anneke runs carefully along the slippery deck of sounds with all the skill and sea-legs of a master mariner. The rhythms on this piece crash through the salty green waves of emotion like a full-masted brig on its last journey.
Sometimes the clarity and the incredible sky-high vocal range of Anneke — means that experiencing this is like trying to listen for lightening as it bursts through the clouds. Below those extreme highs, the seams of music that swell beneath her voice are slightly stately and almost regal in their flow. Like medieval tapestries on fire.
The pace of ‘Heart of Amsterdam’ is like the thud of the waves pounding against waterlogged wood. The voice is never dramatic, nor angry on this — only effective and calculated. It’s the melody that keeps things alive on this song.
‘Shores Of India’ has some wonderful woodwinds (Jeroen Goossens) and evokes thoughts of the spice trade — full of black pepper percussions and incense-rich nasally verses. The impeccable splendour of Anneke’s coloratura soprano voice is compelling. All the while the accompaniments bend, twist and contort – like mystified cobras hypnotised by the pungi.
Anneke’s voice on this album is fresh, clean and visionary in its complexity. While the music takes us on so many wonderful trips … to spectral islands, salt caves and exotic night-time destinations. This is dream-like and thoroughly engaging.
Words: @neilmach 2015 ©