[schema type=”review” name=”Anneke Van Giersbergen with Residentie Orkest The Hague – Symphonized” author=”Gamze Öyunc” pubdate=”2018-11-16″ ]
If you’re a follower of European rock/metal, there’s a high chance you’ve at least heard of the angel-voiced Anneke here and there. She is most famous for being the frontwoman of the Dutch band The Gathering” for 13 years. The Gathering was such an influential band in the 90s especially in the prog rock/metal scene. In 2007, she released her solo debut “Air” and since then she has been incessantly recording and working with different names such as Devin Townsend, Within Temptation, Anathema, Moonspell and so on. She has also lead two project groups called “Gentle Storm” and “Vuur” back to back recorded albums in 2015 and 2017.
Now she gave two concerts with the historical symphony orchestra of The Hague in the Netherlands in May this year, luckily these performances are recorded and are set to be released on November 16th.
I had the privilege to listen to the live album beforehand and what I encountered is pure magic… Mainly because of Anneke’s angelic vocals and the elegance of symphonic elements. That doesn’t mean there are just classical elements scattered around the performances, no, the music are thoroughly rendered by the orchestra and Van Giersbergen belted out the songs beautifully.
For these two special occasions of performances, she put together a wide variety of song she sang throughout her career starting from -in no specific order- The Gathering era, her solo albums, collaborations she made and her recent project bands. It’s pretty satisfactory if you also want to get acquainted with her newest pieces of work but not so fulfilling if you want to reminisce all the past hits. Still, the pieces they chose are probably the most suitable for being rendered symphonically, so no disrespect there to her choice of songs. In that way, the whole selection works as a rhapsody in a way that it sounds as a wholesome body of work.
Listening to the live album, I was especially haunted by the splendid Gentle Storm track “Shores of India”, a VUUR release “Your Glorious Light Will Shine” and finally the sonorous The Gathering gem “Travel”. It was otherworldly to hear Anneke sing the track “Zo Lief” in her native tongue Dutch. It means dearly beloved or so sweet depending on the context I guess but in reality it also sounds so sweet that I must encourage you to check the official video of the orchestral rendering of it on Youtube.
So, there you have a top quality of a live performance album put together by so much professionalism and talent, in the meantime lots of soul-bearing. When someone asks me if I believe in the soul, I always answer something like; “listen to an ethereal voiced woman (Anneke in our case) or a crooning man sing (e.g. Jeff Buckley), a physical body solely cannot do that.” Anneke´s live symphonic album might just be the exact evidence of that.
1. Feel Alive
2. Amity (originally released by Lorrainville)
3. Your Glorious Light Will Shine – Helsinki (originally released by VUUR)
4. Two Souls (originally released by The Gathering)
5. When I Am laid In Earth (aria by Henry Purcell)
6. Travel (originally released by The Gathering)
7. Zo Lief (unreleased song in Dutch)
8. You Will Never Change
9. Freedom – Rio (originally released by VUUR)
10. Forgotten (originally released by The Gathering)
11. Shores Of India (originally released by The Gentle Storm)