Inside Out [Release date 20.10.17]
Vuur is the brainchild of former Gathering and current Stream Of Passion vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. She is joined in Vuur by drummer Ed Warby (Ayreon), bassist Johan Van Stratum (Stream Of Passion) and guitarists Ferry Dujisens & Jord Otto (My Propane).
Handling production is Joost van den Broek, who has worked with the likes of Ayreon and Epica. He also helped in the songwriting, along with Mark Holcomb (Periphery), Esa Holopainen (Amorphis) and Daniel Cardoso (Anathema). So there is plenty of experience and talent used in making this album.
The album starts of in fine form with ‘My Champion – Berlin’ (the theme running throughout the album is one of cities and freedom), a big heavy beat and guitars topped by a soaring vocal display from Anneke. ‘Days Gone By – London’ mixes heavy rhythm with razor sharp guitar riffs. Not unlike the solo work of former Nightwish vocalist Tarja.
Another album highlight is ‘Freedom – Rio’, the nearest to a ballad on here, blending harmony vocals and gentle guitar playing midway through. There is also a suitably grandiose guitar solo, backed by the pummeling drums of Ed Warby.
Apart from these three stand outs the rest of the album is good, but nothing really stands out and if not for the vocals of Anneke I doubt the music would grab many listener’s attention.
You can’t fault Anneke’s singing nor enthusiasm for Vuur, however a lot of the songs have a similar pace and sound. She was aiming to mix her love of lighter songs and the heavier end of her music, but somehow it hasn’t quite worked. Still, it is a solid debut setting the scene for a hopefully stronger second album. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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