Easy to slip into a similar sound, Prog can, despite its limitless creativity, ironically be a genre that is starved of difference. Pigeonholed into categories, the role of female vocalist has become something almost of a caricature of themselves. Limited to very rigid sounds within the industry. Wanting to expand on her already extensive musical vocabulary, Anneke Van Giersbergen had a vision for a band to challenge these social norms, putting together a touring band quickly, it was a line up that would end up becoming the brand new project, VUUR.
Wanting to simply put together a line up that would enable the band to tour, the line up for VUUR was finalised. Featuring Ed Warby on drums, Jord Otto and Ferry Duijsens on guitar and the fantastically named Johan Van Stratum on Bass. An idea that evolved from merely just another Prog outfit, Giersbergen wanted the delicate qualities with the far more aggressive tendencies in the likes of Progressive Metal. What it resulted in is their beautiful eleven track debut In This Moment We Are Free – Cities. Combining much loved elements in the singers catalogue, expert musicianship on the likes of “The Martyr And The Saint – Beirut” differ to the more powerful blow of “Days Go By – London” Not only did she have an ambitious outlook for the sound of the band but the record’s subject matter is once more somewhat of an abstract idea.
Having toured extensively owing to her variety of appearances throughout the Prog world, Anneke is no stranger to the vagabond life of touring. Wanting to better understand this idea of “cities”, she took the idea with her to give life to that which is inanimate. A personification in each city, separate tracks deal with different ideas, ranging from historical happenings, personal experience and even fiction. VUUR’s debut record will no doubt turn heads in the Prog world for more reasons than just one. I was very luckily able to sit down with Anneke for her to delve into not only the new album but what it means to be woman in the so often misogynistic days of Metal.