A woman of many talents, Anneke Van Giersbergen is never content with being still. Having worked extensively with The Gathering and alongside composer and Prog symphony maestro Arjen Lucassen, her latest project has snowballed into a full time band. Arriving onto the scene with their debut album this year, VUUR are a band that bring forward the gentle caress of Van Giersbergen’s vocals yet turn on the listener in a second with heavy Progressive guitar hooks. Teaming up with fellow Progheads Scar Symmetry, the dynamic duo set about transporting The Dome into another dimension.
Scar Symmetry, a band that despite their popularity seldom perform. It does boggle the mind somewhat as the band act as an absolutely fantastic unit when performing the classics the likes of “Morphogenesis”. Sonically, the band have everything at their fingertips, with both vocalists. Robert Karlsson holding down the harsher vocals, contrary to the soaring highs of Lars Palmqvist breeding a perfect contrast. With Per Nilsson at the helm of their latest release, the highly underrated Singularity, it does beg the question of what is happening with the band. With Singularity supposedly the first of a three part trilogy, fans have been left waiting in the wings somewhat. Regardless London is glad to see the swedes once more noted by the gleeful smiles that run through “Cryonic Harvest”. Though gutted they didn’t roll out “Neohuman” containing one of Nilsson’s best solo’s to date, the band have more than proven that they are worthy but just need to come say hi a little more often!
For such a young band you would be forgiven for thinking that VUUR might have put a misstep forward when it comes to tonight’s proceedings but nothing is out of step here today. Opening their set with the imperial march of “Time – Rotterdam” its a defiant statement that the band are a well oiled Prog machine not to mention have absolutely nailed the tone. Despite much of In This Moment We Are Free’s content being well over the five minute mark, tracks here are delivered with such dynamism that only a seasoned band could unveil. As for Van Giersbergen herself, the singer’s pitch perfect voice echoes throughout The Dome tonight. Not as a weak, dreaming deity but as a strong and empowering movement. Making for “Days Go By – London” to retain the gritty impact whilst hitting the emotional spot simultaneously.
Its clear to see just how overjoyed the band all are to be finally out in the open and performing these tracks. Following “The Martyr And The Saint – Beirut” Van Giersbergen’s bashful nature comes across as she is genuinely shocked at people singing back the huge choruses back at her. Throwing in a couple of cover tracks in for good measure fans are treated to “The Storm” and a Devin Townsend number “Fallout” so its a testament to the songwriting put forward on the bands debut that shows the band able to compete with these almighty Prog bangers.
Combining elements of Giersbergen’s past with an incredibly exciting future, VUUR are no doubt on course for great and interesting things. Picking up fans from all over the world, the band’s potential is enormous in the Progressive Metal world. A symbiosis of fidelity and strength, bringing the best of both worlds together to create a sound that only VUUR could create. Closing tonight with “Strange Machines” the band have not only proven themselves to be a worthy successor to anything Giersbergen has put her name to and thats a lot but standing of their own accord with an absolutely fantastic live performance here in London.