Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

35 guests

Welcome to our newest member, patrickbarnes

Anneke Van Giersbergen - The Darkest Skies are the Brightest

Anneke Van Giersbergen
The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest
by Chris Hawkins at 11 April 2021, 1:44 PM

The vocal legacy of ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN is one set in stone in the twenty-three albums she has released in her career.  From her haunting contributions in THE GATHERING to collaborations with names from DEVIN TOWNSEND to AMORPHIS to ANATHEMA, her work has been varied yet always retains her signature captivating melodies.  After reeling from both personal and professional setbacks, the singer decided to get back to basics and thus, we are granted with the new album, “The Darkest Skies are the Brightest”.

Agape” is the first track of the album opening things up on a markedly somber note.  Gentle acoustic is accompanied by elegantly laid strings which delicately elaborate the chords being played.  Obviously, to set expectations, this is not a Metal album yet I retain the opinion that most open-minded fans will be able to get into this.  The personal, intimate natur3e of the music forms a bond with the listener ingraining the music in the mind.

The distinct stomp of “Hurricane” is a stark contrast to the first track.  There is almost a later JOHNNY CASH feel to the song.  The mix of influences is interesting as well with some scene painted in a Gospel frame while others have a palpable seductive quality including a poignant trumpet accompaniment.

THE GATHERING was a band in the ‘90s that had some solidly impactful moments (see “Nighttime Birds” and “Strange Machines”).  What truly impressed me with ANNEKE was her work on the “Epicloud” album with DEVIN TOWNSEND.  Her soulfully operatic vocals blended with his exquisitely further reinforcing the immensely thick sound.  Compared to those moments, this album is much, much quieter.  This more somber recording coincides well, though, with the subject matter.

It has always been fascinating how the human spirit is shaped by our suffering.  ANNKE VAN GIERSBERGEN sings of this in “My Promise,” the third track when she exclaims, “I will run though fire.  I will ride the storm”.  Such fires temper the soul as the finest medieval steel.  The point is that each of us can relate to the themes explored in this album: life, love, loss, and rebirth like a phoenix rising from the ashes of hardship and heartache.

Other highlights of the album include the ninth track, “Losing You,” which delivers an impressive display of ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN’s vocal acrobatics.  Controlled, nuanced, powerfully resonant, and beautifully articulated, her vocals wrap themselves around the acoustic notes coiled like a snake.  The final track, “Love You Like I Love You,” ties it all together as it focuses on a timeless love.

True, this is not a thunderous Metal record, but it deserves a seat at the table.  I would like to think of Metal fans as more discerning in their taste.  Conclusively, a well-stocked album collection would benefit from the inclusion of this touching, gorgeous album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Agape
2. Hurricane
3. My Promise
4. I Saw a Car
5. The Soul Knows
6. The End
7. Keep it Simple
8. Lo and Behold
9. Losing You
10. Survive
11. Love You Like I Love You
Anneke Van Giersbergen - Vocals
Record Label: Inside Out Music


You do not have permission to rate
Edited 11 June 2023

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green