The Gentle Storm
With a working relationship dating back to 1998, two of Holland’s finest musicians have united for a new project dubbed The Gentle Storm. Ayreon mastermind / multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen and vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen – who rose to fame with The Gathering – originally crossed paths in ’98 for Ayreon’s breakthrough third album, Into The Electric Castle. Ten years later they teamed up again for Ayreon’s seventh album, 01011001, both having established themselves as world renowned heavy metal / rock artists in the decade between releases. Although their respective musical styles went in vastly different directions during that time, Arjen and Anneke retained a common ground that ultimately led to the creation of The Gentle Storm.
The Gentle Storm double album is an epic production of Ayreon proportions, divided into two parts as a full-on metal assault (CD1) and lighter folk arrangements (CD2). It also heralds Anneke’s return to the realms of heavy guitars and soaring vocals reminiscent of The Gathering’s breakthrough album, Mandylion.
Due out in early 2015, the album release will be followed by live dates through the spring and summer European festival season. Known for touring extensively year after year, Anneke will take The Gentle Storm on the road backed by well known Dutch talents including former After Forever keyboardist / (Epica-)producer Joost van den Broek and Ayreon / Hail of Bullets / exGorefest drummer Ed Warby. Arjen, however, will not be part of the live production.
The Gentle Storm setlist will consist of songs from the new album, as well as fan favourites from The Gathering and Devin Townsend’s Addicted and Epicloud records, which featured Anneke prominently. “I can’t wait to take these powerful songs on the road,” says Anneke. “I have formed a new band with some of Holland’s finest metal musicians, ready to blow the audience away!”
Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) – vocals
Merel Bechtold (Purest of Pain, MaYaN) – guitars
Ferry Duijsens (Anneke van Giersbergen, ex-Dreadlock Pussy) – guitars
Ed Warby (Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, ex-Gorefest) – drums
Johan van Stratum (Stream of Passion) – bass
Joost van den Broek (Epica-producer, ex-After Forever) – keyboards
Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) – background vocals