DVD REVIEW: Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales


Come with me now; be joyful. It is time to enter The Electric Castle!”

After the wild success of the Ayreon Universe shows in 2017, where an audience of international Ayreonauts was treated to a best-of selection of Ayreon’s most popular songs, the Poppodium 013 once again opened its gates to the gentle hordes in September of 2019. 2018 had seen the twenty-year anniversary and the re-mixed and -mastered version of Into The Electric Castle, and thus it was a logical step that this new live show centered around that album, a favourite of many. To the great thrill of not only the fans but the artists as well, Arjen managed to gather most of the cast members of the original album, and the most admirable substitutes for those who couldn’t make it. Continue reading


Watch Vocal Coach Beth Roars Reviewing “Ayreon – Valley Of The Queens (Live)”


Vocal teacher and YouTuber Beth Roars is back again with another critique video! Reacting to Ayreon – ‘Valley Of The Queens’ (Live), she breaks down the vocal talents of the three lead singers, Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp), Anneke Van Giersbergen (Devin Townsend, The Gentle Storm, ex-The Gathering), and Marcella Bovio (MaYAn). The song and performances are incredible! Check it out! Continue reading


Prog Power USA 2016 Underway, 2017 Lineup Already Announced


Mike Portnoy, by Evil Robb Photography

Mike Portnoy, by Evil Robb Photography

Already the première progressive music event in America, the 17th edition of Prog Power USA is taking place this weekend in Atlanta, GA. As is the case, the festival has once again booked and announced the performers for next year’s event, before the current fest is over. Continue reading


Video: RIVERSIDE Release Album Trailer: Love, Fear And The Time Machine


riverside Love Fear and the time machine album cover 2015

 

Polish progressive band RIVERSIDE have released the new trailer for their upcoming album Love, Fear And The Time Machine (InsideOut Music) You can video the trailer at this link or below:

Releasing on September 4th, Love, Fear And The Time Machine is the bands 6th studio album features cover artwork by longtime design-partner Travis Smith/Seempieces (Katatonia, Opeth, Nevermore)

 

Riverside, photo courtesy of InsideOut Music

Riverside, photo courtesy of InsideOut Music

The band is tour in advance of the album drop, including this coming weekends’ “Night Of The Prog” festival in St. Goarshausen, DE on July 18th. Other bands appearing this coming weekend at NOTP include IOM labelmates Pain Of Salvation, Steve Rothery, Steve Hackett, Haken, Kaipa, Beardfish, Anneke van Giersbergen / The Gentle Storm, Neal Morse and many more. Get tickets here: http://www.wiventertainment.de/projekte/21-notp.html

RIVERSIDE – Love, Fear and the Time Machine track listing

1. Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?)

2. Under the Pillow

3. #Addicted

4. Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire

5. Saturate Me

6. Afloat

7. Discard Your Fear

8. Towards the Blue Horizon

9. Time Travellers

10. Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)

 


Video: The Gentle Storm – The Storm (Live at Hedon Zwolle)


the gentle storm live

The Gentle Storm is streaming a live video for “The Storm,” filmed at their Hedon Zwolle show at April 3, 2015, which is streaming below. The project features Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) and Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project) and released their debut album The Diary at the end of March viaInsideOutMusic.

The tour dates and live band line-up are as follows:
Apr 22: Divan Du Monde – Paris (FR)
Apr 23: The Garage – London (UK)
Apr 24: The Musician – Leicester (UK)
Apr 25: The Roadhouse – Manchester (UK)
Apr 26: Prog-résiste Convention – Soignies (BE)
Jun 19: Dokk’em Open Air – Dokkum (NL)
Jun 20: Steengoed Festival – Willemsoord (NL)
Jun 21: Plaatpop – Bergen op Zoom (NL)
Jul 09: Masters of Rock – Vizovice (CZ)
Jul 10: Rockharz Open Air – Ballenstedt (DE)
Jul 12: Bospop – Weert (NL)
Jul 17: Night of the Prog Festival – Loreley (DE)
Jul 30 – Aug 01: Wacken Open Air – Wacken (DE)
Oct 17: FemME Festival – Eindhoven (NL)

The Gentle Storm live:
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 (producer, ex-After Forever) – keyboards
Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) – background vocals

The Gentle Storm on Twitter
INSIDEOUTMUSIC on YouTube
INSIDEOUTMUSIC on Facebook


The Gentle Storm – The Diary


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Rather like the proverbial Pavlovian dog, the announcement that Anneke van Giersbergen has new material out sends certain quarters of the musical fraternity into paroxysms of delight. The news that she has decided to join forces with Dutch musical workaholic Arjen Lucassen will have doubtless had the already converted salivating uncontrollably.

The resultant new album, the 22 song strong opus that is The Diary (InsideOut) is a fascinating and diverting experience. Set against a narrative background that concerns itself with two 17th century star crossed lovers who, after fate separates them, communicate to each other through written correspondence, regaling the story of her pregnancy; exotic tales of our male protagonist’s travels; the birth of the couple’s son and the initially unknown, tragic illness of our heroine. It is a classic tale of love lost, romantically bittersweet and entirely apposite for setting to this type of progressive music.

The entire project is delivered in two separate styles: Gentle, a full length and full on concept record, orchestral in scope and delivery and Storm, a more progressive rock experience. You get the same story, set to quite different stylistic soundtracks. Gentle: a combination of folk, Prog and neo-classical is the more superior of the two records; the concept execution is more coherent, the musical narrative more subtle and sweeps the listener along in a diverting but never intrusive manner.

The flip side of Gentle: the appositely named Storm, takes us through the tale of our lovers once more and ups the musical ante. For a record that is meant to be more dynamic and immediate than its Gentle cousin, I found Storm to be oddly flat. There’s the almost de rigeur use of a choir here, the heavy, metal inspired guitar flourishes there, and the soaring vocals well, everywhere.

And herein lies the rub. Finding fault with The Diary is difficult. The musicianship is exemplary, the vocals really quite brilliant and the production truly exceptional. The story, as it goes, is fine, if you want a bit of 17th century Dutch tragedy. There is no doubt that The Diary is impressive; however, I can’t help but feel that I admire it more than I actually love it. I’ve spent time enough to reach a judgement and, whilst I can-and-am impressed by the diversity of instruments utilised, I don’t warm to all of the compositions here as much as I hoped I would.

Whilst there is a certain charm to, for example, ‘Heart of Amsterdam’, the entire edifice depends on whether or not you actually care that deeply about this story and, whilst it’s charming enough, it doesn’t grip, vice-like. As a consequence, nothing here really offends but nothing breaks your heart in the way that you hope or, indeed, in the way that you know Van Giersbergen can with her brilliant, evocative voice.

Some of the melodies whilst structurally sound just don’t sound that memorable to me: it’s all very nice, for sure, and very nicely done, but I didn’t get that hairs standing up on the back of my neck feeling that you always get with true greatness. Regrettably, in evoking the sense of time and place of the story admirably, the music is somehow hamstrung by it as this often sounds like a soundtrack to a television costume drama. Not that there’s anything wrong with a television costume drama, you understand, it’s just not exactly what I reach for when looking for my next listening pleasure.

I know that many people are going to fall over themselves for this record and, fair play to them: each to their own. However, where I had been expecting a progressive storm, I’m left feeling, gently, disappointed.

6.5/10

The Gentle Storm on Facebook

MAT DAVIES


The Gentle Storm Streaming “Shores of India (Storm Version)” Music Video


the gentle storm 2

The Gentle Storm, featuring Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) & Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project) is streaming the new music video for “Shores of India (Storm Version),” off The Diary, out now via INSIDEOUTMUSIC below.

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The Gentle Storm Streaming Teaser For “Shore Of India (Storm Version)”


the gentle storm 2

The Gentle Storm, featuring Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) & Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project) have launched a teaser for the Storm version of “Shores of India,” following the prior release of the Gentle version of the video, off their albumThe Diary, out via InsideOut Music. Watch it below.

The album concept is a tale of love, loss, and separation told through the story of two fictional seventeenth-century lovers. A Dutch sailor embarks on a two-year voyage, leaving his wife at home in Holland. The only way for the couple to communicate and keep their love alive during the long separation is through letters. These letters form the basis for the songs on the album.

Stream the Gentle version below.

The Gentle Storm on Twitter
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INSIDEOUTMUSIC on Twitter


The Gentle Storm Streaming “Heart of Amsterdam” Music Video


the gentle storm 2

Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) and Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project) is streaming the music video for “Heart of Amsterdam,” off their debut album The Diary from their new band The Gentle Storm on March 24, 2015 via InsideOutMusic, here.

Anneke had this to say:

“‘Heart Of Amsterdam’ is a tribute to the city of Amsterdam, the home town of the story’s leading character Susanne. Seventeenth-century Amsterdam was a center of shipping, shipbuilding, and trade. Amsterdam flourished, and a wonderful city was the result. We shot the video in the centre of Amsterdam. It was freezing cold and I couldn’t move my fingers anymore during the last shots, but it was all worth it. I love how the video turned out!”

Arjen & Anneke recently launched a series of video updates on the album, and you can check them all out here.

Watch the lyric video for “Endless Sea (Storm version)” here, and “Endless Sea (Gentle version)” here.

the gentle storm the diary

A full all-star band will go out without Arjen in March and April, and the confirmed dates and band line-up can be found below.

Mar 26: Melkweg – Amsterdam (NL)
Mar 28: ROCK ITtervoort Festival – Ittervoort (NL)
Apr 03: Hedon – Zwolle (NL)
Apr 05: Paaspop – Schijndel (NL)
Apr 11: Paard van Troje – Den Haag (NL)
Apr 15: Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg (DE)
Apr 16: Zentrum Altenberg – Oberhausen (DE)
Apr 22: Divan Du Monde – Paris (FR)
Apr 23: The Garage – London (UK)
Apr 24: The Musician – Leicester (UK)
Apr 25: The Roadhouse – Manchester (UK)
Apr 26: Prog-résiste Convention – Soignies (BE)
Jun 19: Dokk’em Open Air – Dokkum (NL)
Jul 09: Masters of Rock – Vizovice (CZ)
Jul 17: Night of the Prog Festival – Loreley (DE)
Jul 30-Aug 01: – Wacken Open Air – Wacken (DE)
Oct 17: FemME Festival – Eindhoven (NL)

The Gentle Storm live:
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 (producer, ex-After Forever) – keyboards
Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) – background vocals

The Gentle Storm on Twitter
InsideOutMusic on YouTube
InsideOutMusic on Facebook


The Gentle Storm Posts Behind The Scenes Video Of ‘The Diary’


the gentle storm

The Gentle Storm, featuring Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) & Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project), have posted behind the scenes videos. Watch Anneke talking about Arjen and the vast array of instruments he plays here.

Watch previous videos on the band here.

the gentle storm the diary

Their debut album The Diary will be released on March 24, 2015 via InsideOut Music, and a lyric video for “Endless Sea (Storm Version) has been posted here.

Watch the Gentle version of “Endless Sea” here.

The Gentle Storm on Twitter
InsideOut Music TV on YouTube
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