Entertainment » Vol. 46

Music: The Gentle Storm – The Diary

ONCD: The Gentle StormBy Jennifer Russo

When an album opens with sounds of a storm, Gregorian chanting and a layering of varied instruments, I am hooked immediately. There is just something about that gothic sound that just makes my ears perk up. Add a beautiful soprano voice, and hello … ready for full album listening.

What makes this album completely unique is its two-albums-in-one style. The “gentle” disc is full of orchestral sounds (piano, violin, French horn, etc.), and the “storm” disc holds the same songs with a more rocked-out kick (electric guitar, heavy rhythm). I can’t imagine how much work went into recording each of the 11 songs twice, but what a gift for the listeners.

The Gentle Storm takes two of Holland’s most famed musicians, composer and multi-instrument musician Arjen Lucassen and vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, and puts them together so they complement each other every step of the way and do not outshine one another. Each song is beautifully balanced.

On the “gentle” album, “Endless Sea” is my clear favorite. The instrumental almost has an Arabian feel, with visions of a caravan crossing the desert. On the “storm” album, “The Moment” left me speechless, with music and vocals that are staggeringly beautiful.

“New Horizons” is the track that I think would be the most mainstream, and I use that term loosely because there is nothing mainstream about this album at all. It is for the listener who truly appreciates music in all of its glory. With the use of more than 40 instruments across the album, it’s a true music-lover’s album. Brilliant is the word that encompasses my attitude towards this one.

Learn more at arjenlucassen.com and annekevangiersbergen.com

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