Singer Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) has turned into a real music workaholic, as she has been working on a solo career as well as singing and performing with bands like VUUR, Ayreon, Devin Townsend and Gentle Storm. On this live album van Giersbergen performs two career-spanning concerts with orchestral arrangements together with the Dutch Residentie Orchestra from The Hague.
Symphonized contains eleven songs, being: three Gathering tracks, two VUUR songs, one Gentle Storm song, three solo songs, one unreleased song (sung in Dutch by the way) and a Henry Purcell aria called When I Am Laid In Earth from the opera Dido And Aeneas, composed in 1688. Van Giersbergen's vocal performance is top notch in all eleven tracks, but the Dutch song Zo Lief is for me quite a redundant track.... Highlights are the Gentle Storm track Shores Of India, the Gathering track Travel (from the album How To Measure A Planet?) and the two excellent VUUR songs Your Glorious Light Will Shine (Helsinki) and Freedom (Rio) where metal, progressive rock and classical music almost perfectly blend together, as these tracks are bombastic, orchestral, melodic and sometimes rather “heavy”.
If you like Anneke's voice (who doesn't you may think ...) and a mix of rock, metal, prog rock and classical music then Symphonized is almost a must; a perfect Christmas present perhaps????
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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