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The Gentle Storm – The Diary

The Gentle Storm, featuring the lovely and talented Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen and renowned Ayreon’s mastermind Arjen Lucassen, must be the most exciting music project of the year and certainly a very ambitious one. The Gentle Storm’s debut release entitled “The Diary” is a concept double album comprising of a Storm side progressive metal oriented and a Gentle side where the songs are re-interpreted in folk acoustic fashion.
With a melancholic and romantic concept revolving around the tale of two lovers in the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, “The Diary” intensely delivers a grandiose mix of elegant melodies and inner creativity.
“Endless Sea” can be easily labeled as a masterpiece where symphonic metal meets exquisitely graceful melodies. The Storm version has a bittersweet majestic feeling, never exaggeratedly overpowering, where Anneke’s passionate delivery is perfectly adorned by violins and polished guitars. The Gentle version shines for the delicate and precise strings arrangement floating into an ethereal dreamy mood.
“The Greatest Love” features an epic orchestration and a powerful rhythm. On the Storm version the rock vibe smoothly accompanies and enhances an exquisite neo-classical arrangement. The Gentle version has a stronger folk attitude beautifully carried on by violins and Anneke’s emotional performance.
“Shores Of India” will become easily a hit with the super catchy exotic harmonized melodies and the soothing chorus. On the Storm version prog-symphonic guitars have a more dominant presence that will certainly attract the attention of a metal fanbase. The Gentle version shines for higher complexity in terms of arrangements and the presence of different charming instruments, such as sitar and flutes, which brings additional harmonic variations and texture.
On “Cape Of Storms” the epic orchestration returns triumphantly to evoke the compelling feelings of a perilous journey while Anneke’s melancholic delivery adds a subtle dose of romanticism. While the Storm version features highly dramatic strong notes, the Gentle has a classical approach focused on the gracious purity of the strings arrangement.
“The Moment” has a deeply dramatic vibe genuinely reflected on Anneke’s multifaceted and flawless vocals. Both the Storm and the Gentle versions are filled with heartbreaking melodies effortlessly combined with rather exotic tunes. Also the acoustic arrangement of the Gentle version, featuring a fascinating array of instruments, will certainly conquer the heart of any listener.
“The Storm” is one of the most mesmerizing songs filled with slightly dark emotions and an irresistible crescendo of rich dynamic rhythms. The Storm version is particularly addictive because Anneke’s captivating vocals’ layers, combined with a solemn operatic choir, create incredibly strong harmonies well supported by prog-oriented guitar riffs. The Gentle version still holds a surreal strength created by exquisitely alluring piano and violin melodies.
In the end, it will be very easy to fall in love with both aspects of “The Diary” which truly is an eclectic work of art not to be missed.

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