Anneke van Giersbergen – new single and video for “Hurricane”

Lyrically, and musically, the award-winning Dutch artist lays her soul bare with the most evocative record of her career – captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars, strings, horns, percussion, and Anneke’s hypnotic vocal harmonies

Anneke van Giersbergen announced the release of her new solo album The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest last year. Today sees the release of the second single and video of said album, called Hurricane. Anneke comments on the single as follows: “For the new album I wrote a lot of songs filled with messages of love and heartache, but I also went on a more propulsive journey, with darker storytelling. The percussive opening groove of ‘Hurricane’ is maintained until a slightly ominous middle section. The track closes with heavy drums and a glorious trumpet solo.”

You can watch the video here

The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest is available for pre-order. The album will be available as eco-friendly CD Digipak (plastic-free), as 180g Gatefold LP (incl. the album on CD) & as digital album. It will be released on February 26th, 2021.

Click HERE to pre-order the album: 

Tracklisting:

01. Agape
02. Hurricane
03. My Promise
04. I Saw A Car
05. The Soul Knows
06. The End
07. Keep It Simple
08. Lo And Behold
09. Losing You
10. Survive
11. Love You Like I Love You


The album’s title, The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions. But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album – and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it – was not something Anneke van Giersbergen ever anticipated writing.

In 2018, Anneke began working on new material for her metal band, VUUR. Although their debut album, In This Moment We Are Free – Cities, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound. Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band. However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times.

Anneke shares, ”My belief in VUUR saw me spend all my savings on recording VUUR’s debut album and taking the band on the road. After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that more VUUR would mean yet more, huge financial risks.”

To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching.
Anneke adds, “I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life. This creative endeavour would be far too personal for a VUUR album. And it would also require solitude.

With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear, Anneke retreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven. She let go of the pressures of what VUUR’s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album. In 2019, work continued on the new songs. In 2020, Anneke asked her friend and producer, Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album.

Throughout the completion of the album, Anneke’s fragile, acoustic song-stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion. The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy of Anneke serenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.

The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspired Anneke to use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol. Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – adds value and uniqueness to it. And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond. They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable. 

Their journey through this personal storm, and the album that Anneke created in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest. 

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT – Announce details for new album ‘LTE3’

Album due out March 26 2021 
Album cover and tracklisting revealed

2020 came to a close with LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT announcing their return and new album to be released on InsideOutMusic. Today, the legendary supergroup comprised of Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Sons of Apollo), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) are pleased to officially announce that the new album ‘LTE3’ will be released on March 26 2021 via InsideOutMusic, twenty-two years after the bands’ last studio album. 

John Petrucci: “After over 20 years since the last time we recorded together, the four of us stepped into the studio and it was as if no time had passed at all! All of the magic that made the first two LTE albums so special was still there and we had such a great time making this record. I’m extremely proud of what we created together and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”

Mike Portnoy: “The best thing to come out of 2020 was this long-awaited reunion! And it was surely worth the wait as after all these years, the magic chemistry was still there and stronger than ever!”

Tracklisting: 
1. Hypersonic (8:22)
2. Beating The Odds (6:09)
3. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
4. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
5. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
6. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
7. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
8. Key To The Imagination (13:14)

Bonus Disc: Includes almost an hour of improvised jams.

The pre-order will start on January 22 2021 and the album will be available as:

  • Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (incl. a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio)
  • Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
  • Limited 2CD Digipak
  • Gatefold black 2LP+CD
  • Digital album (2CD)

Watch the recently released teaser trailer, created by Christian Rios, here: 

In 1997, Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, and Tony Levin, joined forces to create Liquid Tension Experiment. The foursome would release their iconic, self-titled debut album in 1998 and the dazzling follow-up, LTE2 in 1999, creating a dynamic, frantic, and inventive sound all their own. The incredible creativity between the collective would prompt Petrucci and Portnoy to invite Rudess to join Dream Theater, effectively marking the end of this side project.  However, since that time, there have been few reunions more in demand. Now, with the world in lockdown and calendars unexpectedly aligned, the inconceivable has finally happened… a new Liquid Tension Experiment album. 

Transatlantic to release new album in two versions!

Transatlantic have never been a band to resist a challenge so it should come as no surprise that for their fifth album The Absolute Universe, Neal Morse Roine Stolt Pete Trewavas and Mike Portnoy have really gone out to do something a little unusual.

“We have actually come up with something unprecedented,” says Portnoy proudly. “We’ve got two versions of this album. There’s a two CD presentation (Forevermore),which is 90 minutes long, and a single one (The Breath Of Life) – that’s 60minutes. The single CD is NOT an edited version of the double CD. They’re new recordings. What we have done are different approaches to the songs for this! We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.”

For this record, the band have also returned to the concept album format: “What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today” comments Portnoy. “We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” admits Stolt. “The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.” For Trewavas, The Absolute Universe is a momentous project. “I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we’ve done.”

Released on Friday, February 5, 2021, The Absolute Universe – The Breath of Life will be available as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. The Absolute Universe – Forevermore will be available as a Limited 2CDDigipak, 3LP+2CD Boxset & as Digital Album. The Absolute Universe – The Ultimate Edition collects both versions together as a Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+ 3CD + Blu-ray box-set, featuring expanded 16 page LP-booklet, 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals, making-of documentary, 60x60cm poster – contained within a lift-off box finished with silver foil.