The Gentle Storm – The Diary


The partnership of the two Dutch has an almost twenty-year tradition. It begun in 1998 with “The Electric Castle” of Ayreon and continues regularly under various names.

The case of “The Diary”, reminds me of the two sides of the same coin. There is a very interesting story which is evolving in a quite different musical way in each of the two CD’s that consist it.

We are located in the Netherlands in the 17th century after the Eighty Years’ War, where the country begins to prosper. A sailor who travels for two years, corresponds with his girlfriend and all this nostalgic process is transferred in “The Diary” by Arjen Lucassen with the entrancing voice of Anneke Van Giersbergen.

The tracks are exactly the same in both cds but with different orchestration. They are based on the same logic, ultimately springing quite the same feeling.

The first CD entitled “Gentle” has the audio version of the story which in fact seems more realistic, considering the era it refers to. The dominant elements in the music of Lucassen are folk, Renaissance sounds, many classical instruments and some very beautiful melodies.
The second cd entitled “The Storm”, is the story in metal cover. Surprisingly enough, here there are not many of the elements that the composer had accustomed us and especially the progressive ones, something that makes the sound much more immediate. The sound is massive, I could describe it as pompous, while the guitars have as usual their own special role, especially in the solos.

“The Diary” is an excellent and out of the ordinary release, but is mainly referring to the audience that likes the specific sounds and doesn’t get tired of complex compositions and sounds.