Ex Libris – ANN – Chapter 3: Anne Frank
Album Review By Rainer Kerber
It’s done. The third part of the comeback album “ANN” is finished. The Dutch Ex Libris make their fans a premature Christmas present. The third Ann in the league is Anne Frank, after Anne Boleyn and Anastasia Romanova. Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1929 as Anneliese Marie Frank. The Jewish family Frank emigrated to the Netherlands in 1934 in order to escape persecution by the National Socialists in Germany. Most recently, they lived hidden in a back house in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, they were captured in August 1944. Anne Frank died at the end of February or early March in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne Frank became famous through her diary in which she wrote down her experiences and thoughts. The “Diary of Anne Frank” published by her father after the war was translated into more than seventy languages.
“The Diary”. Ringing of the bells, voices. Anne Frank sits at the open window and writes in her diary. A little notebook she got on her thirteenth birthday. Contemplative melodies and the calm vocals of Dianne show that Anne looks balanced. But there is also a trace of yearning. She writes down her innermost thoughts. For a short time, the singer quotes from the diary, in Dutch. “The Annex” then starts threatening, but also powerful. You can literally feel the fear, the turmoil of Anne Frank. But also, the strong will to live, to live a better future. The narrowness of the small hideout in an Amsterdam backyard intensifies the relationship between family members. During this time, she changed her writing style, rewrites some chapters, adds more sections, in letter form. The conclusion is the ten-minute epic “The Raid”. First there are marching sounds and sirens. The hiding place of the Frank family was betrayed. The Gestapo raided. The entire family was captured and taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Accordingly, there are many hectic melody lines here. Fear, hope and ultimately disappointment. Many melody and rhythm changes, different musical moods describe the last days in freedom very impressively. The girl Anne Frank was unfortunately not allowed to experience the end of the Nazi reign of terror. But her diary has become an important testimony to the times and makes Anne Frank immortal.
For more than one year, Ex Libris has told three stories, three tragedies of strong women. Of women, as they cannot be more different. The Dutch have fully exploited the stylistic devices of Progressive Metal. But not for its own sake. Ex Libris has managed to use these stylistic devices in such a way that they always reflect the emotional worlds of the three women to the point. “ANN” with its three parts (chapters) is probably one of the most impressive concept albums I have ever heard.
Dianne van Giersbergen – Vocals
Joost van den Broek – Synth, Keys
Bob Wijtsma – Guitars
Luuk van Gerven – Bass
Harmen Kieboom – Drums
Label: Self distributed
Out: October 18th, 2019
Playing time: 20:41
- The Diary
- The Annex
- The Raid
Rating : 9/10
MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber