Reviews & Recommendations
I wish you knew
your music was to stay forever

-- 'Travel' (The Gathering)
The Gathering
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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Frank Boeijen - keyboards & programming
Silje Wergeland - vocals (2009 - )
Hans Rutten - drums & percussion
René Rutten - guitars
Marjolein Kooijman - bass (2004 -)
Anneke van Giersbergen - vocals (1995 - 2006)
Hugo Prinsen Geerligs - bass (1992 - 2004)

"The Gathering remains one of the most influential metal bands in the past decade. Evolving from a male-fronted death metal band into an atmospheric rock/metal band fronted by the haunting vocals of Anneke van Giersbergen. Now, The Gathering is recording for their own record label in the Netherlands, Psychonaut Records."
-- The Pure Rock Shop
"... Anneke has a band that creates music that is deeply moving and provocative thus enhancing her delivery even more. Yes it is metal and sometimes it gets downright crunchy but that doesn't diminish the special, and distinctly non metal scene-esque, connection THE GATHERING creates between band and listener."
-- Jeb Branin, In Music We Trust, 2/00

 The Gathering Discography - Album / CD Reviews

1993: Always audio

Genre: Death Metal
Vocalist: Bart Smits

1994: Almost a Dance audio

Punk Rock vocals with heavy metal music background.
Vocalist: Niels Duffhues

Post 1995 - genre: gothic progressive metal, atmospheric rock
 Vocalist: Anneke van Giersbergen

***¾1995: Mandylion
"The idea of atmospheric symphonic prog-metal seems to breed a lot of watered-down prog "metal" bands whose music is prog without the complexity and metal without the power. There are a few bands, though, that get it right, and The Gathering is one of them, at least on this release (their third but first with vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen), which is usually regarded as their masterpiece. The musicians here combine crunching yet fluid guitar work with lots of spacy keyboards and powerful vocals. The group's selling point, of course, is van Giersbergen's voice, which is clear, assertive, and a far cry from your typical screeching metal vocalists. Overall, the feel created by this combination of spaciness and crunch is one of majesty.
-- Brandon, Ground & Sky -

***¼ 1997: NightTime Birds audio
"Still basically in the same style as Mandylion, but unfortunately, not nearly as impressive as before. However, even though there isn't that much to say about this album that can't be applied to the last one, that isn't to say Nighttime Birds doesn't hit gorgeous peaks all its' own. It's just that the songs are less memorable (though the singing is still pretty spectacular as usual), and it really runs out of steam towards the end. (...) what drags the album down somewhat are the last two songs, which aren't so much awful as they are boring. Sure, Anneke sings well on both of them, but she sings well on everything here, and besides, the vocals aren't enough to rescue the title track or Shrink from the 'blah' category."
-- Nick Karn, Music Junkies

****¼ 1998: How To Measure a Planet?audio
"This is when The Gathering decided to experiment with a mellower style of music drifting further away from their death metal roots, and interestingly enough, this is their most sublime delivery to date. On 'How To Measure a Planet?' The Gathering dive, in elegance, into the most refined progressive metal music I have come across in years. Every song on the first CD of this double-album is drenched with atmospheric sensibility, with a background of metal riffs, and as always, the exquisite high soaring voice of Anneke. Unfortunately the second CD has very little to offer, especially the superfluous 28-minute long title track, which almost sounds like an improvised track that refuses to end. The song Illuminating rescues the second CD from being entirely dismissable.

Musicfolio Picks: CD1 - Frail, Great Ocean Road, Marooned, Travel. "
-- Said Sukkarieh,, 3/03

2000: Superheat (live) audio
Recorded on their How to Measure a Planet tour, this live album gathers songs from their last three records: 1995 to 1999 - the Anneke era.

***½ 2001: if_then_else audio
Musicfolio Picks: Shot To Pieces, Saturnine, Bad Movie Scene

"This new release finds the band trimming down some of the excess and copiusness of their previous double disc to a much more focused work that does nothing more than establish this band's sound. Strangely, though some will disagree vehemently, where the Gathering has arrived in 2000 is not terribly far from where they began in 1995 on Mandylion when vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen hopped aboard. While much of the fringe-of-metal stylings are long gone, If_then_else offers a very boundless and limitless sound that is fully engulfed in the concept of providing the listener with lushness and warmth. (...) With any luck, this band will get some attention this time around from a different musical crowd. The Gathering, with their sense of lush and warm music, should have great appeal to anyone who listened to a multitude of 4AD Records artists, including Dead Can Danceor the Cocteau Twins. Any fan of their last record will find an immense amount of music to deeply enjoy here as well."
-- John Chedsey, SSMT-reviews, 6/00

***½2003: Souvenirs audio
Tracklisting: 1. These Good People 2. Even The Spirits Are Afraid 3. Broken Glass 4. Monsters 5. You Learn About It 6. Souvenirs 7. We Just Stopped Breathing 8. Golden Grounds 9. Jelena 10. A life All Mine

"... 'Souvenirs' presents a dreamy, dark and emotional combination of music. The Gathering playing metal? No, not anymore. The distorted guitars have been replaced by a cleaner sound and more electronic sounds have been added. The band-members themselves call their music 'triprock', listen to the song Monsters and you know what they mean by this! Many songs on this album are characterised by an arrangement with softly starting music, that is finally resulting in a mixture of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and voice, leading to a musical explosion of emotions. Because that is the word that gives a most accurate description of this album: emotion. The album seems an extension of 'How to measure a planet?' (1998), the song Souvenirs especially reminds me of this album. "
-- Mariska Roerdink,

****½ 2004: Sleepy Buildings (live)audio
"... it is nothing short of 14 tracks of sheer acoustic bliss. This is really Anneke laid bare and for the first time we get to hear her in a tailor-made acoustic setting. These unplugged albums may make quite a few bands nervous since there’s very little to mask the vocal inconsistencies and not every singer passes the live test with flying colours. However, although going off a few times, Anneke sounds as gorgeous as ever, and exhibits a rare trait - a development in the sound of her voice. (...) The are some truly fine moments on this album, the piano reworking of Saturnine, the quiet chorus of Eleanor, and the way that Anneke sings My Electricity is as perfect as on 'How To Measure a Planet'. (...) Material of this quality makes me think that The Gathering have almost completely transcended any musical category that they have delved into. This album crept modestly into the market at the beginning of the year but now stands plainly and un-snobbishly above any other album I have come across in the last six months. It is an inspiring and elevating journey through some of The Gathering’s best moments."
-- Sam Grant, Sonic Cathedral, 6/04

****2006: Home
Tracklisting: 01. Shortest Day 02. In Between 03. Alone 04. Waking Hour 05. Fatigue 06. A Noise Severe 07. Forgotten 08. Solace 09. Your Troubles Are Over 10. Box 11. The Quiet One 12. Home 13. Forgotten Reprise
"The key to 'Home' is sensitivity, and in a way this may have been a point learned from 'Sleepy Buildings'. There is still a trip-rock essence, but for the first time it works since it is a natural hybrid of the innovative extremities of 'Souvenirs' and 'How To Measure A Planet'. ... Certain musical themes lay a bedrock for each song which strengthens the musical foundations and ultimately provides greater authority: Shortest Day with its guitar fade-in/out effect which dominates the verse, In Between with its jumpy chords and Alone with its buzzing repetitive bassline. The Gathering have also not forgotten the extreme talents of their frontwoman and there are many moments on 'Home' where one is reminded of just how good she can be. Anneke plays with words and verbal rhythms as much as she does with the notes and vocals melodies, some of which are nothing short of stunning. Songs like Forgotten, which only contain Anneke and a piano, will make you stop everything you are doing in order to concentrate on the refinement of the music before you. Her intonation is as endearing as possible and just the way she can whisper a word like 'box' is crisp and sharp, and though there are moments in Waking Hour, one of the best songs on the album, where she actually misses some of the higher notes, one gets the impression that the range is intentionally too high for her so that she's forced to gasp the final strains of the song, choking on the high end of the stave but doing so with a certain humility. There are very few negative moments on 'Home' but unfortunately some are present. There is the pointless instrumental that is Fatigue, the sampled Spanish mutterings on Solace and the reprise of Forgotten at the end of the album which we could really have done without. (...) 'Home' is an album which will require the greatest amount of time and respect to be understood, but with such good material on offer, it's unlikely you'll want to give it anything else."
-- Sam Grant, Sonic Cathedral, 4/06

***¾ 2009: The West Pole
Tracklisting: 01. When Trust Becomes Sound 02. Treasure 03. All You Are 04. The West Pole 05. No Bird Call 06. Capital Of Nowhere 07. You Promised Me A Symphony 08. Pale Traces 09. No One Spoke 10. A Constant Run

.".. many fans felt losing Anneke would be the end of The Gathering but 'The West Pole' ends up showcasing a revitalized band delivering one of their best works in almost a decade. With that kind of statement it should be obvious that Anneke’s replacement turned out to be a perfect fit. In case it wasn’t clear though, let it be stated that Silje Wergeland is a perfect fit for The Gathering’s sound. Her voice is similar enough to Anneke’s that live shows won’t suffer when playing anything from previous albums, yet unique enough that it should be apparent that she is not trying to emulate the departed vocalist. (...) The album opens up with an instrumental song, When Trust Becomes Sound, which quickly displays the band’s return to lush sounds and striking melodies. The amusing thing about beginning the album with an instrumental is that most people are going to be eager to hear the new vocalist, and the band makes them wait four minutes in order to do so. When the following song Treasure begins, it is clearly obvious that the wait was worth it. (...) The album is able to maintain this high level of quality by beginning quick with a few energetic songs before gradually easing into slower, more sprawling numbers such as The West Pole and Capital of Nowhere. These slower songs contain an abundance of lush atmospherics and instrumental sections that allow them to continually build upon the foundation laid down by Silje’s vocals. After these more expansive offerings the band picks up the pace again with Pale Traces, ending with two more of the album’s best tracks, No One Spoke and A Constant Run which close the album in an upbeat and solid manner."
-- Trey Spencer,, 5/09

Recommended Links:

The Gathering: official site
Cycling Colours: The Gathering fan site
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