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The Gathering - Always CD (album) cover


The Gathering


Experimental/Post Metal

2.54 | 60 ratings

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3 stars "Always..." is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch doom/death metal act The Gathering. The Gathering is probably mostly known for their female led progressive rock/ metal which they began playing on their 3rd studio album "Mandylion" from 1995. Before that they had released two doom/ death metal albums in "Always... (1992)" and "Almost a Dance (1993)".

The music on the album is doom/ death metal with some really deep and growling vocals. We also get some occasional female vocals from guest vocalist Marike Groot. Those of you who know The Gathering from "Mandylion" and onwards know that The Gatheringīs music is very much centered around Anneke van Giersbergenīs beautiful vocals, but on "Always..." the female vocals are only an effect to colour the music. The Gathering make heavy use of keyboards in their music. Itīs actually a very dominant feature on "Always..." and also a great asset IMO. The music on "Always..." reminds me a bit about the first two Paradise Lost albums: "Lots Paradise (1990)" and "Gothic (1991)". It is in large part due to the similar deep and brutal growling style (Bart Smits sounds a lot like Nick Holmes did in the early days) and the operatic female vocals which also appear on "Gothic". The songs are interesting in structure and weīre treated to intriguing parts in each song. The album is generally very melodic and there are some pleasant acoustic parts which is great for the dynamics of the album.

The musicianship is good even though the drums are a bit too simple and untight.

The production isnīt the best. The guitars are way too low in the mix and it affects my enjoyment with the album.

"Always..." has been a pleasant surprise to me and I really enjoy the overall atmosphere on the album despite a few flaws. A 3 star rating is warranted. "Always..." is recommended to fans of the early nineties doom/ Death metal scene which included acts like Cathedral, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Amorphis, Tiamat, Cemetary and Paradise Lost.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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