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The Gathering - Nighttime Birds CD (album) cover

NIGHTTIME BIRDS

The Gathering

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 106 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars The Gathering is a Dutch rock band that decided one fine day to alter its metallic course and delve deeper into a heavier yet more atmospheric prog , symphonizing their sound considerably into a more melancholic, less harsh environment. But for that to succeed, you need to make a crucial twirl in finding a voice that will generate the new flow convincingly. By hiring singer Annike Van Giesbergen , a female vocalist that can soar over the riffs and shimmer with fervor, they simply retooled their craft in a proggier direction. The instrumental core is still enthroned by the dual power guitars of René Rutten and Jelmer Wiersma, aided and abetted with majestic piano and sumptuous synth work from Frank Boeljen, while the booming bass is handled by Hugo Geerligs and the pounding drums of René's bro, Hans. No screwing around with these lads, as the scorching opener clearly sets the tone, "On Most Surfaces" rocks without restraint , steamrolling forward with gigantic slashes of sound, coiling with insatiate fury, the axes slashing , the bass shoving the theme brutally and Annike announcing her passion from the get go. Frank's elegant piano adds a welcome coloratura with a repeated phrasing that induces deep droning euphoria. The fret solo is devastatingly accurate and hauntingly effective. "Confusion" plummets deeper into the melancholic mist, a harrowingly bleak anthem that pulses, breathes and pants with unassuming anxiety, as good heavy prog should by nature, the grooving rhythm weaving a simple tapestry of churning guitars, while the voice laments regretfully, certainly my highlight here without a doubt. The immense synthesized cascades spice up the entire heavy-hearted mood with aplomb. "The May Song" is lighter fare bopping along nicely while a vacillating organ leads the path, jaunty guitars slipping in right behind, increasing the spell. Annike's microphone work really tightens the passion, howling like a disbelieving convict. "The Earth is My Witness" broods with dreamy perplexity, the riffs splendidly conveying the environmental thematic of a desolate future where the damage is irreversible. The synth glows with symphonic splendor, this is prog heaven. "New Moon, Different Day" is an undulating bass-led lullaby, a clear definition of the moodier, cottony tendencies that have overtaken the past metal harshness with apparent triumph. "Third Chance" is brief and basic with a little electro twist while "Kevin's Telescope" is grandiloquent and moody. The title track is a thorough stand out with a mammoth chorus that glimmers and shimmers, while the sonic palette glitters and gleams convincingly. The finale is okay. I enjoy this kind of hard progressive music when I need a little heat in my routine. 4 evening owls
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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