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The Gathering - Souvenirs CD (album) cover


The Gathering


Experimental/Post Metal

3.53 | 112 ratings

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3 stars After the more rocking If The Else, the Gathering fully explore their more reflective/intimate side. The songs are slow and sparsely orchestrated, an occasional sonic outburst not withstanding. The result is an album that sounds very similar to old indie bands like Cocteau Twins or The Cranes and new ones like Massive Attack and Radiohead.

That is not a problem as such, it's a good source of inspiration and the Gathering feel very much at easy in this format. The problem is that the album follows the same pattern too much, there's too few surprises in store. The strongest songs sit at the start, so once you're through with them, the album drags towards its end. The instrumentation is very clever though, with lots of guitar and electronic effects as on Broken Glass.

Souvenirs is the first track with a dip, a weak melodic pop-break around minute 3 reveals an increasing difficulty to keep the songs interesting. From this point onwards the album continues going up and down between gripping moments (We Just Stopped Breathing, Golden Ground) and failed experiments like (Monsters, A Life All Mine). Jelena is a subtle closer but doesn't come up with a really compelling melody. The band has clearly lost some of its freshness and inspiration.

A bit too uneven for 4 stars, certainly compared to the batch of albums I have given 4 stars already. Still, worth exploring for people who are mainly attracted to the softer and more experimental side of the Gathering. 3.5 stars.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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