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The Gathering - How To Measure A Planet ? CD (album) cover


The Gathering


Experimental/Post Metal

3.88 | 162 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Somewhere between JOY DIVISION and the CRANBERRIES is where these strange folk gather. The irrevocably plodding despair of the former and the alternative rock female-fronted angst of the latter somehow meld to form a post-industrial spacey mix that is intriguing even if rarely fully realized. The group clearly has progressive idols as the mellotron strings swoosh in and out of the somewhat grungy mix. Anneke's vocals are suitably languid and quite lovely if somewhat uniform and emotionally unavailable.

The first disk is more song oriented and I do enjoy most of it to a point. However, I'd be hard pressed to pick one or two highlight tunes. I suppose that the Fripp-styled lead guitars weaving into the outro to "Great Ocean Road" and the wondrously morose melody of "Marooned" top the list, while "The Big Sleep" and "Travel" simply can't eschew their paranoid shell enough to warrant future considerations.

Disk 2 is the more experimental, with well over half devoted to the title tune that milks the fascination with space endemic to progressive fans for far too long. Still, the point of noise as music is well taken, like the manner in which those living close to large motorways learn to integrate the base level noise into their experience and perhaps their sense of space and place. In fact, I have heard that the sound wave frequencies of this decidedly human ambiance and a mountain stream with cascades are not all that different. In any case, "Illuminating", while similar in style to what came before, seems more passionate and infused with an almost danceable beat that somehow works. The deployment of distorted guitars and multitracked harmony vocals help the transformation. "Probably Built in the Fifties" is almost as good as its title, and at times suggests a pre rather than post metal quality, countered by effusive mellotrons and fragile passages. I might actually recommend listening to Disk 2 first as I believe it offers more for the discriminating listener.

It's a fine line between hypnotic delicacy and droning redundancy, and your own boundary will vary, but if the above mix is one manner by which you measure good music, do give the Gathering clearance for a few spins about your planet.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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