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The Gathering - Mandylion CD (album) cover

MANDYLION

The Gathering

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.85 | 135 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tailscent
4 stars I've only started listen to The Gathering rather recently. I actually started off with "Downfall: The Early Years", which contains two live casette's that are pre- "Always", and several single versions. (The album strangely isn't listed here on Progarchives :/ ) After a while, I got my paws on "Home", and what a difference it was! I grew more curious to "Mandylion" for it was supposed to be the pioneer of gothic metal, a wave where bands such as WITHIN TEMPTATION, AFTER FOREVER, EVANESCENCE and EPICA still ride on sucessfully.

The album starts out powerfully with "Strange Machines". Beautiful vocals accompanied with heavy guitars, and even some bells. Somewhere I get the feeling The Gathering is a lot about atmosphere...and though I've heard more albums along the lines of Mandylion, this one still sticks out for me a bit. It's got a special symphonic feel to it...but it's deep, mysterious. Not with an overall sadness to it, like Evanescence.

Eleanor is my favorite song of the album. The keyboards really give me goosebumps here. It starts off very atmospheric, and slower than the previous song. Around halfway it turns instrumental, with switching guitar riffs and keyboard tunes. The guitar "solo" after is yet another atmospheric piece, though not the usual singing guitar, but somewhat darker and more metal-y.

In Motion #1 has a very pleasant use of keyboards for me. They sound rather optimistic and mysterious at the same time. The guitar solo on this one is more what I'm used to, and thus quite beautiful.

Leaves starts off and ends softer, and overall fails to impress me as much as Eleanor and In Motion #1 did. I'm not sure why, sorry.

Fear The Sea is a great song it reminds me more of bands like THRESHOLD and PAGAN'S MIND, but with female vocals. Again it has a great feel of mystery to it, and again halfway through the song, the instrumental part with the keyboard "alert" give me goosebumps. The bass is lovely to listen to as well.

The title track Mandylion starts off rather mid-eastern with a flute (charming snakes, Anneke?). The drum use is also quite mid-eastern, maybe even a bit tribal. Apart from Anneke's chanting here and there, it's an instrumental song, and very atmospheric. A nice way to calm down after a swim in the sea.

Sand And Mercury is a 10-minute song and the album's "epic", somewhat. It's a very nice song to listen to, with lots of different things to keep one interested. Personally I'm not a fan of songs that reach over 10 minutes, but this one I can listen to. :)

The album ends with In Motion #2, which, after Sand And Mercury, fails to impress me that much, but it's still a good song. Not much else to say there.

In conclusion? Well, definately a decent progmetal album. I really like the added "mysterious" and atmospheric feel to it, unlike some bands that focus more on speed and/or the metal aspect. Love this album, really I do. I will give it 4 stars, since I'm not a total die-hard The Gathering fan, and this album has no other significance to me. Other than that, a real gem. :)

Yours, Tailscent

Tailscent | 4/5 |

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