Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Gathering - Black Light District CD (album) cover


The Gathering

Experimental/Post Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars It took The Gathering quite a long time to come with a followup album to "If_Then_Else" (2000). To not completely lose the public's attention, this EP was released as a kind of teaser. Its raison d'ętre became apparent in hindsight: these songs wouldn't have fitted on "Souvenirs" (2003), apart of course from the third track which is a stripped down version of the song that would later appear on that next album.

Obviously, the main course of this EP is the sixteen minute long title track, which is a slowly building epic in post rock vein. Probably the track could have been done in thirteen or fourteen minutes as well, without losing too much of the point. On the other hand, it's fine to see the band record a long developing track again, completely different from the bizarre, space oriented title track of "How To Measure A Planet".

Debris is a more hard rocking tune, harkening back to "If_Then_Else" as well as to classic non-album tracks like Adrenaline. It's a fine song, though a bit untypical. The 'piano version' of the then new song Broken Glass is ok, although I prefer the 'plugged' version that would be released on the album later.

"Black Light District" is a good EP, next to the albums, but the patchy nature and the fans-only character makes 3 stars the real maximum.

Report this review (#150110)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. A pretty good Ep from the band that was released the year before "Souvenirs". Actually the final track "Broken Glass" would end up on that album in full electric sound.

The title track is the star of this show. It's a slow building song that opens with gently and slowly played piano. Drums arrive after 2 minutes. Spoken words from Sarah Jezebel Deva after 3 1/2 minutes that continue as the song builds. Anneke comes in at 5 minutes as the spoken words continue. The piano stops 6 minutes in as the guitar comes in ripping it up. The sound is getting heavier 7 1/2 minutes in and so is the intensity. Piano returns 10 minutes in as the song calms back down. Anneke is back before 13 minutes with reserved vocals in a mellow soundscape.

"Debris" is a straight forward, heavy, guitar driven track. Anneke sounds amazing. "Broken Glass" is a piano and vocal only song. Her vocals are higher pitched than normal and are quite moving at times.

If your a fan of this band don't hesitate to get this one, you'll be glad you did.

Report this review (#153691)
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very good mini EP from the Dutch band. The three songs are amazing and except broken glass(very intimist and of good quality though, it will appear on the following album in its full form), the other are better that the material on the album Souvenirs. Well, not much to say that has not already be said by the other reviewer, I strongly recommend you this EP.
Report this review (#166451)
Posted Saturday, April 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Black Light District is a solid EP from the Gathering. Unlike the majority of EP's out there, this release is certainly more then a fan-only item.

The 16 minute title track is the obvious focal point of this EP and an excellent piece of music, far more experimental and proggy then the Gathering's usual song oriented writing. It has obvious influences from post-rock such as a loose structure, an improvised feel and the crescendo build-up. But this piece sure rocks more then the usual pensive noodling in that style, only the opening and the second half are more laid-back. Apart from a few soft vocal lines, the track is entirely instrumental.

Debris is a hard rocking song with a nice experimental vibe. One of my favourite post-If_The_Else Gathering songs. Broken Glass is a piano ballad that would get an instrumental reworking on Souvenirs. Anneke Van Giersbergen uses her head voice much more then now then her well known powerful throat. It results in a higher pitched and gentler delivery that sits quite close to Radiohead.

Not only will this EP not disappoint the fans of this band, it might also be an interesting discovery of a more experimental side of the Gathering.

Report this review (#267312)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars 'The Gathering' is a Dutch Post Metal band that started out as a Death Metal band and later turned to a more experimental sound. 'Black Light District' is an EP that was released in the interim between 2000 and 2003 before the release of their highly lauded album 'Souvenirs'. The EP features 3 tracks.

The first track is the title track 'Black Light District' which takes up most of the EP seeing as it is a 16+ minutes. It starts out slow and sparse featuring a solo piano. Percussion starts at the 2 minute mark along with some atmospheric guitar and bass. Guest Sarah Jezebel Deva, who was a soprano female vocalist for 'Cradle of Filth' for 14 years, starts with a slightly subdued spoken word passage with an echoing effect. After a few minutes, regular vocalist Anneke begins to sing while the spoken word continues. At six minutes, things are more intense when electric guitar takes over and the tempo quickens. Things get heavier after a short atmospheric break when the entire band explodes into a loud section. At around 8:30, we enter a heavy shoegaze style with a repeating guitar chord and heavy drumming. At around 10 minutes, things quiet down as the noise wall comes down, yet tension continues as things meander around and then a drone takes over. Soft guitar comes in keeping things minimal for this section. At 12:30, Anneke starts to finally sing a melody which percussion eventually picks up on and helps to carry forward. After she finishes, a nice piano interlude continues with the rest of the band supporting. Soon the band drops out leaving the piano and subdued vocals remaining. This track definitely continues through many sub- genres, yet remains quite concise and varied, so that the 16 minutes actually go by quite quickly.

Next is 'Debris'. This one starts out with a fast strumming guitar and Anneke singing almost right away. A heavy keyboard bass and Anneke trade off lead and then comes all together in a somewhat heavy track with some nice tricky rhythms. Things stay somewhat complex as the band doesn't settle with a typical song structure and melodies and riffs change. The vocal melody becomes somewhat typical, but the supporting instruments are somewhat atypical giving things a unique sound.

The last track is 'Broken Glass' which would also appear on the 'Souvenirs' album, however, this is a different version with only Anneke's vocals and a solo piano.

This EP is a decent recording, but holds nothing groundbreaking, only offering some good tracks that feature some complexity. It is a good EP to track down since there are 2 original tracks not available on the album and one that is in a different version. New fans might be interested in this one as would others. Time tends to be the only major problem here as the 27 minutes goes by really fast. Overall, it is deserving of 3 strong stars.

Report this review (#2054869)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2018 | Review Permalink

THE GATHERING Black Light District ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE GATHERING Black Light District

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.