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MANDYLION

The Gathering

Experimental/Post Metal


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The Gathering Mandylion album cover
3.85 | 135 ratings | 18 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Strange Machines (6:04)
2. Eléanor (6:41)
3. In Motion #1 (6:56)
4. Leaves (6:01)
5. Fear the Sea (5:49)
6. Mandylion (5:01)
7. Sand and Mercury (9:57)
8. In Motion #2 (6:07)

Total Time: 53:50

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Anneke van Giersbergen / vocals
- René Rutten / guitars, flute
- Jelmer Wiersma / guitar
- Frank Boeijen / synthesizers
- Hugo Prinsen Geerligs / bass
- Hans Rutten / drums, bells, tambourine, windchimes

Releases information

CD Century Media-77098-2 (1995)

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THE GATHERING Mandylion ratings distribution


3.85
(135 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

THE GATHERING Mandylion reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A friend of mine gave me this album one year ago, because she got tired of it and when i asked to her if i could listen to it a couple of times, she decided to give it to me, and that was good, because i enjoy this album. The Gathering is a Ducth band of progressive metal , i thin this is not a clearly example of what prog metal is, but it has its moments, it sounds a bit like Lacuna Coil, maybe because i find pretty similar the incredible voices of Anneke van Gieerbersen ( you can also hear her voice in Ayreon`s Into the Electric Castle, she is "The Egyptian"), and Cristina Scabbia, but i think tha music could be similar too, but in other ways are different.

This album is good, i enjoy to listen to it, but maybe could be a bit boring, i think some of the songs have similar tempos and similar guitar work in the most of the songs, one good point is that the songs are performed with emotion and thats great because the music change for better when it has emotional sound. I like the atmospheric synths in some songs, it is a good point for this metal band, and another good thing is the instrumental tracks, Mandylion starting with a great flute, and maybe with some medieval influences, and for me the best song is Sand and Mercury, an almost 10 minute song, which mix metal with good changes in time and tempo, and a nice music around the song. Im lucky to have this album, i think it is good, i recommend it to you, but of course if you are expecting for keyboards and strong guitars ound and solos, this is not the choice, but you can try it, maybe it could like you. For this reasons im going to give it 3 stars!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#75846) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a beautiful piece of work. The spacey keyboards, heavy riffs, and of the amazing vocals of Anneke (sigh) create a beautiful atmosphere that has made this one of THE GATHERING's best records.This is the first album that Anneke sang on after joining the band. There's something about the way this one was recorded that really makes it sound atmospheric. "Mandylion" refers to the" Image not made by the hand of man : it has been obtained by the direct impression of the Christ's face on the fabric".

The first song "Strange Machines" has samples on it taken from the film "The Time Machine". The idea of this song as well was taken from the novel of the same name by H.G.Wells.This one of my favs on this record. It opens with grinding guitars and riffs as drums then vocals comes in. Some heaviness 2 minutes in, followed by spacey synths as riffs continue.The guitar from the intro is back before 5 minutes. Nice. Synths and riffs end it. "Eleanor" is another heavy atmospheric song with some nice bass. We get some outbursts of thunderous drumming as well.

"In Motion #1" is all about Anneke's vocals really. Another highlight is the guitar before 4 1/2 minutes that goes on and on. "Leaves" opens with some cool atmosphere followed by vocals and slow riffs. I also really like "Fear The Sea" with it's powerful riffs and nice spacey synths. I also like the guitar around the 3 minute mark, they get crunchy after 5 minutes. "Mandylion" is quite different from the other songs. The drumming is light, and the heavy riffs are absent. The flutes help to create a beautiful atmosphere. No lyrics but there are some vocal melodies and lots of synths. Another highlight is "Sand And Mercury" it's all instrumental for about 6 minutes, it has just about everything in it. "In Motion #2" opens with vocals right away. This is mid-paced with a heavy undercurrent. Synths after 2 minutes.

Highly recommended to those into the heavier side of music.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#89658) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 14, 2006

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Superb album by this dutch band. First with Anneke van Giersbergen, and a big improvement over the previous 2. More symphonuc with stunning key passages. One of my fav albums from the '90. Whwn the album apear in 1995, Mandylion was quite a unique effort in its combination of heavy rock / metal and a female singer just singing, rather than screaming or growling, made this album very strong and even today is mention in many magazins ore among musicians and listners as one of the most important album in prog music and in the '90. Without doubt the best The Gathering album. All tracks are super but, the strange and very intristing piece named Mandylion is superb, with tambourines and flutes and keys made this track to sound beyond ear candy, and another one that must be mention is Sand and mercury the longest and with title track the best from here. So if you don't have this gem go and get it, 5 stars without hesitation. A masterpiece of prog metal, and music in general.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#141942) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 04, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars As a prog-fan, we've all taken chances on groups we've never heard of prior to investigating places like Prog Archives. Sometimes they pay off in a big way... and others leave you scratching your head wondering if you're listening to the same album that your fellow reviewers are.

Madylion definitely falls into the latter.

It's hard to even start explaining why this album fails so utterly to impress, but I can save you time by saying that tempos, timbre, guitar, melodies, rhythms, and vocals sound the same if scanned across every track... Madylion is 54 minutes of banality. Songwriting is un-ambitious, taking the listener no where special then leaving them wondering why exactly their waiting around. The heavy, guitar chugging of Wiersma is amateurish and devoid of any creativity-- often chugging the same, slow-tempo note as if bored and confused what to do next. Drums are even worse, and the two of them together make up the most boring and unexciting performance I've heard in a long time.

The atmospheric passages, led by Boeijen's keyboards, are useless, being neither especially interesting nor well integrated into the dominant sound of this albums heavy, ponderous, plodding metal.

Vocals are the nail in the coffin. The Gathering's shtick is obviously their female lead singer Giersbergen (since musicianship certainly isn't a big draw), and she utterly fails to impress. Her range is poor, as is her enthusiasm. Her sound is as slowly plodding as the instrumentalists; lyrics trite and forgettable; and predominant, noisy sustains wear on the listeners patience like few singers are capable of. There are plenty of good female singers-- and she isn't one of them.

Sorry to be hatin' so much in this review, but Madylion is terrible and I want to save you the money I wasted taking a chance on it. It's uncreative, heavy-handed, and captivating only for its unparalleled ability to bore the listener into frustration.

Songwriting: 1 Instrumental Performances: 1 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#209430) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Mandylion" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Dutch doom/goth metal act The Gathering. The album was released through Century Media Records in August 1995. There´s been a very important change in the lineup since the release of The Gathering´s second full-length studio album "Almost A Dance (1993)" as male lead vocalist Niels Duffhues has been replaced by female lead vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. This would have a major impact on the band´s future sound and consequently also on their popularity. The addition of Anneke van Giersbergen to the lineup meant that The Gathering suddenly sounded very original for the time. You won´t find many doom/death metal releases from 1995 featuring a female lead vocalist. For the most part female vocals were used for effect by the band´s contemporaries, and only in short sections or on specific tracks on an album. So instead of being reduced to a footnote in the history of the early nineties doom/death metal scene, forever being overshadowed by acts such as Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, The Gathering branched out and tried something different. And they succeeded.

The instrumental part of the music on "Mandylion" has changed quite a bit since "Almost A Dance (1993)" too and has become much more accessible, memorable and melodic. Anneke van Giersbergen´s distinct, powerful and emotional vocal style brings a much needed improvement to the sound of the The Gathering. She is arguably one of the most unique sounding female vocalists in metal. The music is heavy and doomy at times but always with melodic vocal lines and dominant melodic keyboards courtesy of the very skilled keyboard player Frank Boeijen. The song structures are fairly simple for the most part, but the band almost always have a little section or detail up their sleeve to spice things up.

The sound production is grand and suits the music well, the musicianship are on a high level, and the songwriting is memorable, so all in all "Mandylion" is a quality release. The first part of the album with tracks like "Strange Machines", "Eléanor" and "In Motion #1", is especially strong, while the last part of the album is slightly less interesting, but still entertaining. Overall a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating isn´t all wrong.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#229867) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Mandylion is an album that has been a true companion from the moment it was released. I often return to it, not only because it moves me every time, but also because it serves as a touchstone that can be used to test many styles of rock music against.

Let's start with the vocals, the most obvious asset of this Dutch doom metal outfit. For me, Anneke Van Giersbergen vocals are the most expressive, commanding and beautiful vocals ever to grace a rock album. On later albums she would become more versatile but here she is in full epic glory. Yet she sings so gracefully and spontaneous, never straining her voice, never overdoing it. She's pure emotion and melody. Her vocals are the benchmark for any vocalist attempting this style.

The rest of the band is much criticized here. Obviously they do not attempt anything that demands advanced studies in musical proficiency, but that is not the issue I'd say. The point these guys are making here is how their instruments can be applied to maximize the perfection of the songs.

Don't get me wrong. Most of the music I listen to has a high musical complexity, but for me the emphasis on serving musicianship here gives a refreshing view that will filter out all self-important bragging from my CD collection. Not only that. It also works in the opposite direction. Not much 'easy' rock music works for me, so whoever wants to impress me with basic chord progressions will have Mandylion's standard to live up to.

This is one of my all-time favourite mood-albums. Not sure though if I should give it 5 stars. For the progressive rock fan, the more diverse If Then Else from 2000 might be more interesting.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#247974) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Fifteen Years is a Long Time

The Gathering's MANDYLION is supposedly the album that launched the female-fronted metal trend that I didn't latch onto until Lacuna Coil, and which fizzled into pop culture inanity with Evanescence. As I wasn't there when this album would have seemed fresh, I don't know that I can listen to it with proper historic perspective. I can, however, judge it by how it sounds now. I can remember my excitement when Lacuna Coil was new and wonder what that would have meant 8 years earlier. And I certainly appreciate Anneke van Giersbergen's voice on Devin Townsend's ADDICTED.

But I must say that MANDYLION was pretty much a disappointment. It hasn't aged well as other bands have taken all of the ideas and run much further since 1995. The album sounds like like solid post-grunge, but I have difficulty identifying what is prog about this at all. Most of the songs are dragging mid-tempo affairs that bore me a bit. The sounds are pretty cool, though, with guitars nicely balanced between full and fuzzy distortion, plenty of atmospheric key pads, and of course Anneke's voice.

Devy said that Anneke has one of the few voices that is strong enough to carry metal and still sound feminine, and that is a very accurate assessment. Unlike many operatic or classical sounding female leads, her voice is never shrill or thin. But she doesn't have a great range, and her ability to write melodies is pretty poor. (Strangely, I find this a very common problem with female-fronted metal.) Perhaps this is why Anneke has done so well as a guest musician on other's projects.

1995 was the dark ages for the electric lead guitar, and MANDYLION reflects that. Though the rhythm guitars sound great, the leads are kept extremely space, adding little more than the key pads behind them. Similarly, though the Gathering creates a great sound (especially for the time) they don't back up the sound with memorable songwriting. There are trippy, almost Floydian moments during the bridge of "Fear the Sea," for instance, but the song itself is not memorable at all. "Eleanor" and the title song leave the strongest impression on me, but the latter more for its tribalistic sound than for its minimal composition.

Anneke is cute beyond belief and has a nice voice. The Gathering have a sound that I should just love. But even if the setting of your story is perfect, something has to happen. On MANDYLION, not enough happens. And now that the sound is no longer novel, the album's value is mainly historical.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#368197) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Now, this is gothic metal I can get behind. On the one hand you have the vocals of Anneke van Giersbergen, whose approach on this album is quite reminiscent of Julianne Regan's work in the great All About Eve, and on the other hand, you have a musical backing which often attains the same sort of wistful atmosphere as All About Eve - but through chunky, doomy riffs instead of hippified goth rock.

Put them together, and you create an intriguing blend which steers away from straight-ahead doom metal by virtue of its alternative rock and goth rock influences. As far as gothic metal goes, Mandylion is the first album I ever heard which really succeeded at fusing what I enjoy about goth rock - the brooding romanticism and emotional rawness - with a metal approach which supports and nurtures those factors. Great stuff.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#622104) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars The perfect female fronted goth progressive metal album in my view. I was around when the band distributed a tape in the underground. You did not have to be particular clever to understand that this band had massive potential. A potential they have not entirely fulfilled in my view due to some ... (read more)

Report this review (#499149) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, August 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Although "Mandylion" is the third studio album from The Gathering, it is the first album with vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen and so it can be fairly seen as the "real" debut of The Gathering as we know them. By the time it came out, "Mandylion" was quite a unique effort in its combination o ... (read more)

Report this review (#113373) | Posted by Casartelli | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Beautiful. The first Gathering-album with the great female singer Anneke van Giersbergen. It was 1995.. who would know that other bands like 'Within Temptation' and 'Nightwish' would profit from so much inspiration because of this classic album? The songs are very melodic, dramatic, haunting and ... (read more)

Report this review (#92144) | Posted by ProgRob | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#88998) | Posted by Tailscent | Tuesday, September 05, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To me, this is the album with which THE GATHERING truly begin. The addition of ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN as the new vocalist completely changed the band's direction. One might debate whether their first two records have anything to do with PROG. Now with the third one I guess this is no longer the q ... (read more)

Report this review (#88162) | Posted by Waylander | Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars quite emotional, and so deeply on their thoughts, certeanly a complete turn to all that i heard before in a so called metal pro band, the adittion in the line up of anneke, make of the gathering a band with truly acttitude and streng in their interpretations, changing, preconcive notions ´bout ... (read more)

Report this review (#85012) | Posted by | Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the third album by the Dutch progressive metal band "The Gathering". I don't know how exactly the last work by this band is. I read that this band used to be kind of a death-metal band. In their last album there was also a woman, so I guess their last release was a blend of rough death ... (read more)

Report this review (#65852) | Posted by W.Chuck | Saturday, January 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first album I bought from this band. It simply blew in my face as I heard the songs one after the other. The music is really powerful, mid-paced metal with occasional fast- paced tempo changes. The vocals are awesome: at the same time very powerful and emotional. "Strange Machines" and "El ... (read more)

Report this review (#65401) | Posted by zaxx | Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What only 4 reviews on this great album? This is onr of those albums that allways stays in your mind. Sometimes i just suddenly remember a song from it even though i havent heard it in a month or so and then i just gotta listen to that song and then i end up listening to the whole album over ... (read more)

Report this review (#57612) | Posted by Marwin | Wednesday, November 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the album in which I fell in love with this band, after hearing what is still one of my all- time favourite songs - "In Motion #1". In this album the band made the transition from a basic Death Metal sound to a beautiful Gothic-Progressive-Metal blend. Many bands have since attempted t ... (read more)

Report this review (#34929) | Posted by | Friday, May 06, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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