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The Gathering

Experimental/Post Metal

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The Gathering Souvenirs album cover
3.51 | 132 ratings | 10 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

0. Telson (2:08) - hidden pre-gap track
1. These Good People (5:55)
2. Even The Spirits Are Afraid (5:12)
3. Broken Glass (4:59)
4. You Learn About It (5:08)
5. Souvenirs (6:06)
6. We Just Stopped Breathing (6:51)
7. Monsters (5:01)
8. Golden Grounds (4:52)
9. Jelena (10:09) - with 4:00 of silence
10. A Life All Mine (5:07)

Total Time: 61:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Anneke van Giersbergen / vocals
- René Rutten / guitars
- Frank Boeijen / keyboards, programming
- Hugo Prinsen Geerligs / bass
- Hans Rutten / drums, percussion

- Kristoffer Rygg "Trickster G." / vocals (10)
- Dorothy / backing vocals (4)
- Wouter Planteijdt / electric & acoustic guitars (1,4)
- Mathias Eick / trumpet (6)
- Michael Buyens / bass (4,7)
- Jacob Otten "Kid Sublime" / electronic beats (6)
- Zlaya Hadzich / co-arranger, co-mixer, producer

Releases information

Artwork: iNDEX, Utrecht

CD Psychonaut Records ‎- PSYN0004CD (2003, Europe)

2xLP Infinite Vinyl Series ‎- IVS004 (2003, US) New cover art, CD hidden track as track #11

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE GATHERING Souvenirs Music

THE GATHERING Souvenirs ratings distribution

(132 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE GATHERING Souvenirs reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album was even more a turning point for The Gathering than How to Measure a Planet. With this album they turn away completely from the kind of music which got them confused with Gothic Metal at the beginning of their career. Instead we get a really modern sound - lots of effects, different instrumentation throughout with the distorted guitar as an important, but not dominant element. The drums are really laid back, often not using the snare drum in favor of brush or rim/stick.

These Good People: What a good way to open an album! It is a mellow song without up-front distorted rhythm guitars, but some really driving passages. The piano is the #1 rhythm instrument, the guitar only plays some occasional notes.

Even the Spirits Are Afraid: Here the guitar takes the helm, the riffs remind a little bit of Stoner Rock, but as the song progresses and delays and effects are added, Post Rock influences become obvious. In the last minute the keyboards take over with a wonderfully sad melody.

Broken Glass: One of my favorite The Gathering songs. The vocals are absolutely amazing, and the futuristic rhythm guitar and effects are fantastic, as is the use of tremolo picking of the solo guitar.

You Learn About It: This is sheer beauty. A wonderful ballad, with wonderful harmonic arrangement of the lead vocals, backing vocals and accompanying instruments. After the piano and distorted guitar of the previous songs we now have acoustic guitars combined with subtle, droning keyboards.

Souvenirs: This is a really good mixed song again, up-tempo and less droning. The rhythm parts alternate between distorted guitars and keyboards/strings. I really like the song, although it is less daring than the other ones.

We Just Stopped Breathing: Fantastic! Here we get really unconventional vocal arrangements, a dark and menacing atmosphere and cool piano work. The distorted guitar is reduced to background effects. After 2 minutes all but the vocals fades and gives way to string textures and we hear a faint trumpet solo - the song has indeed stopped breathing.

Monsters: Nice song, like Souvenirs this is one of the more conventional songs, but nonetheless amazing.

Golden Grounds: This song has some truly amazing moments, in particular the droning guitar solo doubled by the vocals, and the amazing vocal melodies added in the second half of the song.

Jelena: Beautiful Ballad with lots of different parts and moods.

A Life All Mine: This song is perhaps the most abstract one on this album, and I really love it. It begins with keyboards only, playing a slow 3 note melody. Then minimalistic drums start, and nice vocals by Anneke and a male vocalist - that's a novelty for The Gathering. There's a really interesting interplay between those two. After 3 minutes the song continues in a less abstract way, with more pronounced drums and overall structure.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. As much as I love THE GATHERING this one doesn't quite measure up to past albums. The title "Souvenirs" is really the figurative souvenirs that Anneke has received (learned) through life experiences.

"These Good People" is a slow melancholic song with drums and piano coming and going. "Even the Spirits Are Afraid" features some good guitar with the drums and bass keeping the rhythm. "Broken Glass" is the first real highlight as Anneke's vocals amaze, and the guitar is really good. This is more like the material on "How To Measure A Planet". "You Learn About It' is another beautiful song with Anneke's gorgeous, longing vocals being the only thing I can hear. She lays her heart bare on this one.

"Souvenirs" features atmospheric guitar melodies that come and go.The sound is very full to end the song. "We Just Stopped Breathing" features trumpet and hypnotizing vocals, and is experimental sounding with samples. "Monsters" is another highlight, an intense song with a good beat and incredible vocals. "Golden Grounds" is much like the first two songs, in that i'm not that impressed. "Jelena" opens with atmospheric guitar as drums and vocals come in. The song is like sludge. "A Life All Mine" was written by Garm from ULVER who also sings on it with Anneke.

"Broken Glass" ,"You Learn About It" and "Monsters" are worth the price of admission alone.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By the time of Souvenirs, the seventh album from The Gathering they had just about abandoned the Metal moments that prevailed heavily on earlier releases. It was a gradual transition however via How To Measure a Planet and If Then Else to a far more experimental and ambient sound. Souvenirs is certainly not an immediate album, you have to dig deep to find it's secrets but repeated plays reveal an album that is enjoyable though without being in the same league as the previous 3 or 4 albums.

Fortunately Anneke Van Giersbergen's beautiful voice remains as lovely as ever and sings like an angel, look no further than You Learn About It here as proof, one of the bands most sublime moments on this or for that matter any of their albums. With simple and restrained instrumentation, as she does on so many of the bands songs, she leaves the listener captivated as she expertly weaves a beautiful melody.

The Gathering are not about complex arrangements as most the instrumentation is fairly simple. All band members play their parts well however, playing for the song rather than to show off their musical prowess but without Anneke's voice much of the material would struggle to rise above the mundane which makes it all the more a shame that she is no longer in the band.

Apart from the already mentioned You Learn About It the other stronger moments are Opening track These Good People. Much of the time Anneke is sparsely backed by simple drums, piano and ambient sounds though it rises to a more full chorus. Even The Spirits Are Afraid follows and after a drum/vocal only start a few signs of the old Gathering sound are evident with the nearest they get to a metal riff on the album. Monsters is one of the most immediate songs with an instantly catchy vocal melody which once again pretty much makes the track.

In fact, overall most of the album is pretty good without being staggering though even Anneke struggles to drag a couple of the tracks out of mediocrity like We Just Stopped Breathing and A Life All Mine. If you enjoy The Gathering then Souvenirs is certainly worth hearing or adding to your collection but not the best place to start for the uninitiated. For that I would recommend the previous 4 albums but particularly How To Measure a Planet and If Then Else.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Gathering's trend toward more popular, accessible tunes is strikingly evident on Souvenirs. Anneke seems in control, now, or, at least, the band has realized what an attraction she is and have gone out of their way to showcase her more. And there are definitely some absolutely gorgeous tunes showcasing her extraordinary vocal talents, including the amazing "You Learn About It" (5:10) (10/10), and "Broken Glass" (4:54) (8/10) but, overall, the album shows less and less 'progressive' tendencies and more and more conformity to polished radio-friendly structures and sounds. Still, a mature and very polished band with one of the top five female voices of all-time! Definitely worth a listen.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The Gathering is one of a few bands out there whose atmospheric mastery matches their overall music craftsmanship. Similar to Katatonia and Anathema, the band contains to the more experimental pack of atmospheric bands with some prog-related leanings. In the course of time, Gathering also becam ... (read more)

Report this review (#3037124) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars By the time Souvenirs came out, The Gathering had been a surprising progressive rock band for more than ten years. This record was actually their softest to date and the label "metal" seemed more out of place than ever before. Although I would be the last to argue that The Gathering lost their ... (read more)

Report this review (#137402) | Posted by Casartelli | Sunday, September 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars While most people can easily agree on the quality of THE GATHERING albums between '95 & 2000, I am afraid that this one might divide the listening community. Like always, it would be unfair to put this into terms of "good & bad". I do believe that it really depends on whether it touches you emoti ... (read more)

Report this review (#88171) | Posted by Waylander | Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Song #6 on this album is called "We just stopped breathing". And that's exactly what I did when I listened to this album the first time. The sound on this album is much darker, there are less heavy parts and less electronic parts. Very melodic and atmospheric. And that's really what are the s ... (read more)

Report this review (#65558) | Posted by zaxx | Thursday, January 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not an immedeate album, which I guess is a good thing. This a quite a moody album, dark in places, some excellent engineering/production makes for an eerie atmosphere on some of the tracks. Prog? hmmm, not so sure, it's kinda Goldfrapp meets This Mortal Coil. You'll need to spend some time wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#46633) | Posted by tommo | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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