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THE GATHERING

Experimental/Post Metal • Netherlands


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The Gathering biography
THE GATHERING is a Dutch metal band which came to fame in the second half of 1990s with its unique blend of atmospheric, almost ambient sound and the compelling vocals of the passionate Anneke van Giersbergen. Though many lineup changes occured during the 90's, the band has seen but two such changes in the nine years between "Nighttime Birds" and "Home", as Marjolein Kooijman replaced Hugo Prinsen Geerligs as bass guitarist in 2003 and guitarist Jelmer Wiersma left in 1998, not to be replaced. Other members include Hans Rutten (drums) and RenÚ Rutten (guitars), and Frank Boeijen (keyboards). Founded in 1989 by the aforementioned brothers Hans and RenÚ Rutten, the band began as a Death Metal band, influenced by Metal bands like CELTIC FROST, but also by other genres of music.

While their first two albums were quite typical, although refined Death Metal albums, 1995's "Mandylion", on which Anneke van Giersbergen sang for the first time, was a turning point for the band : a beautifully written, dark, haunting and emotional piece of music. It was also one of the first albums of its kind in respect to female fronted metal bands, and is still considered a standard in the genre. Their following studio albums "Nighttime Birds" (1997), "How to Measure a Planet? "(1998), "If_Then_Else" (2000), "Souvenirs" (2003) and "Home" (2006) all demonstrated a movement toward a more Progressive and Experimental and less Metal-ish sound, and showed maturation of the band. "Sleepy Buildings", released in 2004, is a live semi-acoustic perfomance recorded by the band over a course of two nights. In 2007, following th release of "Home", Anneke van Giersbergen decided to end her time with THE GATHERING after 13 years as their lead singer due to a desire to stay t home more with her young child and to explore a more pop oriented music style. She was replaced in 2008 by Silje Wergeland, of Norweigan band OCTAVIA SPERATI, and features on the bands newest release, "The West Pole", which has a more distinctive, guitar driven sound to it similar to that of "If_Then_Else".

THE GATHERING are quite an interesting and unique band, whose music constantly evolves and approaches Pop and Rock from new angles. Indeed, none of their albums sound quite the same as the others. Highly recommended - Check them out !

: : : Vonarga, ISRAEL : : :

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MandylionMandylion
Century Media 2006
Audio CD$8.95
$6.89 (used)
How to Measure a PlanetHow to Measure a Planet
Double CD
Century Media 1999
Audio CD$5.97
$2.29 (used)
HomeHome
The End Records 2006
Audio CD$7.28
$0.32 (used)
West PoleWest Pole
Season of Mist 2009
Audio CD$1.76
$2.99 (used)
Nighttime BirdsNighttime Birds
Century Media 2007
Audio CD$9.49
$14.99 (used)
If Then ElseIf Then Else
Century Media 2000
Audio CD$3.92 (used)
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THE GATHERING shows & tickets


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THE GATHERING discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE GATHERING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 45 ratings
Always
1992
2.11 | 41 ratings
Almost A Dance
1993
3.85 | 134 ratings
Mandylion
1995
3.96 | 104 ratings
Nighttime Birds
1997
3.90 | 126 ratings
How to Measure a Planet?
1998
4.04 | 92 ratings
If_Then_Else
2000
3.58 | 84 ratings
Souvenirs
2003
3.35 | 67 ratings
Home
2006
3.35 | 53 ratings
The West Pole
2009
3.79 | 72 ratings
Disclosure
2012
3.55 | 20 ratings
Afterwords
2013

THE GATHERING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 28 ratings
Superheat (Live Album)
2000
4.07 | 56 ratings
Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening
2004
3.95 | 24 ratings
A Noise Severe
2007

THE GATHERING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.47 | 13 ratings
In Motion
2004
3.93 | 28 ratings
A Sound Relief
2005
3.92 | 25 ratings
A Noise Severe
2007

THE GATHERING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.24 | 17 ratings
Accessories
2005
4.00 | 19 ratings
Nighttime Birds (limited deluxe edition)
2007
4.75 | 4 ratings
Sand and Mercury- The Complete Century Media Years
2008
2.33 | 6 ratings
Downfall - The Early Years
2008

THE GATHERING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Strange Machines
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Adrenaline / Leaves
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
The May Song
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Kevin's Telescope
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Liberty Bell
1998
4.33 | 3 ratings
Amity
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Rollercoaster
2000
3.51 | 17 ratings
Black Light District
2002
5.00 | 2 ratings
You Learn About It
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
City from Above
2009
3.32 | 9 ratings
Heroes For Ghosts
2011

THE GATHERING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Afterwords by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.55 | 20 ratings

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Afterwords
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars For those of you still mourning the departure of golden-voiced Anneke Van Giersbergen, let me tell you: As any of you who have ever listened to OCTAVIA SPERATI can attest, Norwegian Silje Wergeland is no vocal slouch. She has precise control of her 'instrument', most remarkably, even in her nuances and subtleties. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, Afterwords does not take full advantage of Silje's considerable gifts. While I do quite enjoy the variety of creative adventurousness that The Gathering musicians/songwriters are taking on the songs represented here, there may be a bit too much variety here--leaving me asking the question, 'Who are The Gathering, really?" Perhaps they are the kind of artists like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, Pablo Picasso and Claude Pissarro, Ulver and Steven Wilson: unafraid to grow; drawn to try new things. For this I commend them. Five star songs: 'Echoes Keep Growing' (6:52), S.I.B.A.L.D.' (4:32), the DEAD CAN DANCE- like 'Afterwords' (4:01), 'Tuning In, Fading Out' (3:52), and 'Gemini III' (4:OO).

Four star songs: 'Areas'(3:31) and 'Sleep Paralysis' (3:15).

A 3.5 star album marked up on the strength of the excellent first half of the album. Some of the more atmospheric songs fall a little short of the standards set by previous Gathering albums.

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 The West Pole by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.35 | 53 ratings

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The West Pole
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album was recommended to me by a nephew who was born in the late seventies and whose musical tastes are very different from mine. He also recomended to me two Katatonia albums. The three albums are good.

This is a Dutch band and their musical style sounds to me more closer to the Gothic Rock / Alternative Rock musical styles with some "dark" atmospheres. In fact, for me this album is very "atmospheric", and this is the main thing in this album, with "atmospheric" guitars and "atmospheric" keyboards. But most of all, it has very good female vocals by Silje Wergeland (plus two ohter female singers as guests in two tracks: Anne van den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio, this last singer is from Mexico). There are not really guitar or keyboard solos, and the music is most focused on the vocals and in the lyrics, and this is a very big difference between this band and the "old" Prog Rock bands on which the virtuosity of the musicians was the main focus. So, the musical instruments are more focused in creating an "atmospheric vehicle" for the vocals and lyrics, with good arrangements which are more in the background. The lead singer and the vocals arrangements are so good that one forgets the presence of the other musicians in some parts. The music for the most part reflect an apparent tranquility, but in some places there are a few distorted guitars and a few heavy moments.The recording and the mixing are very good, very "atmospheric" too. And I also like the cover design.

In conclusion: this is a good band and this is a good album , even if their musical style is not one of my favourites. I think that this band is more for the "New Generation" than for some of the "Old Prog Rock Listeners" like me.

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 Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening by GATHERING, THE album cover Live, 2004
4.07 | 56 ratings

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Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars The idea of a rock band presenting an acoustic or, as in this case, a semi-acoustic show is these days not that unusual. But Dutch rockers The Gathering were probably not one that many people ever imagined would fall into that camp. Not all of the songs on this album are fully acoustic, but even those that are electric (such as "The Mirror Waters") are treated in a totally different fashion to how the listener would usually expect. The result is an album that is deeply emotional and atmospheric, with the whole band being tied together by the delicate yet powerful thread which is Anneke van Giersbergen's voice.

It shows how much structure there is within their music and how even though they normally belt it out there is a far more evaluated side to their nature. From opener "Locked Away" to closer "Like Fountains" the listener is taken for a ride through fourteen songs that have a craggy beauty which is going to introduce them to a whole new audience. Fans of the band will just lap this up while newcomers will wonder how they have never come across this style of music before. It is often piano-based with acoustic strumming but it is Anneke that is the pin that holds it all together and she comes out of this with a lot of credit.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 If_Then_Else by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.04 | 92 ratings

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If_Then_Else
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The album title may sound as if it had come from one of my Rexx programs, but the music is much more interesting than that. In Anneke, they have one of the most interesting female rock vocalists, and they use her range to provide superb counterpoint to what is happening beneath. This is a strange album in many ways, and while all of the songs would fit under the banner 'rock', these are much more than the antics of five people from Holland left alone with amplification. Even though they sound nothing like Bj÷rk, I could see her adapting some of these songs. "Bad Movie Scene" is a case in point. It may be under four minutes long, but it is full of melodrama and passion, and Thom Yorke would love it.

They use distortion to good effect, and the impression at the end of the album is that of not fully having understood all that is going on. It means that the only course of action is to play it again, in the hope of gaining the full meaning of the music. Do that six or seven times in succession then possibly, just possibly, you may get your head inside the music. Compelling and wonderful ? not an album to be taken lightly or after a big meal.

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

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 Superheat (Live Album) by GATHERING, THE album cover Live, 2000
3.50 | 28 ratings

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Superheat (Live Album)
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Following on from their success last year with their fifth studio album 'How To Measure A Planet?', Holland's theGathering have returned with a live album which was recorded at two gigs on the tour last year.

This is a band with a lot of ideas, and many different musical traits, but they are let down throughout this album with some pretty poor production. If the idea is to generate the idea of how the sound may come across at times in a live gig then they have succeeded, but the listener wants some clarity to the instruments and the vocals. "Marooned" starts life as a number by Everything But The Girl while "Probably Built In The Fifties" comes across as if the band are attempting to be Hawkwind with a female singer.

An album which is most definitely spoilt by the poor sound. A shame.

Originally appeared in Feedback #57

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 Disclosure by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 72 ratings

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Disclosure
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A bizarre post-rock/trip-hop monstrosity with some unusual influences - see the absolutely gorgeous and plaintive trumpet solo in Heroes for Ghosts, see the Celtic folk influences towards the end of album closer Gemini II - Disclosure finds the band having grown accustomed to having Silje Wergeland on vocals and making substantial strides in getting back on form. In fact, I'd say I enjoyed this Gathering album more than any at least since How to Measure a Planet?, and perhaps more even than any of them. The loss of Anneke van Giersbergen, far from sowing the seeds of the band's destruction, actually seems to have provided them with the kick in the rear they needed to take their music to the next level.

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 If_Then_Else by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.04 | 92 ratings

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If_Then_Else
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars To my ears, The Gathering's If_Then_Else is a retrograde step when compared to the wonderful How to Measure a Planet? Where the preceding album was an adventurous exploration of the very limits of the gothic metal genre with heaps of influence from other musical tradition besides, If_Then_Else seems to be an attempt to creep back towards the band's comfort zone with a few embellishments from the genres they dabbled in earlier retained. It's a pleasant enough listen, but The Gathering can and have done so much better than this fairly unambitious work. Get it if you can't get enough of the Anneke-fronted incarnation of the band.

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 How to Measure a Planet? by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.90 | 126 ratings

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How to Measure a Planet?
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TowardsMorthond

4 stars Not so much a reaction to attempts by media and label to misrepresent them as a gothic doom metal band as it is a moment of definitive self-realization, How to Measure a Planet?, The Gathering's fifth album, and third with vocal extraordinaire Anneke Van Giersbergen, marks a significant shift in the band's sound and presentation. The music on this effort is more experimental in form and instrumentation, particularly in guitars and keyboards, featuring frequent electronic nuances and a few programmed percussive sounds to add texture to the organically produced drum beats, drenched in atmospheric bliss and richly melodic, and is much closer to shoegaze and 1970s-style progressive rock than doom metal; bathed in a warm, refreshingly organic sound that is a dramatic change from the embellished and polished Woodhouse Studios production jobs of the previous two efforts, the language of motion and orchestration of the music is pure feeling given musical shape according to the rhythm and spirit of human aspiration. What has not been altered is the enveloping atmosphere and melody that this band has become known for, although here these components are even more powerful and enthralling due to more confident songwriting, featuring excellent arrangements emphasizing the band's strengths in a natural and self-sure form revealing tremendous growth in compositional vision and conviction of creative identity.

"I have heard this mental search has made them all take a look along the border Having the urge For their minds to be lifted to something new I'm running to meet my higher self"

Giersbergen's heavenly voice is the primary feature and expressive source of emotional energy of these songs save for a couple of instrumentals, and as brilliant and stunning as it is on the two previous albums, her singing is more consistently harmonious with the music here, which is rich in instrumental texture, mostly slow and reflective, with intense rises to emotive eruptions, allowing her voice an enhancing level of flexibility with very fluid, naturally flowing arrangements. Ren' Rutten's guitar playing is more experimental, entirely in the tradition of ambient guitar rock and progressive rock, using a heavily fuzzed-out distorted guitar tone for louder sections, with a variety of effects to color the sound, and absolutely fantastic lead playing during the transcendent coda of the vastly life-embracing "Great Ocean Road", and "Rescue Me", a reflectively intimate track given an astounding sense of ascendant yearning by his thickly distorted, hazy-toned mid-song lead.

"I feed you balance We will not rest Until the search ends"

One gets the sense that the expansive conception of this double-disc release was the product of experiencing an abundance of creative inspiration, not just in the amount of fantastic music offered here, but in the theory of its organization which reflects the parallel of the direct (song-oriented disc one) and abstract (psychedelic space-rock disc two) in fundamental human observation and discourse. This sequential arrangement is important, but an underlying reinforcement of the music's feel and portrayal of the trip that is human existence in the ceaseless but beautifully diverse movement of the world, considered from the affirmative position that is this band's natural creative character, in their most definitive, ambitious, and inspirational expression.

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 How to Measure a Planet? by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.90 | 126 ratings

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How to Measure a Planet?
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Gathering's How To Measure a Planet? is a bold and innovative departure for the band, who take on significant amounts of shoegaze influence (filtered through All About Eve) and amp up the electronic content and end up charting a course for the borderlands between the gothic metal of their previous albums and the uncharted expanses of post-rock and post-metal. Though it's a very mellow album, there's still a few more spritely compositions here and there - including the intense rockout of Probably Built In the Fifties. On the whole, this is precisely the departure from expectations The Gathering needed at this time.

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 Nighttime Birds by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.96 | 104 ratings

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Nighttime Birds
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Taking on more melodic and alternative rock influences, Nighttime Birds is otherwise a repeat of the approach of Mandylion - combining Anneke van Giersbergen's All About Eve-ish vocals with doomy gothic metal riffs. It's a pleasant listen once again, and some compositions - like Kevin's Telescope - are genuinely haunting, though there are points where it feels to me a bit too much like a retread of its more successful predecessor. On the whole, I'd say if you loved Mandylion you will most likely enjoy this one, but at the same time I do feel glad the band took things in a more experimental direction subsequent to this because one more album in the exact same style as this one would have been too much.

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