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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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Tg25: Live at DoornroosjeTg25: Live at Doornroosje
Psychonaut 2016
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Psychonaut 2017
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Black Light DistrictBlack Light District
Psychonaut Holland 2002
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Noise SevereNoise Severe
The End Records 2008
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The End Records 2006
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Century Media 1995
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THE GATHERING discography

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

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

2.58 | 57 ratings
2.11 | 52 ratings
Almost A Dance
3.88 | 165 ratings
3.97 | 133 ratings
Nighttime Birds
3.90 | 153 ratings
How To Measure A Planet ?
4.01 | 121 ratings
3.56 | 99 ratings
3.37 | 81 ratings
3.36 | 64 ratings
The West Pole
3.81 | 89 ratings
3.47 | 34 ratings

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

3.54 | 33 ratings
Superheat (Live Album)
3.97 | 58 ratings
Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening
4.25 | 21 ratings
A Noise Severe
4.00 | 4 ratings
TG25: Live at Doornroosje

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

3.53 | 17 ratings
In Motion
4.09 | 25 ratings
A Sound Relief
4.22 | 23 ratings
A Noise Severe

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

3.33 | 22 ratings
4.63 | 16 ratings
Nighttime Birds (limited deluxe edition)
4.75 | 4 ratings
Sand and Mercury- The Complete Century Media Years
2.33 | 9 ratings
Downfall - The Early Years
5.00 | 1 ratings
TG25, Diving Into The Unknown

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

4.29 | 5 ratings
Strange Machines
3.09 | 2 ratings
Adrenaline / Leaves
3.33 | 3 ratings
The May Song
3.67 | 3 ratings
Kevin's Telescope
4.07 | 5 ratings
Liberty Bell
3.80 | 5 ratings
4.00 | 4 ratings
3.60 | 26 ratings
Black Light District
4.00 | 4 ratings
You Learn About It
3.00 | 1 ratings
City from Above
3.47 | 11 ratings
Heroes For Ghosts


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mandylion by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.88 | 165 ratings

The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mandylion was one of the most influential metal albums of the 90's. At least in Europa!

And I'm confident with my affirmation because The Gathering (and specially Mandylion) started a well-known fever of metal bands led by female voices which remains till today. The influence in gothic metal bands like Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil is obvious. But glimpses of The Gathering can be also heard in more pop-oriented bands like Evanescence, and also in metal bands like Nightwish.

The main characteristic of The Gathering's sound in this album are the strong guitar riffs, the omniscient layers of keyboards and the incredible voice of Anneke van Giersbergen, who in my opinion is the best female metal singer ever. These three elements, helped by a competent production, created a very enjoyable album despite its obvious flaws.

Mandylion starts the album wonderfully with Strange Machine, with its great riff and outstanding vocals, in a sort of symphonic gothic metal both powerful and mellow, and very elegant. The lyrics are not so great, but they accompany the music just fine with its thematic about time travel.

Eleanor is darker, more gothic and pretty negative lyrics, again with some progressive influences and a great bass line. And very gothic is also In Motion #1, an almost symphonic song with tons of keyboards and a beautiful dark atmosphere.

Leaves start with mellow guitars but soon they give way to another dark riff with the typical layer of keyboards. And at this point we can't avoid thinking that this album is a bit repetitive, but the wonderful solo of the song and its instrumental interlude make us forget that.

Fear the Sea is another competent song which talk about the fearsome waters of the ocean, helped by some hard almost- thrash metal riffs. This song contains a long instrumental part which is not very brilliant, but adds a layer of extra setting. And very atmospheric is also the title track, with ethnical percussion and beautiful vocal melodies. A very adequate song for this point of the album!

Sand and Mercury is the longest and also the most progressive track of the album. Anneke don't appear till the sixth minute! And when she appears the song transform itself into pure magic. Beautiful! And JRR Tolkien talks at the end of the song? What more could we desire?

Oh, yes? I know what I desire for this album. A powerful yet beautiful ending track, with a bit of extra melody. And In Motion #2 is exactly that! Maybe my favorite track of the entire album. Just great and with a beautiful cello!

Conclusion: Mandylion is a very good record, almost excellent. Anneke is wonderful, the production is superb and the songwriting very strong although a bit repetitive. Of course, not every prog rock lover will be able to appreciate its quality and influence over the years. But if you like gothic rock, alternative metal and female voices, this album with fulfill all your expectations.

Best Tracks: Strange Machines, Eleanor, Leaves, Sand and Mercury, In Motion #2. But not a single weak song can be found here!

My rating: ***1/2, rounded up to four stars.

 Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening by GATHERING, THE album cover Live, 2004
3.97 | 58 ratings

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

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I think I've been in love with The Gathering for the last three years, and now I can say it is one of those bands I regret I never see in concert, pity me. But well, every time I listen to them I am fed with emotions, memories and stories, something not so many bands produces on me. We all know that Anneke's years made this band bigger and unforgettable, she is without a doubt THE Gathering's voice (though I LOVE Silje), and every single record they released with her voice is a delight.

This live album is different, because it has a lot of acoustic passages and most of the songs (if not all) had new arrangements, I mean, they were re-worked songs for this special semi-acoustic evening. So the band surprised the audience and the album's listeners because it features great iconic and not that iconic songs from their repertoire with a softer sound that was magnificently complemented by Anneke's beautiful, powerful and emotional voice.

Of course when someone aims to listen to The Gathering, it is expected to find those metal roots and those experimental moments they created with their 90s albums, which is why listening to this live album might be a double- edged knife, because you either might feel that lack of power, or you might find the magic that surrounded this show. I love the band and I stay with the magic, but I cannot deny this is not my favorite live release.

The night and the concert were beautiful, the music makes you travel with those wonderful guitars and keyboards, but without a doubt the main magic lies on Van Giersbergen's vocals and charisma. The band seemed to be connected so everything flows naturally, so this is without a doubt a great concert, a nice experiment that a fan like me appreciates, but honestly I would not use this as an introductory album, I would not recommend it unless I know the person already knows and likes The Gathering.

My favorite moments are: "Amity", "Red is a Slow Color", "Eleanor" and of course, the mighty "Travel", a song that never fails. My final grade will be 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

 Strange Machines by GATHERING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
4.29 | 5 ratings

Strange Machines
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars There's a forum on our favorite website regarding whether The Gathering should be considered "progressive". For me, "progressiveness" centers around two considerations. Does the band in question combines elements in a unique way, and do they exhibit musical development? I'm raising the issue because the MANDYLION album, where these songs originated, initiates the band's real growth. So, you can probably guess my opinion on the matter.

All three of the songs on this EP are strong ones. The general consensus seems to agree with me, and rates the MANDYLION album highly. Therefore I won't discuss the individual songs. I only have two criticisms of this Strange Machines EP. The first is that there's nothing to suggest to the listener that the two "live" tracks were actually recorded live. The other one is that an album track and an edited version of the song for radio is unnecessary IMO. Otherwise this is a very enjoyable way to spend 20 minutes.

 Liberty Bell by GATHERING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
4.07 | 5 ratings

Liberty Bell
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars To my way of thinking, there are two purposes for a single or EP release. One is to give casual listeners a short introduction to the music; the other is to give listeners familiar with the band something extra to enjoy. The Gathering is one of my favorite bands, so I appreciate this EP consisting of alternative versions. My only complaint is that "Shrink" and "Frail" are too similar in sound and mood, considering they make up more than half of the running time.

I think this EP is terrific. If you've already listened to How To Measure A Planet, you're already familiar with these songs. I really like these alternative versions. I also don't object to the edited version of "Liberty Bell", which drags on a bit in the album version. This is a good representation of The Gathering, and I'm giving it four stars.

 Adrenaline / Leaves by GATHERING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
3.09 | 2 ratings

Adrenaline / Leaves
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

3 stars I will start my review by confessing that The Gathering have become one of my favorite bands. So, I have to admit some bias toward anything they put out! This EP needed to be reviewed, so I did so. Anneke van Giersbergen had become the lead singer by this EP, Adrenaline/Leaves, was released. She is a very large part of the reason for the band's success. She has a terrific alto voice, although I wish there was more variety to her singing. The band's early material is often considered simple, derivative death/doom metal, and usually not given a lot of respect. However, these songs come from The Gathering's breakthrough album Mandylion, which is excellent.

All three songs are good ones, with "Leaves" probably being my favorite. I don't care for a lot of versions of the same song, but in this case the second version of "Leaves" takes up less than a third of the total playing time. This is a good listen for anyone who is interested in The Gathering and wants a brief introduction. This is certainly not their best EP or single; some greater variety could have boosted the over all rating. Adrenaline/Leaves is a good introduction to the innovative sound that first brought The Gathering to the world's attention.

 Afterwords by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.47 | 34 ratings

The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

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.

 The West Pole by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.36 | 64 ratings

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.

 Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening by GATHERING, THE album cover Live, 2004
3.97 | 58 ratings

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

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog 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

 If_Then_Else by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.01 | 121 ratings

The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog 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

 Superheat (Live Album) by GATHERING, THE album cover Live, 2000
3.54 | 33 ratings

Superheat (Live Album)
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog 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

Thanks to ProgLucky and Andrew "sleeper" Carter for the artist addition.

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