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The Gathering - If_Then_Else CD (album) cover


The Gathering


Experimental/Post Metal

3.98 | 133 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
5 stars If_Then_Else is my favourite Gathering pick, it rocks, it has atmosphere, gorgeous vocals, rich sounds and above all excellent songs. The album title could have been better though, I don't like being reminded of work when I'm enjoying music!

Each individual track is an adventure. It starts with the stately pounding Rollercoaster, where the Gathering continues the sonic experimentations of the previous How To Measure A Planet, which was a crucial album in their development from melodic doom flavoured metal to something we will call trip-rock, a rocking marriage of trip-hop and space-rock. The dramatic tone and sophisticated arrangement of Rollercoaster is an exemplary achievement in that development.

Shot To Pieces picks up some speed and is one of the most rocking songs they ever did. It is followed by the tender Amity, one of the most beautiful songs in their catalogue. Anneke Van Giersbergen spins her stunning and sensual vocals around a Massive Attack trip-hop beat. There are some occasional vibes, a spacey guitar loop and a blanket of strings in the middle. It's all very minimal but deadly effective.

The Gathering has come a long way since their first album with Anneke Van Giersbergen. The band has converted themselves from a modest doom metal workout into a highly inventive team. Also Anneke's vocals have matured a lot, she uses her powerful chords only scarcely now, only to lay a dramatic accent within songs, such as halfway in Bad Movies Scene and Colorado Incident. Mostly she sings very dynamically, melodious and sensitive. The most spine-chilling moments come in the cleverly sequenced tracks Analog Park and Herbal Movement, both offering textured rock with a delightful balance of experimentalism and catchiness. Also the three last tracks count among their best work.

This album doesn't offer classic proggy features, so you shouldn't visit it on those terms. It's rock with sophisticated sonic experimentations, touching melodic melancholy and a genre challenging stance. Tempted?

Besides, who wouldn't want to hear Tori Amos fronting a space-trip version of Radiohead? Now what are you waiting for?

Bonnek | 5/5 |


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