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The Gathering - Black Light District CD (album) cover

BLACK LIGHT DISTRICT

The Gathering

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.48 | 27 ratings

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TCat
3 stars 'The Gathering' is a Dutch Post Metal band that started out as a Death Metal band and later turned to a more experimental sound. 'Black Light District' is an EP that was released in the interim between 2000 and 2003 before the release of their highly lauded album 'Souvenirs'. The EP features 3 tracks.

The first track is the title track 'Black Light District' which takes up most of the EP seeing as it is a 16+ minutes. It starts out slow and sparse featuring a solo piano. Percussion starts at the 2 minute mark along with some atmospheric guitar and bass. Guest Sarah Jezebel Deva, who was a soprano female vocalist for 'Cradle of Filth' for 14 years, starts with a slightly subdued spoken word passage with an echoing effect. After a few minutes, regular vocalist Anneke begins to sing while the spoken word continues. At six minutes, things are more intense when electric guitar takes over and the tempo quickens. Things get heavier after a short atmospheric break when the entire band explodes into a loud section. At around 8:30, we enter a heavy shoegaze style with a repeating guitar chord and heavy drumming. At around 10 minutes, things quiet down as the noise wall comes down, yet tension continues as things meander around and then a drone takes over. Soft guitar comes in keeping things minimal for this section. At 12:30, Anneke starts to finally sing a melody which percussion eventually picks up on and helps to carry forward. After she finishes, a nice piano interlude continues with the rest of the band supporting. Soon the band drops out leaving the piano and subdued vocals remaining. This track definitely continues through many sub- genres, yet remains quite concise and varied, so that the 16 minutes actually go by quite quickly.

Next is 'Debris'. This one starts out with a fast strumming guitar and Anneke singing almost right away. A heavy keyboard bass and Anneke trade off lead and then comes all together in a somewhat heavy track with some nice tricky rhythms. Things stay somewhat complex as the band doesn't settle with a typical song structure and melodies and riffs change. The vocal melody becomes somewhat typical, but the supporting instruments are somewhat atypical giving things a unique sound.

The last track is 'Broken Glass' which would also appear on the 'Souvenirs' album, however, this is a different version with only Anneke's vocals and a solo piano.

This EP is a decent recording, but holds nothing groundbreaking, only offering some good tracks that feature some complexity. It is a good EP to track down since there are 2 original tracks not available on the album and one that is in a different version. New fans might be interested in this one as would others. Time tends to be the only major problem here as the 27 minutes goes by really fast. Overall, it is deserving of 3 strong stars.

TCat | 3/5 |

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