talk to me about....THE GATHERING

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should I check them out
who's heard 'souvenirs'? are they
prog/metal saviors?

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:26 (sixteen years ago) link

The ONLY Gathering that matters....

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I disagree. But I'll let Scott Seward explain it:

chuck, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:42 (sixteen years ago) link

There's also some stuff in this Michael Freedberg piece:

Me, I've yet to hear an album by them that I didn't like. (I write about them some in the '90s edition of Stairway to Hell, by the way, and reviewed an album in the Voice that ran too early to be linked to on line.) The *Planet* one Scott reviews is where to start, though.

chuck, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:51 (sixteen years ago) link

"Always" and "Downfall (the demo collection)" are doom/death metal like Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride: growled male vocals + female soprano, Sabbath-at-half-speed. Especially the first one is a fantastic album, but it's not easily digestible stuff.

"Almost A Dance" is usually shoved under the carpet (by both the band & fans), and indeed it's painfully bad, mostly because of the terribly nasal punkrock vocals.

"Mandylion" and "Nighttime Birds" were their breakthrough albums: accessible "fairytale" rock/metal with the exhuberant and hugely charismatic vocals of new singer Anneke van Giersbergen.

"How To Measure A Planet" is a lush, warm but meandering jazzy/proggy affair without any metal left.

"If_Then_Else" and "Souvenirs" trim it a bit into a more song-based thing, which should appeal a lot to fans of 4AD/Projekt. Imagine a cross between the aforemented labels, Portishead, Interpol and the Cranberries - which I'd never thought would work. It's not metal at all, although they'll probably will keep that stigma forever.

Siegbran (eofor), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:53 (sixteen years ago) link

How To Measure A Planet" is my favourite and one the finest albums of the 90s - it was reviewed [and quoted in an advert] as Cocteau Twins + Massive Attack + Rush

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:55 (sixteen years ago) link

have you heard the newest one, siegbran? it's lovely. the trip-hoppy/goth elements are what they are about now, i guess. i can't even remember what the guitars sound like on it. cool duet with Garm from Ulver too. another genre-bender of the first order.

scott seward, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:57 (sixteen years ago) link

they get zilch radio play in the UK: [re 6 Music and Xfm] and zilch press in Uncut, Mojo and NME: because they are laggards who suffer from xenophobia and musical ignorance

only Total Rock and metal mags give them any press/ coverage.

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 22:58 (sixteen years ago) link

The new one (which opens with a song where the goddeslike Anneke almost RAPS, by the way) is the first that I'd call "not metal at all (except to the extent that they're, you know, identified already as a metal band)." I don't even remember if it HAD any guitars on it, to be honest. Also: I had never heard any of the pre-Anneke stuff until this year, and didn't have high hopes for it, but when I finally did hear some of it (on some kind of *Early Years* reissue somebody burned for me) I was actually surprised by how listenable it was.

chuck, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:06 (sixteen years ago) link

It's funny how nearly all the doom/death bands of that time (circa 1991) completely turned their back on the genre. Paradise Lost became a Depeche Mode clone, Disembowelment became a tribal/ambient project (Trial of the Bow), Anathema went Pink Floyd, Pyogenesis went Britpop, Celestial Season became a grungy stoner rock band, and My Dying Bride made a triphop album before returning to their downtuned guitars.

Siegbran (eofor), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Which My Dying Bride album is the trip-hop one, Siegbran? Not sure if I ever heard that one. All the ones I've heard sounded pretty much exactly the same as each other, near as I could see. (Which was fine.)

Here's what I wrote a couple weeks ago about what happened to (some of?) Anahtema after Anathema. (The SECOND Antimatter lick below):

chuck, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:24 (sixteen years ago) link

My Dying Bride - back with a new album for February 2004.

My Dying Bride - 34.788%... Complete

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Chuck/ Siegbran...have you see this METAL news portal..gets all the latest Metal news in one place - bookmark it !

Sonic Assault

DJ Martian (djmartian), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:31 (sixteen years ago) link

The triphop one is called "34.788%...Complete". It's really bizarre, some sound collage tracks, some more focused affairs, all very experimental, but with the old violins popping up here and there, and Aaron trying all kinds of things with his vocals. Some of it is fantastic (the middle section of "The Whore And The Cook And The Mother") some of it is awful. But it was an enormous surprise, as MDB never really experimented on any album (and haven't done much since either).

Siegbran (eofor), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I like Anathema in any way, shape, or form.from the doom to the floyd. it's all luverly to me.and i love that antimatter album.

scott seward, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 23:41 (sixteen years ago) link

New Anathema album on the way, by the way. "A Natural Disaster" is out on November 3rd.

JP Almeida (JP Almeida), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Have you heard the new Anathema? I love it, even if I shouldn't have any tracks now. It leaked. Beautiful stuff. There's actually a surprising amount of metallic riffs on it, and one track sounds altogether like a Primordial song! The best material is to be found on the stripped down songs though, very minimalist tracks even by recent standards.


James Slone (Freon Trotsky), Thursday, 30 October 2003 00:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 30 October 2003 01:09 (sixteen years ago) link

The Gathering are fine, but most metal-heads pass them off as not being heavy enough, especially on later album. But pick up almost any of their albums however, none disapoint.

Unless these are the same metal heads who love Projekt label stuff.

Andrzej B. (Andrzej B.), Thursday, 30 October 2003 02:48 (sixteen years ago) link

as you can presently tell, my grammer and spelling sucks.

Andrzej B. (Andrzej B.), Thursday, 30 October 2003 02:49 (sixteen years ago) link

So we're not talking about the early '80's New Wave / Goth / Indie band from Henley / Wargrave who released one s/t album, did tours supporting Husker Du and Erasure IIRC and featured a vocalist called Phil Yeadon (sp?) and former Sub-Active guitarist Andy Fenn (now in a Danish band called Lovebites I believe, if anyone's heard of them)?

Can't help you then.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 30 October 2003 11:02 (sixteen years ago) link

christoff (christoff), Thursday, 30 October 2003 15:37 (sixteen years ago) link

God, Nighttime Birds is a good album. Really beautiful and swirly and heavy. Anneke is probably the best female singer in 'metal' and she's kinda hottt.

I haven't heard their last couple, but I'd like to.

Anathema...Alternative 4 was their album for me, years ago. I went back and listened to it recently and realized that the lyrics are very silly, but that 'Empty' is still their pop hit that should-have-been.

My Dying Bride...I used to love Like Gods of the Sun, and thought that 34.788% was interesting but mediocre when it came out. After a while though it turned into my favorite album of theirs. It's so DIRTY, it's just got a vibe that really works for them and takes away some of the gawthness. Isn't the drummer from Alternative 4 on that record?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 30 October 2003 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

oh yeah THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE etc. etc.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 30 October 2003 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

I confess to being mystified that there could be disagreement that Mandylion is the Gathering's best album. I like Nighttime Birds, too, but the albums after that are a dreary exercise in diminishing returns to me, each one more disappointing than the last. And if you don't have all the Nightwish albums already, you don't need to worry about the Gathering at all.

ara, Thursday, 30 October 2003 16:13 (sixteen years ago) link

nightwish psssh

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 30 October 2003 16:30 (sixteen years ago) link

I just bought it and
yeah it's lovely. I hear Heart,
Beth Orton, Joan Jett....

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 01:44 (sixteen years ago) link

which one? the new one?

scott seward, Friday, 31 October 2003 02:04 (sixteen years ago) link

oh yeah Souvenirs!
(don't hold me to Joan Jett yett,
still checking shit out)

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 02:06 (sixteen years ago) link

cool! yeah, it's pretty. check out how to measure a planet too, if you get a chance.

scott seward, Friday, 31 October 2003 02:09 (sixteen years ago) link

souvenirs: twelve bucks,
measure/planet was thirteen.
economic choice.

(yeah I know, planet
is a double album but
I only had twelve)

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 02:15 (sixteen years ago) link

damn, you were so close. well, there's always next time.

scott seward, Friday, 31 October 2003 02:18 (sixteen years ago) link

I also wanted
to see if it would end up
in my list this year

but then I got new
ying yang twins in the mail and
now I can't decide

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 02:26 (sixteen years ago) link

they are both excellent! that is a conundrum.

scott seward, Friday, 31 October 2003 02:42 (sixteen years ago) link

I also have to
leave space for the new el gran
silencio record

but the gathering
has an outside shot, just like
hilary duff's album

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 02:48 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm glad you keep reminding me of that el gran album cuz i keep forgetting how much i liked it and it might make my list as well.the only ones i know for sure are Katatonia and Groovski(and i think the groovski album came out last year but i'm gonna conveniently forget that fact).i still haven't heard the hillary duff album.

scott seward, Friday, 31 October 2003 03:30 (sixteen years ago) link

neither have I! ha!
but my daughter just got it
for her birthday gift

it might win for its
cover alone, and title:

and yeah el gran roolz,
#1 for me for sure.
volume 2 next month!

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 October 2003 03:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Long time, no see Jordan. How's it hanging?

James Slone (Freon Trotsky), Friday, 31 October 2003 06:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Slone! How long have you been hanging around here? Are the old metal boards still kicking?

I'm good...I was basically playing jazz and such for the last however many years but I accidentally ended up playing drums in a metal band again!

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 31 October 2003 14:36 (sixteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I love the Gathering so very, very much. I haven't heard the pre-Mandylion albums, but I can say that their last five albums, as well as the "Black Light District" EP, are most definitely worth buying, with "If_Then_Else" having the only (slight) dip in quality. I can't speak for the live album "Superheat" but I'm sure it's quality.

Also: They release a "semi-acoustic" live album called "Sleepy Buildings" in early 2004.

Simon H., Wednesday, 19 November 2003 11:49 (sixteen years ago) link

four years pass...

'sleepy buildings' is great
i was listening to it passively the other week and had a sort of epiphany with it. was thinking about nostalgic things

Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 14:31 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

comments on the new one?

akm, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 04:16 (ten years ago) link

It got some very good reviews on some metal-sites.

Marty Innerlogic, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 10:21 (ten years ago) link

i like it but I'm hardly a huge fan

akm, Thursday, 15 October 2009 03:56 (ten years ago) link

It's only okay. I actually like the poppier moments more than the Gathering-by-numbers tracks.

Anneke's new album is total middle-of-the-road stuff, but I like it a lot more than the Gathering's new one, she and her band have a nice thing going.

A. Begrand, Thursday, 15 October 2009 05:20 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

So the Anneke-less one was just OK then? I didn't think the last one with Anneke was too hot tbh. I am relistening to Planet and Souvenirs, both awesome.

Simon H., Monday, 20 December 2010 10:37 (nine years ago) link

eight years pass...

every once in a while I revisit the Planet/if_then_else/Souvenirs stretch and recall when these weirdos were one of the best rock bands on the, er planet. and then I also wonder aloud whether brad has heard these

Simon H., Thursday, 7 November 2019 04:58 (eight months ago) link

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