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The Gathering - Home (CD)

The Gathering
by Elina Papadoyianni at 28 May 2006, 7:45 PM

From the moment I discovered it, this band has never ceased to amaze me. And what is even more remarkable is that The Gathering managed throughout the years to gain honor and respect from the wider Metal scene in general, in a way that very few other bands have successfully earned. “Home is here to prove the latter once again and justify our inelastic loyalty to them.
Who ever said that it takes too much time and effort to be acknowledged for your work in the music industry? Ask brothers Hans and Rene Rutten and they will support the opposite! You see, when those two begun the band project that was latter named The Gathering, back in 1989 in a small town in the Netherlands, they couldn't have imagined that by 1991 they would be going on support tours with well-known bands like Morbid Angel. So there you have it! Fame and career in an instant. Yes, well, maybe I didn't mention the crucial ingredient that holds this recipe; talent. And The Gathering possess it in excess since day one of their 17 years of being in the foreground. In 1992 they released Always and the press already loved their more than Gothic, less than Doom Metal sound. And then, in 1994 came the right ingredient at the right time in the face of singer Anneke van Giersbergen. Her clear and eerie vocals presented the band with new grounds to explore. The outcome? Perhaps their trademark work from their more Metal era, the album Mandylion in 1995. In 1997 they released How To Measure A Planet?, to reveal to their fans that they enjoy to progress their sound more than anything else. How much deeper they dived into Metal was not the issue anymore. In 2000 they released two albums: the live Superheat and If_Then_Else that further enhanced the fact that The Gathering like to explore music and then take on a ride to show you new ways to experience your emotions. Their last work before Home was their 2003 release of the album Souvenirs. That was the last time that bass player Hugo Prinsen Geerligs was featured in their lineup, since he has been replaced by Marjolein Kooijman in 2004. Which brings us Home…
This album retains the atmospheric notion that characterizes all of The Gathering's work. Heavy or speedy sections are absent once again, the sound is clear and deep and the guitars do not have a leading role in the play. In that sense, don't expect to find any catchy tracks in Home although A Noise Severe and Your Troubles Are Over do stand out from the rest after the first time you listen to the album. I liked the intermissions like Fatigue and The Quiet One because they contribute to the smooth listening of the album and act as intros to what follows. There is a touch of jazz in Home that you don't find usually around whilst the effects and several samplings are evident in a production of the highest standard. Needless to say, Anneke's voice is still the band's jewel and helps The Gathering to experiment in tracks like Box and Solace with quirky, progressive Rock sounds. Home is the vessel that pushes the band further from their previous album; an evolution phenomenon that has become something of a habit for The Gathering. It is certainly an album that grows on you in time and that probably belongs on the side of the CD rack where you keep those albums you reach for when you are in a particular mood.
I felt touched by this album as it has musical elements that I respect and admire. Having said that, I admit that the next CD on my stereo was a much, much… much heavier and harder one just to bring the balance back inside my head, but I would definitely recommend Home

4 Star Rating

Shortest Day
In Between
Walking Hour
A Noise Severe
Your Troubles Are Over
The Quiet One
Forgotten Reprise
Anneke Van Giersbergen - Vocals
Rene Rutten - Guitars
Marjolein Kooijman - Bass
Hans Rutten - Drums
Frank Boeijen - Keyboards
Record Label: Sanctuary Records


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