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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the The Gathering website  The Gathering - If_Then_Else [Century Media - 2000]

Buy this CD now!
The Gathering always sees to amaze me with every new album they bring out. Everytime they release something fresh and original. First we had Mandylion, which was (and still is) one my favourite albums of the past, then Nighttime Birds, though not as good as Mandylion, still is a perfect example of atmospheric metal. With the Gathering's previous album 'How to Measure a Planet' they lost all metal influences and found their way to the stars. Literally in a way, but also with their music. The psychedelic rock on that album is one of the best I heard.

And now we have If_Then_Else. A classic rock album, with all The Gathering's trademarks, but also a new direction in the music. The Gathering sounds heavy again in some songs, like the opener (and single) 'Rollercoaster',. Anneke sings better than ever and she introduces some new vocal styles, like on the second track 'Shot to Pieces' and the strange song 'Colorado Incident' (which is about a show they had to play, but because of some circumstances they couldn't, which was heavily discussed on their message board and through e-mail.)

But this album also has The Gathering's most emotional and soft moments. Like 'Amity', which introduces an orchestra the band used in the studio. Don't expect a Therion-approach. The instruments are not overused and it doesn't harm the overall band sound. One of the best moments of this album is the track 'Bad Movie Scene', which starts of slow and soft, with Anneke singing better than ever, but builds off with some great riffs and Anneke pouring it all out, The Gathering's best moment!

With its 11 tracks (from which 2 are beautiful instrumentals) this is The Gathering's most mature album. Everyone who liked 'How to Measure a Planet' must hear this album for sure since it's even better, it includes a lot of trippy moments, but the heavy stuff from the past is still not forgotten. And we get to see a lot of new sides from this band, which I reckon to be the best in Holland.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Niels van Rongen
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