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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 - How To Measure A Planet [Century Media - 1998]

The Gathering’s 5th album might be considered their ‘magnum opus’. They finally freed themselves from the shackles of metal and leap into territories hitherto unknown to them. It suits them fine, except for the first album (in that particular time) I think metal isn’t their forte.

The focus on How To Measure A Planet is more on pop/rock songs with some ambient seasoning. Anneke’s voice really shines in the more silent songs and analogue organs and soundeffects spice things up, supplying the music with warmth and depth. The music remains melancholic and romantic. Unlike their Norwegian twin, The 3rd & The Mortal they hold on to songstructures. The Gathering is also less disturbing and more soothing.

The double CD is diverse: from uptempo rockers like Liberty Bell and Probably Built In The Fifties to dreamy tracks like Frail and the superb Marooned. In Rescue Me things get pretty scary while in My Electricity we can recover from our heartbeatings. Thus the whole album travels through a range of atmospheres.

The ‘tour-de-force’ of the album is the title-track. How To Measure A Planet is an ambient rock trip of almost half an hour. I’m glad they got the chance to put this on the album because the slowly evolving track is definitely one of my favourite tracks on this album. Gradually it builds into a rockriff that after about 10 minutes changes in ambient textures that slowly change and evolve into a spooky drone in the 21st minute. Finally it drops into a silence... In one word: great!

One more thing: is it a coincidence that two of my favourite tracks share titles with Ren & Stimpy episodes (Marooned and The Big Sleep)?

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

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