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Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • everything from the end records is wierd and utterly amazing this is no exception the gathering is laden with pounding rythems and beautiful female vocals. this being my first the gathering experience i have no past albums of which to compare this to but in my opinion the gathering is one of the better female fronted bands. the shortest day is the standout song for me on this album. just by listening to it once i knew all of the words without even looking in the booklet that’s how catchy they are. although not technical by any means they are still worth your money and not pass this one up!

    Posted on January 28, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Reviewgium – Volume I, issue III

    Before I was even a fan of The Gathering, Anneke van Giersbergen was one of my favorite female vocalists, and her charms have won me over yet again with this album. It took a few listens before Home really “clicked,” but when it did, it did so in a big way. As with their last few albums, Home makes it apparent that The Gathering has mellowed out quite a bit, but they have not lost their edge. Well, perhaps they did lose a little in Souvenirs, but they have gained back whatever little edge they lost in Home. Still, the newer songs are almost mellow enough at times to be considered metal-tinged pop rock, but let’s not go overboard with labels.

    “Shortest Day” opens the album, the highlight being Anneke’s immaculate, wordless chantings during the choral sections. Then a slow, pulse followed by a sinister bass line starts the haunting track “In Between,” which I think contains Anneke’s best performance on the album, though it is really difficult to rate one song against another in that manner, as she excels consistantly in every song. An eerie combination of chimes and steady pulsating rhythms provdide the setting for “Alone,” a song beautiful in its simplicity. The delicate nature of “Waking Hour” sort of trasports you to another realm, and is extended in the intermediate track “Fatigue,” and enhanced further with more of Anneke’s enchanting vocal lines in “A Noise Severe.” “Forgotten” may be considered the weak point of Home, if there must be one, but there is nothing wrong with a simple duet between Anneke and a piano. “Solace” is a mixture of singing and spoken word. Does anyone have a problem with the Dutch language rolling off of Anneke’s tongue? I do not know what she is saying, but it does not seem to matter. In fact, now I think I’d pay for a few issues of “Books On Tape: as read in Dutch by the sultry Anneke van Giersbergen.” Anyway, the pace picks up a bit with “Your Troubles Are Over,” sinking back down for the sad melodies of “Box,” another song, like “Alone,” that is beautiful in its simplicity, pulling at your heartstrings like a rain shower in the forest on a cool, placcid spring night. “The Quiet One”…short but sweet Anneke ambience, setting you up for the title track. Just sit back, close your eyes for a moment, and let it take you to another plane. She has that power. Frankly, I think the album could have ended perfectly with this song, but the final track is instead a “Forgotten Reprise,” odd in that it is longer than the original “Forgotten.” Or perhaps I should say “drawn out,” as the track is essentially a droning 8-minute fade-out that disappears into the horizon.

    I can definitely recommend this album to fans, though if you were expecting a return to the earlier and heavier sound of The Gathering, you obviously will not find it here, and perhaps never again at this rate. Not that that is a bad thing. For new listeners, pick it up if I have sparked your interest, but your best bet would be to acquire the more energetic Nighttime Birds, or alternatively, the classic How To Measure a Planet as your first Gathering album. It worked for me.

    Posted on January 28, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Another highly interesting album from a highly interesting band, The Gathering returns after a brief break and offers “HOME” this stuning piece of works continues the path started in “Souvenirs” only a little more oriented into strings than into keyboards and sintethizers as the last release, heavyness have been left behind for more experimentation in ambiental sounds , ethereal scenarios and reflexive lyrics almost in a contemporary art form that fits in the current decade and marks this time identity, the album opens with “shortest day” wich i had the oportunity this year to appreciate live in my city Guadalajara weeks before the release, awesome concert, they sound amazing live and see them was quite an experience, besides vocalist Anneke charm is deligthfull (weeks before i saw U2 in Mexico City and i must say i enjoyed maybe more The Gathering), the second cut is “In between” my favorite of this album, “Forgoten” is a sea of tranquility, “Fatigue” is a colorfull track and “your troubles are over” full of percussions marks the climax of this release. We have “The Gathering” for many years more and this is great!!!!!!!


    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I type this review now, two months after i got the album, because I was constantly listening to it for these past two months.

    I have been a huge fan of this band ever since I heard if_then_else back in 2004. I have obtained all their albums and enjoy them all quite so very much..

    But with every album, there was a playlist I create, of my favourite songs of the album.. But with home, the playlist IS the album..

    I cannot begin to describe the beauty that is “Home”.. the voice of Anneke, soars higher and is purer and more heart felt than ever before… The music is deep, rich yet so accessible… There is not one song that is not beautiful within itself..

    Whether its the upbeat Shortest Day, the melancholic Box, A Noise Severe, Alone, Waking Hour, the beautiful Forgotten, the uplifting Solace, and Your troubles are over or the heavenly In Between, Home and The Quiet One.. this record will truly take you on a journey you will never forget, a journey you will want to take over and over and over again..

    Two words, Buy it.. you will not regret it for a second..

    The one thing that is sad is that this band has not gained the recognition it deserves..

    To the gathering, stay true to yourselves and thank you for heaven..

    To the readers, stop reading and start listening..

    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • As if any Gathering fan needed to know, after hearing Home there’s no doubt that it’s seriously in the running for CD of the year. Anneke once again proves she has one of the most beautiful voices in music today and the rest of the band keeps their, now trademark, sound going perfectly, bridging the gap between Souvenirs and Home as if there was never even a wait.

    You’ll notice quite quickly that, while Home is still highly experimental, it’s not quite as experimental as How To Measure A Planet? or Souvenirs. There’s more of a straight-forward feel to this record than previous ones, but in no way is that a bad thing. The songs tend to revolve around the lyrics and vocals a little more than they used to while still keeping that Gathering feel that each CD has had. The Gathering haven’t made their music mainstream, they haven’t dumbed it down, they’ve remained true to themselves and put out a CD that is nothing short of stellar.

    Anneke has a way with words, past releases have been ambitious but sometimes didn’t make complete sense. Souvenirs corrected that problem somewhat, but now with Home that problem is gone. The lyrics are personal, honest, everything that makes music what it is. As for the band, they’ve always been one of my favorites but this time around they’ve solidified themselves as my personal favorite. The beats are so layered that at times it can be almost overwhelming. It’s safe to say that these songs will sound amazing live as well.

    My favorite songs are Shortest Day, Alone, Forgotten, Solace, and Box. Any Gathering fan is sure to love this CD, but also it’s highly expected that The Gathering will gain more than a few new fans with this release. If you expect great things from Home, I can guarantee that those expectations will be met ten-fold. Home will remind you of why you like The Gathering to begin with, not to mention that it’s always refreshing to see a band not give in to the pressure of fitting in.

    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now