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PostPosted: 18 May 2009, 18:24 
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Burn wrote:
That in 10 years probably more people with remember the Dutch band than the Finnish one... even if both still exist


That's non-sense...
Although I feel the same way you do about TG and Nightwish, I think there's zero chance of that happening.

We, the tG die-hards, are fully aware of all the changes tG has gone through and how "relevant" the music is... But I am not sure The Gathering was ever able to get out of the Metal niche, even not playing metal anymore... The vast majority of their audience is made up of metalheads or "ex-metalheads" (people who were big into metal one day and changed with the Gathering...).
I don't see how The Gatheing can possibly be remembered more than Nightwish in 10 years... It's is very arrogant and elitist of us to think that way about Nightwish... Yeah, to OUR sensibilities The Gathering is much more interesting and much more sophisticated, etc... But there are a whole bunch of people who truly enjoy Nightwish, and we shouldn't simply dismiss their tastes...

And you know.. after a while, perception becomes reality... We can see The Gathering the way we see them.. But if the whole world doesn't see the Gathering for what they are... They will always be rememebered as one the first "female-fronted-metal-bands"...


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PostPosted: 20 May 2009, 19:32 
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There seems to be a crowd of people on here who like to dump on Nightwish frequently. It is not necessary to diminish another band to make The Gathering look good. Both bands stand well on their own. I understand that in Europe Nightwish are the big band with a target on their back, but here in America they are just another underground metal band. So, to me it seems a bit silly to call them out on everything.

It's also annoying because they're one of my favorite bands. :lol:


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PostPosted: 21 May 2009, 21:33 
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I've seen both bands live, and enjoyed both shows - well, several shows in the case of TG. I enjoy listening to both bands on CD up to a point. My point of departure with older Nightwish is that it somehow seems a little "samey" - in comparison, that is, with TG's experimentation and journeying. But they're both perfectly fine bands, each with a dedicated following: in fact, there are many more members over on the Nightwish forum than you'll ever find on this forum, and Nightwish are more "popular".

As for people who've listened to metal and then made a journey away from it, I say why not listen to both metal and non-metal? For that matter, why not listen to folk music, jazz, classical music, world music etc. etc.? But notice that I haven't included mainstream pop/rock in that list. It isn't that there's no good pop/rock. The problem is that I've always sought out something "more" - and I've found it, over time (and without going back too far in history), in bands such as King Crimson, Rush, All About Eve, the Sisters of Mercy, a few other more forgettable bands in between and then The Gathering - and quite a lot more, both metal and non-metal. Most recently, I've been exploring German (loosely pagan) folk and folk/rock.

This is quite emphatically my journey. It might not suit everyone. It certainly doesn't follow current trends in the mainstream realm. For me, this is how it's always been - and I'm probably not alone in exploring music in this way. So, I'm going to suggest that the fan base of a band such as TG is made up of a diverse collection of people who aren't essentially too different from me. :wink:

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PostPosted: 22 May 2009, 02:58 
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From Satan Stole My Teddybear:

By now, anyone who has followed the ramblings of The Gathering is aware that this is the first effort without longtime vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, who left the band in 2007 to form her own project Agua de Annique. This move came on the heels of Home, which was certainly one of The Gathering's least enthralling releases since their early days. Unfortunately, Agua de Annique's debut, Air, was equally dull. Meanwhile, The Gathering simply picked up a new vocalist named Silje Wergeland and took a little time before issuing a new album.

When The Gathering first found Anneke back in 1995, the move was rather significant in the metal world as not many bands featured a female vocalist with a powerful voice. Since then, the frontwoman in metal has become rather standard, so The Gathering isn't exactly breaking down the barriers of music with Wergeland. But without a doubt, The Gathering is aware of precisely which side of their bread gets buttered, so the selection of Wergeland finds the band sticking to their guns. She does not venture terribly far from the sound The Gathering has cultivated throughout the last decade. Listening to her debut performance on The West Pole, one can instantly picture her capturing all the band's past material quite adeptly in concert. On the flipside, she doesn't establish a truly unique presence in the grand scheme of things, but that's forgiveable since the talent is solid.

The West Pole starts out with some rather jangly guitar rock, but ultimately the album spends a lot of time in Pensive Land, where singers brood about introspective topics. The first three songs are quite engaging and intriguing, but the pace slows down. Fortunately, the songwriting seems punchier and stronger than Home, but at the same time the music still dwells in the lazy, hazy area where metal, dreampop and shoegaze music meet. While there's a lot of territory to be explored there, The West Pole doesn't quite create images of Ferdinand Magellan or Sir Francis Drake bravely forging into unknown territory (despite the inconvenient fact people had lived in "the new world" for centuries, but that's another discussion for a different day).

A step up from Home, The West Pole is an adequate release that should please most fans of The Gathering (the post 1999 fans, that is). The remaining members of The Gathering do, however, demostrate beyond a shadow of doubt that they are far more than a mere backdrop for their former vocalist.


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PostPosted: 25 May 2009, 07:54 
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Geoff Palmer wrote:
...Most recently, I've been exploring German (loosely pagan) folk and folk/rock. ...

German folk eh? Have you yet come across a one woman folk outfit that goes by the name Carved In Stone? I had heard about the band because the woman behind it (Ilona "Swawa" Jeschke) happened to be in Taunusheim. I was rather bored with what I had heard of Taunusheim (little more than your average western European pagan blah..ck metal outfit, nothing special), but I went ahead and checked out the keyboardists (the afore mentioned miss Jeschke) own side project anyway. I was quite pleased to find that her side project (Carved In Stone) makes a rather pleasent kind of folky noise that's rather similar to that wounderfull stuff that Loreena Mckennitt is well known for producing (albeit with more obvious Pagan themes and more lyrics in German, being that miss Jeschke is German). In fact, I wouldn't be suprized to find that Carved In Stone was formed more or less as a tribute to Loreena Mckennitt. She's only put out two albums and a demo at this point, but all of the stuff is really rather good.

I'd rather not derail this thread any further, but you're mention of folk music has inturuiged me. You see, I'm mostly what you would call a died in the wool old-school metalhead (meaning that I like older punk as well). I rarely bother to listen to newer metal/punk material unless it has been recommended to me by someone whom I trust quite well. I do, however, enjoy things other than metal. Mostly industrial and industrial related stuff like Death In June, Current 93 (the Seahorse Rears To Oblivion was probably one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard), In Slaughtered Natives, etc. Aside from that, I don't enjoy most other forms of music (the most notable exceptions being Sonic Yout and, obviously, The Gathering). But recently I have found that I quite like folk music. I'm not very far into the stuff as of yet. Mostly spend my folk time listening to Kveldssanger and Hear The Voice. Would there be any folk (not folk rock, never much like the stuff) bands of German origin that you would recommend?


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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2009, 00:41 
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Decibel Magazine review
http://decibelmagazine.com/Content.aspx?ncid=304997

The Gathering

The West Pole

How to replace a singer? | Psychonaut

There’s absolutely no denying that Anneke van Giersbergen’s vocal talents made the Gathering, so it goes without saying that their first album since the dulcet-voiced singer’s 2007 departure would be a crucial one. As we all know, replacing a lead singer without alienating the fanbase is a tall order for any act, and it was interesting to learn this past March that the Gathering, a band with a predilection for progression and reinvention, decided to take a rather safe route in hiring Octavia Sperati siren Silje Wergeland. Similarly, the new record plays things relatively close to its vest, its subtle experiments somewhat refreshing, its formulaic quality surprisingly tepid.

For an album purported to be more “extroverted” and “rock-orientated,” The West Pole sure feels cautious at times. Through no fault of Wergeland either; although her voice cannot match the power of van Giersbergen, she has never sounded better on record, evoking Rachel Goswell and Elizabeth Fraser on the dreamy “Capital of Nowhere.” However, the rest of the band’s old habits keep creeping in, the Floydian touches on the title track predictable, the middle of the album marred by ballad after ballad. The few times they do awake from their proggy stupor, the album feels fresh and vibrant, Wergeland well-suited to the harder arrangements of “No One Spoke,” “A Constant Run” and the shimmering, pop-infused “Treasure.” Such a contrast between passion and ennui makes for a rather disjointed album, and while it’s by no means a failure, it doesn’t exactly feel like a triumph, either.


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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2009, 23:04 
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hehe someone who even didnt notice the guests singers cant have had a proper listen to the album... :lol:

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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2009, 23:21 
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Indeed :wink:

Neil wrote:
And this is not the first review I've read where I wonder if the author is aware that there's more than one singer on the album ...


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 02:59 
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Three separate reviews provided at DPRP - Dutch Progressive Rock Page

http://www.dprp.net/reviews/200924.php#gathering

Highlights from the reviews:

(9 out of 10) - Wow! Quite extraordinary! Very impressive indeed! The Gathering’s The West Pole is a remarkable achievement for a band that lost the iconic Anneke van Giersbergen after its last album, 2006’s Home. Whilst the songwriting has always been credited to the band as a whole, it is fair to say that Anneke was a key element in the band: it was she who wrote the lyrics and sang on the album still considered by many to be the band’s best, Mandylion, and it was that same iconic voice that carried the band all the way from that 1995 high. The effect of her loss on the spirit and morale of the band would have been fatal to many others, but The Gathering have returned with a vengeance, showing that they are bigger than any one individual, with this excellent album that deserves not only to retain their existing fan-base but extend it even further....

(7 out of 10) - .....What effect if any Silje’s presence has on the overall sound I really can’t say because The West Pole is my introduction to the band. For those more familiar with their previous work the opening track When Trust Becomes Sound is short on clues being a raw instrumental guitar thrash which left me wondering what on earth I’d let myself in for. It certainly undermines the bands pedigree displaying a youthful brashness that could have come from any one of a number of garage bands. Mercifully things improve 10 fold with Treasure and the introduction of keys (albeit sparingly) and engaging vocals which reminded me a little of The Corrs’ Andrea Corr. With a memorable chorus this has all the makings of a radio friendly single. The uncompromising rhythmic onslaught remains however continuing into All You Are with a guitar sound that has more jagged edges than a truck load of broken glass.

(8 out of 10) - The first track is an instrumental one, a bit of a surprise with Rutten’s hammering distorted guitar chords. It sounds quite simple but in fact it is the ultimate statement as if they are telling people: we’re not dead, we’re alive & kicking! In the mid tempo song Treasure, we can appreciate Silje is a great singer and there’s much in her singing that reminds of van Giersbergen. Still the guitars are distorted and driving until the orchestrations by Frank Boeijen take over; the final ‘word’ is for Marjolijn Kooijman’s bass. In All You Are still distorted guitars but this time more mellow and René Rutten is plucking rather than playing chords as we can hear them played in the more powerful choruses. The title track begins with subtle plucking of one guitar but soon bass, drums and orchestrations are added and there are very symphonic parts in this majestic piece of music. No Bird Call in the first part is almost an ambient piece of music, with solely keyboards. Distant rhythm patterns and Silje’s dreamy voice contributes to the mysterious melancholic atmosphere throughout the track in spite of soft drumming and sliding guitars. Plucking on a clean guitar, the high pitch vocals by guest Anne van den Hoogen and the piano all contribute to that same laid back atmosphere in the next track: Capitol Of Nowhere. In the second part more distorted and echoing guitars and floating sounds from an organ in the vein of Pink Floyd. The grand piano accompanies Silje in the beautiful ballad You Promised Me A Symphony. Maybe a bit odd, but for me Pale Traces could have been a track by Agua De Annique so musically not too different, at least partly. However not Silje but special guest Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion) sings the lead vocal. The last part of this track there also some violins. After so much laid back spherical music, it’s time for something a bit more up tempo. In spite of a very nice more quiet interlude, the driving beat and guitars are back in No One Spoke. In A Constant Run great melodies are combined with the driving guitars and the song has a very catchy beautiful chorus, in the last part again an exquisite symphonic instrumental part, carried by guitars and a mix of mellotron-samples and piano.

The West Pole is a great come back and defines alternative rock in the Netherlands at its best. Not too heavy, great atmosphere and fine melodies. It will surely appeal to a much wider audience than just fans of gothic rock and it will be a real pleasure to go out and see them live. Anneke van Giersbergen will not be forgotten but the band has made an excellent choice with Silje Wergeland as their new singer.


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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2009, 03:05 
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Pretty good review at Blistering.com

http://www.blistering.com/fastpage/fpen ... 4/menuid/2


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2009, 09:40 
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thanks!


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