Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Home – The Gathering [#589]

Gathering_homeDuring the Great Download Free For All of the mid-noughties when I was ripped from the comedy inflatable bosom of Nightwish and thrown grovelling at the awesome rock prowess of The Gathering, I was self-tasked with the necessity to obtain the band’s entire catalogue.

Fortunately, this was one of those times when such an action was worthwhile. Aside from the band’s first couple of albums, Always and Almost a Dance, which are both truly dreadful and were swiftly deleted from my collection, their other albums just kept on sending tingles.

The Gathering are another example of where the UKs coverage of quality Euro music is lacking. The downright snobbery of the UK music industry in regard to artists from beyond the North Sea frequently turns my stomach. There really are some excellent artists out there but because a minority have the monopoly on what is seen and heard in the UK, it is often the case that without the internet, nothing “non-British” would be available. Indeed, even with impending changes to the accessibility of internet this will only get worse and result in  further impedence of the spread of culture from east to west while the spread of culture from west to east will continue unhindered.

Home is The Gathering’s eighth album and the last to feature Anneke van Giersbergen who, in my opinion, made the band. It seems that 2006 was the time of departure for a few female led Eurometal bands (eg Nightwish and Tarja’s departure), but rather than disappear into obscurity, van Giersbergen went on to work with Ayreon and do her own stuff and quite successfully too. Like Mandylion, it has an almost progressive concept album feel to it but the concept album vibe might just be my overactive imagination.

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Accessories – The Gathering [#51]

Accessories – The Gathering

This is the second album alphabetically that I have from The Gathering. It is one of those filler albums. The ones that bands or record labels release to maintain interest in their music between albums. Accessories is a compilation of live, rare and b side songs.

Songs from Mandylion like Strange Machines, Amity and In Motion are joined by covers of Dead Can Dance (In Power We Trust the Love Advocated) and instrumental and orchestral versions of other classic Gathering songs.

I suppose it is one of my favourite albums by the Gathering, purely because it showcases most of their better songs. Spread over two discs, the playtime runs to just over 2 hours 25 minutes and is a good introduction to the band if you couldn’t face A Noise Severe.

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A Noise Severe- The Gathering [#36]

A Noise Severe by The Gathering

I first came across The Gathering ages ago, specifically their album Mandylion. I was immediately transfixed. It was at this time that I started to realise how controlled the British music press and culture is. I did research and found very little in the way of acknowledgement in the UK that this bunch of Dutch rockers actually existed. Why? They had been going for a while, the lead singer was a hot chick called Anneke, and their music was enjoyable, diverse and melodic. So why? Why did they not have as much recognition in the UK than they had on the continent. After all, it wasn’t as if they were singing in Dutch or Norse or some weird Scandinavian dialect. They were singing in English.

And bloody good too.

A quick look at their tour history had them touring most of Europe. Big city gigs in the likes of Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, Liepzig. Festivals all over the place (including Wave Gothik Treffen). But it seemed like they only played the UK a few times, and even then, far off obscure parts (London mostly). Why? The same issue with Ayreon, Sieben and many other artists. Absolutely massively popular in Europe and other parts of the world but in the UK…nothing. Or very little.

Anyway, this album is a live set featuring the lovely Anneke Van Giersbergen who belts out a proper pot pourri of The Gathering’s greatest hits. If you’re keen to try new “metal”ish rock and you’re looking for something different, coherrent and comfortable, I suggest you whet your appetite with this album. Favourites Probably Built in the Fifities and Strange Machines feature as do several tracks from the Mandylion and Home albums but yeah, I think it’s a good starting place if you’re unfamiliar.

So in what is becoming tradition, here is a little video of my favourite song from the album:

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