The Gathering – Downfall


Artist

Album

Downfall

Label

VIC Records

Year

2008

For Fans Of

Cynic, Agora, Therion

Summary

A compilation of early recordings from Dutch melodic metallers restored to modern listening standards

Rating

52 / 100

It’s been quite a time since I have listened to Dutch metallers The Gathering and I had all but forgotten about their existence given that they have very little following here in Australia. Nonetheless, they have worked hard since their 1992 debut release and found themselves touring the US and Canada with Lacuna Coil last year. Their mix of melodic keyboard enriched music accompanied by the vocals of Anneke van Giersbergen has seen many inspired bands achieve similar success – Nightwish, Lacuna Coil to name but a few. 

So now I am faced with the task of reviewing 140min a collection of bootleg material. Promos, EP demos, rehearsal tapes and live footage – most of which has been previously unheard. Unfortunately, when bands are finding themselves releasing this sort of material it often signifies i) a foreseeable demise to the band and ii) an attempt by the record label to generate whatever profit it can out of the band before said demise! So it comes as no surprise to those who already know of The Gathering that singer Anneke departed the band in August last year to commit to her family and this CD has been released as a last hoorah. 

Unfortunately, given the nature of the material it’s fair to say that this collection would only be truly desirable to those die-hard fans out there that feel the need to hear material restored to a satisfying standard. Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate) has done a respectable job bringing the levels up, though one can never escape the feeling that he was served a massive pile of shit and then told to make a five course meal out of it. All in all I can’t help escape the feeling that I’d only listen to this collection of sub-standard recordings once or twice at best and then watch it gather dust on the shelf. Notable mention should be made to tracks Her Last Flight and In Sickness And Health (also available on debut release).

Conclusion

Perhaps a desirable purchase for any diehard The Gathering fan wanting to hear the band while still in its formative years, though not a worthy recommendation for those wanting to learn about The Gathering. Check out Nighttime Birds or If Then Else for some quality The Gathering.

Tracklisting

CD1

  1. Heartbeat Amplifier – 4:56
  2. Her Last Flight – 8:09
  3. On A Wave – 5:26
  4. The Illusionist – 4:29
  5. Passage To Desire – 4:49
  6. Of Pavilions And Fountains – 3:33
  7. In Sickness And Health – 7:25
  8. Gaya’s Dream – 6:22
  9. Always… – 2:29
  10. Second Sunrise – 6:48
  11. Six Dead, Three to Go – 4:05
  12. Downfall – 5:19
  13. Another Day – 3:12
  14. Share The Wisdom – 4:12

 
CD2

  1. Dethroned Emperor – 4:12
  2. Subzero – 6:20
  3. Anthology in Black – 3:53
  4. Second Sunrise – 6:50
  5. Downfall – 6:03
  6. In Sickness and Health – 6:42
  7. Anthology In Black (live) – 3:02
  8. Downfall (live) – 5:33
  9. Subzero (live) – 6:44
  10. Second Sunrise (live) – 7:06
  11. Gaya’s Dream (live) – 6:16
  12. Stonegarden (live) – 4:58
  13. Heartbeat Amplifier (live) – 5:11

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