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Released: 2003, Psychonaut Records/The End Records
The Gathering have long since left the metal realm behind and moved into more ambient and techno territory so its still a surprise when a disc of their shows up for me to review. What I have here is the maxi single for the song “Monsters” which can be found on the bands latest release SOUVENIRS. In fact there is not 1 but 5 different versions of the song ranging from the radio edit to a Dance Mix. Opening the CD is the radio edit of the song which is a pretty good representation of what The gathering has morphed into over the past few years. Anneke van Giersbergen’s voice is the centerpiece of this track as it is almost everything released by the band nowadays. The music is trippy and and not all that bad. I can see how this song could easily be metalized. The other 4 versions go from bad to worse. They take the good parts of “Monsters”, that being van Giersbergens vocals and throw it over the top of everything from dj scratching (Gallion Mix) to a bass-busting dance beat (Dance Mix). The CD also has a CD Rom section which contains a couple of mpeg clips. The first is of the band performing “Monsters” on the RCN Rockshow along with an interview with Anneke. The interview is pretty interesting because Anneke talks about the metamorphosis of the bands sound from metal to trip hop sound that they have now. The second clip is from Hamburg and shows the band playing “Monsters” along with “You Learn About It” and “Black Light District”.
For fans of The Gathering this is a very interesting collection of tracks and video. The band comes across much better live than on the studio tracks. One thing that I have to reiterate is that The Gathering have shed all that remains of their metal guise so while they continue to make interesting music, it will never be mistaken for metal.
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