Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Yeah, I know. The last time I reviewed a Gathering album I bitched that they were still getting coverage in metal magazines despite the fact that their music these days is anything but metal. So why am I reviewing their latest release? EvilG told me to, that’s why! No, seriously, there actually is some semblance of metal on here, as ACCESSORIES covers the band’s mid-‘90s period, mostly around the time of NIGHTTIME BIRDS. Split into two discs, ACCESSORIES covers “The B-Sides” (disc 1), with 14 live tracks, covers, demos, and alternate versions of some of The Gathering’s best known songs (“In Motion #1”, “Leaves” etc.) “The Rarities” (disc 2) is a collection of NIGHTTIME BIRDS demos done with Woodhouse Studios engineer Eroc that were never used on the album (tracks 1 – 8), while the remainder of the disc is demos from the HOW TO MEASURE A PLANET? sessions.
Despite the fact that I believe The Gathering to be purveyors of some of the most catatonic music on the planet, ACCESSORIES is a treasure-trove of music for fans. The b-sides disc contains a few nuggets that are interesting, including the lively “Adrenaline” and “Third Chance”, and of course the beautiful, live “In Motion #1”. The rest does absolutely nothing for me, but fans will be ecstatic over hearing these tracks.
The rarities disc is interesting as well, but as for how different these demos are from the actual albums, I can’t say since I haven’t heard them in years. I will say that this disc is the more enjoyable of the two, mostly because it has my absolute favorite Gathering song – “Nighttime Birds”.
I have to commend Century Media on putting together such an awesome package as well. Each song has succinct liner notes written by Hans Rutten, while the NIGHTTIME BIRDS demos have liner notes by the producer, Eroc. There are also two pages of photos included, all of which shows that this is more than just a simple cash-grab. ACCESSORIES definitely won’t convert any new fans to The Gathering’s cause, but loyal listeners will certainly be rewarded by this release.