The Gathering
Almost a Dance


1.5
very poor

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 17th, 2008 | 17 replies | 9,445 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album is horrible and it is entirely the vocalist's fault.

I’m a big fan of The Gathering and I have made it a point to buy all of their albums, but I always avoided this one because I have never read one positive thing about it. Even the band stays away from this album in a live setting, and just kind of chuckles in any interview that brings it up. Yesterday, morbid curiosity finally got the better of me and I bought this album even though I fully knew that it was going to be bad. I’d like to say that I was pleasantly surprised or that it’s at least not as bad as every one says, but I was not pleasantly surprised because it is that bad.

I don’t want to leave anyone in suspense so I’ll just come right out and say it; 100% of the blame for this album being as horrible as it is goes to their vocalist. On the album before this they were firmly entrenched in Doom Metal complete with Death Metal vocals, but they wanted to move away from that and tried to get a more contemporary vocalist for the band. What they got is someone who sounds like Mike Patton at his most nasally, except without any of the vocal ability or creativity. His vocals are some of the worst “singing” I think I’ve ever heard, they’re horribly annoying, flat, and consistently out of key. If that’s not enough, their delivery is just as bad. They never seem to be in sync with the music, as if he wasn’t even sure what song he was writing lyrics for at the time. Just as in the previous album, they’ve also included the occasional female vocals, but she is not used nearly enough to make up for his complete lack of ability.

It’s a shame that this guy is so bad because the music he “sings” over is some of the best Metal songs that The Gathering ever wrote. The music is similar to their next album Mandylion in that it is mostly upbeat and not too aggressive, but there are some differences that actually help it to stand out. For one, this album is very guitar oriented with the keyboards taking the back seat for first and only album that I can think of. Due to the keyboards not being a primary instrument, the guitar players had to step up and they did a great job. They have the catchy riffs and great melodies that anyone who has heard Mandylion or Nighttime Birds would expect, but they’ve also taken it a step further. There are some great heavy riffs on this album; in fact, I’d go as far as to say that this album has some of the best riffs of their career. Another element that sets the music apart on this album is the abundance of melodic guitar solos that they included.

I could spend more time on how good the music is, but it is really not worth the effort due to the terrible vocals. If I were to base a rating strictly on the music I could give this album a 4 without any problem, but as you can see, when the awful vocals are included that rating has to drop considerably. I’m usually the type of person that can ignore questionable vocal ability if the music is good enough to keep my interest, but these are just too bad. I wouldn’t recommend this album to anyone who didn’t just have a morbid interest in subjecting themselves to The Gathering’s red-headed step child of an album.



Recent reviews by this author
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
Queensryche QueensrycheSkinny Puppy Weapon
user ratings (53)
Chart.
2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Writing negative reviews is harder then positive ones. When writing negative ones, you quickly run out of things to talk about... how many different ways can you say something sucks?

rasputin
January 17th 2008



14538 Comments


I find negative reviews are usually shorter, but not always harder. If there's something obviously bad about an album then writing a review on it is pretty simple. Good review still. Are you going to review everything from your recent haul? When I get back home, I plan to review everything I've bought on my Euro exchange, which so far is 22 cds :S

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, it only feels harder to write negative reviews because this CD was so blatantly bad that it ended up short... but there's really nothing else to say about it.

I'll probably review the ones that don't already have reviews... I try to stay away from covering albums that someone else has already reviewed... unless I totally disagree with it (and that's only happened twice).This Message Edited On 01.17.08

BallsToTheWall
January 17th 2008



44164 Comments


Good review, I never really heard any thing from this band. Still need their heaviest album, Mandylion was it? And I need to get some Tristania as well.

freudianslipknot
January 17th 2008



803 Comments


Well I have about 5 CDs by The Gathering and I quite enjoy them from time to time (even though most of their stuff is scarcely metal) - but I don't have this. Think I'll be keeping away. So I'll give you a pos for saving me the trouble of eventually seeking this out

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2008



16310 Comments


This sounds horrible, great review.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

astrel
January 17th 2008



2614 Comments


Great review. It ended on a powerfully hilarious note.

TheGreatD17
January 17th 2008



1141 Comments


I haven't ever bothered to check out anything pre-Anneke either, so I'll just take your and everyone else's word for it... and I'm voting.

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Still need their heaviest album, Mandylion was it?
Yeah. Nighttime Birds has one song that's heavier then anything on Mandylion... but Mandylion is more consistently heavy.
I haven't ever bothered to check out anything pre-Anneke either, so I'll just take your and everyone else's word for it
Well, if you like Doom and Death Metal vocals then their debut isn't bad at all... I really like it, actually (and reviewed it too).

TheGreatD17
January 17th 2008



1141 Comments


I'm pretty intolerant of harsh vocals, especially when clean vocals arent mixed in. And considering I don't even like Mandylion that much, I doubt I would like anything else before it.

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Based on that, I can say that there is probably no way you'd like their debut. It is 99% Death Metal vocals with some occasional Female backing vocals... musically it's not too far away from anything else The Gathering did during their Metal phase... so that's another reason you wouldn't like it.

TheGreatD17
January 17th 2008



1141 Comments


I love Nighttime Birds, I just thought Mandylion was boring.

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, those two songs near the end of the Mandylion CD are definitely boring, but the rest of the CD makes up for it (I looked at the Mandylion album page and remembered that I wrote that review too... I thought I had only reviewed The Gathering's two albums without Anneke).

deslad
May 28th 2013



351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The album is very poor as far as the music is concerned and the vocals are maybe the worst I have even heard.

Digging: Deep Purple - Made in Japan

manosg
May 28th 2013



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Which makes Mandylion one of the greatest comebacks ever.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

Willie
Moderator
May 28th 2013



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've always thought that the music on this was pretty good for the time that it came out. If they had Anneke on this album, I think it would have been loved as much as Mandylion.

deslad
May 28th 2013



351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I am not so sure about this. The music was in fact acceptable at some points. The only sure thing is that if Anneke was the vocalist on this one it would have been waaaaaay better.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy