Review Summary: Breathtaking. Fusing the sound of Bristol's unique Trip-Hop with a delicious slice of genuine Alternative Rock, a delicate rarity of a genre is born. Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to Trip Rock!
It is evident that occasion upon occasion upon occasion, Dutch musicians 'The Gathering' deliver their full potential to craft a hidden yet rewarding album; whether it be on the modest yet explosive opener 'Rollercoaster' or the gentle ballad 'Amity' or the sheer desperation and climax of 'Saturnine'. Following in the staggering footsteps of their previous magnum opus 'How To Measure A Planet', this band manages to step in exactly the right direction. By going on a transition from a lengthy, yet not overstaying album centred around space travel to a record that is shorter, more accessible, and far more down to earth (no pun intended), this proves to be enough to allow The Gathering to evolve throughout the turn of the millennium with all praise and inevitable critical acclaim intact.
This review would not be nearly accurate enough without a mention of Anneke van Giersbergen's incredible vocals. With her powerful pipes fully liberating many of the songs such as 'Bad Movie Scene' and 'Colorado Incident', there can be so many different emotions to feel, either individually or all at once. Her serenading can deliver feelings of joy, reflection, celebration, settlement, unsettlement, ambition, exploration. Soaring above the industrial flaring of beats, the downtuned guitars and the blissful noises, this provides an everlasting spark on this somewhat ageing yet timeless parchment; similar to the prospect of a candle with a light that shall never disappear.
The prominent French horn on the instrumental middle track 'Beautiful War' is enough to signify a victorious and modestly successful follow up. The blurry cover art shown above also portrays the album's overall balance superbly. In order to fully understand this album, you must allow yourself to pause yourself from all kinetic action and delve head-first into the heart of liberty and emerge with enough solace to realise your excellent taste in music.