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3.74 | 27 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Rollercoaster (4:45)
2. Shot to Pieces (4:10)
3. Amity (5:57)
4. Bad Movie Scene (3:49)
5. Colorado Incident (4:53)
6. Beautiful War (2:32)
7. Analog Park (6:05)
8. Herbal Movement (4:10)
9. Saturnine (5:11)
10. Morphia's Waltz (6:37)
11. Pathfinder (4:38)

Total Time: 52:51


- Anneke van Giersbergen / Vocals
- René Rutten / Guitar
- Frank Boeijen / Keyboards
- Hugo Prinsen Geerligs / Bass
- Hans Rutten / Drums

Guest Musicians :

- Bart van Vegchel / French horn on tracks 1, 6, and 11
- Ad Verspaandonk / Trombon on tracks 6 and 11
- Emmeke Bressers / Oboe on track 6
- Jasper Slotboom / cello on track 6
- Marthe Kalkhoven / cello on track 6
- Jiska ter Bals / violin on tracks 3, 9, and 10

About this release

Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: July 3, 2000

Thanks to Stooge, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

To my ears, The Gathering's If_Then_Else is a retrograde step when compared to the wonderful How to Measure a Planet? Where the preceding album was an adventurous exploration of the very limits of the gothic metal genre with heaps of influence from other musical tradition besides, If_Then_Else seems to be an attempt to creep back towards the band's comfort zone with a few embellishments from the genres they dabbled in earlier retained. It's a pleasant enough listen, but The Gathering can and have done so much better than this fairly unambitious work. Get it if you can't get enough of the Anneke-fronted incarnation of the band.
If_Then_Else is my favourite Gathering pick, it rocks, it has atmosphere, gorgeous vocals, rich sounds and above all excellent songs. The album title could have been better though, I don't like being reminded of work when I'm enjoying music!

Each individual track is an adventure. It starts with the stately pounding Rollercoaster, where the Gathering continues the sonic experimentations of the previous How To Measure A Planet, which was a crucial album in their development from melodic doom flavoured metal to something we will call trip-rock, a rocking marriage of trip-hop and space-rock. The dramatic tone and sophisticated arrangement of Rollercoaster is an exemplary achievement in that development.

Shot To Pieces picks up some speed and is one of the most rocking songs they ever did. It is followed by the tender Amity, one of the most beautiful songs in their catalogue. Anneke Van Giersbergen spins her stunning and sensual vocals around a Massive Attack trip-hop beat. There are some occasional vibes, a spacey guitar loops and a blanket of strings in the middle. It’s all very minimal but deadly effective.

The Gathering has come a long way since their first album with Anneke Van Giersbergen. The band has changed from a modest doom metal workout into a highly inventive team. Also Anneke’s vocals have matured a lot, she uses her powerful chords only scarcely now, only to lay a dramatic accent within songs, such as halfway in Bad Movies Scene and Colorado Incident. Mostly she sings very dynamically, melodious and sensitive. The most spine-chilling moments come in the cleverly sequenced tracks Analog Park and Herbal Movement, both offering textured rock with a delightful balance of experimentalism and catchiness. Also the three last tracks count among their best work.

This album doesn’t offer much classic metal features and will certainly disappointed if you expected doom metal. So you shouldn’t visit it on those terms. It’s rock with sophisticated sonic experimentations, touching melodic melancholy, a couple of heavy sections and a genre defying attitude. Tempted?

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