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The Gathering - If_Then_Else review

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Band: The Gathering
Album: If_Then_Else
Release date: 2000

01. Rollercoaster
02. Shot To Pieces
03. Amity
04. Bad Movie Scene
05. Colorado Incident
06. Beautiful War
07. Analog Park
08. Herbal Movement
09. Saturnine
10. Morphia's Waltz
11. Pathfinder

It took me a long time to really get into The Gathering, but once I did, I was never too sure why it took so long. I was probably so preoccupied with all of the music out there that this gem of metal lay undiscovered amongst my collection for almost five years. I bought the album second hand in 2003, enjoying the odd song on it now and again for years. Then one night while driving between Sydney and Armidale about a six hour drive I put it in the CD player and listened to the album on repeat for some unknown reason. With each listen of this masterpiece of music I became more and more captured and amazed by the songs, lyrics, music and of course the amazing voice of Anneke Van Giersbergen. Needless to say that once I arrived home I had the usual craving for more.

I was quite disturbed the day I showed my girlfriend The Gathering, after she turned to me upon hearing 'Shot to Pieces' and said too me "She sounds like that chick from The Cranberries, only much more controlled and well balanced in her singing." Of course this lead to an big debate which I eventually relented after she put on some of The Cranberries for me. I'm by no means a fan but she had a point. The one thing we both agreed on though was that Anneke was so much more than that other chick with such amazing control over her voice.

Now on to the review part of this review, if_then_else is quite a remarkable album which emphasizes the maturing vocal stylings of Anneke and the maturing songwriting of the band as a whole. Prior to this album the band expressed their talent and abilities very beautifully through Mandylion and Nighttime Birds. if_then-else is a step in a slightly different direction for the group becoming more experimental in their style which worked perfectly for Anneke allowing her take a lot more control over her roll in the band and her voice within the music that suddenly gained a lot more freedom.

Take what you want from this, the album probably isn't their finest works according to the masses of Metal Storm, yet for me it is a turning point in the band's history and a 'coming-of-age' album. Before this the sound seemed more raw which worked beautifully for the time and had its own magic. But this is different, it is contrived and conceived to be a vocal experiment for Anneke and a musical one for the band. As I said in the beginning it is amazing it took me so long to truly discover these guys and their music. if_then_else is indeed an excellent album by an outstanding band, The Gathering.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by ToMegaTherion | 25.01.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
The Gathering is a Dutch band with the most colourful musical background and history. Here's "if_then_else," their effort after the release of the major opus "How To Measure A Planet" which marked a shift from the Gothic-oriented style to a wider plane of alternative and experimental metal.

"If_then_else" is like an amalgam of the characteristics from their smooth and more melancholic "Nighttime Birds" and of the more experimental "How To Measure A Planet." The band have not quit using their original atmosphere they created already in the form of their early works but have retained it in it's basic form and now have woven the new discoveries, patterns and effects into the music. The album starts with a wonderful song, "Rollercoaster," a true ride into the environment of the art and poetry of the band. The lyrics, the melodies, the effects, everything lies on its place and forms a most enjoyable composition.

published 02.01.2009 | Comments (1)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 40 users
27.01.2010 - 22:01
They have used guests for recording the acoustic instruments; French horn, trombone, cello, violin. So, with such fusion the atmosphere, this album became exceptional when compared with the rest of their albums and this makes it one of the best atmospheric albums ever.
I would prefer not to.

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