The Gathering - The West Pole (2009)


When Anneke left the band many people, including me, where wondering how the band was going to continue. Anneke’s peculiar vocals were one of the things that propelled this band into worldwide recognition. And while I liked their early Death/Doom Metal music, this band’s different direction grew on me over the years. "The West Pole" Is the band's newest release with their new singer Silje Wergeland from Octavia Sperati fame.

I must say that I knew The Gathering will produce a quality release regarding of who was singing. But I was surprised on how well Silje's vocals work with the music and have some resemblance to Anneke's emotivity. I was never expecting a carbon copy of Anneke singing, but it's nice to hear something familiar and different at the same time. Enough said about the new singer let's get to the music now.

The album starts off with a traditional The Gathering's atmospheric rock tune, and it only keeps only getting better. This album is more guitar driven and less 'trippy' than their last few albums, but it still keeps the whole vibe the band has been creating for the past few years. The Gathering show they are masters of their trade creating a very unique
album that will please all fans of the band and follows their growth as musicians.

I was gladly impressed by Marcela Bovio's guest appearance in this album, lending her unique vocals to several tracks. I've always been a fan of her way of singing and putting it on top of great music like The Gathering's makes this album even better. Anne van den Hoogen provides some guest vocals work as well as other guest musicians. By adding different new elements to this release the band manages to keep their sound fresh and innovative.

I have to say that "The West Pole" is now on my list of top 10 albums of 2009, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite The Gathering albums. This album needs more than a few listens to be fully appreciated, and if you don't like it the first time, try it again, it will start growing on you.

Band: The Gathering Album: The West Pole
Label: Psychonaut Records Release Date: May 4, 2009
Official Site myspace
Genre: Atmospheric Rock

Country: Netherlands

Rating: 95/100

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