The Gathering - Mandylion review
|Release date:||August 1995|
01. Strange Machines
03. In Motion #1
05. Fear The Sea
07. Sand And Mercury
08. In Motion #2
Disc II [2005 Re-release Bonus]
01. In Motion #1 [Beaufort Studio demo, June 1994]
02. Mandylion [Beaufort Studio demo, June 1994]
03. Solar Glider [Beaufort Studio demo, June 1994]
04. Eléanor [Tilburg, Double Noise Studio demo, early 1995]
05. In Motion #2 [Tilburg, Double Noise Studio demo, early 1995]
06. Third Chance [Tilburg, Double Noise Studio demo, early 1995]
07. Fear The Sea [Tilburg, Double Noise Studio demo, early 1995]
There were rough times for the Gathering somewhere before 1994. The contract with Foundation 2000 was slight and some of the members left the Gathering due to the lack of co-operation and the shady results from the label. These were really dark times, and there was nowhere else to go, but back to the better days. And the better days came. Came in the form of Anneke van Giersbergen and her angelic voice that was perfect for the experimental atmospheric style The Gathering was producing these days (and what they are doing till now). Besides that they got a new contract with a German label - Century Media. And in 1995 the album 'Mandylion' was released.
Atmospheric, as said before, is probably the best word to describe this album. Bringing us chilled yet dark feelings, sweet yet sad vocals and tunes that gently and tenderly caress one with its claws. A lot of instrumental so to say interludes have been used in this album to give even more atmosphere and some time to think. A small pause and again Anneke starts to fondle one with her soft voice and yet dark lyrics. Starting the album with a dreaming idea in 'Strange Machines'. The album continues with 'Eleanor' - in my opinion the best track on this album - slow and soft but at the same time dark and full of dislikeness. With only 10 short lines of lyrics but with an awesome mood the album continues with 'In Motion I'. The silent longing feeling for more can be experienced in the fourth track 'Leaves' - full of beauty and desire, tears and blind love. 'Fear the Sea' - a truthful song - yet behind these simple words hides itself something that's much deeper - in remembrance of a lost friend this song was written. And with the title song 'Mandylion' the album continues. Like a long interlude it is, with experimental instruments like windchimes and tambourines, slightly accompanied by the tender voice of Anneke. And with a really long intro starts the next song - 'Sand and Mercury' - showing fading hopes, dying. Dying to leave us the last song. 'In Motion II' is full of pain and longing desire, tears that are hidden in the rain, love that has no answer. And with that the album ends.
To write it short, the album 'Mandylion' is not only an album full of Gothic Metal in its most unique form, it's also an experience. The Gathering together with Anneke give away lots of emotions and words to think about. Calming, mood making and dark this album is. While only listening to it the listeners can be sure that they have not wasted a minute of their time. Rather at the opposite, I think that they have gained something - but what, depends on the listener.
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