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The Gathering - The West Pole review

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Band: The Gathering
Album: The West Pole
Style: Experimental rock
Release date: April 2009

01. When Trust Becomes Sound
02. Treasure
03. All You Are
04. The West Pole
05. No Bird Call
06. Capital Of Nowhere
07. You Promised Me A Symphony
08. Pale Traces
09. No One Spoke
10. A Constant Run

The silence that arrived after Anneke Van Giersbergen left The Gathering was quite a challenge for those who loved the band and their singer. Anneke delighted the audiences with a beautiful solo album but it was still unknown what would happen to The Gathering or who would fill the bottomless gorge (because gap would be too small of a word to describe it) Anneke had left. The anticipation grew day by day until The West Pole was finally released in May this year and Octavia Sperati's Silje Wergeland was announced as the new lead vocalist.

I had imagined Lotta Höglin and Erik Molarin from Beseech as replacing Anneke in the band, a male vocalist would have added quite a lot, I think, and Lotta would have been one of those female singers with the colour in her voice fit to replace Anneke. But along came Silje and I don't have any hard feelings about it at all. Silje Wergeland is a professional singer and her soft voice meets the needs of the band. Silje was accompanied by two guest vocalists, a Dutch singer Anne Van Den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio, the frontwoman of Stream Of Passion and former singer of Elfonía who add more colour to the new album, especially Marcela.

The album begins seemingly in a faster and heavier mood than it's recent predecessors with the opening track "When Trust Becomes Sound" sounding quite a lot like the introduction of the song "Valge nägu" by Loits. There ain't any extreme metal after that, nevertheless, as most of the album consists of simple and light rock songs and slow thoughtful tracks. On the other hand, The West Pole is somewhat heavier and more "metal", if to say so, than Home. The profound dark and poetic style shared with Lacuna Coil from the time when Anneke joined the band is to be missed but their newest album is not bad and no complaints can be made whatsoever.

Best peas of the pod this time are "No One Spoke", "Capital Of Nowhere", "Pale Traces" and "A Constant Run". The admirers of Anneke will surely miss her voice a lot and may find themselves imagining what the songs would be had she performed them but life goes on and Silje Wergeland gives the best of her on this album and as the new frontwoman. May she also give new life to the old songs of the band. She will surely make wonderful music with The Gathering in the future. And what's most important, a great group is back and ready to conquer the stages.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Ernis | 25.08.2009

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


Comments: 5   Visited by: 123 users
25.08.2009 - 15:33
Lone wanderer
I havent listened to it yet, aside from those 2 songs that were posted here before the album came out. I dont know, I simply dont have that urge to listen to it. I may sound stupid, but I sincerely hope that Anneke will be back in gathering like Bruce returned to Iron Maiden, Barlow to Iced Earth, Halford to Judas Priest. Great vocals somehow always come back to great bands
29.08.2009 - 23:31
Rating: 7
A very good and fair review, thanks a lot....
I liked this album very much, I missed Anneke's voice, but the new vocalist also nice and fits the music....
01.03.2010 - 15:35
Rating: 8
Beatiful music with the unique voice of Silje.. Songs like No One Spoke, All You Are, A Constant Run is top.. Softer songs also like No Bird Call, You Promised Me A Symphony leaves you with mouth open.. Her voice travels you to magic places!
Life's too short to cry
long enough to try
17.09.2010 - 20:25
Rating: 10
lord artan
Very good album i love Capital Of Nowhere song
31.10.2010 - 22:34
Rating: 9
Anneke was and is probably my favourite singer of all time. That doesnt mean I dont like Silje though. As allways bands are evolving and this is an interesting step for The Gathering, and hey, "When Trust Becomes Sound" is just one of the most powerfull and best instrumental songs Ive ever heard.

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