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Very sad... - 10%

Evoken, May 16th, 2004

As I listened to the latest offering from The Gathering, all I could ask was what happened to the glory days of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds?! This was when the band was truly something special and made music worth listening to. After listening to the more laid-back album "How To Measure A Planet" and preceeding experimental album "If_Else_Then", I knew the band was moving away from their metal roots. With those two albums still being somewhat enjoyable, I figured Souvenirs would be somewhat along the same path. I only wish that was the case, because this time around the band decided to release the worst album of their career.

Through it's ten songs, Souvenirs drags along without really reaching a purpose or any excitement whatsoever. There's no doubt about it, the songs are simply dull. The band seem to be so lazy these days that they barely even play their instruments any longer and rely on keyboard sounds to cover up their lack of instrumentation. Anneke also now seems to think she is Tori Amos...too bad she sounds terrible doing her impressions and fills many passages of the album with annoying wailing and countless vocal experimentations, each more ridiculous than the last. Obviously suffering from a massive ego from all the fan appreciation, Anneke thinks her voice can do no wrong. Well I'm here to say that her voice on this album is almost shot and most likely will never sound as passionate and beautiful as it once did.

It's sad to see a once incredible band go to such extreme lows. I can only wish that they come back to reality and realize that instead of providing the listener with music to fall asleep to, they might be able to write some songs that would keep them awake. I only can recommend this album to desperate insomniacs and the deaf.