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The Gathering - Home Review - 95%

burzum_fiend, March 25th, 2006

After a modest opening track in Shortest Day this latest release from the ever-evolving The Gathering really starts to work it's magic. In Between is an excellent reworking of the long lost track Zion that the band used to play live a while back and it is here that the album kicks in. Alone follows it up which was seen on the recent live DVD A Sound Relief, another great punchy track. Then the best track on the album for me is Waking Hour. Anneke's voice in the chorus has to be heard to be believed. It's like two tracks in one as it softens in it's second half.

The album then changes in tone after 4 up-tempo openers. Fatigue is an atmospheric filler which leads into the impressive sprawling track A Noise Severe. This is a fantastic track which needs a few plays to be fully appreciated. Next is Forgotten, a beautiful haunting melody that Anneke is so good at devising. It is reprised at the end of the album which is a nice touch. Solace is a strange track with samples of some type of Spanish language learning tape thrown into it. Bizarre but it grows on you.

Your Troubles Are Over is a fine track but is clearly overshadowed by the magnificent Box that follows it. This track has grown on me so much, it really is beautiful. The weakest track on the album is The Quiet One which seems out of place. It was recorded a while back for a short film and just seems as if it's been tacked onto the album here. The title track Home is another great sprawling track like A Noise Severe, fine work again. The album then fades out smoothly with the Forgotten Reprise leaving you feeling like you've just played something a bit special.

Overall The Gathering are on the top of their game and have created a beautiful album in Home. Fans of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds might have to give this one a few plays as it isn't bombastic and in your face. Destined to be one of the albums of the year.