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Who Said Change Is A Bad Thing? - 92%

Perplexed_Sjel, July 2nd, 2006

The Gathering's long and established musical career continues with the release of album number seven, "Souvenirs". The album itself consists of ten songs which last just under an hour in total.

Since their creation it has been well documented how much of an experimental band this is developing in to, this album instils that idea even more. What was once a Doom Metal band which contained elements of Death Metal, is now distant from the Metal scene completely. The Gathering have stated their music is more a kind of "Trip-Rock" than anything else, and this album seems to do that title some justice. "Souvenirs" marks the progression into new territories for The Gathering and their many fans. The band have managed to progress on to new levels of beauty and atmosphere with their wonderful song writing and superb performances in every department, especially vocally. The Gathering are one of those special bands that manage to set themselves apart from the rest, and rightfully so, a band that creates such brilliance with their daring and experimental approach to music.

Atmosphere is of great importance here. The Gathering manage to create such a hypnotising atmosphere that captivates an entire audience world-wide time and time again with every listen. This never becomes boring. With such flowing creativity and innovative songs, that really just isn't possible. This release is filled to the brim with emotion and is simply a powerful piece of art. Musically, The Gathering have never had such intense harmonic structures as they do here. A very rhythmic and melodic release, this showcases Anneke's talents brilliantly once again. Her vocals can seemingly adapt to any sort of music The Gathering wish to play. Songs are tasteful, purposeful and emotive. Each song is as meaningful as the last, and as brilliantly performed as the last. Percussion is outstanding, drum work is tight and well performed. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and absorbing album, which will have the listener captivated from beginning to end. Not forgetting the exceptional collaboration with Ulver's Garm on "A Life All Mine", two very good vocalists teaming up, what more could you ask for?

Highlights include: Even The Spirits Are Afraid (With its almost Jazzy drum section), Broken Glass, Souvenirs and A Life All Mine.