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Mandylion
Gathering
Mandylion
Genres: Rock, Metal
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Though it has since been eclipsed by increasingly superb efforts, the Gathering's Mandylion was considered a ground-breaking achievement upon its release in 1995. 8 tracks. Century Media. 2003.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Gathering
Title: Mandylion
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Century Media
Original Release Date: 1/1/2000
Re-Release Date: 8/22/1995
Genres: Rock, Metal
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Death Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 727701779829, 7277017709827, 7277017709841, 727701779843

Synopsis

Album Description
Though it has since been eclipsed by increasingly superb efforts, the Gathering's Mandylion was considered a ground-breaking achievement upon its release in 1995. 8 tracks. Century Media. 2003.

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CD Reviews

A heavy, melodic, and all-around beautiful album
M. B. Link | USA | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mandylion(1995). Gathering's third studio album.

For the most part, I never really listened to Goth metal music in the past. I had always thought the genre consisted of mostly boring and depressing industial-type rock music. With enough exploring on amazon for progressive and melodic heavy metal albums, I was inevitably led to the Dutch band Gathering. I first heard of them through the searching of talented female vocalists, and I'm always looking for a good female vocalist, most notably one who is backed by a band that can truly play. Thankfully, my preconceptions on the genre were all shattered upon first listen, and I was surprised to find out that they're actually pretty good! Anyone who likes heavy melodic metal music will find something to like with Gathering. I'd even say that this particular album classifies under slow, soft progressive metal music. The complexities are all there in the music, though the band never shows off once. Instead, they focus on creating moody melodies with the guitars and keyboards. Of course, let's not forget about miss Anneke van Giersbergen, the main reason this band has as many fans as it does. She sports a very soothing, talented, and beautiful voice which never fails to please, not to mention she's also easy on the eyes. Her range is broad, though she never shrieks or screams at all. Though her voice is what led me to this band, thankfully the rest of the band can also play very well too. Though many bands such as Evanescence feature talented singers fronting a generic, non-talented band, Gathering is one of the exceptions, at least on this album. There is great cohesion between the Anneke and the rest of the band, so the music ends up sounding very balanced.

Mandylion is actually the first album to feature Anneke's beautiful voice, but it's actually not the first Gathering album. The previous albums fell under the lines of death metal, especially with the two previous male vocalists they had. One was boring, and the other was agitatingly annoying, but thankfully the band finally found the right direction on Mandylion with Anneke. One thing to note is that all the songs are fairly slow paced with little tempo variety. Normally, this would bother me, but with this music I didn't seem to care at all. For the most part, Mandylion was sort of a crossover album for the band, as it displayed much of the metal instrumental prowess of the previous releases, but also hinted at the more quiet accoustic nature of the newer albums. Either way, Mandylion (and also maybe the next album, Nighttime Birds(1997)) is their crowning breakthrough achievement.

It starts off with 'Strange Machines', a heavy pounding slow rocker which alternates tempos at various points, and serves as a good introduction to Anneke's vocals, and to the album itself. 'Eleanor' is one of my favorites because it's a very melodic rocker divided between the vocals and the cool long instrumental section. Then there's the waltzy 'In Motion #1' and 'In Motion #2'. I honestly like #1 a lot better because it employs many unique ideas and keyboard effects into the song to give it a "lofty" quality. Plus some of the lyrics are very well penned together in both songs. #2 is okay, but it's just not nearly as memorable as the first part. Next is the euphoric 'Leaves' and the guitar powered 'Fear The Sea'. Both songs work well. 'Sand And Mercury' is a powerful ballad, utilizing a piano structure with the guitars, keyboards, and choir backing it up. The title track, though the most experimental song on the album, is VERY HAUNTING. The band uses tribal drums and other instruments to give it feeling. It's only an instrumental, though at points you can hear Anneke's voice singing in the background. Melancholic and powerful are the two perfect words to describe it.

Overall, Mandylion stands as a good example of slow melodic heavy metal music which anyone with a sense of melody can come to like. It's one of the few cds that can impress me no matter what kind of mood I'm in. Plus, even though it is different than a lot of other bands in the same genre, it opened me up to more areas of rock music. A good band can deliver what the fan wants, but it takes a greater band to be able to open people up to new genres. 5 stars. It's not absolutely perfect, but it shouldn't fail to please anyone that knows good music when they hear it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

On a side note, there have been people comparing Gathering to the popular band Evanescence. It's completely unnecessary since they're in two different categories of music. But if you must compare the two, then all I'll say is this: One is an underappreciated and talented band with an excellent singer and original songwriting capabilities, and the other one is processed, radio-friendly, generic nu-metal junk with a talented singer on the side. You'll _know_ which one is which.

Other recommendations:
-'Comalies' by Lacuna Coil

-'Nighttime Birds' by Gathering
-'Oceanborn' by Nightwish"
Faery Tale Metal
08/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"People always seem to describe The Gathering as a melodic band or a gothic band or whatever. One reviewer described it as Faerytale Metal tho and I think that's quite a fitting description. The lyrics are romantic and the vocals are ethereal yet there are metal-like guitar melodies. What strikes you most when you listen to this band is Anneke's vocals. She has a great voice. I've always loved hybrid metal bands and this one is no exception. I love the way Anneke usues clear female vocals in contrast to distorted guitars. She's definately a great singer. Not to mention rather cute ;-) (altho my friend Maaike who met her says she's not very nice.) But that aside this is a great band. The Sand And Mercury song is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Eleanore is also a highlight. And the great atmosphere of Mandylion makes you totally relaxed.I normally don't really like Dutch music that much but I love this band. Go check it out."
Ahh, Miss van Giersbergen...
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 04/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Preceding _Mandylion_ were two other the Gathering albums: the perfectly bland doom metal of _Always..._ and the obnoxiously bad _Almost a Dance_. These efforts were abandoned for the approach of _Mandylion_: soaring progressive metal led by the heavenly voice of Anneke van Giersbergen.Stylistically, this is definitely metal, but it has a soft quality to it. Generally slow and carefully layered, the Gathering's music uses heaviness as an enhancement to its enchanting flow, which is the dominant characteristic. Keyboardist Frank Boijen gilds the clomping metal rhythms with resplendent (yet subtle) orchestrations, where radiant strains of van Giersbergen's voice float along. Although van Giersbergen has matured greatly as a vocalist since this album, her performance remains completely stunning. I admit, I'm in love with her voice. She could sing about triangles or celery and I would find it no less compelling than her own simple but evocative lyrics. Contrary to most female vocal styles in metal before _Mandylion_, she never screams or shrieks -- just melodious tides of feminine beauty. I could rave about Anneke van Giersbergen for quite a while, but that would be an injustice to the rest of the band, who write as a collective so they all deserve ample credit. Masterful work abounds on _Mandylion_: the achingly gorgeous melodies of "Leaves" speckled with keyboard stardust; the man-eating riff of "Fear the Sea"; the torrent of emotional pain on "In Motion" parts 1 and 2; the dry, autumn hues of the progressively exotic instrumental title track. With the current hype surrounding the mainstream success of Evanescence (another heavy music w/ female vox kinda deal), it feels good to have identified such a good thing with the Gathering beforehand. One gets a pleasant feeling of knowing about a good thing sooner than other people pick up on it. Does that make sense? erm, this CD is good."