Look, I know I've said it more times than you care to hear, but I really like female singers in rock bands. Not that I want them to start handling all the singing chores, but it's perhaps their scarcity that makes them so appealing when they come along.
The Gathering started out in The Netherlands as a death/doom metal outfit, but evolved their sound considerably in the mid to late 90s with the addition of vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. Having heard none of the previous stuff, I can only judge their new album Disclosure on its own merits, which is probably a good thing. Coming at this as a doom metal fan, I would've been sorely disappointed. But taken as a moody, gothic, alt band, this is really good stuff. Now to be clear, Anneke is no longer the vocalist for the band, having left since 2007. New vocalist Silje Wergeland fills in ably, giving the engaging alt music a suitably ethereal and melodic layer that fits well with the energetic, trippy rock this outfit produces. At times, you can hear the sounds of The Sugarcubes, The Breeders, Moby(!), and a host of other eclectic but firmly rock and roll-styled bands that's quirky enough to not be boring while resisting the trap of self-indulgence that makes so many other similar bands annoying.
The Bottom Line: Always a sucker for good female vocals, I'm really pleased with this incarnation of the band, as the vocal style of Silje Wergeland blends perfectly with the alt-rock stylings of this Dutch quintet. Looks like this album was worth the wait.
Tracks to Cue Up For Your Next Retro Indie Movie Project: Paper Waves, Meltdown, and Missing Seasons
- Genghis really dug this album in a trippy, old school way...