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Biographie de The Gathering
Source / Auteur : Wikipedia Date : 14/08/2006 Nb consultation : 5023
The Gathering is a Dutch band which came to fame in the second half of 1990s with vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen.
Their first two albums, Always... (1992) and Almost a Dance (1993), played a part in the formation of gothic metal, which were recorded with four different vocalists. Their subsequent release, Mandylion (1995), featured the debut of Anneke van Giersbergen singing with the band for the first time. It was also one of the first albums of its kind in respect to female fronted metal bands and it is still considered a standard by many.
Their following studio albums Nighttime Birds (1997), How To Measure A Planet? (1998), if then else (2000) and Souvenirs (2003) showed progress and maturation of the band. Sleepy Buildings, released in 2004, is a live semi-acoustic performance recorded by the band over a course of two nights.
The band's latest album is called Home and was released in Europe and North America in April 2006.
In 1989, brothers Hans and René Rutten and Bart Smits got together with, the intention of starting a band. Soon after Hugo Prinsen Geerligs, Jelmer Wiersma and Frank Boeijen joined.
In those days they rehearsed once a week, somewhere outside of the small Dutch city of Oss. Their love for metal music was the common denominator. This, and their will to experiment rather than imitate, would prove a fertile musical basis. In 1990 they recorded the rehearsal tape An Imaginary Symphony, which was sent out to all kinds of magazines. At that time, using keyboards in metal-oriented music was rather unusual, but still, most reactions were positive. Their first gig followed in January of 1991, in a little town called Heesch, near Oss, opening for Deadhead and Invocator. In April 1991, the demo Moonlight Archer was recorded and picked up by several journalists. At the same time other people and bands started noticing the Gathering. Consequently, they were booked to open for bands like Samael, Morbid Angel and Death. The time was right to release an album.
After signing with Foundation 2000, Always... was released in 1992. On this album, Bart's grunts were accompanied by the female vocals of Marike Groot, who also joined the Gathering on stage for most of the gigs. This gothic/doom album was very well received and earned them many more concerts, including a few in Belgium and Israel. Unfortunately, due to a shady contract, the band would never know how many copies of Always... were sold. On top of that, the band parted with Bart and Marike because they weren't satisfied with the result.
In 1993, Almost a Dance was recorded, also on Foundation 2000. New vocalist Niels Duffhues and new female counterpart Martine van Loon turned out not to be the right choice for the Gathering. The band felt that both voices didn't really fit the music.
Anneke van GiersbergenDuring auditions halfway through 1994, vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen was recruited into the band. It also clicked on a personal level and German label Century Media was willing to give the band a contract. The Gathering were back and proved so with Mandylion in 1995. The album was highly successful, especially in the Netherlands, where the single Strange Machines ended up in the Dutch charts, as did the album. Extensive touring brought them to all corners of their home country, as well as to Belgium and Germany. Expectations were high for a new album.
Nighttime Birds (1997) came into existence, but not without an effort. Writing new songs in between touring (and studying) wasn't easy, and neither was recording it. Nevertheless, the album, which was musically quite close to Mandylion, turned out to be another success. Reactions were positive and subsequent touring even more intensive, taking the band to Eastern Europe, France, Italy and several other European countries.
At this time they started to long for something new. Jelmer even decided he didn't want to tour and play guitar as much anymore, so he left the band in July 1998. The other members wanted to try out new ideas, other instruments and different recording techniques. The result was How To Measure A Planet?, a varied and experimental double-album. It was harder to promote and more difficult to understand for some die-hard metal fans. Still, positive reactions came from all over the world, including the United States, where they played 14 shows during the summer of 1999.
The Gathering were also fed up with the music industry, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own label, Psychonaut Records. Always... was re-released on this label in 1999, followed by Almost a Dance in 2000, both re-mastered and fitted with new artwork. However, since their contract with Century Media hadn't ended yet, their live album Superheat (2000) was released on Century Media. Most of the songs on this album are from How To Measure A Planet?, the others from Mandylion and Nighttime Birds and they were recorded in several Dutch venues during 1999.
Another successful chapter in the Gathering's career followed with the release of if then else (2000). The album is filled with diverse, intense and emotional rock songs, more compact than its predecessor. Fifteen months of touring ensued, taking them to virtually every nook and cranny of Europe, with a little sidestep to Mexico, and ending with a small Dutch club tour in October 2001.
After this, the band members took a break and tended to their private lives. During this period, they ended their contract with Century Media. The Gathering had to run their new born label Psychonaut Records and their 12½-year anniversary was coming up. To celebrate this with their fans, they released the mini-CD Black Light District on their own label.
In early 2003, Souvenirs was released. This album was the last one featuring Hugo Prinsen Geerligs as the bass player. He was later replaced by Marjolein Kooijman. Sleepy Buildings, a semi-acoustic live album, followed in 2004.
The band released their first DVD in 2005, entitled A Sound Relief. This contained more gentle semi-acoustic songs. The plan is to release in the later part of 2006 their second DVD A Noise Severe which features the more hardrock sound of The Gathering.
In April 2006 their 9th studio album came out called Home. They have toured in March through north and south American countries and should continue this tour by the second half of April until the end of May in Europe, but this gig is cancelled due to health problems by Van Giersbergen. They expect to tour in the summer again (festival season). The concerts are re-scheduled in September and October.
Frank Boeijen on the origins of the name of the band:
"The name the Gathering has been made like eleven years ago when we started this band. We were all between 15 and 17. We were watching a lots of movies those days. One of the movies spoke about immortality and that you could kill the immortals with cutting their head off [it's the first Highlander Frank is speaking about]. In the first part of the movie, they speak a lot about the gathering. There will be a gathering once with all the immortals. We thought it was a nice name for a band, and that's how we created this name. And you can feel it's a cool name for five people who come together to make fine music." (sic)