How to Measure a Planet?
(Century Media) Enslain Magazine Issue #8
This new CD couldn't have come at a better time. Not to say that "Nighttime Birds" or "How to Measure a Planet?" ever loses my interest, but I needed to freshen up my passionate listening collection, and the Gathering is always good for that. Always. I find this review extremely difficult to write because as I listen to the CD, I find that it has such mesmerizing qualities that I can't stay focused on the writing. I lay my head back and close my eyes, and the aural vibrations turn to coronary pulsations, and the sounds become the entirety of existence. It's so gentle and tension-relieving. I think with "How to Measure...," especially the second disk, they got all of their experimentation out of the way, and they seem to have established what it is they do best. if_then_else seems to be along the lines of a continuation from their previous, though slower and more dramatic, creating atmospheres instead of songs with an atmospheric nature. Minimal distortion and heavy elements make the sound as delicate as raindrops, with dynamics as fierce as thunder when present. Vocally, Anneke is once again unmatched, her voice has hardly aged, and it's so capable of melting away the world with its purity. I cherish this CD because of where it's capable of taking me, and what it's capable of taking me away from.
-- Lady Enslain
Enslain Magazine Issue #7
After seeing the Gathering's intense performances from their '99 US tour, it was great to see that they released a live album to share their power with all who missed out on these shows. Though this is a must have album for the Gathering's fans, I don't feel it representative of the amazing sound and delivery from their American shows. This could be due to the fact that they are not right there in front of you, and it seems less personal, or it could be that they are better in a more intimate setting, on a smaller stage, to smaller audiences. There are a few noticable mistakes here and there, and their amazing energy isn't fully presented. Perhaps I am just being picky because of being spoiled from having seen them. This release definitely showcases their best material, including "Marooned," "Strange Machines," and "Nighttime Birds," and almost makes you feel like you are there, but the need to witness their "electricity" in person is still mandatory. -- Lady Enslain
How to Measure a Planet?
Enslain Magazine Issue #6
"How To Measure a Planet" IS the musical interpretation of emotion, without a doubt. It's not often enough that music runs through you, while all else around you fades away, blackening at the sound of such majestic beauty. The Gathering have once again released this power for all to feel.
I was disappointed at first listen. Why, I wondered, was this released on a metal label? What happened to the powerful, heavy sounds of "Mandylion" and "Nighttime Birds?" It took a little while to sink in that, though expressed differently, the power and drive are just as present as ever. The songs have become more dynamic, less predictable, and each song is more easily distinguishable. Each instrument has a stronger role than usual, giving a well produced full sound, with so much going on. And Anneke's voice beautifully graces each song with sociological and elemental views on existence.
From the deeply touching "Marooned," to the machine-like rhythms of "Great Ocean Road," to the serenity and sincerity of "My Electricity," this 2 CD set will have the power to make anyone feel. -- Lady Enslain