Music Reviews

The Gathering

How to Measure a Planet

Century Media

Anneke Van Giersbergen has the most beautiful voice in music. Period. And with the rest of the band to propel the mood further, the Gathering create one of the most awesome and moving releases yet this year. How to Measure a Planet is the Gathering’s most open, somber and introspective CD yet, which is quite a feat, considering that their last 2 albums, Mandylion and Nighttime Birds were both incredible albums that pushed the Gathering farther away still from any kind of musical classification. Their last 2 releases had a similar sound, a sort of sorrowful, gothic type of sound, without sounding like the typical gothic cliché, and mixing in some pop, metal, and rock. How to Measure a Planet takes all that and adds a space rock vibe and more epic and more stretched out songwriting. Surprisingly, it works out quite well, with most of the songs having a far-out and releasing feel. If you’ve ever looked out to the stars and wished you could be there instead of stuck here, then you’re obliged to get this album. And being a 2 CD for the price of one set, you get a wide array of emotions, from the upbeat “Liberty Bell” track to the epic soundscape of the 25-minute long title track. Anneke’s voice never lets you down, and the band is constantly innovating and relying less on the guitars and experimenting with all those weird instruments that they used back in the day.

Why the Gathering doesn’t go off and sell a million copies while some little braindead 17-year old blonde slut does is one mystery of life that will never be solved. Fans of lush female vocals, epic soundscapes, space rock with a ’90s edge, and everyone else who walks should pick this up. Get a copy for your neighbor, too, it’s just that damn good.

Century Media, 1453-A 14th St., Suite 324, Santa Monica, CA 90404;

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