The Gathering


Written by: PP on 16/11/2008 14:53:26

"Downfall" is a 144 minute two-disc compilation putting together all of The Gathering's early demos, EP's and other unreleased stuff originating before and just after the release of the band's debut album "Always". Back then, it seems, The Gathering had no idea it would once become a force to be reckoned with in the gothic metal scene, instead showing impressions from funeral/doom metal and late 80s death metal scene. Back then, it also seems, the band largely sucked balls at writing (and especially recording) anything warranting your attention in 2008.

First off, even though the early recordings have finally been mastered, they still sound like shit. The production is horrible, leaving the guitars sounding like they are being played ten meters away from the mics, with the vocals blending in, and at times even drowning underneath the instruments. Secondly, the songs aren't particularly well crafted or formed. On the first disc only a couple caught my attention; the superb hooks of "Six Dead, Three To Go" and the funeral-sounding title track being the most obvious ones. Especially the first ten tracks are hanging out collectively in the 2-3 out of 10 rating scale, they honestly sound a lot like those crappy underground Italian metal demos that sometimes make their way to this magazine only to be lynched in our reviews.

The songs on disc 2 are largely live recordings from the beginning of the 90s. It's pretty interesting how you can hear the gothic undertones beginning to show on these, foreshadowing what's to come for this band about a decade later. You can guess how terrible the sound quality is, but I guess if you're a die-hard The Gathering fan you'll want to hear every single song - released and unreleased - that they have written. But I might save some time for you here, because The Gathering wasn't that good before they added the female vocalist in 1995. For die-hard fans only!


Download: Six Dead, Three To Go, Downfall, Subzero
For the fans of: The Gathering
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.09.2008
Vic Records

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