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New project with Arjen Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by spag, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Firehead

    Firehead CrusaderOfTheDowntrodden

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    Uhh, no. Just...no. Again, I like it (some songs I absolutely love)...but it's not the next step. 'Mandylion' is Gothic Prog Metal and NB is like a heavy Euro Alternative Rock with sprinklings of modern pop as well as hints of 80's pop. Different and at times amazing, just not the next step from that album.

    Their label wished they didn't skip that next step after Mandylion, because they had a hard time marketing NB. And you can trust me on that being a fact.
     
  2. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    The Gathering started out as a Death Doom band, and that doom influence lingered for a while as they progressed. So when I listen to Mandylion I hear a doom record more than anything else. Calling it a gothic prog metal doesn't really capture the sound and feeling of that album at all for me.

    The Gathering during the Anneke era is one of those bands that you can see a clear evolution from one album to the next. If you were to listen to Mandylion and then Home it wouldn't really make any sense, but if you listen to all 6 albums in order you hear a natural evolution from one album to the next.

    With Nighttime Birds it is the closest thing the band has done to Mandylion, its still got a foot firmly in that doomy atmosphere that they had on Mandylion. Something which would be gone when they released How to Measure a Planet, so you description that the two albums are so different is simply not true in my opinion. A lot of similarities between the two, while evolving their sound.
     
  3. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    The only thing the Anneke era of The Gathering suffered from was too much awesomeness :D
     
  4. Firehead

    Firehead CrusaderOfTheDowntrodden

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    There is a doomy, melancholic vibe on NB, no question. But...stylistically with the defined emphasis away from the guitar riffing that was more evident on Mandylion (and the ones before it) made Mandylion to NB a fairly drastic shift in style. The same audience that bought M would not have necessarily been the same target audience from the labels standpoint. There were upset people working for Century Media when NB came out because CM was (still is)a METAL label. Their releases were geared to a METAL audience. NB, while having a few riff-heavy moments is NOT a Metal album. Period. The best NB could be is a 'tweener' album, where they would've been the type of band that fit on different bands tours that weren't the same style.

    Maybe the best way to think of it would be if you take Saxon for instance, and switch out Biff with a different singer, you would still have a Metal band that sounded like Saxon, although with a different sounding singer.

    Now if after Mandylion you switched out Anneke with a different singer (male or female, you know they've had both), and then put out NB, you've got a completely different band. You know this is true if you've heard 'Almost A Dance' because that sounds barely like any of their material.

    Anyways, I'm done now.
     
  5. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    I'm seriously thinking that you have 'Nighttime Birds' and 'How to Measure a Planet?' mixed up in your memory. That's the only way this could make sense. You really should go back and listen to 'Mandylion' and NB. They're basically the same album.

    Ok, NB has 'Shrink' and 'The May Song', a couple of songs essentially devoid of any serious 'metal' riffs, but 'Mandylion' had its title track like that too. Every other song has the huge doom riffs of 'Mandylion'. I guess NB intersperses some more quieter interludes between the huge riffs than 'Mandylion' did, but pretty much nothing on NB would have sounded at all out-of-place on 'Mandylion'. In fact, 'Third Chance', one of the most out-of-place-sounding songs (because it's up-beat) was a 'Mandylion' demo.

    As for Century Media's opinion, that makes no sense either. In the same era, they released:

    Samael - Passage
    Moonspell - Sin / Pecado
    Tiamat - A Deeper Kind of Slumber
    Sentenced - Down

    If anything, CM should have been pissed that The Gathering wasn't evolving fast enough like their other bands were. Would a label concerned about the metal-ness of their bands release 'The May Song' as a single, and then go on to release 'HTMAP?' and 'if_then_else'?
     
  6. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    Hell, Wikipedia calls Nighttime Birds "stylistically and musically a companion piece to Mandylion". I agree with that view.

    BTW, the change with HtMaP corrisponded with Jelmer Wiersma leaving the band and the decision to not replace him.

    As for Anneke, I'll listen to her sing just about anything. I don't care if it is metal or not, she's an awesome singer.
     
  7. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    #27 KingsGene, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  8. Angrafan

    Angrafan Member

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    Mandylion and Nighttime Birds are far from being the same record. I get what Firehead is saying.

    5 out of 8 songs on Mandylion are heavy and guitar oriented, it is clearly a metal album.

    Nighttime Birds has only one song that is clearly a heavy metal song: On Most Surfaces. Third Chance is uptempo and is a bit heavy, but that's about it.

    And the guys from The Gathering have mentioned in multiple interviews that Century Media was not happy with Nighttime Bids and How to Measure a Planet?.
     
  9. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Ok, maybe I'm just hearing those albums wrong. I will just have to take comfort in the fact that I'm not alone; the band members hear them wrong too!

    But the last 5 years were very important and now that you can overlook them, what was the most enjoyable time? `Nighttime Birds` kinda was the definitive album wasn`t it?
    HR: I really enjoy to look at the future...`Nighttime Birds` was a playing safe album for us. For the first time we could continue with the same band and same producers. But continuation isn`t our strongest thing and we always want to evolve ourselves.
    FB: The album `Nighttime Birds` meant taking a step back actually.

    Anneke: After "Mandylion" got quite successful, it was rather fast when I joined the band, and after that "Nighttime Birds" was in the style of "Mandylion" you know?

    Anneke: We surely had a large hand in creating that style, but they (the latter bands) developed the sounds of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds, and made it something very different than we probably would've even if we'd stayed with the formula.

    I found plenty of griping from the band about Century Media (including awesome stuff from Anneke about not letting them slut her up), but nothing about CM being unhappy with NB. Only about the band being unhappy with NB, and then HTMAP? was essentially them saying "fuck it, we aren't going to let them pressure us any more".

    Anyway, thanks for the excuse to go digging through The Gathering interviews, especially from Anneke, I love that girl! Case in point:

    RebelX: Obviously, the band has been around for a long time, so there are bound to be fan favourites missing from any live set on video or album. What songs would you like to have seen make an appearance on A Sound Relief? Mine is 'Fear The Sea'...

    AvG: (Laughter) Set lists are so much fun! Everyone has their favourites, so we try to each put the songs we like in every list, but it doesn't always work that way. For instance, Nighttime Birds, I could really just miss. That album means something to a lot of people, though, so we can't just leave it out altogether. When we sit on the couch and talk about it, I always say “I don't want to play Nighttime Birds.”, but then when we play (songs from) it, and can change some of the textures, I really enjoy it. How it normally turns out is after a few hours I'll just say “Whatever!”, and we know that once we each get in a few “Whatever!”s, then we have a good list. It's really funny that you mention 'Fear The Sea'. It's one we haven't played for around eight years, but I was just listening to it yesterday, and noticed that if we clipped some of the “empty” parts out of it, maybe, then I'd really like to give it another chance in the live setting. I tell you what! When we play a show you're going to be at, let me know, and we'll make sure to play it for you!
     
  10. Angrafan

    Angrafan Member

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    Of course that 2 albums have similarities, I am not saying that they are in different genres. But I think it´s an exaggeration to say they are THAT similar. It´s clear that the album that definitively moved The Gathering away from that sound was How To Measure a Planet?, but Nighttime Birds was already moving in a different direction.

    And it's an album that is perceived in different ways by the The Gathering die hard fans and the metal community as a whole. While it is really highly regarded between general fans, Nighttime Birds is one of the least favorite Anneke-era albums by the die-hards (and by the band as well).

    There are multiple quotes from the band like the one you mentioned. They were pressured by CM after the success of Mandylion.
    It was a step back because they didn't put out the record the wanted. But in no way they totally gave in to CM and delivered a Mandylion part 2.

    And then things got sour after How to Measure a Planet? and the "In Motion" DVD that was released without the band's consent.
     
  11. Firehead

    Firehead CrusaderOfTheDowntrodden

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    As much as you can trust a guy you've never met on the internet:D ...I can say TRUST ME, Century Media was PISSED with Nightime Birds.

    The 'Fear The Sea' quote about playing is personally hilarious because I knew a guy who loved, loved, LOVED that song. He told me that when he finally saw TG live he talked to the band after the show and asked if they'd ever play FTS because of it's sheer awesome-ness. Obviously they hadn't played it then. He said Hans & Frank laughed and essentially scoffed at him for wanting 'that song' played. The way my bud told the story was that he was given a bit of attitude about requesting a song that THE BAND wrote to be played. The nerve of him!:err:

    As I said earlier in the thread, I really like a lot of their stuff. But buying all those early (Anneke-era) albums when they were new makes me personally remember a lot of things that the band has said in interviews over the years. I always got the vibe that they never really wanted to perform in the Metal genre due to their overall disdain for it, really embracing the strong Radiohead-isms in their post HTMAP material. I agree with Angrafan about NB. OMS is a metal tune, as well as 'Confusion' (doomy), but I don't see any Metalhead hearing NB and going, 'yeah, Metal all the way!'
     
  12. Firehead

    Firehead CrusaderOfTheDowntrodden

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    Whether you like him as a musician or not, you really have to admire the size of Arjen's stones for walking around with bangs in the year 2015.
     
  13. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    The comments that kicked off this interesting discussion was Friehead saying this Arjen project is could be a "sequel" to Mandylion. Which makes zero sense to me, as going by what we've heard so far from the album its typical Arjen just with Anneke singing over it. Just because its metal doesn't make it anything like Mandylion.

    And I responded that NB is the sequel to Mandylion that Firehead is talking about. I'm not saying its a carbon copy of Mandylion. But there are alot of similarities between the two and they very much are companion albums for me. I hear a natural evolution from one to the other, it still has that distinct melancholy atmosphere, the doomyness and the metal is still there (sure its less prominent). While at the same time its looking to the future of what the Gathering would become in their next phase. So when talking about the notion of a "sequel", to me a good sequel is one that is familiar and connected to its past while also doing something different and distinct. Thats what Nighttime Birds is to Mandylion.

    But most importantly guys can we all agree that Nighttime Birds is an great album and that the Gathering are an awesome band that doesn't get anywhere near enough love that it deserves.
     
  14. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    I don't really think that's the case in terms of how the fans view it. If you look at metalstorm its the second highest rated Gathering album, its equal second on RYM (alongside HTMAP), second highest rated on progarchives and equal second on sputnikmusic. Not to say that's in anyway a definitive answer or necessarily show thoughts of the die-hards but I do think you are being unfair in calling it one of the least favourites.
     
  15. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    They just evolved away from metal, it not like it was an overnight thing. Same thing happened to plenty of bands that were part of the early 90s death doom scene like Anathema, Katatonia, Tiamat, Lake of Tears etc. Just because you get rid of the metal riffs doesn't mean the spirit of that early music isn't there. The Doom and intense melancholy emotion is there but just without the heavy guitars. In the case of a lot of those bands they become better with their move away from metal. I don't really think any of that equals disdain.
     
  16. Firehead

    Firehead CrusaderOfTheDowntrodden

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    I agree with everything you said.

    My feeling is actually more than a feeling (Brad Delp...?), really there have been a few quotes/things I've heard from one or two guys from the band about Metal, being 'childish' that would make me think that.
     
  17. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    Another video went up last week:

     
    #37 TheLongshot, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  18. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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  19. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    THE GENTLE STORM FEATURING ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN RELEASE LIVE VIDEO FOR “THE STORM”

    To celebrate the upcoming dates that begin April 22nd, they are now launched a live video for the track “The Storm” which was filmed at the bands Hedon Zwolle show on the April 3rd. Captured by the band themselves on GoPro cameras, and featuring sound taken directly from the mixing desk, you can view the video below.



    The Gentle Storm live:

    Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) - vocals
    Merel Bechtold (Purest of Pain, MaYaN) - guitars
    Ferry Duijsens (Anneke van Giersbergen, ex-Dreadlock Pussy) - guitars
    Ed Warby (Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, ex-Gorefest) - drums
    Johan van Stratum (Stream of Passion) - bass
    Joost van den Broek (producer, ex-After Forever) - keyboards
    Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) - background vocals
     
    #40 KingsGene, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015

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