It was ten years ago when THE GATHERING recorded their break-through album "Mandylion" and the European metal scene has never been the same since. Produced by one of the top teams, Siggi Bemm (Woodhouse Studio) & Waldemar Sorychta, who already helped Tiamat, Moonspell and Sentenced to find their sound, "Mandylion" became a blueprint for female fronted gothic metal – but it was only the beginning of a long story.
Starting as a raw, death metal influenced band, and creating what later should be called gothic metal, THE GATHERING have been an extraordinary group since the early ‘90s. On their first more obscure albums, Always (1992) and Almost A Dance (1993), THE GATHERING were one of the first acts to combine male grunts with female voices. As innovators of this unique style, they became a role model for current successful gothic/metal bands like Within Temptation, Evanescence, Nightwish and the like. Whoever in the mid-‘90s would have thought that the early rougher styled songs of THE GATHERING would be so easily and wonderfully translated to fragile and pure beauty? The main reason for this transition was the replacement of their male vocalist with new female vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen in 1994. Anneke, an unstoppable growing vocal talent with a highly emotional, heart-warming voice, has an extremely wide range of artistic roots: from singer-songwriters, rock, jazz up to triphop.
From their rough metal roots, to the atmospheric tunes "Mandylion" had to offer, to dreamy, profound songs on "Nighttime Birds" or "How To Measure A Planet?" to their latest adventures within the progressive/triprock field, the Dutch crew always remained true to themselves while building up a continuously increasing fan base.
Time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Mandylion" with a special deluxe edition. The double CD set features new artwork, a 16-page booklet with song-by-song linernotes from the band and never seen before photos from the recording session. CD2 contains the first demo recordings THE GATHERING did with Anneke van Giersbergen in June 1994 and early 1995: "I remember it well. My first studio experience with THE GATHERING. It was a great time! I remember that the guys were very concentrated, very serious about their music, but we had a lot of laughs at the same time. I brought our mutual friend JW along with us because I didn't know the boys very well then. It felt like a first day at school! This 'new' energy resulted in our first studio-effort together and we were all thrilled!"
"Solar Glider" is a complete unreleased instrumental while "Third Chance" appeared 2 years later in a different version on the "Nighttime Birds" album. "Working with THE GATHERING on this album is one of my most beautiful memories. To record with such an open-minded band like them... they'd need three sounds when other bands needed 100, and those three sounds were enough to create a gorgeous atmosphere" , states producer Siggi Bemm and it's this special atmosphere that still stands out 10 years later.