On The Gathering’s new album “Disclosure” you really won’t find much metal or goth. It seems that with “Disclosure” the Dutch band has finally achieved a brand new musical identity which has developed gradually and spontaneously after the departure of the iconic vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. Since it is the product of a drastic musical evolution, “Disclosure” brings an overload of style changes that are inevitably distant from the band’s musical past.
“Paper Waves” represents well the floating mood of the entire album. In terms of music style, The Gathering decides to dwell in the realm of alternative rock with the aid of electronically generated tunes. This song, like all the others on this album, relies on mellow radio friendly melodies. The guitar work is never dominant and is based on an array of ethereal sounds almost buried under the keyboards and synths arrangement.
“Meltdown” has a very modern electronic approach with a more interesting and dynamic rhythm. The vocals are extremely catchy both in the duet and the chorus, the rhythmic section is still slow paced and on the soft side but the atmosphere is dominated by a great positive energy.
“Heroes For Ghosts” is a lengthy track that has an exquisite darkly romantic atmosphere highly enriched by soothing keyboard layers, ultra melodic strings and unexpected brass horns. On this song, the new vocalist Silje Wergeland delivers an intensely passionate performance that perfectly enhances the dreamy and charming soundscape deliciously supported by an emotional guitar groove.
On “Paralyzed” and “Missing Seasons” both the vocals and the rhythm showcase the softest side of the album’s musical core. Piano and keyboards are extremely dominant and blend naturally in a fashion that reminds of Tori Amos and Portishead.
“Gemini I” instead has a more intense rock attitude with some scratchy guitars even if everything is softened by a trance/ambience atmosphere. “Gemini II” revolves entirely around Silje Wergeland’s extraordinary vocal abilities and is the most ethereal song of the album.
Overall, “Disclosure” is a very accessible album filled with relaxing atmospheres and effortless melodies. Yet, those who are familiar with The Gathering’s early musical work might not feel comfortable with the extreme style change featured on this album.