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The Gathering

The Gathering Photo

Band Photo: The Gathering (?)

Formed: 1989
From: Oss, Netherlands
Last Known Status: Active


It all began in 1989. Brothers Hans and René Rutten and Bart Smits got together with the intention of starting a band. Soon enough Hugo Prinsen Geerligs, Jelmer Wiersma and Frank Boeijen joined them… The Gathering was born.

In those days they rehearsed once a week, somewhere outside of the small Dutch city of Oss. Their love for metal music (though certainly not all metal) was the common denominator, but most band members liked other music as well. This, and their will to experiment rather than imitate, would prove a fertile musical basis. In 1990 they recorded the rehearsal tape An Imaginary Symphony, which was sent out to all kinds of magazines. At that time, using keyboards in metal-oriented music was rather unusual, but still, most reactions were positive. Their first gig followed in January of 1991, in a little town called Heesch, near Oss, opening for Deadhead and Invocator. In April 1991, the demo Moonlight Archer was recorded and picked up by several journalists. At the same time other people and bands started noticing The Gathering. Consequently, they were booked to open for bands like Samael, Morbid Angel and Death. The time was right to release an album.
After signing with Foundation 2000, Always… was released in 1992. On this album, Bart’s grunts were accompanied by the female vocals of Marike Groot, who also joined The Gathering on stage for most of the gigs. This gothic/doom album was very well received and earned them many more concerts, including a few in Belgium and Israel. Unfortunately, due to a shady contract, the band would never know how many copies of Always… were sold. On top of that, the band parted with Bart and Marike because they weren’t satisfied with the result and dark times were ahead...
In 1993 Almost a Dance was recorded, also on Foundation 2000. Though musically again a strong album, new vocalist Niels Duffhues and new female counterpart Martine van Loon turned out not to be the right choice for The Gathering. Both voices didn’t really fit the music. So it was key to find a new vocalist that fitted The Gathering’s music and personalities like a glove.

Though enthusiasm was low, anything was possible at that point. They had hit rock bottom and the only way was up. During auditions halfway through 1994, magic came in the form of Anneke van Giersbergen, whose angelic voice fitted the highly atmospheric music perfectly. It also clicked on a personal level and German label Century Media was willing to give the band a contract. The Gathering were back, better than ever before, and proved so with Mandylion (1995). The atmospheric album was highly successful, especially in The Netherlands, where the single “Strange Machines” ended up in the Dutch charts, as did the album. Extensive touring brought them to all corners of their home country, as well as to Belgium and Germany. Expectations were high for a new album.
Nighttime Birds (1997) came into existence, but not without an effort. Writing new songs in between touring (and studying!) wasn’t easy, and neither was recording it. Nevertheless, the album, which was musically quite close to Mandylion, turned out to be another success. Reactions were positive and subsequent touring even more intensive, taking the band to Eastern Europe, France, Italy and several other European countries.
At this time they started to long for something new. Jelmer even decided he didn’t want to tour and play guitar as much anymore, so he left the band in July 1998. The other members wanted to try out new ideas, other instruments and different recording techniques. The result was How To Measure A Planet?, a varied and experimental double-album. It was harder to promote and more difficult to understand for some die-hard metal fans. Still, positive reactions came from all over the world, including the United States, where they played 14 shows during the summer of 1999.
The Gathering were also fed up with the music industry, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own label, Psychonaut Records. Always... was re-released on this label in 1999, followed by Almost a Dance in 2000, both re-mastered and fitted with new artwork. However, since their contract with Century Media hadn’t ended yet, their live album Superheat (2000) was released on this label. Most of the songs on this album are from How To Measure A Planet?, the others from Mandylion and Nighttime Birds and they were recorded in several Dutch venues during 1999.

Another successful chapter in The Gathering’s career followed with the release of if_then_else (2000). The album is filled with diverse, intense and emotional rock songs, more compact than its predecessor. Fifteen months of touring ensued, taking them to virtually every nook and cranny of Europe, with a little sidestep to Mexico, and ending with a small Dutch club tour in October 2001.

After this, the band members took a well-deserved break and attended to their private lives. However, there was no time to be lazy, they ended their contract with Century Media, The Gathering had to run their new born label Psychonaut Records and their 12½-year anniversary was coming up. To celebrate this with their dedicated fans, they released the mini-CD Black Light District on their own label. Writing the songs for this CD as well as for the forthcoming full-length that’s planned for early 2003, started in 2000. The band went through a rough time and this can be heard in the songs. The latter part of 2002 will be used for touring and finishing the upcoming album. That one too will be released through Psychonaut Records with a license deal at a major label.
So The Gathering are finally free to do what they want and do best: make beautiful atmospheric, experimental and emotional music.

Frank Boeijen - keyboards & programming (04/12/73)
Anneke van Giersbergen - vocals (08/03/73)
Hugo Prinsen Geerligs - bass (16/12/73)
Hans Rutten - drums & percussion (03/06/69)
René Rutten - guitars (02/07/72)

Latest The Gathering News

Below is our complete The Gathering news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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The Gathering Announces Gig Competition

Alternative rock band The Gathering have announced a celebratory contest for their June 19th and 20th shows, because these dates will be their first in almost two years (which will be the first with their new singer Silje of Octavia Sperati). They will be giving out new merchandise, signed posters and CDs, and meet-and-greet opportunities. The winners of this contest might be filmed. In order to partake in the contest, you must email contestgathering@gmail.com and briefly explain why you’re deserving of said listed prizes. You must include your full name. The winners will be announced during the gigs.

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The Gathering Streaming Three New Songs Online

The Gathering has issued the following statement about streaming three new songs online:

"Howdy guys! We thought it was time to boost our little myspace player with some more songs from The West Pole. The new songs will be No bird call, A constant run and Capital of nowhere. Enjoy the new tunes."

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The Gathering Streaming Entire New Album Online

The Gathering are currently streaming their entire new album "The West Pole" online here. The album is currently available in Europe and will be released in North America through Season of Mist on June 2nd.

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The Gathering Posts New Song "No Bird Call" Online

Dutch metal band The Gathering has posted a new song online entitled, "No Bird Call." You can check it out by heading to the bands official webstore. The song will be featured on the bands new studio album, "The West Pole" which will see a European release date of May 5th.

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The Gathering Announces New Album Release Date

The Gathering have issued the following update about the release of their upcoming album:

"Hi all! Hope you are all fine and well!

"Currently we are rehearsing a lot, as we have some festival gigs in Europe coming up! Rehearsals are going very well, and we are really looking forward to play live again, after such a long time. After the festival season (end of summer) we will start a European club tour to promote our new album The West Pole. If we have some news we will inform you asap.

"I also have some release dates for you: The West Pole will be released in Europe the 4th of May, except Germany, they can expect the new record in shops the 8th of May. The album will be released in North America and Canada via Season Of Mist USA the 2nd of June.

"Currently we are doing a lot of interviews and the response so far is superb! The reviews we received so far are incredible. A couple of times we received the maximum score in magazines! Superb. Thanks."

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Slipknot, Down And More Added To Graspop 2009

The organizers of this years Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium has announced some more bands for the festival in the form of Slipknot, Down, Exodus, Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Motley Crue, Gojira, The Gathering, Buckcherry, Marilyn Manson, Jon Olivia's Pain, Pestilence and August Burns Red.

The lineup is now as follows:

Heaven And Hell
Motley Crue
Marilyn Manson
Lacuna Coil
Dream Theater
God Forbid
Sacred Reich
August Burns Red
Papa Roach
Jon Olivia's Pain
Blind Guardian
Wolves In The Throne Room
Legion of The Damned
Laaz Rockit
Scar Symmetry
Parkway Drive
Negura Bunget

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The Gathering Announces Ninth Studio Album

The Gathering has announced that their 9th studio album, "The West Pole," will be released in April 2009. Produced by René Rutten, the album features nine songs with two guest female vocalists and other mystery guest musicians. This is also their first album featuring their new female singer, who is yet to be revealed. The album will be released through the band’s own label, Psychonaut Records.

Drummer Hans Rutten describes the album’s sound as "A very extrovert, rock orientated, alive album. Typical the Gathering, but with many new elements. This time it's absolutely guitar driven."

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Century Media Celebrates 20th Anniversary

2008 has become an extremely exciting year in the history of Century Media Records, one of the world's most respected independent homes for heavy music, as the label is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

The company's Anniversary year started off with an extremely successful, first-ever yard sale/party at the Century Media office in Dortmund (Germany) in June, where several hundred guests partied out on exclusive live shows by Angel Dust and Turisas. A video with impressions from the event can be seen at this location. A photo gallery for this event can be viewed here.

To further celebrate this anniversary Century Media Records will release the very special 2CD compilation "Covering 20 Years Of Extremes" on September 15th in Europe and on October 14th in North America. The various artists covers-release includes 32 mostly exclusive recordings and will be available in stores for the price of one CD. Sticking to the "keep it in the family" slogan, CM approached their artists about covering songs from other acts within the label's repertoire and the response from the musicians was overwhelming.

Some choices were obvious and homages to the bands that influenced them, others were inspired picks. This combination ended up leading to a heavily entertaining and truly special final result across all sub-genres of heavy music.

Here is the tracklisting: More...

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The Gathering Commences Work On New Album

The Gathering have posted the following message on their official forums:

“Dear all, Sorry it has been a while since you’ve heard from us. We apologize for this. It actually means that we have been really busy with the band. During the last couple of months we created a lot of new ideas that lead to the first songs of our upcoming CD. Yes, we are working on a new album! Or actually, two new albums! Many of our new songs are very rock and guitar orientated and will end up on a heavy rock album for sure. The second album will be filled with more ’shoe gaze’, dreamy tracks.

We can imagine if you are very curious about new vocalists. Currently, we are working with several. It feels very refreshing and interesting to work with different voices and it adds beautiful new colours to our music. Names will be presented as soon as our ideas become more concrete. As promised you will hear new material by the end of this year. The release of our new album is planned for Spring 2009. On behalf of the band, Hans Rutten“

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The Gathering To Release New DVD/ CD In February

The End Records has announced a February 5, 2008 North American release date for THE GATHERING's "A Noise Severe" double-DVD and double-CD sets.

Both releases contain recordings of the Dutch group's March 24, 2007 performance at the 4,000-capacity theatre Teatro Caupolicán in Santiago, Chile and mark THE GATHERING's final output to feature singer Anneke van Giersbergen.

Drummer Hans Rutten stated about CD and DVD recording: "There was an incredible noise the whole concert. The audience was superb. I think it's a very elegant way to end an era — with Anneke, that is — and it gives strength to us and what the future will bring. I think the recordings speak for themselves. It's unique. It's a statement. It's something to be proud of."

The CD and DVD sets will both be released in digipack format.

"A Noise Severe" 2-DVD set:

DVD 1 (live concert recorded in DTS 5.1, at the Teatro Caupolicán in Santiago, Chile on March 24, 2007):

01. Shortest Day
02. In Between
03. Liberty Bell
04. Probably Built In The Fifties
05. Even The Spirits Are Afraid
06. Saturnine
07. Monsters
08. Alone
09. A Noise Severe
10. Leaves
11. Eléanor
12. In Motion #I
13. Waking Hour
14. On Most Surfaces
15. Strange Machines
16. Adrenaline
17. Third Chance
18. Black Light District
19. Travel

DVD 2 (bonus material):

* Home-made a film about the studio album "Home"
* The three winning videos of the "Alone" contest
* "Forgotten" video
* "Box" and "Waking Hour" projection clip
* Edison "Thank You" videoclip
* The making of "A Noise Severe"

"A Noise Severe" 2-CD set:

CD 1:

01. Shortest Day
02. In Between
03. Liberty Bell
04. Probably Built In The Fifties
05. Even The Spirits Are Afraid
06. Saturnine
07. Monsters
08. Alone
09. A Noise Severe
10. Leaves
11. Eléanor
12. In Motion #I

CD 2:

01. Waking Hour
02. On Most Surfaces
03. Strange Machines
04. Adrenaline
05. Third Chance
06. Black Light District
07. Travel

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The Gathering Drummer Post Update

THE GATHERING drummer Hans Rutten has issued the following update:

"First of all, thanks so much for all the response we received concerning our upcoming DVD release 'A Noise Severe'. So many people ordered the package on our webshop, really unbelievable! On behalf of all of us: thanks!"

"Not so good news; we had some mastering problems which we hope are solved now, and will be on time to send out all orders end of October/beginning of November [people who ordered will receive a notification when products are shipped]. We think the whole recordings, both audio and image, is beyond our expectation. A beautiful ending of a GATHERING chapter which we are proud of."

"If you can't wait and want to see a glimpse; there will be held some GATHERING 'A Noise Severe' DVD release parties in Berlin (November 3rd), Santiago (somewhere end of November) and Mexico city (November 17th). I am sure you will find more info on our own message board." More...

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Singer Anneke's Last Show With The Gathering Video

As previously reported, The Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen chose to leave the band to persue other paths in her musical career. A devoted fan has posted her last performance, filmed earlier today at Finland's Ankkarock Festival. Anneke's flawless vocal will sure to leave an impression on fans of the genre. Her parting words have been provided in a separate clip below.

"Eléanor" LIVE in Finland Aug 8 2007

Goodbye speech:

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The Gathering Drummer Discusses Band's Future

THE GATHERING drummer Hans Rutten has answered several fan questions regarding the future of the band in the wake of vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen's decision to leave the band:

Q: Why no farewell tour or even one gig at Paradiso in Amsterdam?

Hans: "The original idea was to tour until the Ankkarock festival [the last gig with Anneke], and fill up the gap between now and August doing some more festivals, maybe even some club gigs. While we toured North America, Anneke informed us she only wanted to play the last three gigs. She felt it was the right thing to do. We understand why people ask, even beg us, to give the fans one last chance to see the band live. Of course, we thought about doing a special last show. The fact is that Anneke explained to us she doesn't want to play with us anymore. It would be a emotionally tense show instead of something to look forward to."

Q: Is touring the main reason Anneke quits with the band?

Hans: "It's hard for us to answer this question. But no, I don't think so. Of course, being away from home while having a family is hard. Besides that there's also a 'health' issue. Going in and out of aeroplanes and air-conditioned buses is not healthy, especially when you are a singer. Being on the road can be pretty heavy sometimes. Jet lags, stinky backstages, sleeping in buses or not sleeping at all.. You name it, we saw it. We know Anneke had difficulties with touring, but I don't think we toured like crazy the last 2-3 years. When Anneke decided to quit and talked with us about her decision, we tried to convince her there would be a possible way out, even without touring, just making records. I think it was time for her to do something else, to have a fresh new start. An urge to do something else was so strong that she felt like she had to leave the band."

Q: Was Anneke's decision a big surprise?

Hans: "Yes and no. I personally had a very good conversation with her two weeks before she told us she decided to quit the band. She said she was still thrilled about recording a new GATHERING album and all the ideas we had going around. So yes, it was a big surprise. We just had a year off, as she was pregnant and we didn't tour that much at that time. She said she didn't have the time and energy to do things she would like to do. She wanted to have more time for her family, her own music and hobbies. We decided Anneke would only have to be involved in the musical part of the GATHERING and take some load of her shoulders. Eventually I think the idea of a solo album triggered the whole split."

Q: Why do you continue with the name THE GATHERING? Many people associate Anneke to THE GATHERING and THE GATHERING to Anneke. It would be difficult to get rid of this "female singer heritage" just like that.

Hans: "The departure of Anneke doesn't mean we will also just stop making music. It is her decision and we regret it very much. Not everybody knows THE GATHERING was founded by me, Hans, Rene and our former vocalist Bart Smits. Frank joined THE GATHERING 6 or 7 months later. We also had already made 2 albums before Anneke came to the band. Simply put; there was a GATHERING before Anneke, and there's a GATHERING after Anneke. We like to see this as a third era. People tend to forget we asked her to join THE GATHERING back in 1994. We gave her all the musical space, so she could grow, as she has a unique voice and is very talented. We are aware of the fact that Anneke's voice has been very important for the music of THE GATHERING. She became, at least for some people, more important then the other band members. As I said, she has a terrific voice, but she simply isn't THE GATHERING. We want to continue making music and like THE GATHERING always evolved we will again. Rene and Frank always came up with 90% of all the musical ideas. Four members of THE GATHERING continue, so why change the name? Even if we would change our name, we would be labelled as 'the ex-GATHERING members' anyway. It won't be an easy task, but in all the sadness we feel about Anneke's decision, there's also a lot of excitement going on right now. We can do whatever we want. All of a sudden there's a lot of fresh space surrounding us. We are aware that our new album might be the most important one we'll probably ever make. So we will take all the time we have, will not rush into things. Chemistry between the vocalist and the music is the most important thing in music, at least for me. I don't care about hotshot producers, fabulous guitar players, drummers who care more about what kind of endorsement deals they have. I care about chemistry, and with Anneke we had a terrific kind of symbiosis. We think this is possible with other vocalists. It will be different, it will take some time for people to get used to it."

Q: Is THE GATHERING planning on "hiring" a male singer only?

Hans: "It all depends. It depends on what will happen musically and what will be on our path. Sure is that we are open to work with both male and female vocals. We think it's exciting to work with new vocalists. First we'll work on the music and from there we'll decide what kind of voice would fit best. It's also possible that a song is strong enough without vocals. There are so many options right now. We really want to keep them open, at least for a while. In all these years we've made a lot of friends and met some great vocalists. I think a lot of them would like to work with us. In the past we already worked with Trickster G on our 'Souvenirs' album. There are more roads leading to Rome.

Q: Do you have any musical ideas for the new album?

Hans: "Like every GATHERING album, it will be different again. Especially this time; it will be a new era of the band. Especially Rene has some very strong new ideas. We think this time our music will be more guitar driven and more up tempo. We will not continue with what we did on 'Home', despite of the fact that we all love the record. Again; we will take our time.

Q: Will you, when you will play live again, do the "Anneke-era" songs?

Hans: "It's hard too say anything about this right now. As I see it now, we will focus on the new songs and maybe we'll also play some older material in a new way. Time will tell."

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Headline News

Vocalist Anneke Leaves The Gathering

Anneke van Giersbergen, singer for world-renowned Dutch rock act THE GATHERING, has decided to pursue new goals in life and music.

In a statement, she says:

”Dear people, I wanted to send out this message to all of you to inform you that I have decided to leave The Gathering. After much consideration and some serious soul searching, I feel that it is time for me to change my direction in life and develop and search out new goals.

In all the wonderful years that I have been a part of The Gathering, we, as a band, have always strongly believed in sincerity: both personally and within our music. I have always been able to give one hundred percent of myself to the band and its music. Over the last year I developed an urge to initiate my activities from a different place in my heart, focusing on myself and my family.

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Cristina Scabbia On Hottest Chicks In Metal Tour

The LACUNA COIL MySpace page has been updated with a video in which singer Cristina Scabbia discusses the band's forthcoming "The Hottest Chicks in Metal" U.S. tour. In the three-minute video Cristina talks about how the tour came together, the other bands on the bill (WITHIN TEMPTATION and THE GATHERING), and LACUNA COIL's setlist for their first U.S. headlining tour in support of "Karmacode". You can view the video at this location.

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Within Temptation Confirmed For Artmania Festival

Dutch female-fronted symphonic metal band WITHIN TEMPTATION has been confirmed for the Artmania Festival, set to take place June 15-17 in Sibiu, Romania. The festival billing is shaping up as follows:


Check out a poster for the event at Metalfan.ro.

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The Gathering Announce Headlining NYC Show

Before hitting the road with LACUNA COIL, THE GATHERING have lined up a headlining show in New York City. The show will take place on May 15th at Rebel and support will come from TUB RING.

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Leaves' Eyes To Headline Metal Female Voices Fest

LEAVES' EYES have been confirmed to be the headliner of the Metal Female Voices Fest V, which is due to take place on October 20th, 2007 at Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium. According to the band the theme of their show will be "En Saga i Belgia", and it will be filmed for release on their forthcoming DVD.


DORO has now been confirmed to headline the festival pre-show on October 19th, also at the Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium. Other acts scheduled to perform on the night include HOLY MOSES, DARZAMAT and DYLATH-LEEN

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The Gathering Announce Greek Tour Dates

Female-fronted Dutch art-rok act THE GATHERING has confirmed two Greek live dates in February. The details are as follows:

Feb. 03 - Mylos - Thessaloniki, GRE
Feb. 04 - Gagarin 205 - Athens, GRE

A video clip of THE GATHERING performing the song "Waking Hours" at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Holland on September 19, 2006 has been posted online at Google Video. The complete live show is still available for streaming at Fabchannel.com.

THE GATHERING recently returned to the road in Europe after they had to cancel the first month of their European "Homelands" tour back in April due to vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen suffering an obstinate bronchial and sinus infection.

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The Gathering's Entire Amsterdam Show Online

Video footage of THE GATHERING's entire headlining concert at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Holland on September 19, 2006 is available for streaming at this location. The group's setlist for the show was as follows:

01. Shortest Day
02. In Between
03. Liberty Bell
04. Probably
05. A Noise Severe
06. Spirits
07. Saturine
08. Monsters
09. Home
10. Life All Mine
11. Box
12. Broken Glass
13. Waking Hours
14. Travel
15. Eleanor
16. Strange Machines More...

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