The Gathering Souvenirs

All soft curves with no sharp edges on their latest release, the Gathering risk boring their listeners into a trance. The album’s subtlety works best beneath the surface, and its essence, like a nymph in the woods, slips out of sight the moment you try too hard to focus in on it. Anneke van Giersbergen continually gets better at exploiting the full beauty of her voice, and when at the end it rises in a duet with Arcturus’s Garm, the pairing works wonderfully. Too easily though, Souvenirs fades into a really good background album, which is a little sad considering the band’s potential to be so much more than dinner music (recent example: "Debris” from The Black Light District EP). Moody, dark electronica mixed with trippy rock, Souvenirs has moments of utter loveliness; it’s just not as exciting as it could be. (The End)