The Gathering's History (Biography)

The Gathering is a rock band from the Netherlands. Forming in 1989, their early works were categorized as atmospheric death/doom metal, but their sound and style has progressed since the addition of vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen in 1994. Their subsequent and breakthrough release, Mandylion (1995), sold over 130,000 copies in Europe. The band continued the success of Mandylion with 1997's Nighttime Birds, but for 1998's How to measure a planet?, the band acknowledged the growing influence of shoegaze and the more ethereal sounds of 4AD bands such as Dead Can Dance and incorporated it into their sound.

Official site:


Genre(s): Rock/Gothic/Atmospheric

Country: Netherlands

Show Date: September 4, 2010

Festivals: Global East Rock Festival 2010

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Their eighth album, Home (2006), was to be the last to feature Anneke van Giersbergen, who left the band in August 2007 to focus on her solo project Agua de Annique. On 12 March 2009, The Gathering announced that their replacement vocalist was Silje Wergeland (ex-Octavia Sperati). Their most recent album, The West Pole, was released in May 2009.

In 1989, brothers Hans and René Rutten and Bart Smits got together with the intention of starting a band. Soon after Hugo Prinsen Geerligs, Jelmer Wiersma and Frank Boeijen joined.

The Gathering's Current Members

  • Silje Wergeland – vocals (2009–)
  • René Rutten – guitars/flute (1989–)
  • Frank Boeijen – keyboards (1990–)
  • Marjolein Kooijman – bass (2004–)
  • Hans Rutten – drums (1989–)

Former members:

  • Anneke van Giersbergen – lead vocals/guitars (1994–2007)
  • Hugo Prinsen Geerligs – bass (1989–2004)
  • Jelmer Wiersma – guitars (1989–1998)
  • Niels Duffhues – singer/guitars (1993–1994)
  • Martine van Loon – singer/backing vocals (1993–1994)
  • Bart Smits – singer (1989–1993)
  • Marike Groot – singer/backing vocals (1992–1993)

In those days they rehearsed once a week, near the small Dutch city of Oss. They had a desire to experiment rather than imitate, which would prove to be 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 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.

The Gathering's Discography

  • 1992 - Always...
  • 1993 - Almost a Dance
  • 1995 - Mandylion
  • 1997 - Nighttime Birds
  • 1998 - How to measure a planet?
  • 2000 - if_then_else
  • 2003 - Souvenirs
  • 2006 - Home
  • 2009 - The West Pole

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.

In 1993, Almost a Dance was recorded, also on Foundation 2000. New vocalist Niels Duffhues and new female counterpart Martine van Loon turned out not to be the right choice for the Gathering. The band felt that both voices didn't really fit the music.

The Gathering's Setlist at Global East Rock Festival 2010 (September 4, 2010)

  1. When Trust Becomes Sound
  2. No One Spoke
  3. A Constant Run
  4. On Most Surfaces
  5. Analog Park
  6. Great Ocean Road
  7. The West Pole
  8. In Motion #1
  9. Even The Spirits Are Afraid
  10. Saturnine
  11. All You Are
  12. Leaves
  13. Travel

During auditions halfway through 1994, vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen was recruited into the band, and German label Century Media was willing to give the band a contract. The Gathering returned strong with Mandylion in 1995. The 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 was 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 Century Media. 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 break and tended to their private lives. During this period, 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 fans, they released the mini-CD Black Light District on their own label.

In early 2003, Souvenirs was released. Sleepy Buildings, a semi-acoustic live album, followed in 2004. This album was the last one featuring Hugo Prinsen Geerligs as the bass player. He was later replaced by Marjolein Kooijman.(Source)

The band released a DVD in 2005, entitled A Sound Relief. This contained more gentle semi-acoustic songs. But this is not their first DVD. Century Media had released In Motion without band permission at 2001. Nevertheless In Motion had an acceptable success. The next plan is to release in 2007 a second DVD (recognized for the band) A Noise Severe which features the more hard rock sound of The Gathering. This DVD was recorded in Santiago, Chile at 24 March 2007 at the Caupolican Theatre.

In April 2006 they released their 8th studio album called Home. They had toured in March in North and South America and, after a brief pause to let van Giersbergen treat a laryngitis problem, they continued their touring schedule with European dates and music festivals throughout 2006.

The Gathering toured throughout the U.S. and Canada with Lacuna Coil in the spring of 2007. On 5 June 2007, it was announced that Anneke will be leaving The Gathering to spend more time with her family and her own band, Agua de Annique. The band scheduled a final tour stop on 4–5 August 2007 at the Ankkarock Festival, Finland. The Ankkarock Festival was announced as the final performance with Anneke as vocalist.

In February 2008, The Gathering released a boxed set entitled Sand and Mercury - The Complete Century Media Years]]. This boxed set was limited to 3000 copies worldwide, and contained 10 discs including a selection of studio, live and compilation albums. The set also contained the audio from the In Motion DVD as a new live album, also entitled In Motion.

September 2008 The Gathering released a collection of all their old material from 1989 to 1993 on a double CD. The album contains the demos, the never released promo 1992, live tracks and the Celtic Frost cover 'Dethroned Emperor'. The songs were from the period of the first line-up with singer Bart Smits. All songs were restored and mastered by Mike Wead (King Diamond / Mercyful Fate) and was released by small Dutch independent label Vic Records.

Recently drummer Hans Rutten posted a statement on their forum giving details of what to expect in 2009. "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." The album is expected in Spring 2009. Hans also mentioned they have been working with three singers, though the gender of these is yet unknown.

On 20 December 2008, the title of the Gathering's ninth studio album was announced as The West Pole.

Since September 2008 there has been much speculation from fans that Octavia Sperati singer Silje Wergeland would be the new lead singer of the band. This was when a picture was forwarded by the band on their official forum site that looked very much like her. On 7 January 2009, an article in a local Dutch publication stated that new singer would not be Dutch. There was much speculation that the new singer would be Norwegian before this statement after conversations with René Rutten.

On 12 March 2009 it was officially announced that the new vocalist is Silje Wergeland. Their new album, The West Pole, was released in May.

Source: ©

Official The Gathering's Video

The Gathering - Leaves
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The Gathering - In Motion
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The Gathering - Liberty Bell
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The Gathering - King For A Day
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The Gathering - Strange Machines
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The Gathering - My Electricity
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The Gathering - Monsters
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The Gathering - Life's What You Make It
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The Gathering - You Learn About It
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The Gathering - Alone
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The Gathering - Forgotten
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The Gathering - All You Are
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The Gathering - No Bird Call
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Duration: 04:57

Other bands that participated at the Global East Rock Festival 2010: Balfor, Bonfire, Cemetery Of Scream, Cruachan, Dark Tranquillity, Deviant Syndrome, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Eluveitie, Haggard, HammerFall, Infinite Tales, Kiss Forever Band, Manic Depression, Mayhem, Mnemic, Moonspell, Obituary, Oomph!, Preternatural, Rotting Christ, Sabaton, Sirenia, Sunrise, Venom, Vic Anselmo, W.H.I.T.E, Пилигрим.

Created At: September 22, 2010 6:06 PM Updated At: May 8, 2011 6:46 PM