Their first two albums, Always... (1992) and Almost a Dance (1993), which played a part in the formation of gothic metal, were recorded with four different vocalists. Their subsequent release, Mandylion (1995), featured the debut of Anneke van Giersbergen singing with the band for the first time.
Their following studio albums Nighttime Birds (1997), How To Measure A Planet? (1999), if then else (2000) and Souvenirs (2003) showed the progression of the band from gothic-influenced metal to a somber alternative rock. Sleepy Buildings, released in 2004, is a live semi-acoustic performance recorded by the band over a course of two nights.
The band's latest album is called Home and was released in Europe and North America in April 2006.
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.
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.
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 March 24th, 2007 at the Caupolican Theatre.
In April 2006 they released their 9th 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 June 5, 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 August 4-5, 2007 at the Ankkarock Festival, Finland. The Ankkarock Festival was announced as the final performance with Anneke as vocalist.
September 2008 The Gathering released a collection of all their old material from 1989 - 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.
"The name the Gathering has been made like eleven years ago when we started this band. We were all between 15 and 17. We were watching a lot of movies those days. One of the movies spoke about immortality and that you could kill the immortals with cutting their head off [it's the first Highlander Frank is speaking about]. In the first part of the movie, they speak a lot about the gathering. There will be a gathering once with all the immortals. We thought it was a nice name for a band, and that's how we created this name. And you can feel it's a cool name for five people who come together to make fine music." (sic)
Features live footage from two shows: Their performance at '96 Dynamo Open Air festival, and a concert they did in Kraków, Poland in 1997. Please note that this DVD is not considered as part of the official releases by the band, due to the contents and its quality, and the fact the band was not consulted for this DVD released by their former label, Century Media Records.
Features a semi-acoustic concert recorded on May 23, 2005 at the famous Paradiso in Amsterdam in front of an international audience.
It was recorded in Santiago, Chile, on March 24th, 2007, at Caupolican Theatre. A Noise Severe is expected to be the opposite side of A Sound Relief, showcasing the heavier side of The Gathering, according to the band (Source).
More enlisting the soul to help heal their bodies; Searching for more help than modern medicine is often able to offer them, the sick practice keeping the faith.(NEWS)
Dec 29, 1996; Ellen Varney, having traded her two bad lungs for two good ones, arranged on her bed the outpourings from the "angels in my...