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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Aeon Sable
- Aether
02. Amorphis
- Queen Of Time
03. Atrium Carceri
- Codex
04. Dimmu Borgir
- Eonian
05. Behemoth
- I Loved You At Your Darkest
06. The Eternal
- Waiting For The Endless Dawn
07. MGT
- Gemini Nyte
08. Primordial
- Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Khôrada
- Salt
10. Immortal
- Northern Chaos Gods

More HERE

Random album

The Gathering - Afterwords (2013) - Review

Band: The Gathering
Album title: Afterwords
Release date: 25 October 2013
Label: Psychonaut Records

Tracklisting:
01. S.I.B.A.L.D.
02. Echoes Keep Growing (remake of I Can See Four Miles)
03. Areas (New Musik cover)
04. Afterwords (featuring Bart Smits)
05. Tuning in, Fading out (remake of Missing Seasons)
06. Gemini III
07. Afterlights
08. Sleep Paralysis (remake of Paralyzed)
09. Bärenfels (remake of Heroes For Ghosts)

"If you come closer, I'll show you how it feels." Do you recall these words? Of course, it's the lyrics from The Gathering's “Monsters” (from their 2003 album Souvenirs). And that is exactly what their music is. Not meant to be only heard; but also to be felt, to be seen, painted in most obscure tones of vivid colours. It’s not merely a collage of sounds; it’s an experience, a journey. I try not to overuse the terms “ambient” or “atmospheric” when talking about music, but when it comes to The Gathering, a trip-like soothing ambient is their trademark. Creating a palette of feelings and emotions, which can either explode as most vigorous and dynamic mixture of distorted sounds or soothe with gentle and dreary melodies, is what makes their music so special and enjoyable.

Indeed the band’s creativity has been on a decline since Souvenirs, but 2012’s Disclosure (read a review over HERE) was really more than a pleasant surprise. Consistent, eerie, atmospheric and melodic, it was the embodiment of all elements The Gathering incorporates in their sound: alternative and progressive rock, new wave, trip rock and electronic rhythms. It was a bit surprising though; Afterwords came rather swiftly after Disclosure, since usually the band’s releases were two or three years apart. So it was rather clear there were two possible scenarios: whether the band reached another highlight of its creativity or there was material left from previous release. Sadly, the second one came to be true.

Taking the elements from the previous album, the band has rebuilt some of the songs, structurally sounding more or less similar. “Echoes Keep Growing” is just an extension to “I Can See Four Miles”, while “Sleep Paralysis” (“Paralyzed”), “Tuning In, Fading Out” (“Missing Seasons”) and “Bärenfels” (“Heroes For Ghosts”) are more instrumental versions with a lot of emphasis on electronics. There is also some new material, the opening and wonderful “S.I.B.A.L.D.”, “Gemini III” and “Afterlights”, which is a short instrumental intro into “Sleep Paralysis”. It also features a New Musik’s cover of “Areas” and “Afterwords” with Bart Smits (the first vocalist of the band) on the vocals, both songs which are utterly unnecessary as they don’t fit into the dynamics of the album.

And that is what the main downfall of Afterwords is – it severely lacks not only originality, but also consistency. The Gathering’s albums so far have been stories written in music, but Afterwords just doesn’t have anything to say. There is still a lot of experimentation on the album. Distorted guitar riffs, dynamic keyboard tunes (from time to time even reminding of Jean Michel Jarre) and Silje’s beautiful and powerful vocals – everything is there. But it’s out of balance. Silje’s vocal work is minimalistic, which is a huge minus, since her potential seems endless at this point and the band should definitely take more advantage of her vocals. Just listen to her perform on “Gemini III” (which is easily the best track on the album) – you can hear she let loose of everything and just poured her soul into the music. This record doesn’t exploit everything The Gathering has to offer, creating a hollow ambient that has no solid background.

But (yes, there is a “but”) the songs themselves are not bad per se. They’re just not presented properly and not pushed to its maximum. Given the fact The Gathering is known for making astonishing and mesmerizing songs of epic length, with gloomy touch that all of a sudden change the tempo and explode into a whole new sphere (“Sand and Mercury”, “Black Light District” or “How To Measure A Planet?”) they could easily blend “S.I.B.A.L.D.”, “Afterlights”, and “Bärenfels” into one, lengthy song, which would measure up to their standards. The rest should be released as a bonus disc or added to the EP Afterlights (2012).

Nonetheless, if you give it a try more than once, you will hear the album has its amount of depth. But it is an unnecessary full length album. Looking on their entire long and respected discography, Afterwords is their weakest release.

Review written by: Ines
Rating: 6,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ugasanie
Album title: The Dark Side
Release date: 19 September 2015
Label: Black Mara Records

Ugasanie takes a vacation from his often polar dark ambient style, to give us a truly eerie album! White Silence's “To The Lord Of The Polar Desert With Seven Faces” and “Arctic Hysteria” on Call Of The North gave us a hint of some of the creepier territory that Ugasanie was comfortable in. However these tracks were part of greater polar-themed albums. The Dark Side takes us to a whole new place with Ugasanie, down the deep dark corridors of the underworld itself. The Dark Side is an ode to death and eternity, where you will hear field recordings captured in places such as morgues and cemeteries. It is a prayer to Mara, the Slavic goddess associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of nature. She is associated with death, winter, and nightmares. A very fitting patroness for Ugasanie and a fitting name for the fledgling label Black Mara, which specializes in dark ambient. The darkness Ugasanie portrays here is as cinematic as it is unnerving, yet it is never too harsh or overwhelming for the listener. It holds us tightly in Mara’s embrace and keeps us there from beginning to end. Ugasanie has shown us the darkness of Mara, goddess of death, in a brilliant collection of tracks. This album is highly recommended for any fan of dark ambient with equal amounts of subtlety and aggression.

Read a full review HERE