A Review of the Album "the West Pole" by Dutch Atmospheric Rock Band the Gathering
The West Pole Songs List
- "When Trust Becomes Sound" (instrumental)
- "All You Are"
- "The West Pole"
- "No Bird Call"
- "Capital of Nowhere" (guest vocals by Anne van den Hoogen)
- "You Promised Me a Symphony"
- "Pale Traces" (guest vocals by Marcela Bovio)
- "No One Spoke"
- "A Constant Run"
How Did The West Pole Do in Terms of Fan Support?
The Gathering is a Dutch alternative metal/rock band from The Netherlands. It was formed by brothers Rene Rutten (guitars) and Hans Rutten (drums and percussion) back in 1989. I first heard this band many years ago when I heard their debut album called Mandylion. The band is now in a hiatus period as of 2015. All the members of the band are Dutch except vocalist Silje Wergeland who is from Norway. She joined the band after the departure of Anneke van Giersbergen. The West Pole is a solid album which is great to listen to if you have had a stressful day at work and you need to relax and de-stress. The album reached #98 on the Dutch music charts. That's a little bit better than the middle of the pack but I think the album is far better than that.
How Does The West Pole Begin?
The album opens up with the instrumental song called "When Trust Becomes Sound." There’s not much to say about this song. It is just an average instrumental song with no guitar solos. You would think that because it is an instrumental song that the band would have the logic and sense to put a guitar solo in the song but they did not do so. The band makes up for this first song with the next one called "Treasure."
The song is about having discovered what is called a dream stone. They discovered this dream stone after enduring their darkest most despondent hours.
Analysis of the Songs All That You Are and The West Pole (Song)
All That You Are features some better vocals by Wergeland as she takes her voice up a notch. It is not just the volume of her voice; it sounds pleasant. By this point in the album, your nerves and emotions should be a little more relaxed. The slower title track The West Pole continues in the atmospheric tradition of this band. The song is basically about someone that walks through an empty park at night while looking very weary. She reminisces that someone she knew at one time she can still hear and see this person. She notices that the seasons change and the leaves die.
The song called "All You Are"
Analysis of the Songs No Bird Call, Capital of Nowhere, You Promised Me a Symphony, Pale Traces, & No One Spoke
"No Bird Call" has a kind of atmospheric and doom metal sound to it similar to the band The 3rd and the Mortal. The song Capital of Nowhere features some POWERFUL, soothing vocals. I put powerful in capitals for emphasis here. The song is about what happens before the morning approaches. As the light makes its journey through the skies in winter, it is as if a part of the mind unravels, opening up the heart. The album itself has been something I have turned to at times to have some emotional stability and we need to be stable with our emotions as modern life in the United States has gotten tougher.
You Promised Me a Symphony is the shortest song in the album clocking in at just under three minutes. It is a nice, soft ballad with piano as there are soothing vocals by Wergeland. Pale Traces is about a person that has lost their smile. They have seem to have lost their passion for life as they walk through the darkness looking for answers. Never lose your passion for life because if you lose your passion for life, there will be nothing left to live for. No One Spoke is a Paradise Lost influenced song about questioning how we got to the end of a tough road following a war. It is tough to sleep at night after a war because your mind is thinking about so many things. For the victorious army, they can sleep easier at night knowing that they have been able to win.
Favorite song on the album The West Pole
What is your favorite song on The West Pole?
The song called "Pale Traces"
Silje Wergeland In Budapest, Hungary In January 2010
The official music video for the song "No Bird Call"
Why should The Gathering be praised and given so much credit?
The Gathering is one of the Netherlands’ best bands along with Elegy. The West Pole is a very good album especially for the first one without Anneke. It is far from perfect however. We do have to give credit to the Rutten brothers, Frank Boeijen, and Marjolein Kooijman for the way that they were able to come together and continue without someone that they had a bond with. This writer gives The West Pole a solid score of 85 out of 100 points.
The song called "A Constant Run"
How Does The West Pole Sound As an Album In 2020?
Revisiting this album in 2020 may give you as a listener a different perspective. Is The West Pole a flawless album? No, but it certainly is one of this Dutch band’s strongest efforts musically and it shows that they do not need to do death metal music to sound great. As of 2017, The Gathering are back and are active. I mentioned at the first writing of this album that this is one of those albums that I turn to when times get tough or challenging. This is still the case in 2020 though it is easy to think that the world is changing for the worse. The world is just changing, we will just leave it at that. As the song "The West Pole" plays and we hear the vocals, life is indeed a miracle and the seasons do change. Listening to The West Pole in 2020 makes me realize that this may be the finest work in the career of this Dutch band. Losing Anneke Van Giersbergen really didn't affect this band at all, they just got even better musically as I can notice this right from the start of the album! We now give The West Pole a solid 95 out of 100 points.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian