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A review of the album "The West Pole" by The Gathering very good alternative metal

Updated on December 4, 2017
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Ara is currently an Accounting student at Glendale Community College in Glendale. CA. He enjoys writing about a variety of topics.

The back of the album cover for The West Pole with all the song names

Track listing for The West Pole (2009)

  1. When Trust Becomes Sound (instrumental)
  2. Treasure
  3. All You Are
  4. The West Pole
  5. No Bird Call
  6. Capital of Nowhere (guest vocals by Anne van den Hoogen)
  7. You Promised Me a Symphony
  8. Pale Traces (guest vocals by Marcela Bovio)
  9. No One Spoke
  10. A Constant Run

A Brief introduction to the band The Gathering: 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.

The front album cover for The West Pole


The West Pole Songs When Trust Becomes Sound, Treasure, All That You Are and The West Pole

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. 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

The West Pole: review part 2

No Bird Call has a kind of atmospheric and doom metal sound to it similar to the band The 3rdand 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

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The official music video for the song No Bird Call

The song called Pale Traces

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

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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