ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Gathering- Mandylion (Album Review)

Updated on October 21, 2012
The artwork for Mandylion.
The artwork for Mandylion. | Source

Band: The Gathering

Album: Mandylion

Year: 1995

Score: 8/10

The Gathering isn’t a band that I can honestly say that I love. They have their moments, but a lot of their work is too subdued for my tastes. Mandylion is an important album for many reasons, and is often considered one of the best gothic doom metal albums. The interesting thing is that it’s really not all that ‘gothic’ sounding, and it’s simply not as good as what other bands were doing at the time (Anathema, Paradise Lost, Theatre of Tragedy, anyone?). Nevertheless, Mandylion is a good album that’s a bit of a grower.

The music video for "Leaves".

The Instrumentation

Obviously, the standout performer is the vocalist: Anneke van Giersbergen. She’s really an amazing singer and deserves the credit she gets. Unfortunately, the vocals are the only element that is absolutely great about the release. The guitars are fine, but not memorable. In fact, I can only remember a few of the riffs on the album as I write this review. They mostly provide atmosphere, and they should serve more of a purpose than that. The drums are weak and plodding, which would not be much of an issue if the guitars were better. The keys are important to the sound but, again, they are just not that great. Finally, the bass is solid and mostly follows the guitars.

The song "Strange Machines".

The Sound

Something intriguing that I have noticed is that a lot of people consider Mandylion a gothic metal album. For me it’s definitely dark and beautiful sounding, but not in a gothic way. This gives the release a distinctive feel, thus adding some replay value. In fact, the individuality of the album is one of its redeeming factors. It’s what, in the end, makes the album worth hearing.

A riveting live performance of "Sand & Mercury".

The Songs

There are two songs on Mandylion that stand out as absolute masterpieces. The first is the famous song, “Leaves”, which is incredibly beautiful. The guitars could have been better, but for some reason the song just works. The second song is the nearly ten minutes long “Sand & Mercury”, which is better than “Leaves” and actually one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. The vast majority of this song is instrumental, which creates a beautiful droning effect. A little over halfway through, however, the vocals come in. These vocals are stunning. I could use a lot of big words to describe the way they sound, but the truth is that you should just listen to the song and figure it out for yourself.

The song "Fear the Sea".

The Songs (Continued)

The other songs range from being good to mediocre, and there are also songs that seem promising but just become irritating as they progress. In fact, this is where the album falls short for me. Every song on the album could have benefitted from being a little shorter, or at least having more variety. Even the two that I love could have been trimmed; the shortened music video version of “Leaves” is just as delightful as the long one. “Strange Machines” is another good example of this flaw. The vocals come in, and the song suddenly rocks… but then the novelty wears off and the whole thing just becomes annoying. Still, “Strange Machines” is one of the songs that I listen to more often. “Fear the Sea” is another, and it’s a decent enough track. “In Motion #1”, its sequel, and “Eleanor” have cool stuff going on, but they are just not memorable enough to warrant obsessive listening or praise. There’s also an instrumental, “Mandylion”, that is fairly monotonous and anticlimactic.

What is your favorite song from Mandylion?

See results

In the end, Mandylion is not a bad album. It’s just not that great. A lot of people seem to enjoy it however, so give the songs a shot and don’t completely write it off. When I first heard it, I completely disliked it. Clearly, it has grown on me. Perhaps it will continue to do so, at which point I will gladly rewrite this review to reflect my changed opinion. Until then, Mandylion is a decent album by a decent band that is extremely overrated. 8/10 is, truthfully, more than fair.

Best songs: “Leaves”, “Sand & Mercury”.

If you feel the same way I do about this release but want to try something similar (and more interesting), then check out Tears Laid in Earth by The 3rd and the Mortal. It’s not exactly like Mandylion, but the sound is along the same lines and they have similar atmospheres. I found myself pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment and vote in the poll!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TheHeavyReview profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks for reading and commenting mhatter99!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the honest review.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)