The Gathering - Almost A Dance CD
For 1993 this recording was pretty much one-of-a-kind, a captivating blend of gothic wave/rock, doom and progressive metal these styles dexterously stitched together by Rutten’s great melodic guitar pirouettes. The guys were by all means looking at wider audience than just the metal one, and must have stirred the spirits, at least on an underground level, as both gothic rock and doom metal were rising in stature worldwide. However, those who had fallen for the debut must have been horrified hearing this; this new “dance” is far removed from any dark cavernous death metal-ornated doomisms. The guys sounded like an entirely new outfit, and may have not become the fanbase’s instant favourites as now no one was able to predict their next step. Well, at least on “Mandylion” they didn’t go very far; if we exclude the main female vocals and the more pronounced doom metal flair the delivery wasn’t radically different. I find it hard to decide which album is better… I would probably give more points to “Mandylion” due to the better vocal performance, but music-wise “Almost a Dance” matches it almost note by note. That same “dance” a logical step from the evolution of one of the most innovative and forward-thinking acts at the dawn of a big transformational campaign on the metal arena.