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Mandylion

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 1995
$25.97 $4.64

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Song Title Time Popularity
1 6:04
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2 6:41
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3 6:56
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4 6:01
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5 5:49
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6 5:01
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7 9:57
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8 6:07
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B000005HMC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
People always seem to describe The Gathering as a melodic band or a gothic band or whatever. One reviewer described it as Faerytale Metal tho and I think that's quite a fitting description. The lyrics are romantic and the vocals are ethereal yet there are metal-like guitar melodies.
What strikes you most when you listen to this band is Anneke's vocals. She has a great voice. I've always loved hybrid metal bands and this one is no exception. I love the way Anneke usues clear female vocals in contrast to distorted guitars. She's definately a great singer. Not to mention rather cute ;-) (altho my friend Maaike who met her says she's not very nice.) But that aside this is a great band. The Sand And Mercury song is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Eleanore is also a highlight. And the great atmosphere of Mandylion makes you totally relaxed.
I normally don't really like Dutch music that much but I love this band. Go check it out.
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Format: Audio CD
Mandylion(1995). Gathering's third studio album.

For the most part, I never really listened to Goth metal music in the past. I had always thought the genre consisted of mostly boring and depressing industial-type rock music. With enough exploring on amazon for progressive and melodic heavy metal albums, I was inevitably led to the Dutch band Gathering. I first heard of them through the searching of talented female vocalists, and I'm always looking for a good female vocalist, most notably one who is backed by a band that can truly play. Thankfully, my preconceptions on the genre were all shattered upon first listen, and I was surprised to find out that they're actually pretty good! Anyone who likes heavy melodic metal music will find something to like with Gathering. I'd even say that this particular album classifies under slow, soft progressive metal music. The complexities are all there in the music, though the band never shows off once. Instead, they focus on creating moody melodies with the guitars and keyboards. Of course, let's not forget about miss Anneke van Giersbergen, the main reason this band has as many fans as it does. She sports a very soothing, talented, and beautiful voice which never fails to please, not to mention she's also easy on the eyes. Her range is broad, though she never shrieks or screams at all. Though her voice is what led me to this band, thankfully the rest of the band can also play very well too. Though many bands such as Evanescence feature talented singers fronting a generic, non-talented band, Gathering is one of the exceptions, at least on this album. There is great cohesion between the Anneke and the rest of the band, so the music ends up sounding very balanced.
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Format: Audio CD
Preceding _Mandylion_ were two other the Gathering albums: the perfectly bland doom metal of _Always..._ and the obnoxiously bad _Almost a Dance_. These efforts were abandoned for the approach of _Mandylion_: soaring progressive metal led by the heavenly voice of Anneke van Giersbergen.
Stylistically, this is definitely metal, but it has a soft quality to it. Generally slow and carefully layered, the Gathering's music uses heaviness as an enhancement to its enchanting flow, which is the dominant characteristic. Keyboardist Frank Boijen gilds the clomping metal rhythms with resplendent (yet subtle) orchestrations, where radiant strains of van Giersbergen's voice float along. Although van Giersbergen has matured greatly as a vocalist since this album, her performance remains completely stunning. I admit, I'm in love with her voice. She could sing about triangles or celery and I would find it no less compelling than her own simple but evocative lyrics. Contrary to most female vocal styles in metal before _Mandylion_, she never screams or shrieks -- just melodious tides of feminine beauty. I could rave about Anneke van Giersbergen for quite a while, but that would be an injustice to the rest of the band, who write as a collective so they all deserve ample credit. Masterful work abounds on _Mandylion_: the achingly gorgeous melodies of "Leaves" speckled with keyboard stardust; the man-eating riff of "Fear the Sea"; the torrent of emotional pain on "In Motion" parts 1 and 2; the dry, autumn hues of the progressively exotic instrumental title track.
With the current hype surrounding the mainstream success of Evanescence (another heavy music w/ female vox kinda deal), it feels good to have identified such a good thing with the Gathering beforehand. One gets a pleasant feeling of knowing about a good thing sooner than other people pick up on it. Does that make sense? erm, this CD is good.
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Format: Audio CD
Deep, utterly huge-sounding mountain of epic music, the first Gathering album to feature Anneke van Giersbergen fronting the former death metal band. Classified at this point as doom metal but really transcending genre with lots of death metal influences still present (especialy in 'Eléanor', the only track that still counts as full-on death metal, and one of the form's finest moments at that), exotic eastern-style instrumentation (especially in the title track) and the distinctly non-doomy angelic vocals of van Giersbergen throughout. One of the originating albums of 'atmospheric metal', but significantly heavier than most atmospheric discs, "Mandylion" is the kind of album that, if ever given any kind of widespread exposure, could draw more people into metal than all the 'dead angel' cover art, bat-biting, and Charles Manson t-shirt wearing singers (all carefully calculated by some bands to make metal seem more 'dangerous' or 'rebellious') has ever drawn in - or driven away.

The great doom/death time-travel fantasy 'Strange Machines' opens the album powerfully and 'Eléanor', as mentioned earlier, is a death metal classic, albeit one stretching the boundries of the genre greatly, especially vocally (a highly recommended song for Opeth fans). 'In Motion No. 1' is defining of The Gathering's Mandylion/Nighttime Birds sound and opens a theme that runs through most of the album's remaining tracks. Ambient, powerful, with great importance of powerful keyboards. 'Leaves', like 'Sand & Mercury' later on, with its lyrics and slowish, crushing music, perhaps should be depressing but instead comes out cathartic, simultaneously relaxing and invigorating, thanks to power, energy, and emotional sincerity.
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