Another band I was only familiar with by name. It seems they released two doom albums previous to this one but for Mandylion changed singers to Anneke van Gaiersbergen (who fronted the band until 2007 but has also done vocals on the amazing Epicloud album by Devin Townsend, among other projects) who’s voice brings an whole different “doom” element to the mix. This style of doom is more reminiscent of what contemporaries Paradise Lost were doing with incorporating more gothic elements into the music to give it a haunting sort of beauty. The Gathering seem to be more on the gothic side of things and I wouldn’t be surprised if this influenced the whole Symphonic Goth Metal genre and paved the way for bands like Nightwish and Epica as to my ears, The Gathering are only a few steps away from that sound. That aside, I have a weakness for incredibly powerful and emotional singers in metal and Anneke makes the grade. The album in an of itself is a little “frilly” for my tastes but her voice really carries the whole thing and for that alone it’s worth a listen.