Night Time Birds
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Top Customer Reviews
This album for the most part trades in the sandstone and desert wind doom of 'Mandylion' for a more relaxed, atmospheric adventure. The pace is slow, the heaviness minimal, and most of the emotional intensity comes from Anneke van Giersbergen, not that the instrumentalists are lazy or their performances lacking. The guitars sweep and hang, with a lot of piercing high end that sounds like bird calls coming across the sea; the keyboards build an atmosphere of magic and airy lightness; the bass wanders thoughtfully in the shade of the guitars; the drums are calm and sage-like, never saying more than they need to. If it helps you picture the prevailing sound on this album, it's saved in my Itunes with a genre tag of "progressive rock". It's got that kind of feeling: diverse, explorative, gradual.
The opener 'On Most Surfaces' is probably the best song on here, with its piercing, soaring guitar motif, chugging momentum, and a climactic chorus. It's the sonic equivalent of the cover image, with a single tree in a field of untouched snow, which the band explore with all the spacious wonder of wise children adrift and alone in winter.Read more ›
I first heard them in 1998. I was working with a blonde Viking over XMAS and my ears suddenly pricked-up when I heard 'Third Chance', a truly glorious song [track 6]. Most of what's on this album is of comparable quality and it is refreshing to hear a metallish band with a singer who really can sing and not about cartoonish concepts. I strongly recommend this album and also both its predecessor and successor - the conceptual How To Measure A Planet.
The band uses these elements to create songs that are often long without sounding indulgent and show a full spectrum of human emotions, from joy, anger, sorrow, and the rest.
This album features an eclectic mix of fast (Third Chance) and slow (Nighttime Birds), light (The May Song) and heavy (On Most Surfaces) songs, all of which are excellent.
If you buy any album from this band, let it be this one.
One that will stun you first time round and never let you go. Ever. Hard to believe the first Album with Anneke ,Mandylion , had come out just a year or so before. Mandylion rather underwhelmed me , mostly down to some overlong tracks that somehow didnt let Anneke to really cut loose at full intensity like she does here. And how-few if any can say so much in so few words, or with such sustained passion.
One review calls this a more "aggressive" album. But that's completely the wrong word. This a dynamic , inventive and inspired album, but no way violent in tone. More an out of this world Shamanic Journeying almost zen-like feel, not least in the opener "On most surfaces (Inuit)", "The Earth Is My Witness" and the Title Track itself
...BUT WHICH ONE?
Amazon UK sell both a 1997 and a 2007 version. As you might guess from the 2 prices, 1997 is the 9 -track original single CD. 2007 is a Special Edition double with no less than 20 extra tracks of both demo and live versions of most of the originals, plus a couple of instrumentals and live show covers of other bands . As one earlier review notes, all these are also on their "Accessories"album, but unless you have that ,then the extras are well worth the extra.
You pays yer money, you takes yer choice ,,.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nighttime Birds sounds like an extension of Mandylion, although with a much darker tone throughout- the guitars are more jagged and raw, the vocals are more stretched and angst... Read morePublished on 27 Nov. 2009 by carlosnightman
Another little gem of an album from The Gathering. Their best in my opinion was Home or Mandylion, but this is also quality Melodic Doom MetalPublished on 30 Aug. 2009 by I. J. Davies
"This is a re-review of The Gathering's `Nighttime Birds', the Dutch legends fourth studio full-length, and another evolving record. Read morePublished on 12 July 2009 by S