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The Gathering: Disclosure

Wistful, emotional odysseys from the Dutch/Nordic hinterlands

Much in the way that modern metalcore bears little, and diminished, relation to the music that originally bore its name, so the the Netherlands’ The Gathering laid out a lush, expressive blueprint for what might have been female-fronted gothic metal but was overlooked by hordes of frocked, off-key shower-warblers driving the ship into the dunes.

Having drawn the awe of quality-loving doom, goth and metal fans, they lost one sublime, time-stopping singer – and now Devin Townsend collaborator – Anneke van Giersbergen in 2007 and gained a new one with Silje Wergeland, and if The Gathering are an airier proposition these days, Disclosure proves they can be no less affecting.

Less low-key, more electronics-infused than 2009’s The West Pole, it’s still at the mercy of melancholic driftwinds, Silje’s rich, ruffled Arctic floe able to bear devastation with haunting, soul-cleansing grace. If you’re fond of frill-free, fragile emotional hinterlands that don’t dissolve under scrutiny, Disclosure will reach down deep.