The Gathering - Arbouretum
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 23, 2011
    90
    For sure, Sabbath, Zeppelin and more obscure bands of the era like Wishbone Ash loom large over the proceedings, but Arbouretum breathes new life into a long-dormant genre with its melodic flair, the freshness of its approach and the tastefulness of its playing-and to call a band whose average song length is six to seven minutes "tasteful" is no faint praise.
  2. Feb 24, 2011
    90
    Arbouretum succeed through absolute concentration and craftsmanship, eschewing the easy crescendoes of mid-aughts post-rock in favor of more organically evolving swells.
  3. Feb 23, 2011
    90
    The results are shufflingly majestic, loaded with blissful truths and, it must be said, startlingly close to perfect.
  4. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    Expanding on the rolling grooves of 2009'a Song Of The Pearl, The Gathering is a sonic monster. [Apr 2011, p.101]
  5. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    Arbouretum brings back that good old fashioned psychedelia to rock music with its fourth album The Gathering.
  6. Feb 25, 2011
    80
    After tinkering with their lineup for this fourth album, Baltimore's Arbouretum have emerged heavier, moodier and better than ever. [Mar 2011, p.83]
  7. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    Perhaps best not to take the "inner images" stuff too seriously, but let's not begrudge a terrific-sounding rock band a few high concepts now and then.
  8. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    The Gathering is Arbouretum's "bridge too far"; there is no return because this set is a destination, not a development.
  9. 80
    Appropriately for an album called The Gathering, the esthetic Arbouretum achieves feels somewhat monolithic--overarching and whole instead of neurotic and splintered--and in this manner should provide healing properties for a psyche battered around by all the little specifics of daily life.
  10. Apr 7, 2011
    74
    Pretty cheesy lyrics are by no means strangers to this genre, but that doesn't make them any more welcome. Still, few modern-day axemen can noodle like Heumann, which, let's face it, is why anyone should listen to Arbouretum in the first place.
  11. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    The Gathering is a revitalizing roll in the dirt, particularly for listeners put off by hard rock that either forays too far into other genres or is too polished by spit-shined production.
  12. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    The Gathering is weighted in every way, heavy with distortion-crusted guitars, sluggish tempos and an earnest, perhaps even over-earnest, search for meaning.
  13. 60
    Arbouretum deal in an odd blend of folk and heavy rock, these seven tracks trudging along like a deep-sea diver traversing the sea bed in ten-league boots.
  14. Mar 9, 2011
    50
    The meat-and-potatoes musical approach keeps the path clear for the word to have the primary focus, meaning that you probably won't be humming much of The Gathering in the shower. [Feb 2011, p.73]
  15. Feb 23, 2011
    50
    The Gathering should be a hoot, at the very least, but this Baltimore clan's fourth release is more of a slog, shackled by monochromatic guitar churn and a slack pulse.
  16. Feb 23, 2011
    50
    Although at it's best The Gathering is an immersive throwback to a bygone age, considering there are already many records that do this sort of thing much more consistently, it's difficult to recommend.
  17. Feb 23, 2011
    49
    On The Gathering, though, the sonic vista is flattened out, resulting in a dreary, grayscale trudge of an album.

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