Drummer Hans Rutten of the Dutch rock outfit THE GATHERING has issued the following update:"The waiting is over. Well ... almost! "We are very happy and proud to announce the release of our ninth studio album in April 2009! The album will be called 'The West Pole'. You probably are curious who is singing on our new record. We have found a new [female] vocalist, and we will have two [also female] guest singers on 'The West Pole'. "We can imagine people are anxious to hear some of our new music. However, we will not make it to put new songs online this year. The reason is that some of our [many] guest musicians still need to be recorded and we prefer to present only complete version of the songs. As soon as we have mixed and mastered the album we will put some tracks on the web and of course you will be informed with all possible details. We believe, after hearing the new songs, you will agree the waiting was worthwhile! "We are very, very proud and we feel we made something really special. The album is produced by René Rutten, it will contain 9 tracks and will be released on our own imprint Psychonaut Records. It will be a very extravert, rock-orientated, alive album. Typically THE GATHERING, but with many new elements. This time it's absolutely guitar-driven. For sure. "'The West Pole' will be available via our own webshop one month before the actual release date. Like our DVD 'A Noise Severe', we will make special packages. More news will follow soon."