Video footage of Dutch/Norwegian rock band THE GATHERING's June 26, 2009 performance at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium can be viewed below.Photos of the concert have been posted on the group's web site. Commented keyboardist Frank Boeijen: "Last time we played a festival had been two years ago, but the [Graspop] festival ambience immediately felt so incredibly good! Of course, we all were a little nervous before (and crazy festival schedules and fast change overs don't make it any easier). We are especially very proud of [new THE GATHERING singer] Silje [Wergeland]; she did a very good job standing before such a big crowd only after two tryout shows with us. So I think we survived our rebirth on the festival site and we hope all of you there enjoyed the show. It was nice to see some of you at the signing session after and hope to see all of you again in the (near) future. Thanks for your support to all of you, thumbs up!!" THE GATHERING's new album, "The West Pole", was released in North America on June 2 via Season of Mist. The CD was issued in most of Europe on May 4 via the band's own label, Psychonaut Records. More information is available here. "The West Pole" marks the recording debut of Silje Wergeland from the Norwegian band OCTAVIA SPERATI. Drummer Hans Rutten says, "Silje has been the singer of OCTAVIA SPERATI for eight years, including several other projects. She did a superb job [on 'The West Pole']. This album also includes two very talented guest singers: the Dutch Anne van den Hoogen and Mexican Marcela Bovio (from STREAM OF PASSION), and some other guest musicians." Hans continued, "What can we say about 'The West Pole'? It's a very vital, atmospheric and extravert rock orientated album, with all the quality and power THE GATHERING is so famous for, also with many new elements. The sound is guitar driven, alive and urgent; a strong and beautifully coloured album with haunting female vocals. It's produced by guitar player René Rutten and mixed and mastered by Zlaya Hadzich (who also did the production of 'Souvenirs') and René." Singer Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since launched a project called AGUA DE ANNIQUE, which released an album called "Air" in October 2007.
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