Dutch/Norwegian rockers THE GATHERING will release their first studio album in almost a decade, "Beautiful Distortion", in early spring 2022 via Psychonaut Records. Produced by Attie Bauw, who previously worked on 2006's "Home" and 1998's "How To Measure A Planet?", the band's 11th studio LP will contain eight songs with a running time of nearly 50 minutes. THE GATHERING comments: "'Beautiful Distortion' is a typical eclectic THE GATHERING album, although it may be our most dynamic and melodic album to date. THE GATHERING's signature atmospheric and electronic rock sound is topped with the warm Nordic vocal lines by Silje Wergeland." Wergeland adds: "We wanted the artwork and title to reflect the times we have been in lately. Both with the pandemic, trying to be creative in isolation, all our everyday struggles, in private life, in relationships, and all that comes in life and with not being able to meet face to face. It symbolizes communication, or the lack of it, the interaction that has been out of balance. But at the same time, all the beauty that can come out of this distortion, such as new music, ideas and perspectives. It has been a long way, but we are so pleased and excited to soon reveal what we have been working on so hard for the past years." The first single from "Beautiful Distortion", a song called "In Colour", can be streamed below. This past February, THE GATHERING drummer Hans Rutten told Portugal's Underground's Voice don't see 2013's "Afterwords" as the group's latest studio album. "We all see 'Disclosure' [2012] as our last studio album, and 'Afterwords' was more or less a 'Disclosure' after-party," he said. "Frank [Boeijen, keyboards] and René [Rutten, guitar] really wanted to do some extra things — to make remixes. We had some sounds going on and some ideas, so we devoped into a sort of — it's a mini album, maybe, but it's a long album. But that said, we don't see it as a full-length album of THE GATHERING, more as sort of an EP kind of thing." According to Hans, the downtime during the coronavirus pandemic afforded him and his bandmates the perfect opportunity to focus on making a new album. "It's strange, because touring is really impossible," he said. "Everything is unsure, especially this year, and I'm afraid it will take a while [before we can go back on the road]; it will become difficult to tour. On the other hand, what we can do is make new music, and you can do it at a distance, of course — send files, send ideas to each other. And that's the thing we can do, and that's what we did the last year, 2020. [We] bounced back e-mails with files, and that's what we did. So we tried really to focus on making new material — writing new material, talking about it. So that's what we did. The main focus was really writing. And, yeah, the virus, what can we do? What can we say about it? Did it influence the new music. I think so, but on other hand, it's difficult to say because we're still into it. It's difficult to say something about it. I think we have to wait after the whole thing. When it's totally over, maybe we can say what was the influence. But it's difficult to say about it right now." Released in September 2013, "Afterwords" contained three songs that originally appeared on the "Afterlights" EP in 2012, two "Disclosure" remakes, three brand new THE GATHERING tracks and a cover version of a song called "Areas". "Disclosure" arrived in September 2012 via THE GATHERING's own Psychonaut Records.

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