Arbouretum - The Gathering
Arbouretum's previous full-length Song Of The Pearl was a brilliant journey through doom-laden blues guitar, carried by the soulful vocals of Dave Heumann. The Gathering continues this in much the same fashion, yet accentuating the psychedelic tendencies that that record hinted at and giving it a meaner edge. Heavy Southern-rock riffs meld into screeching melodies in a way that’s both tasteful and exciting. ‘Destroying To Save’ is up there with the best of their catalogue with uplifting guitars and the epic closing refrain of "let’s go inside before it starts to rain". ‘Highwayman’ is blues music for lost souls travelling the road and Heumann does a great job of giving the song a moody contemplative atmosphere with his stunning voice. Buzzing drones open up closing track ‘Song Of The Nile’ and they hover around till the end, being joined by cymbal crashes aplenty and a truly awesome solo. It seems Arboretum have perfected their craft with The Gathering; where they go from this is anyone’s guess.