I have to admit, listening to this album was nostalgic. It reminded me of those days, years ago when I was still in grade school and I was really into much heavier rock. Does anyone remember those great Scream soundtracks that were released? Well I sure picked one up and I guess it reminded me of my childhood and the many different kinds of genres of music that I appreciate, that everyone should appreciate. About midway through the album I couldn't pin-point David Heumann's vocals and how familiar he sounded to me. The first thought that popped in my mind was Incubus and Brandon Boyd. This is a far reach by comparison, but Arbouretum's The Gathering really surprised me, took me off guard and just plain rocked.

An album that only consists of seven songs, I thought would be a quick listen but it turned out quite the opposite. The first track 'The White Bird' at about seven minutes long opens up with a great guitar solo. Throughout this entire song I automatically pictured Arbouretum as one of those local bands at a show that opened up and no one paid attention to. But I wouldn't say these guys were like that. They seemed like a jam band but mature. The second track 'When Delivery Comes' starts off as overly creepy and dramatic that may or may not be necessary. But the real treat that I picked up on is how well they tell a story, which results in a continuous flow for the rest of the album. More than half of the album is instrumental based with slamming guitar solos and syncopated drum beats; some may find this annoying but I found it addictive.

'Highwayman' is the best and my favourite of the album. It took me by complete surprise because everything leading up to this song was gritty and masculine and this was soft and picturesque with repetitive, gripping and vulnerable lyrics. It was a nice contrast and a real joy to hear. The next song 'Waxing Crescents' was a great transition from 'Highwayman.' The band did a great job at combining the varying sounds of the previous songs. This track was by far the most different and it almost sounded hymn-like with way Heumann sings it. 'The Empty Shell' is the most contemporary track on the album, and subsequently stuck out like a sore thumb, but it didn't detract from the album at all. You can tell just by listening to this track that these guys played around, let loose and just had fun with it.

Arbouretum's The Gathering ends with sexy guitar solos found throughout the entirety, emotional but calm vocals and a true rock sound only these men could believe in and aspire to play. is dark and sometimes hard to interpret, but for only seven songs I'm satisfied. Maybe it was just because it brought back memories.

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