The Gathering is a Dutch alternative rock band, founded in 1989 by brothers Hans and René Rutten and vocalist Bart Smits in the small city of Oss, North Brabant. The Gathering earliest releases were categorized as atmospheric death/doom metal, inspired by such underground acts like Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. In 1998 with the release of their 5th studio album, How to measure a planet?, they had a major shift in musical style, with the group acknowledging the growing influence of shoegaze, post rock, experimental rock and the more ethereal sounds of 4AD bands, such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, as well as Pink Floyd and Massive Attack; they expanded their sound, which acquired characteristics of progressive, alternative, and trip rock and gained success and recognition beyond the European borders. The group continue to expand upon the experimental nature of their music.
In August 2007 Anneke van Giersbergen left the group to focus on her solo project Agua de Annique. On 12 March 2009, The Gathering announced that their replacement vocalist was Silje Wergeland (Octavia Sperati). Their most recent album, Disclosure, was released on 12 September 2012.
On 17 January 2014, the band announced on their Facebook page that they decided to take a break from recording and touring, and also that Marjolein Kooijman left the band. To celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, a show featuring all the current and past members in the band's history took place on 9 November 2014.