Chris Maragoth – Gatherer of Souls


Chris Maragoth himself

Some weeks ago, my friend Cherry Summerfield told me, she did some guest vocals on a song of a forthcoming album and gave me a first listen. I was quite impressed. Some days ago, the guy behind this album contacted me and asked if I would be interested in his whole album Gatherer of Souls. Sure I was. He sent me all necessary information and a few days later, I received an original CD. So here we are and review:

Chris Maragoth – Gatherer of Souls

We unfold the wonderful designed cover sleeve with its oil painting and put the CD into the player. The title track is the first song of the whole album:

Gatherer of Souls

This instrumental starts unusual with a cello and strings arrangement before a heavy guitar tune introduces the melancholic main theme of the whole album. Imagine to hear it live as the opener of the whole concert with lightshow, fog, and schemes of souls wandering around in the background.

No Breath Left


It features Estelia, a Jewish soprano with Georgian and Ukrainian roots. She also wrote the lyrics of this track. The melancholy continues and the main theme repeats itself to be extended by drums, bass and a few more notes to be played. An acoustic guitar leads us to Estelia’s wonderful, opera-like vocals. Slowly the other instruments fall in to build up the tension of the song. The arrangement is perfect. This is Melodic or Symphonic Metal on the next level. And of course the main theme returns to finish this really fine piece of art.

 On the Brink of Death

Per Lümbersson

The Song features Per Lümbersson of German Melodic Death Metalists Aeon of Awareness on guitar. A piano starts this instrumental and a variation of the main theme falls in. A complex arrangement with cello, piano and metal guitar follows and tells the story without any lyrics. After two thirds, the drums speed up like a galloping horse, the guitar catches up and together they slow down to a calm cello mood.


Cherry Summerfield

That’s the song, my friend Cherry Summerfield of July15th gave me for a first listen and how everything started for me. She wrote the lyrics after Chris had given her the idea what the song should be about. In the song we remember a lost human person, in fact Cherry grieves for her deceased cat. It makes it a very personal and emotional song. Cherry told me, she did all the different vocals, clean and growled, in her home studio with two different microphones, take by take, sent them over and later on the clean parts were multiplied and mixed together for the wonderful effects we can hear. It is one of the tougher songs of the album, there is no doubt about it. It turns out heavier than the previous tracks with regard to the instruments and of course the vocals are completely different from Estelia’s soprano. And it has a nice break in between, almost as if it is two songs in one

Lair of the Undead

We hear some wind, seems, someone opens a bottle and eats an apple, another interesting repeating variation of the melancholic main theme slowly takes over. It is a clever arrangement with nice harmonies and slight pace changes. Yet, the instrumental ends as if this “someone” of the beginning has finished the meal.

The Eternal Rest (Interlude)

We hear nothing but a piano. The cello comes in for a few arpeggios and the interlude fades away. It is an unexpected interpretation of the already mentioned melancholic main theme.

Hoping for Salvation


Acoustic guitars introduce the song. If you expect a slow folk song now, you have failed. Soon the guitars become rough and speed up. This time, Chris himself wrote the lyrics and he also is the vocalist in his very own style. We can hear another version of the main theme, heavier and faster this time, just different but equal though at once. RoT’s bass lines certainly have their share in it.

Tales of My Demise

Ravens and bells, rain and whispers in the morning… acoustic instruments fall in, guitar, piano, cello and more strings and keys. The instrumental has a very baroque attitude in many parts underlined by a few well-chosen bits of metal guitar chords. It is a perfect song for a cold, rainy, foggy and uncomfortable November day – wait, it is the exact description of the weather outside while I am listening to it!

Carnival of Dreams

Julia Dathe

Vocalist Julia Dathe was brought in by Cherry Summerfield. Being a mentor for voice and authenticity is her passion and that is exactly how her lyrics and  vocals turn out. We hear some kind of medieval instruments like a fanfare for the intro until the heavy tunes take over and they fade out. As soon as Julia’s vocals start, I believe to know why Cherry brought her up. They are the perfect mixture between her’s and Estelia’s! Sweet, bittersweet and harsh, harshly growled and clean, clean and mean, mean and sweet to spin and encircle the web to gather the souls.

Left Behind (The Last Goodbye)

Goodbye means finishing the album and looking what is left behind. The song is a good closer with its acoustic instrumentation. Once again strings, cello, piano rule. By the way, Ukrainian Polina Faustova has done a damn good job as cellist on the whole album but this one certainly stands out by far. It is the melancholic anthem for the Gatherer of Souls.

Additional Nerd Information

Independent filmmaker Olga Kann created the music video for “No Breath Left“ . This video serves as the second part of the narrative that began in the music video for “Remembrance”. It premiered on November 24th at 18:00.

German artist Dorien Hammer created the cover. Combine the artworks of the two singles with the main cover to create a comprehensive painting. The lore behind the painting: The “Gatherer of Souls” represents a demon-like entity that collects the souls of the deceased at the moment of death to augment its power and employ them in sinister rituals. That is more or less, what describes the whole concept of the album. Indeed, a painting says more than 1.000 words.

The whole painting

Wow, just wow!

I’m stoked. I like the idea of a consistent main theme, which is constantly being reinterpreted or supplemented. I also like the fact that the vocalists have written their own lyrics so that they could bring in their own personality instead of just singing a set text. Chris Maragoth’s Gatherer of Souls has introduced me to another version, another world of Metal. It is complex, it is melancholic. The album is very different. Influences range from Gothic, Medieval, Symphonic, Death, Melodic, to any kind of Metal. Lyrics and vocals are used sparingly for the good of the album. The instrumentals tell their story in a different way, without them. I can dream away with this wonderful gem and piece of art. I can only invite you to give it a listen and watch out for more to come from Chris Maragoth.

Short Facts

Gatherer of Souls
Genre: Symphonic Metal / Gothic Metal / Melodic Death Metal
Label: none – self released
Release: November 24th, 2023

Gatherer of Souls
No Breath Left (feat. Estelia)
On the Brink of Death (feat. Aeon of Awareness)
Remembrance (feat. Cherry Summerfield)
Lair of the Undead
The Eternal Rest (Interlude)
Hoping for Salvation (feat. RoT)
Tales of My Demise
Carnival of Dreams (feat. Julia Dathe)
Left Behind (The Last Goodbye)



Chris Maragoth

Gatherer of Souls availabilty

Please buy merch and physical music or downloads  from the bands official sources and don’t stream music for free because it steals your artists’ income

proof reading by DerminBoad

All pics with permission of Chris Maragoth and persons photographed

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