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Within Temptation

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Within Temptation

Dutch gothic metal band founded in 1996.
Line-up: Sharon den Adel (Vocals), Robert Westerholt (Vocals, guitar), Martijn Westerholt (synths & keyboards), Ivar de Graaf (drums), Jeroen Van Deen (bass), Michiel Papenhove (guitars).

 Within Temptation Discography - Album / CD Reviews

        Albums:

Within Temptation - Enter***½ 1997: Enter

"This is gloomy, doomy, slow moving, atmospheric, symphonic gothic metal. The music is driven by heavy, thundering guitars totally complemented with tons of atmospheric and thick keyboards. It’s this combination that makes the music as beautiful sounding as it is. The style thrives on beauty - so what the bands do is crank up the guitar sound so that it’s chunky and heavy, and then pile on the layers of keyboards to give it that added melodic warmth and beauty. The soft, tantalizing voice of the female singer finishes out the beauty part of the style. (...)
Within Temptation stays within the confines of that slow, dragging, gloomy approach to their music, adding in some exquisite vocals from Sharon den Adel, who I consider to be one of the best in the genre. Lush synths abound on this disc, along with the crunching guitars and growling vocals, and along with the soft, velvet-like vocals of Sharon, allow the listener to imagine a woman dressed in a bright, white flowing dress, engaged in some sort of contact with a black, shadowy figure. It makes for quite the contrast in music and in the imagery."
Larry D, mindcage.com

1998: The Dance (EP)
Tracklisting: 1. The Dance, 2. Another Day, 3. The other half (of me)
The CD also contains two remixes and a CD-ROM track containing information about the band and pictures that were taken on Dynamo '97, on tour with Orphanage and pictures taken on other gigs.

Within Temptation - Mother Earth***¾ 2000: Mother Earth
"There are some basic differences between "Mother Earth" and "Enter": There is more orchestration and there is no more grunt. Neither of them are necessarily bad. I didn't personally miss the grunt until I read an interview where the band themselves pointed it out, and the orchestration clearly adds another dimension to the tracks. Particular the use of certain classical instruments (copper?) in several tracks adds a nigh movie-score-like dimension.
In principle, "Mother Earth" has two types of tracks. First and foremost there are the classic Within Temptation tracks with Sharon's voice soaring to unimaginable heights, musically with plenty of guts. (...) Second there's quite a few more sensitive songs. Appreciation of these tunes depends very much on your mood, and whether you're a diabetic or not. In other words: Beautiful and sensitive, but definitely sugar-coated and hopefully no candidates for live performances.
The classic tracks include the opener, 'Mother Earth', right away one of the most powerful tracks which also makes use of the copper instrumentation mentioned earlier. 'Ice Queen', too, is a track that almost has the power to send tears of happiness to your eyes. 'Caged' starts off cheesy but then again turns into sheer excellence, similarly 'The Promise'. 'Deceiver of Fools' is probably the finest track on the album, though for some reason they considered it necessary to provide it with an ill-fitting and methinks superfluous quiet intro."
-- RK, w3m3.fortysecond.net/trax/wt_me.htm

Within Temptation - The Silent Force***½ 2004: The Silent Force
Tracklisting: 01- Intro 02- See Who I Am 03- Jillian 04- Stand My Ground 05- Pale 06- Forsaken 07- Angels 08- Memories 09- Aquarius 10- It's The Fear 11- Somewhere
"With 'The Silent Force', Within Temptation have taken a new direction and left the incredible arrangements and lush atmospheres behind, instead opting for a slicker, more direct and alltogether more commercial approach. Where 'Mother Earth' was an adventurous and challenging listen 'The Silent Force' is easily digested and doesn't hold any lasting appeal. This is a real shame because through the album the band does shine more than a few times. Moreso on Forsaken than on any other song and this at least gives me a little hope that they can come up with something better in the future. Sharon's clear voice is still incredible... Unfortunately many songs follow the same structure and don't hold any big surprises. (...) This said, the album is filled with catchy songs, Sharon's voice is completely mesmerizing and the musicians and production values leave nothing to be desired. (...) Stand My Ground is the first single and it has "Hit song" labelled all over it. It may be a good place to start if you are a newcomer to this type of music but to me it feels overblown and represents the best example of my earlier rant: A catchy song does not make a good song ."
-- Steen, RevelationZ Magazine, 12/04

Within Temptation - The Heart of Everything***¼ 2007: The Heart of Everything
Tracklisting: 01. The Howling 02. What Have You Done feat. Keith Caputo 03. Frozen 04. Our Solemn Hour 05. The Heart Of Everything 06. Hand Of Sorrow 07. The Cross 08. Final Destination 09. All I Need 10. The Truth Beneath The Rose 11. Forgive 12. What Have You Done (Rock Mix) (Bonus Track)
"After hearing Keith Caputo’s antagonistic vocals on the What Have You Done single I didn’t hold out the best hope for this album. 'The Heart of Everything', as well as having a questionable title and artwork, seemed to be yet another step into the realm of mainstream success, boosted by Caputo on the warpath and flat-packed Gothic songs. However, 'The Heart of Everything' should certainly be given a chance to be heard in its entirety before we all go screaming for the hills, despairing that it won’t be long before we see WT on the MTV awards doing duets with Eminem and Bullet For My Valentine. The band have clearly not lost an ounce of self-respect in the years that it has taken for them to be successful and though some bands may take the Lacuna Coil approach of chuggy Kornlike guitars to get the teeny Goths frothing at the gashes, WT have taken the line of releasing an album made purely of good songs. As long as you have the right people on board, it seems you don’t have to change your sound that much to retain your old fans while getting new ones at ample opportunity.
(...) The songs themselves are very much in the vein of 'The Silent Force' apart from the fact that there isn’t such an emphasis on orchestration. You do get the odd violin sound such as in the fantastic Hands of Sorrow, but these aren’t overly loud and obtrusive - they don’t try to make a point and purely provide a great riff over the choruses. Likewise Final Destination, Frozen, The Howling and The Cross are all powerful songs with terrific refrains. (...) Some tracks work better than others, The Truth Beneath The Rose being one that didn’t cut it for me. I’ve always thought that if there’s one thing that WT should avoid it’s long songs, and anything over seven minutes is a no-no. Even though it has a good intro and some nice instrumentation, it’s hard for my attention not to wonder half-way through; likewise Our Solemn Hour, with its part-Latin chorus, is a little bit daft and drawn-out. Still, neither of these songs are bad in their own rights and if other more feeble-sounding Gothic rock bands had released tracks like these we’d be saying they were their finest moments, but on an album with so many better tracks, one or two are always going to fade into the background."
-- Sam Grant, Sonic Cathedral, 2/07

Within Temptation - The Unforgiving***½ 2011: The Unforgiving
Tracklisting: 1. Why Not Me 2. Shot In The Dark 3. In The Middle Of The Night 4. Faster 5. Fire And Ice 6. Iron 7. Where Is The Edge 8. Sinéad 9. Lost 10. Murder 11. A Demon’s Fate 12. Stairway To The Skies

"... the band keeps the energy levels high. They also keep the quality levels high, as there isn't a single filler track on the album. That being said there are a few tracks that may initially throw people off such as the 80s-rock influenced "Sinead." That song makes more use of programmed beats, but doesn’t waste any time jumping straight into one of the catchiest, most upbeat choruses in the band's career (complete with a bit of 80s-style synth). When Within Temptation decided to move in a much more accessible direction on The Silent Force they released a very good album that suffered from a few excesses and some growing pains, but the potential was definitely there. The Heart of Everything didn't capitalize on that potential in the slightest and it probably caused a few fans to worry about the band becoming complacent. The Unforgiving is anything other than Within Temptation becoming complacent. It is an album that finally allows the guitar players to escape from the oppressive layer of synth and orchestral elements and they perform admirably. They belt out some respectable riffs, some surprising melodic harmonies, and even a handful of guitar solos. That's not to imply that the orchestral elements are gone, but they benefit from restraint and a touch of class that allows the other facets of the songs to breathe. The end result is that The Unforgiving is easily Within Temptation's most ambitious record, an album that benefits from an increased energy level and strong songwriting in order to deliver a collection of the band's strongest songs to date."
-- Trey Spencer, sputnikmusic.com, 3/11

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Recommended Links:

The Official Within Temptation site

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The Gathering | Sins of thy Beloved | Theatre of Tragedy | Inner Shrine | After Forever | Therion| Artrosis | Nightwish | Darkwell | Lacuna Coil | Beseech | Delain

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