Within Temptation is one of those love ‘em or hate ‘em bands. In terms of technicality, they aren’t doing anything that hasn’t been done before. However, they have amassed a rather rabid following, thanks to two aspects: 1) Sharon Den Adel’s astonishing voice and 2) the accessibility of their music. This is symphonic metal that could, and probably should be on the same level, if not bigger, than Evanescence was at their peak. Now with ‘The Unforgiving’, their fifth studio album, Within Temptation is back after four years. This album is based on a comic book that was written by Steven O’Connell (Bloodrayne). Is it a welcome return? Check after the jump for the answer.
The album opens up with an intro track that bleeds into the first real song, ‘Shot In The Dark’. It’s a medium-paced energetic track that will easily get your foot tapping and your head nodding along. The trademark orchestrations are there while the band lays down a simple yet driving metal rhythm. The song is definitely a good example of what you’re in store for as it’s right in the middle of what is to come: some tracks are heavier, some lighter, some faster and some slower.
The production of the album is gorgeous, especially considering how many layers there are. The band sounds cohesive yet each instrument can be heard separately. Sharon’s voice is fantastic, swelling and soaring over the music. The orchestra sounds rich and a great deal of the subtleties, such as string vibratos, can be picked out, making this a wonderful album for multiple listens.
I’m one of the people that love Within Temptation. I fully understand that they are not the most complicated band out there, but their music is fun, catchy and can be both astonishingly beautiful and crushingly heavy.
The Final Word: Within Temptation have knocked the ball out of the park with ‘The Unforgiving’. It’s an epic diverse album that could very well be considered the band’s finest.