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Within Temptation - Resist

Within Temptation
by Chris Hawkins at 04 March 2019, 3:21 PM

WITHIN TEMPTATION was formed back in ‘96 by singer Sharon den Andel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.  My first exposure to the band was actually their first album, “Enter,” which my editor at the time played for me.  I remember somewhat enjoying it as something in the vein of the Gothic Metal being put out by bands like LACUNA COIL and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY at that time.  Much has happened since.  Despite the fact that I haven’t closely paid attention to the band’s output, one would have to be living under a rock not to have been aware of their many successes.

The first track is “The Reckoning,” and while this is nothing like what I would normally gravitate towards, the musicality involved is unmistakable.  The main riff is a crushing juggernaut over which Sharon’s vocals soar.  Beauty is oft achieved through contrasts and such is the case here.  It is the verse sections, though, that alienate my personal taste.  During these parts, heavy guitar is eschewed for simplistic clean patters and a keyboard-heavy background which mimics that of Modern Rock radio hits such as those by bands like LINKIN PARK, EVANESCENSCE, and others.  “Endless War” is next and while containing some of the formula of the previous track, this second song seemed far less contrived.  What aided it most was the thick melancholic melody lent by the keyboard arrangement.  The end result is a song that sounded closer to their early output.

Supernova,” the fourth track, begins with a heavily-synthesized arrangement which carries on through the verse section.  One can hear some massively low de-tuned guitars in the chorus.  Still, though, there is a blatant pattern to the music – so much so that it would be a stretch to include them amongst the roster of current Metal bands out there.  Fifth track “Holy Ground” is thus far the low point of the album.  It almost has an RnB feel to it in the vocal delivery during the verse section.  Clearly, this band is long past any dedication to the ethos espoused by their former compatriots in the underground.  “In Vain,” the sixth track again forces me to feel like I’m listening to a more Rock-oriented band that was made for Top 40 radio.  When I say radio, I mean Miley Cyrus, Gwen Steffani, and Christina Aguilera.  There is just such a minute amount of Metal left that one has to wonder who is really listening to this now obviously a lot of folks are…but who??

Listening to this album, I kept having visions of Hollywood snippets running through my head.  I’m sure you know what I’m referring to – when a show has some ultra-dramatic part and the various characters are seen coping with the tragedy across the setting while some “safe” Rock song plays on in the background.  My eyes cannot help but roll.  It is just so pretentious and though things don’t have to burning pentagrams and nuns spitting blood all the time, Heavy Metal is all about rebellion.  Ultimately this is Pop Music, plain and simple.  I tried my best to give it a fair chance, but I just cannot condone this amount of pandering to obvious mass consumption.  It is a sad state of affairs, though, because clearly, the band is immensely talented.

Songwriting:  3
Originality:  4
Memorability:  3
Production:  4


2 Star Rating

1. The Reckoning
2. Endless War
3. Paincantation
4. Supernova
5. Holy Ground
6. In Vain
7. Firelight
8. Mad World
9. Mercy Mirror
10. Trophy Hunter
Sharon den Andel –Lead Vocals
Robert Westerholt – Rhythm Guitar, Unclean Vocals
Jerouen van Veen – Bass
Ruud Jolie – Lead Guitar
Martijn Spierenburg – Keyboards
Mike Coolen – Drums
Stefan Helleblad – Rhythm and Lead Guitars
Record Label: Spinefarm Records


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Edited 21 June 2019

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