7 July 2013

Within Temptation - The Silent Force

On the request of a regular ATTIWLTMOWOS reader, when I publicised that I'd become a major fan of Symphonic Metal, I decided to review this album by Within Temptation. Now it must be said it's one I was looking forward to with equally heady anticipation and much fear and possible misgivings, chiefly because of their genre and secondly because of the blatant comparisons that they will inevitably have with their Finnish neighbours Nightwish.

Within Temptation is a quintessentially Dutch act the school of metal including acts like The Gathering and Epica. They dabbled with Doom and Gothic Metal before eventually settling on melodic metal overtones. Sharon den Adel fronts the group with angelic and sometimes far reaching falsettos with tones not dissimilar to Anette Olzon (ex-Nightwish) along with the guitarist and husband Robert Westerholt (occasional vocals and grunts) although the latter no longer tours with the band due to family commitments.

The Silent Force is WT's third album, released in 2004 in the Netherlands and a year later in the UK. I've chosen this one as the band was departing from the doom and Gothic craic and concentrating all their energies on symphonic metal. Proceedings commence with the brief instrumental and choir backed Intro before See Who I Am rattles in with palpable and calm urgency. Jillian is a beautifully engineered track, with den Adel showing much fluency in her tones. However, not all is metal strings and thrash, Pale for example is a piano and uilleann pipes effort fused with light percussion before Aquarius brings us back to the guitar synths and keyboards pattern. The Special Edition version however has a few little gems, Jane Doe as an example has some interesting nylon string riffs and at last, a showcase of Westerholt's throaty and dark snarling.

I would've preferred to hear more emphasis on the guitarring but I'm nowhere near disappointed with this album. The Silent Force demonstrates assured vocals from Miss den Adel married with well produced orchestral arrangements, certainly not a heavyweight, but entertaining and listenable in its own right. M. Richardson 07/07/2013

8 out of ten. Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart.

You can purchase the album here on Amazon

You can listen to the album here on Spotify

Within Temptation's activities can be followed here on their official website

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