Year of Release: 2007
Catalog Number: 88697066242
Total Time: 61:05:00
Sometime in 1997, a young band released their debut album, entitled Enter. The music could be described as Gothic Metal: Heavy guitars, pounding drums, grunts and operatic vocals, sung by a beautiful lady in an equally beautiful dress; you know ... the works. Ten years later, this young band has evolved into one of the best selling bands in the Netherlands and rapidly growing in the rest of Europe! How did this happen? Well, it all started with the release of their third album, Mother Earth. Here the band changed its musical direction and delivered a very melodic album, without the grunts. Six months after the release of the single "Ice Queen," the song was picked up on the radio and it became a hit.
And now, ten years later, Within Temptation, comes with their brand new album: The Heart Of Everything. I must admit, I was very anxious about this album. Although I really enjoyed the previous one, The Silent Force, I was afraid the band, now signed to a major label, slowly would turn into a pop band. But fortunately that is not the case with The Heart Of Everything. Although the band is moving away from the Gothic Metal sound, they have moved in a different direction, showing that Sharon den Adel does not just have a beautiful high voice, but can sing so much more.
Of course, the most important trademark of the band will remain: the beautiful dresses Sharon wears. On the cover of the album, she again is pictured in a beautiful white dress. This front cover symbolizes what the music is about: reflecting on yourself and what you find important in life. The Heart Of Everything is not a concept album, but still this theme runs through all songs.
Opening track "The Howling" really kicks in with the familiar WT sound, but a bad ass sounding Sharon. This track was written especially for the online game The Chronicles Of Spellborn. "What Have You Done" is the first single off the album and it features Life of Agony frontman Keith Caputo. Strong, rocking song, with a few hints of the former WT album. No surprise to find this single tops several charts in Europe! One of my favourite songs is "Our Solemn Hour," which has epic orchestrations and passionate vocals. Frankly speaking, the album has lots to offer. I enjoy the lush keyboard parts by Martijn Spierenburg and the excellent guitar solos by Ruud Jolie. Another absolute highlight of the album is the title track, "The Heart Of Everything." There everything comes together and Sharon has an edge to her voice that I like. The last song I'll mention is "The Cross," which has some Tori Amos influences and shows WT is willing to tread different paths.
In the end I have to say The Heart Of Everything is a solid album. It did not blow me away like Mother Earth did, but is a balanced and well written album. As said, the band is moving away from the typical Gothic Metal sound, but don't expect a totally different sound. It still is very much Within Temptation as we know it. But let's hope the success of this album will not keep them locked in this sound, but the band still will try different and new things.
The Japanese edition adds 3 bonus tracks: "What Have You Done (Rock Mix)," "See Who I Am (Live)" and "Deceiver Of Fools (Live)." A special edition CD/DVD comes with 4 bonus audio tracks, "What Have You Done (Rock Mix)," "What Have You Done (Acoustic)," "Ice Queen (Acoustic)," and "Stand My Ground (Acoustic)" (the latter 3 recorded live at a Kerrang! magazine event on April 13, 2007; the DVD includes a live show from Japan (9 tracks) plus 5 music videos.
The Howling (5:33) / What Have You Done (5:13) / Frozen (4:28) / Our Solemn Hour (5:35) / The Heart Of Everything (4:51) / Hands Of Sorrow (4:17) / The Cross (5:36) / Final Destination (4:51) / All I Need (4:43) / The Truth Beneath The Rose (7:05) / Forgiven (4:54)/ What Have You Done (Rock Mix) (3:56)
Sharon den Adel - vocals
Robert Westerholt - electric guitars
Martijn Spierenburg - keyboards
Stephen van Haestregt - drums
Jeroen van Veen - bass guitars
Ruud Jolie - mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars; backing vocals (3, 7)
Keith Caputo - vocals (2)
Jonas Pap - cello (7, 9, 11)
Tom Salisbury - piano (2, 9, 11)
Siard de Jong - fiddle (6, 11)
The Dance (EP) (1997)
Mother Earth (2001)
Live On Air (2002)
The Silent Force (2005)
The Heart Of Everything (2007)
See Who I Am (EP) (2007)
The Howling (EP) (2007)
All I Need (EP) (2007)
Black Symphony (2008)
An Acoustic Night At The Theatre (2009)
Mother Earth Single (DVD) (2000)
Mother Earth Tour (DVD) (2002)
Stand My Ground (DVD) (2004)
The Silent Force Tour (DVD) (2005)
Black Symphony (DVD) (2008)
Genre: Melodic Metal