Within Temptation - Mother Earth

Year of Release: 2000
Label: DSFA Records
Catalog Number: DSFA 1021
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:49:00

Within Temptation were revered highly in the Beauty & the Beast category of metal, taking its place alongside After Forever, Trail of Tears, and many other greats in this genre. If you're not privy to what people have deemed Beauty & the Beast music, it's a moniker that has been given to a surge of bands (mostly from Europe) that incorporate dual singers - one being a female and the other being a growling, male death vocalist. The two styles mesh wildly and dynamically depending on the style and depth of the music. Usually, it's highly orchestrated, dark, ominous, beautiful, keyboard-laden, guitar crunching, gloomy, atmospheric, and the list goes on and on. If you can handle the growling vocals found frequently within these bands, you will find yourself immersed in some of the most intriguing, surreal, strange music ever created. It's another genre in itself and although still in the cult status, it's becoming a regular amongst fans who are finding this music quite interesting and fulfilling in some ways.

Within Temptation's Enter, their disc previous to Mother Earth, is a disc that basically got me interested in the genre, and still remains what I feel is a true representative of what I love about the style, and a true example of what the genre is all about. Their over-the-top production, near perfect vocals of Sharon Den Adel (whom I consider the best in the business right now) and the dark, scary feel of the gothic music that was injected with a lot of progressive moments, and was just about perfect in every way, again provided you can get past the growling death vocals, which I've found when done right, and when complementing the soaring beauty of the female vocals, can produce an exciting, frightening yet enjoyable experience for the listener.

On Mother Earth, Within Temptation have turned the entire direction of their music and style completely around - and most bands who have tried to accomplish this seemed to have failed in some way, either by disappointing their fans, or failing in the change of musical style. WT have now forsaken the death vocals, for the complete Sharon Den Adel performance - something that is not only a smart thing to have done, but also an exciting one for the listener. Sharon easily has one of the most beautiful, exciting, passionate voices out there, coming close to reminding me of Ann Wilson (Heart) of old days gone by. She can sing in a beautiful, surreal, passionate style, to an aggressive, soaring, almost angry style with ease. Sharon seems to spend a lot of time in the style of "opera" singers, showing her versatility. At other times, she almost veers off into an almost "poppy" tone and then onto another style. She carries the listener from one emotion to the next throughout each song, and this is where the exciting journey lies.

The musical direction has gone into a more fuller, more orchestrated, more dynamic, less gloomy feel than on Enter. The sound is incredibly huge in the production dept, sparing nothing to the ear thanks to Oscar Holleman (who has produced a number of monster sounding discs like Ayreon). Everything is totally fulfilling in the sound dept, and almost sounds like a complete orchestra in parts. The tone is more upbeat and uplifting this time out as well, and again, against a backdrop of sound like this, Sharon's vocals are only lifted to an even higher plane. The guitar crunch is still present, but somewhat overshadowed by the wall of keyboards which constantly stir in and around each song.

Overall, this is a complete success of a disc ? especially with the major overhaul in sound and emotional deliverance dept. Few bands could undergo a change this drastic in sound and style, lose half of their singing team, and put out a monster disc like this one. If you like your music HUGE, dramatic, orchestrated, melodic, warm, surreal, and want to hear one of the best female singers out there right now, this is essential.

[The limited edition version includes also a CD-ROM packed with extras - movies, a videoclip, pictures and more -ed.]

Released also in various other regional editions; reissued by Sanctuary Records in the UK in 2004 with DVD (SANDX307; PAL); and issued by Roadrunner in 2008

Mother Earth (5:29) / Ice Queen (5:20) / Our Farewell (5:18) / Caged (5:47) / The Promise (8:00) / Never-Ending Story (4:02) / Deceiver Of Fools (7:35) / Intro (1:06) / Dark Wings (4:14) / Perfect Harmony (6:58)

Bonus Track on ltd edition - Wold Of Make Believe

Sharon den Adel - vocals
Robert Westerholt - guitars, keyboards
Jeroen van Veen - bass
Ivar de Graaf - drums
David Westerholt - synths and keyboards
Michiel Papenhove - guitar

Enter (1997)
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: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: October 13th 2001
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.within-temptation.com
Hits: 754
Language: english


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