Within Temptation - Stand My Ground

Year of Release: 2004
Label: G.U.N. Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 19:17:00

See if you remember this: In the late '70s there was a rather good pop / punk / new-wave band called Blondie. They were good musicians, but their stunningly beautiful and musically unconventional vocalist Debbie Harry eclipsed everyone else and in the eye of the media, she alone personified the band. So to try to refocus their fans' attention, they issued T-shirts and bumper stickers with their oft-repeated mantra "Blondie Is A Band".

Don't be surprised if Within Temptation is inclined to do the same thing. There's no question that the gorgeous Sharon den Adel is a wonderfully talented singer, and that the compositions revolve around her voice. But like Blondie, Within Temptation is so much more than their singer and their musicianship is very apparent on this CD.

Stand My Ground is a 19-minute thing of beauty. Track 2, "Overcome," has an eerie high-pitched emotional quality to it that recalls Kate Bush - a style Den Adel has richly adapted to suit herself and the band, and wholeheartedly adopted. Imagine a less quirky Kate Bush backed by instrumentation that is slow and deep and based in heavy metal, but also extending into elegant orchestral sounds, the rich backing of Mellotron-choirs, and compositions that hint at classical training.

Track 5 is a purely instrumental piece, with brooding orchestral instrumentation played in the deep registers, and with the plaintive melody of a violin wailing over the top. Not a bass or lead guitar, and not a drum beat or a power chord to be heard. It's less than 4 minutes long, but you could play that short piece again and again. Nicely "progressive," rather dark, very moody, truly beautiful.

Sharon's singing is angelic, but my lasting impression was of the solid compositions and the musicianship that goes way beyond the goth-metal label that has been attached to Within Temptation.

Get their previous album, Mother Earth. Get their new EP, Stand My Ground. Then get a cellphone that can download ringtones, because Within Temptation's web-site has a ringtone based on the title track!

So to paraphrase Blondie: Within Temptation Is An Excellent Band.

Released also in a DVD/CD edition

Stand My Ground (3:58) / Overcome (4:04) / Its The Fear (4:08) / Towards The End (Bonus Track) (3:27) / The Swan Song (Bonus Track) (3:40)

Robert Westerholt - guitar
Sharon den Adel - singer
Jeroen van Veen - bass guitar
Martijn Spierenburg - keyboards
Stephen van Haestregt - drums
Ruud Jolie - 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: November 1st 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.within-tempation.com
Hits: 534
Language: english


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