Released: Jan 31, 2014
Genre: Symphonic Metal, Gothic Metal, Heavy Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Number Of Tracks: 10
Symphonic metal band Within Temptation thrash their way through eighteen new recordings on their sixth studio album, "Hydra."
HydraFeatured review by: UG Team, on february 05, 2014 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Within Temptation first emerged from the hellfires of the gothic metal underground in 1996. In contrast to their later years which have been driven by bolstering symphonic metal, Within Temptation began their career by trying their hands at several varying metal subgenres; the Dutch metal band took the doom metal approach for their debut studio effort, 1997's "Enter." When it came to recording their next album three years later, Within Temptation merged into celtic metal territory for "Mother Earth." As far as discovering the focus for ones sound, it was "third time's the charm" for Within Temptation, who laid their claim on the symphonic metal genre for their 2004 studio effort, "The Silent Force."
Ever since the release of their third album, Within Temptation have remained dedicated to the symphonic metal genre. The band has since gone on to release multiple acclaimed efforts which sit amongst an ever increasing catalog. Within Temptation also have issued a handful of live albums throughout the years, their most recent being 2009's "An Acoustic Night at the Theatre," which showed the more-often-than-not raging group sitting down for an intermediate unplugged live session. While fans have become accustomed to ranging gaps within the group's discography, Within Temptation made the three year wait between their recently released studio album "Hydra" and 2011's "The Unforgiving" by issuing a covers compilation last year, which showed the band giving their own renditions of mainstream pop music.
Some of the songs from "The Q-Music Sessions" make an appearance as bonus tracks on Within Temptation's "Hydra," such as a cover of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" and Enrique Iglesias' "Dirty Dancer," both of which have since been heavily reimagined with gloomy guitar work and Sharon den Adel's ranging vocals. Moving on to the newly released material, "Hydra" shows Within Temptation progressing in the same direction as previously indicated on "The Unforgiving." No radical changes in musical style to be found here, and that's just how Within Temptation fans want it. This is a new collection of songs vividly decorated in the signature Within Temptation sound, kickstarted by the menacing guitar work of "Dangerous," which features a guest appearance by ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, who takes command during the song's chorus. The prototypical synthesizers of the progressive metal genre welcome the listener to "Paradise," before punishing distortion joins the mix and returns us back into familiar territory. Similar to "Dangerous," Within Temptation shows the band joining forces with another guest musician, and this time it's former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen who can be heard providing vocal harmonies with Adel. "Whole World Is Watching" brings yet another guest singer into the fold, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), who serves as a foundation for Adel's soaring vocals during the chorus on this lighter toned rocker. "Let Us Burn" is a guitar-driven anthem, and the first forty seconds shows the instrumental section of Within Temptation taking charge. // 7
Lyrics: Within Temptation lead vocalist Sharon den Adel's vocal range has only appeared to have strengthened throughout the band's nearly two decade long history, which allows Adel to create plenty of memorable vocal harmonies and captivating moments on lead. On "Let Us Burn," Adel showcases her singing abilities as she creates the majority of melodies on her own, singing of off herself while hitting some impressive highs. Adel's acapella vocal style has remained very much intact since Within Temptation's debut, which naturally attributes plenty of familiar qualities throughout this new studio effort. These same qualities are further enhanced when backed by the solid instrumental section which comprises the rest of Within Temptation, leading towards an ultimately applaudable, collective return-to-form. // 8
Overall Impression: With their sixth studio album "Hydra," Within Temptation execute a bold compilation of progressive metal which could easily stand toe-to-toe with the strongest of their previously released material. There isn't a weak track in the eighteen song bundle, something not too many groups can claim to have achieved. While it would have been more enjoyable for dedicated fans to have all previously released recordings comprise the album's "Bonus Tracks" division, for those Within Temptation fans who haven't been tightly observing every move the band has made over the past three years it is a hastily welcomed addition. Any symphonic metal fan should have no problem enjoying this new effort, as should established followers. // 8
ywx-ooo, on march 27, 2014 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Hydra" sounds like a sum of full Within Temptation experience through years with new expance that have been riched during record. Powerful guitar parts and puchking-like-devil drum beats get on with symphonic orchestra and melodic piano parts. Returning of Robert Westerholt to grolling through choruses of "Silver Moonlight" and "Tell Me Why" and inviting of guest singers Dave Priner (and Piotr Rogucki on Poland version), Tarja Turunen, Xzibit and Howard Jones gives a really big contrast to Sharon Del Adel fantastic vocal and together they give songs really unexpectable and amazing sound.
However, like on every Within Temptation album, the main feature is Sharon vocal and instruments sounds as a background. Everyone, who seen them live, knows what a big drive produce Ruud Joile, Stefan Helleblad, Jeroen van Veen, Mike Coolen and Martijn Spierenburg on stage, but here it sounds a bit lost. Like a really good musicians with really good music to be played have been made more quite than it should be. And sadly it doesn't make sound great. But fantastic solos in "Paradise" and "Let Us Burn" should be metioned alongside of fantastic intro chords of "Covered by Roses," simply nice and powerfull "Silver Moonlight" and "Tell Me Why" with jazz-alike "Whole World Is Watching" and melodic "Edge of the World." // 7
Lyrics: Being band with frontwoman, Within Temptation lyrics always have been concentrated on something romantic. Here it back again! In a very interesting form. But there's also some brand new topics like living close to death ("Dangerous," "Whole World Is Watching") and different kinds of breaking free. And, I think, this time lyrics become really mature and really catching. As always it's easy to find the words of LP, this time it's "burn" and "run." And as always lyrics aren't leading squads of album, but they're actually good and easy to catch to start singing along. // 8
Overall Impression: "Hydra" is a really multifold album which holds you from opening track 'till the last one. Every song sounds its own way and, if you're Within Temptation fan or like something close to them, they will immediately appear on your main setlist. As it's been mentioned, instruments on CD sounds too much like a background to Sharon vocal. Maybe if they would be more loud and accentuated, "Hydra" would be a fantastic flamethrougher dragon, but the way it is it's simply "close to be perfect" record with fantastic vocal part close to deep sound. // 8