Sound — 7
"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."
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 8
"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.