Sound — 9
I picked up this album about a year ago, having never listened to Within Temptation. I was already an immense goth/symphonic metal fan, listening to bands such as Nighwish, Kamelot and the like so I kind of knew what I was getting with this band. Lets just say that I was blown away by this album. Oh my goodness. It's incredible to say the least. It is well recorded, especially for the fact that apart from the drums, bass and two guitars, they have keyboards, cellos, violins, backup choirs among many other classical or folk instruments. It's truly a complicated, yet simply beautiful piece of art.
Lyrics — 9
The singing on this album is undeniably beautiful. The voice of Sharon Den Adel can melt even the hardest heart. Her soaring vocals sing about lost love, physical and mental abuse and war, among other prominent topics. The first single of the album 'What Have You Done' features the talents of Life Of Agony singer Keith Caputo and I must say he does a splendid performance, the voices of himself and Den Adel complimenting each other flawlessly.
Overall Impression — 8
This album rocks hard. It also has the power to appeal to non metalheads, which could be a blessing or a curse depending on who you are. What I must say about this album is that the first two thirds are total undeniable awesomeness. The third part of the album however is not as satisfactory. The album has 12 songs but I feel as if it should have maybe ended at eight or nine songs. I feel as if the last few songs don't have as much fire in them, as if the band just got tired but needed more material. Don't let that take away from the beginning two thirds however. I can not tell you how incredible it is. My favorite songs are Frozen, Our Solemn Hour and Hand Of Sorrow. If this CD was stolen I would most certainly buy it again. Excellent album.