Having come to Within Temptation via `The Silent Force' I realised this, as their first album, was going to be a wholly different kettle of fish. And it is, but in a good way.
Basically, the music is more lengthy, more winding, almost like a narrative and less governed by a strict verse/chorus structure of the songs. In most songs a bright array of synthesizer-strings, sometimes dreamy, sometimes more hectic, is punctuated by heavy, slow, throbbing guitars and drums - the rhythm is uniformly slowly beating, pulsating.
On this album there is still a lot of gothic growling, a trait WT dropped on the more commercially successful later albums, which I find creates a good tension and contrast to Sharon den Adel's clear and soaring voice.
This is not the WT of `Silent Force' or `The Heart of Everything' and it is quite a way away to `Mother Earth' too, but it is unmistakably Within Temptation - more direct, more earthy, more original - the roots so to speak.