I'm not usually a big fan of Within Temptation as a rule, but musically this album is utterly brilliant.
Sadly it's been utterly ruined by the most awful sound quality I've ever heard on a studio CD.
The bass is muddy and distorted on every single track, the overall sound is confused and utterly unclear. There's a confusion and muddiness that's unmatched anywhere else in my CD collection.
I'm actually tempted to buy the vinyl in the hope it escaped the hell of compression that is this CD. (I really wish Amazon would keep reviews for different formats distinct).
Was it mixed by Spinal Tap? Everything turned up to 11?
Was the sound engineer stone deaf?
They wanted to make the final shot of the loudness wars?
Whatever, they should have been fired for total incompetence.
If you want to listen to this album on poor quality equipment in really noisy surroundings, you'll probably love it. For everyone else, there's a brilliant album that's been utterly ruined by the production.
It only deserves 1 as I'm disappointed every single time I hear a track from it. Musically though, it's a 5 star album.
It's frustrating as I want to love it, and listen to it a lot, but I end up skipping most tracks. This is an album that deserves a quality remix asap.