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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgiving? Nothing to forgive!
This was the WT album waiting to happen. Moving slowly from the roots and sound of their first album to the more commercial vibe of Heart of Everything, it was only a matter of time before WT embraced an even more commercial sound. And that they do, but have tempered it with some of, perhaps even the most heaviest songs to date. A real album of light and shade...
Published on 28 Mar. 2011 by N. A. Davies

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WT go America? (with a little help from Mother Maiden...)
1st off I'm not a WT's fan since day 1 (or a #1 fan as well, but I overall appreciate their work), I've discovered them for the beautiful song Angels, when they had already reached their place in the sun within the genre, & went back to check the rest, for me the perfect balance of their sound, is not exactly at their beginning or last 1, but somewhere in the middle...an...
Published on 29 Jun. 2011 by Fridi


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgiving? Nothing to forgive!, 28 Mar. 2011
By 
N. A. Davies (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This was the WT album waiting to happen. Moving slowly from the roots and sound of their first album to the more commercial vibe of Heart of Everything, it was only a matter of time before WT embraced an even more commercial sound. And that they do, but have tempered it with some of, perhaps even the most heaviest songs to date. A real album of light and shade.

After a 34 second 'scene setter' the band launch into Shot in the dark - a stripped back electronic backing to Sharon's soothing voice that rips into the first of many jewel encustrusted hooks. Each song has a hook the size of...er...Holland, that sticks into your mind and drags you along.

After a commercial American sounding start we return to a more European sound for the blistering Middle of the Night. Those of you who have heard the samples and sneak previews of the album will not be prepared for one of the heaviest songs WT have attempted. A few minutes in, and the orchestra and choir gallop in taking the songs to new levels of the grandiose style they do so well. The drumming sounds straight out of Dream Theater or Dragon Force.

Onto Faster, and one of the most commercial songs they have done, but what a chorus. Sharon begs for 'faster and faster' before a monumental chorus that will have the crowd bouncing to a frenzy in concert. Exhilerating stuff.

The band get their breath back for fire and ice, the lighter waving ballad on the album. Gentle strings lead into a soothing verse before yet another gem of a chorus. In other bands hands, sweet and sickly. WT make it emotional and powerful. Feel the hairs on your neck rise.

A heavy guitar riff leads us into the furious romp that is Iron, surely a great title as it is WT's most 'metallic' song to date. You've guessed it, another instantly hummable chorus battles with Epic orchestration, with only a brief spoken intelude to progess the story before we launch into a barrage of chorus that leave the listener breathless. Sharon belts the words with gusto and obvious real enjoyment. A classic

Where is the edge, antother 'leaked song' a mid tempo number with a lower almost growled vocals by Sharon bookended by (surprise!) another glorius chorus.Some interesting 'treatment' to Sharons voice on this one.

And now we go disco...yes really...in a Madonna styled disco workout. Sinead shimmers with a band so confident in their abilities they dont care this is not their style. If you were waiting for Mother Earth 2 - you may be a tad disappointed. Get your dancing shoes on guys!

Lost returns us to more familiar WT territory. Another ballad in the All I Need mould - all quivering emotional vocals and sympathetic strings. Safer ground for those shocked by the twists and turns of the album

Murder chugs along menacingly with Sharon sounding a little Alanis Morrisette in the verses before orchestra kicks in and hey presto another sing along (if a little Eurovision) chorus

A demons fate is next up, unusual cyclic vocals draw you in, before a more familiar WT verse, and yet another European chorus that will have you wondering how WT lost the plot (if you didnt like the change of style of the last few albums) or wondering how this lot are not selling out stadiums across the world. There is some great drumming across all the songs. I am not sure if the guy who bashes the skins was a session player or new member but his style is more intense, more rock that the previous stool man, and this adds a harder dimension to the sound. Not better, not worse, just different

We close with Stairway to the Skies, an uplifting epic that ebbs and flows before allowing the orchestra to take the lead, cycling a riff higher and higher until fade out...

As you may tell, I was (am) blown away by this album. Class A songs all the way through, no weakspots, just pure class from one of the best bands out there. If you lamented the loss of the 'old sound' this isnt gonna pull you back, but if you can appreciate a talented band, enjoying their craft and producing some great tunes, you dig in

Enjoy
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unforgiving - Unrelenting, 13 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: The Unforgiving (Audio CD)
It begins with a short spoken vocal and then launches straight into an album of anthems that would blow any set of speakers at maximum. Every track is good and there are no shortfalls, no letdowns as there have been with the band they are repeatedly compared to, Evanescence. Whereas Evanescence have struggled to hit the heights of fallen, Within Temptation continually improves and how this is only worth so little when the quality is so high, I have no idea. Sharon den Adel uses her full vocal range to awesome effect and is supported by a band who seem to hit their stride effortlessly with each new release. They are not a one act wonder but a complete unit and each is given their chance to shine as they range from the softer Fire and Ice to Shot in The Dark and Sinead. I can't fault it. If you love the type of anthemic rock most at home in the cinemas then grab this and you will NOT be disappointed. Possibly too commercial for some WT fans but that's the direction they're choosing and I, for one, love it. Each album improves on the last and each one if full of barnstorming rock music that is at home in the home, the car or the stadiums they fill all over the world. How they aren't a smash hit in the UK, I have no idea. Call them goth rockers, metallers, fantasy rockers or whatever you will. I just know I love the sound that is best enjoyed at it the loudest you can get it.
Do I recommend it? Dumb question! If you love the band you'll love this. If you love loud, unapologetic rock music then you won't be disappointed in anything here and you'll want to discover their earlier releases. It's been on since I received it from Amazon and I know my daughter will want this too. There is no better rock band working today who sound so good either on their own or utilizing an orchestra. Emotional, proudly wearing it's heart on a sleeve, get this into your collection and you'll be glad you spent so little on so much!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album for 2012 by a mile, 21 May 2012
By 
Mr. J. R. S. Nicholson "BoomBoom" (Herne Bay Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unforgiving (Audio CD)
Well, what can I add to Mr N A Davis's review? Great review.

I can add that this album is by far and away the best album I have heard in 2012. Every track is fantastic and so well written it is beyond my understanding why this band are not better known.

The keyboards through all the tracks are woven into the music and really enhance each song. The ambience of the album is set from the opening narration to the very end track. The excellent Stairway to the Skies.

It is rare to encounter an album so well put together in every way.

Some of the stand out tracks for me are Shot in the Dark, Faster, Iron & Sinead. That being said, I will happily go to my grave knowing that I have heard each and every track on this album... It is quite simply brilliant.

If you only get one album this year as they say... Make it this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Female fronted goth rock... that sounds good!, 31 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Unforgiving (Audio CD)
Let's be honest, the Female Fronted Goth Rock offering of the last few years have been mostly sub-standard derivative affairs that play on the stereotypes.

Lacuna Coil lost their way with Shallow Life
Tapping The Veins second album (Another Day Down) disappointed.
And Evanescence's new album (Evanescence) is best described as a tepid affair.

So what does Within Temptation do? They knock it out the park.

This is a band who are absolutely going for it. Building on The Heart of Everything and The Silent Force without rehashing old ground, The Unforgiving is a full on rollercoaster giving full range to Sharon Del Adels vocal talents, with the music providing a rich texture in support.

Stand out tracks are Shot In The Dark and Lost, and the album as a whole meshes and binds well. One star knocked off for Fire And Ice; sentimental meh.

Excellent effort, and a good attempt to save a genre that was in danger of becoming its own caricature. I look forward to more from this lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holland - 12 points !, 2 April 2011
This album has it all going for it apart from one thing, most people will remain totally ignorant of its existence as it will never get mainstream radio play. This is a tradegy, although it does allow those of us in the know to feel a little smug at our discoveries of music like this.

In short it's top quality 80's style power rock with a modern metal twist and the best female vocalist that money can buy.

The voice of Sharon den Adel is simply stunning and her vocal range is astonishing. It's not as operatic as say Tarja, but it has a fabulous quality to it whether she is singing in the lower or upper range.

There are so many strong songs this it is impossible to single one out. They are each and every one as strong as the next.

So, if you like "big hair rawk" blowing in the wind machine, huge orchestration & insanely sing-a-long-able tunes then this is definitely for you.

And I'll tell you what, Faster and Faster for instance would do very well indeed for Holland at the Eurovision Song Contest (and I mean that in a good way)!

Definitely the best car music I've heard in a long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Tricks, 28 Mar. 2011
By 
Marty (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
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The Unforgiving is the 5th studio album from Within Temptation. As expected, this album continues to adapt and expand the group's sound. Whilst The Unforgiving has a more commercial vibe, it still retains the feel good syphonic traits from previous albums. This album is a happy medium between The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything.

Sharon's vocals are once again astounding. We hear a lot more lower, darker tones to her voice here, revealing a much more raw and animalistic quality. She does however still use her full range, soaring over melodies on Faster, Sinead, Lost and Iron.

The introduction of the new drummer is very apparant, once again adding a harsher more raw dynamic. The beats on this album could be compared to the likes of Nightwish or Epica.

Musically the band retains its orchestral trademark, whist fusing some retro 80's pop riffs with some very catchy synths. Tracks like Sinead really prove that the band is not afraid to step out of its comfort zone and try something new successfully.

Another great album from Within Temptation. I cannot wait until the tour!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 19 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Unforgiving (Audio CD)
I must admit, I found the album cover very off-putting. However, the samples of the tracks provided made me think "Wow!". I'm not generally a fan of this sort of music, but Within Temptation have made a truely awesome album here.
#1 Why Not Me
A creepy opening to the album.

#2 Shot In The Dark
An great song with a great guitar riff and catchy lyrics.

#3 In The Middle Of The Night
I'm not a big fan of this track to be honest. More noise than music, and the lyrics aren't exactly memorable.

#4 Faster
My favourite song on the album! The guitar, the singing and the incredible chorus make this an awesome track you want to play again and again! Headbangin' stuff!

#5 Fire And Ice
A very good, emotional song.

#6 Iron
This is epic! Adrenalin from the start and very catchy! More creepy speech part the way through, but that thankfully doesn't ruin it.

#7 Where Is The Edge
Not bad. This is a good song, and another dramatic bit of guitar helps it along.

#8 Sinead
Brilliant! Immense music compliments the great lyrics perfectly!

#9 Lost
This is a very dramatic, sad song. Excellent.

#10 Murder
Amazing! The whole track is thrilling, tense, and thoroughly enjoyable.

#11 A Demon's Fate
This track is alright. Doesn't stand out as much as others on the album though.

#12 Stairway To The Skies
A wonderful finale to a tremendous album of music.

I highly reccomend this album to anyone reading this page. There are a lot of disapointing albums around, but this would definately be money well-spent! I'm very happy that I got it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a damn good album, 15 Aug. 2011
By 
Lucioperca (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unforgiving (Audio CD)
I had never heard of Within Temptation until Planet Rock started playing the track "Faster" almost every single day for over a month and it is such an infectious song that I had to download it. After a bit of Wiki research I discovered they are a Dutch outfit and I was tempted into downloading the album and have to say that I absolutely love it. Now I already know the dangers of buying an album solely on the strength of one catchy song and Faster is clearly their anthemic track ... pretty much like their own "Final Countdown" or "Livin On A Prayer" kind of thing ... but the tracks Sinead, Shot In The Dark (no its not an Ozzy cover before you ask) and Iron are also notable stand out tracks in an otherwise very strong album. For once my gut feeling has proven correct and Within Temptation really are as good as Faster suggested they would be.

I have a bit of a limit on how much female vocal rock I can take in a short period of time, so I have only given it 4 stars but I have to confess this album has really grown on me to the point it inspired me to download two more of their albums and all three are excellent ..... I prefer this band over Paramore and they are on a par with Lacuna Coil and Evanescence ... although slightly less 'goth' in their work. Not quite sure how I managed to miss this band seeing as they have been going quite a few years but this album is well worth the download fee and if you like this I think you will end up buying their other work and perhaps some of the albums by a spin-off band Delain. Just damn good rock from a nation where a lot of our British bands go down a storm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Perfection, 1 Sept. 2011
By 
scarecrow (Doncaster, UK) - See all my reviews
Musically and artistically I absolutely love this album. I don't have a problem with the slight change in direction, (which will probably be temporary anyway, given that this is a concept album), because the album is packed with hook laden masterpieces of the quality we've come to expect from this band. I think the concept behind the album adds to the appeal and I am sure any of the songs will blend in fine with their previous material at concerts.

My only slight criticism is that compared to their previous albums there does seem to me to be quite noticable sound compression. When I first played the album I had to turn the treble down because it was too tinny. To compensate I turned the volume up, but this produced a brash sound similar to mp3 and made my ears hurt. The only way round it is to down two tumblers of rum first, and then I tend not to notice, (or care about), the auditory nuances quite so much, but then I often pass out before I get to the end of the album.

A dynamic range of around 7 or 8 is considered acceptable for rock and pop. I measured the track In The Middle Of The Night and it had a dynamic range of 4.

I don't know whether the fault lies with the bands, the engineers, the producers, or the record companies but I do wish they would stop. If it wasn't for this I would have given it 5 stars no problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are 60+ more reviews under the basic edition download !, 4 July 2011
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Bit odd nearly all the 60+ reviews of The Unforgiving don't appear when you just check out this download Special Edition !

If you choose to download rather buy the CD or CD/DVD , then do go for Special -For the extra £2 the last 3 Bonus Tracks I Dont Wanna/Empty Eyes/The Last Dance are every bit as as great as the first 12 that make up the core "concept album" .

(If you want more on these 3 just see my earlier review , it'll be somewhere in the 60 others, around mid -April!
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