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113 Reviews
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world is watching...
I've been on a Within Temptation rampage in the first few days. Not least because I've been downloading pretty much everything I own as MP3s. That meant all of Within Temptation's back catalog - it also meant I had the great honour of listening to everything they've ever done from the beginning. The journey has been immense and so has the wait for Hydra.

Hydra...
Published 5 months ago by Sports.Bargains

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Musically Brilliant, truly awful sound quality
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...
Published 2 months ago by Matt


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Musically Brilliant, truly awful sound quality, 17 May 2014
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sounds like a cheap old cassette recording, 13 Feb 2014
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great songs on this album.all the duets work well.big shame about the sound quality.a bit of a let down.seems rushed
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world is watching..., 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Hydra (MP3 Download)
I've been on a Within Temptation rampage in the first few days. Not least because I've been downloading pretty much everything I own as MP3s. That meant all of Within Temptation's back catalog - it also meant I had the great honour of listening to everything they've ever done from the beginning. The journey has been immense and so has the wait for Hydra.

Hydra is the culmination of a journey that has taken over a decade to realise. We had a glimpse of Hydra back in the fall of 2013 with 'Paradise' - at a time when the album should have been released. The beauty of digital downloads is that when the release date ticks over into being active, you can get it straight away. It's been a long time coming but it's here now and I'm happy, really happy!

It's like the Within Temptation I always thought they we're have finally shown themselves, and they're not afraid to do exactly what is right for them. Whereas 'The Forgiving' may have been an album where they flexed their concept mainstream muscles, 'Hydra' deserves to finally propel them fully into the realm of being a household name.

The previous album could be forgiven for sounding a little samey but there's none of that here, instead we find a diverse mix of songs that should satisfy most fans and probably gain a few million more.

'Edge of the World' is a sweeping piece of music that makes you wanna raise your hands and shout out to the heavens - truly magnificent. The aforementioned 'Paradise' is a powerhouse of metal and operatic vocals with a chorus that sounds evidently plucked from the eighties, and there's nothing wrong with that!

'And We Run' is sure to divide fans and critics alike but I'm all for experimentation within music and let's face it - rock and rap have been hand in hand since Run DMC and Aerosmith and more recently JayZ with Linkin Park. Is it any surprise that Within Temptation, on their rise to superstardom, had enlisted the vocals of American rapper Xzibit? It's no surprise at all and although not the strongest song on the album, it is worthy of note for moving to break down barriers. It also will most likely gain them a new legion of fans from other genres.

'Covered By Roses' is a return to the days gone by, a power metal anthem that showcases their talent for creating catchy riffs with extremely mature vocals, a testament to the growth and desire of an amazing group.

If you've never heard Within Temptation before or you're a hardened fan like me, them you'll easily find something here to enjoy and take away from it. Far from forgetting their roots on their way to reaching a mainstream audience, they have created an album that feels like a showcase for everything they are good at.

One minor annoyance is the length, at less than 50mins it doesn't push the boat out, but then again, when every song is this good I can live with that. Now the final song, 'Whole World Is Watching' is a superb ending to a great album and it feels like a song in which they leave their calling card for the rest of the world to discover them... to discover and wonder what they've been missing for the past decade.

Hydra is a superb album, it feels like it has been a long time coming and the constant change in release dates didn't help - but it's here now and I'm glad it's as good as I wanted to be. Whatever you think of the group, there is no denying that they continue to push the boat out, to test new boundaries and to really find their place within the music world.

And in the end - they're just brilliant songs!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Fine On My Stereo!, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Hydra (MP3 Download)
There's a lot of comments on this about the sound quality being poor. Whilst I will accept that it isn't perfect - it isn't as bad as some people are making out. I listen to most of my music in the car and in the gym - and this album gets no complaints from me. Maybe if you're listening really loudly on a state of the art system then you might encounter problems, I don't know. For those who may have complained about the sound quality of Metallica's Death Magnetic - this album sounds a lot better than that when the volume is up.

With that rubbish out of the way, I will say that this is the first WT album I have purchased. My opinion, therefore, is not tainted by previous releases and I cannot - and will not - compare it to older albums that may or not be widely regarded as the band's best.

This album has opened the door for me in terms of wanting to hear more from WT, so in my case, I would say that is a success.

At least 7 out of the 10 songs on here are nothing short of fantastic. Melodic, operatic, heavy and beautiful all at the same time.

Let me tell you how this whole thing played out for me. I saw the album advertised and thought I'd give it a listen to see what I thought. I haven't ever been tempted by WT before but for some reason this was different. Perhaps it's because I've recently started listening to similar band (Nightwish), perhaps it was just the cover, maybe it was an accumulation of a lot of things - but when I first heard 'Let Us Burn' I knew that I was going to buy the album. Fantastic from start to finish, this track really grabbed my attention and my imagination.

The addition of Xzibit has got some fans' knickers in a twist - but why? It's one song on one album, and to me, it sounds great. He adds a different dimension to 'And We Run'. This is what makes great albums in some cases - variety without deviating too far from the script. It seems that because of who he is, this song has received some bad reviews. To me, it keeps the album exciting and fresh as you move through the tracks.

'Dangerous' and 'Whole World is Watching' are other highlights - as well as 'Paradise' which, ironically for me, features Tarja. I had never been interested in Nightwish (having heard several of their more famous songs) until I heard Imaginaerum, which was fronted by Tarja's replacement, Anette Olzen. Here, Tarja sounds absolutely wonderful. It's funny how these things work out, sometimes.

Again, this album has made me want to hear more of this band. It has also given me new appreciation for Tarja Turunen and even Howard Jones (of Killswitch Engage). I know all of Xzibit's old albums but maybe there's someone out there inspired enough by his performance on 'And We Run' to dig into his back catalogue.

A significant album on this listener's journey through the genres. 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Hydra (Audio CD)
A most excellent album! Very happy I got to see them at Wembley Arena too, so smiles all round :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting a Within Temptation album..., 5 May 2014
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...but what I got was a Eurovision album.

No, really. This album is such a complete disappointment. I can't bring myself to give it one star, but it is hollow, unemotive, lacking balls, and there's a good chance I won't listen to it again. I have tried. I have given it a few listens, but it really does sound like Eurovision to me. On the second listen it already felt very familiar, which makes it seem clichéd beyond forgiveness.
I loved The Unforgiving, and then I backtracked to the Silent Force and The Heart of Everything (which still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end) - both blew me away. But this is poor, overproduced, soulless and charmless. With very nice packaging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Hydra (MP3 Download)
I was really looking forward to this album, but I am sad to say that I was disappointed. I tried it again after waiting a couple of months after my last listen, but I can't escape the conclusion that this is symphonic rock by numbers. It sounds as if it has been made for the American market, in a style that would go down better there, but with a number of unremarkable tracks.

The previous album had great tracks such as Faster, Shot In the Dark and Sinead and The Silent Force was a delight from start to finish. Unfortunately, I doubt if I'll be listening to Hydra again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a superb WT forever, 6 April 2014
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Within Temptation not only being a great Symphony Metal band are my favourite have been for years this is a superb package Follow up to The Unforgiving, Has great songs and lyrics, Featuring Let Us Burn, And We Run, Paradise What About Us, Covered By Roses, Edge of The World, Tell Me Why, Silver Moonlight and Who World Is Watching, great album must have for metal fans only disappointing song for me is Dog Days though average its not terrible Sharon has great vocal range best in metal, and Robert grunts return for this album after ten years 9/10 enjoy keep rocking everybody.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knockout Album, 4 April 2014
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I have never disliked a WT album but Hydra is leaps ahead of The Unforgiving in content and quality. Yes, it is quite removed from the symphonic Mother Earth and the epic Silent Force, but shows that the band are able to push new boundaries rather than resting on their laurels. I was admittedly dubious about the number of duets when I heard about them, but this adds to the variety of the album and do not detract from its overall impact.

Highlights for me are Dangerous, Dog Days and Covered By Roses, but I don't feel that there are any weak songs that I would happily skip over, unlike The Unforgiving.

The second disc is a bit to be desired, filled mostly with what appear to be demos of the songs, whilst interesting the fade ins and outs make them difficult to listen to. The cover of Sometime Sadness is outstanding, and gets played over and over.

Overall, I would highly recommend this to die hard and new fans alike. There will be something for everyone here. This is a fresh and well produced album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Within Temptation, 14 Mar 2014
This review is from: Hydra (Audio CD)
After a few listens I though this was another good, solid Within Temptation offering and then suddenly, the album hit me, it sunk in, and the revelation was “this is a classic album”. Strong, symphonic metal melodies from start to finish, some classic guitar riffs, enough solos to keep it interesting without being indulgent and some soaring keyboard/symphonic/choral effects to give it depth and grandeur. Also some of the best drumming I have heard on a WT album.
A superb album without doubt.
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Hydra
Hydra by Within Temptation
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