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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Fine On My Stereo!
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...
Published 7 months ago by CaptainKatana

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Average Album... Terrible Sound!
I will do this review in two parts; a part on the album itself and a part on the awful production job.

The album itself is... well it's ok. My main problem is that all the songs seem to blend together because there is a real lack of dynamics on this album. The songs all plod along at the same kind of pace. In addition, despite all the guest vocals, it seems the...
Published 1 month ago by Sarah


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Average Album... Terrible Sound!, 16 Sep 2014
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I will do this review in two parts; a part on the album itself and a part on the awful production job.

The album itself is... well it's ok. My main problem is that all the songs seem to blend together because there is a real lack of dynamics on this album. The songs all plod along at the same kind of pace. In addition, despite all the guest vocals, it seems the band haven't tried to use these vocalists very well: Tarja is religated to keeping pace with Sharon and her real operatic range is not used; Howard Jone's impressive voice is used only for a male-female dynamic; they could have done so much more with him as he has a good vocal range.

About the only guest vocalist that seems to add anything is ironically Xzibit. Despite the fact I don't really listen to rap; this was probably my favourite song on the album because it did something different, and as such it's probably the most memorable song on this album. And that is the main problem, theres just nothing of substence here.

The album is just mid-paced pop-rock which is indistinct and doesn't really move me in anyway. The album is so bland im actually struggling to remember much about the songs. It seems like they took the poppier sound of Unforgiven' and refined it by removing all the metallic and symphonic elements and and making all the songs plod along at the same pace. It's not awful or offensive but there's just not a lot of intrest going on. This is the type of album I would put on while doing housework as it doesn't require or demand your attention, it's nice but bland background noise.

But the real problem with this album is the awful production. With better production; this would be a 3 star album, but there is no excuse for this production. How can an album produced with all the high-tech tools we have today sound worse than albums from 40 years ago?

The bass is just an indistinct muddy mess with no definition and almost equates to white noise. The drums sound tinny, and the guitars seem to have just blended into the bass mush. Sharon's voice struggles to cut through this mess of a production. Who listened to this album and decided that this was acceptable to relase, and charge money for? I've heard home recorded demo's that have better production than this. To charge upwards for £10 for this (I paid £15 for the special edition) is almost criminal.

Even if you are a massive fan of this band, and have liked the singles released, I would avoid this album because the production is so bad it makes it almost unlistenable. Hopefully the next time round they will remember to hire a producer who knows what they are doing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Holland's next Eurovision entry?, 14 Aug 2014
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Must admit I haven't played this album too much, so I will reserve some judgement. It's okay, it's WT by the numbers. In fact some of the tracks wouldn't be out of place on Eurovision. WT have certainly planted their flag in mainstream rock - so much so that it was a featured album on Radio 2 the other day. Don't get me wrong - it's not a bad album and you have to doff your cap to WT experimenting and finding their own sound in a very congested market place.. Which brings me on to the production - I can see what other reviewers mean - it does seem a little muddy, it's not terrible and does not make it un-listenable, but compared to what else is out there it does not quite cut the mustard. What you do need to do is get out there and see them live I's imagine that's where these tracks will hit the sweet spot, because damn it ...they put on one hell of a show.
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11 of 13 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
2.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like 1980s American rock, 9 Sep 2014
By 
Malcolm White - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My son bought this and played it in the car. My wife's first comment was "It's an album of cover versions". It's not but it sure sounds like it. Along with the previous album Within Temptation have evolved to sound just like American hard rock/Power ballad groups of the mid 1980s. Each song sounds pretty much like the previous one, quiet intro, moderately loud verse, loud chorus, moderate verse, loud chorus, instrumental break, loud chorus and finish. If you like Bonnie Tyler or Heart then this is for you, if your musical tastes aren't stuck with Hair rock in the 1980s then it's incredibly boring and predictable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The new Eurometal?, 9 Oct 2014
By 
A. Matthews (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Hydra (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of Within Temptation for years but I was disappointed with Hydra. The tunes are immediately catchy - but wait a second, didn't I just that song? This all seems to be written to a formula and there's nothing edgy or challenging. Compare this with 'Enter' and you'll see what I mean. And what on earth is the idea behind all the 'featuring X, Y etc. Rap and Eurometal (for want of a better word) just do not mix. And when I heard 'Whole World is Watching on Radio 2 I just knew something was wrong - I just hope we don't find them on next years' Eurovision.
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9 of 11 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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22 of 27 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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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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Hydra
Hydra by Within Temptation
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