Top positive review
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Symphonic metal at its best
on 25 May 2013
Within Temptation are a Dutch symphonic metal group - their music combines the sweep of orchestral music with the energy and power of heavy metal, topped by the superb vocals of Sharon den Adel. On their albums, the orchestral parts tend to be keyboard patches, but for this one-off concert, they joined forces with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra and a choir, and played a 2 hour set to a sold-out Rotterdam Ahoy.
And it's superb - in general, when a rock band gets together with an orchestra, the result is at best incongruous and at worst embarassing, but Within Temptation's music is designed to sound like this - the addition of a real orchestra and choir just fills out the sound to the way it is quite clear the band always wanted to sound. I was never 100% convinced by Within Temptation before watching this - they seemed to be slightly copying other bands in the genre, like Nightwish - but this CD and DVD has made a believer out of me. This is the definitive symphonic metal band, giving the definitive symphonic metal performance.
The show looks and sounds superb, with both band and orchestra on top form and clearly having the time of their lives. The video captures what it must have been like to be there, with only a slight overuse of unnecessary effects from time to time to spoil things. The 5.1 sound mix is stunning, with excellent use of the surround channels for the haunting Gregorian chants of the choir. If you buy the deluxe package, you get the full show on DVD and CD,plus a bonus disc of a second (orchestra-less) concert and a bunch of documentaries (generally in Dutch, but with English subtitles).
If you are a WT fan, you need this in your collection. If not, but the idea of symphonic metal sounds appealing, this is a very good way to try it out. Thoroughly recommended.