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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 March 2011
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

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on 13 November 2011
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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on 21 May 2012
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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on 31 October 2011
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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on 14 April 2011
For me, WT's releases have got better and better over time and this is no exception. There's not a bad track on the album, and I'd have to say highlights are Sinead and Shot In The Dark.

Totally recommended.
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on 8 April 2011
There is no weak track on this record. It is probably their most commercial sound yet in the melody, but they have added their sound to it and made it one of their heaviest albums to date, signified by 'A Demon's Fate' and 'In the Middle of the Night', which stick to their original sound and steer away from the more commercial tracks such as 'Faster' and 'Sinead', which unsurprisingly are singles.

They have once again, mixed together the sound of strings and choir to bring together a solid album, with the presence of three ballads that are probably their heaviest. They're not very slow like 'Forgiven' and 'Somewhere', but are more power ballads, most notable in the heavy blast that comes about in the second verse of 'Fire and Ice'.

I was worried about this album. I did not like the idea of the album being based on a comic book series and I was very dissapointed with the album, but they have not disappointed in their music. It's catchy, haunting and thought provoking, and this has some kick ass solos too. 'Lost' has a fantastic solo which switches from acoustic to electric half way through.

Thank you again, Within Temptation. This was album worth waiting for.
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on 9 April 2011
This latest from WT heads closer in the direction of commerciality and Europop/rock. Asia/Europe/Magnum anyone ? No doubt this sounds like sacrilege to some.

The Unforgiving is a relentless series of 4-5 min tracks, each of which has strong hooks and melodies. So its not particularly varied. A bit more musical adventure wouldn't go amiss. Nevertheless, I'm really enjoying the album and despite my prog metal leanings, i'm not feeling guilty.

Sharon den Adel's voice is as good as ever, and the band is really tight. Looking forward to seeing them on tour in the UK later in the year.

I can see WT achieving greater success and recognition..appealing to a broad cross section from gothic, nu-metal, prog, symphonic, and mainstream rock & metal fans.

This album may leave behind the black cloaked doomsters with anger management issues, but for the rest of us, we can sit back and enjoy some harmless good tunes.
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on 13 April 2011
The 12 core "concept" tracks in the basic version of The Unforgiving have already been well reviewed both here and widely in the rock media . Not much new I can add to those . Its a solid Five Stars album right enough , maybe more commercially mainstream on the surface than its predecessors, but like all earlier WT work there is much going on deeper down, especially in the lyrics, that take a number of plays to fathom....but I think I'm getting there!

If you have not already bought this, the extra £0.94 for the Special Edition should also give you not just the advertised DVD but also 3 Bonus tracks .These seem to have slipped out almost entirely un-noticed. It looks like I pre-ordered an intermediate version that only had the DVD, so I One-Clicked "The Last Dance " as download the instant Amazon let me know it existed. That showed up as "Track 15"!. Further check of the full WT Download list revealed the even more well hidden (13) "I Dont Wanna" and (14) "Empty Eyes". These last 2 are great up-tempo rock tracks that seem to be a "bonus" simply because the lyrics don't fit the "concept" storyline.

"The Last Dance" is all the proof any WT fan should need they have not" sold out" or lost their doom/death metal roots . Like "Say My Name " , "Blue Eyes" and other earlier Bonus gems, it seems almost like these are intended to fly in quietly below the radar of any music reviewer and strike the unsuspecting listener somewhere ,well...deep?!?
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on 23 April 2011
OK, first off I would like to say that no WT is the same as the last. 'Mother Earth' was, admittedly, a bit cheesy and very European sounding; 'The Silent Force' was more symphonic and epic; and 'The Heart of Everything' was electronic and focused less on a live orchestra. Comparing the albums would be ridiculous for any WT fan; they are masterpieces in their own right.

Anywho, on to 'The Unforgiving'! WT teased us for months, never giving too much away. When the album FINALLY landed, I have to admit I wasn't completely sold. It took a few listens for me to fall in love with it. The album is definitely the band's most mainstream album to date, but at the same time is their heaviest and really showcases the band's amazing song-writing ability.

By far the strongest tracks are 'Shot in the Dark', 'Iron' and 'Lost'. However, the weakest in my opinion is `Where is the Edge' for the simple fact that I feel it's too similar in structure to `The Howling'. That aside, it is a brilliant track on a stunning and moving album.

Each song surprises, from the enigmatic 'Why Not Me' to the heaviness of 'In the Middle of the Night' and 'Iron' to the heart-wrenching 'Lost' to the 80's pop-infused 'Sinead'.

A thrill-ride from beginning to end!
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on 26 April 2011
I have a few earlier albums by this band, but this album sticks out head and shoulders above the rest. It displays their musical talent and excellence in a very refreshing way. It isn't quite like their previous releases, so be challenged if you're expecting to hear the Within Temptation of the Mother Earth days, because it is totally different. It seems to bear a more pop influence, but (to reassure the metal heads out there) in a good way. In fact, the musical styling works perfectly. The songs are very well written and, for want of a better expression, bear a seal of quality that has rarely been matched in my opinion. It's an album which I have listened to over and over and don't seem to get bored of. All songs are good, but there are also the excellent tracks such as "Shot in the Dark", "In the Middle of the Night", "Faster", "Where is the Edge?", "Lost", and "A Demon's Fate". The choruses are very strong and the songs are catchy and leave their mark. This album will be hard to match! I suggest that if you like symphonic or melodic metal that you buy this quickly - because you are missing out.
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