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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 20 April 2011
I have left it a few weeks to write this review so I could fully digest this album.
First listen ok, but has now grown into a solid album.
Firstly this is not a bad album by any measure, I find it strange that some fans can not develop and grow as the band and their output matures.
I like the concept of this album, the songs are good and there is no "filler".
I would have liked the orchestration to have been higher in the mix at times and I would like so see a tad more variation in the next album.
This is definitely not Mother Earth, more like a continuance of the Heart Of Everything. This, for me, is not a classic but simply a damn good album.
I listen to an awful lot of Metal that falls into the sub-genres of Gothic/Doom/Symphonic and this is definitely at the very commercial end. It is mass listener friendly and should attract the more mainstream rock audience.
A good effort.
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on 27 April 2017
Again brilliant
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I love Within Temptation and their use of power in their compositions. This CD does not dissapoint in anyway. You also get a DVD and the quality is superb. Most other reviwers have said it all before anyway. If you like Within Temptation you must get this!
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on 9 August 2015
Their best album so far . Brilliant !!!!
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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 16 April 2011
The title says it all really - I haven't stopped listening to this album at all since I got it on the day of release. I'm a huge fan of this band and I'd been waiting for this album for months. So, when it finally arrived, I wasn't at all disappointed.

Favourite tracks on for the album for me;

Why not me
Shot in The Dark
In the Middle of The Night
Fire and Ice
Where Is the Edge
A Demon's Fate
Stairway to the Skies

Yes, thats right. I love every single song on the album. As I said, this could quite possibly be my favourite Within Temptation album.
If you've only just heard of this *incredible* band, be sure to check out their previous albums as well, you won't be disappointed.
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on 21 January 2015
The Silent Force was my first of their albums that got me into them, and The Heart of Everything is an absolute gem, so naturally I was sceptical of their newer works being able to top the quality i had come to expect.... but i keep finding myself coming back to this album - and what's more, i don't think i can fault a single song, they're just impossible to tire of, which leads me to admit that this is probably my favourite work - Sharon den Adel can sing like she invented singing - and our ears are the richer for it.
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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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