Tag Archives: sharon den adel

“Black Symphony” by Within Temptation

Artist: Within Temptation
Title: “Black Symphony”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 9/23/2008
Genre: Symphonic Gothic Metal
Rating: 5/5

Within Temptation are one of the true sensations in the world of Gothic Metal or Symphonic Metal depending on how you choose to view them and while incredibly popular in the European territories, the US region was never able to easily enjoy them without purchasing super expensive imports. Roadrunner Records’ signing of the band and subsequent release of “The Heart Of Everything” found their new music reaching hungry existing fans along with an army of new ones and by remastering and reissuing two of their classics would serve the drastic need for back catalog. This brings us up to the “Black Symphony” concert which is a fantastic CD/DVD release that captures the band performing for a sold out arena crowd with a 60 piece classical orchestra joining them as they deliver the best tunes from their latest and previous releases. The version which we had for review was the single CD and DVD edition so we decided to focus the nature of our commentary on the video portion and will touch upon the audio side after that. Let’s continue.

I can safely say that I am a big fan of the live music scene and based on this attend a numerous amount of concerts. That makes my sitting down to enjoy them in the privacy of my own home something tricky because it’s not always the same thing. As far as concert films go this one kept me glued to the couch like few others have ever done before because it was not only dramatic in its delivery but it was also very intense in how it presented the wonderful colors that the band paints with their material. Visually the production was stunning and awe inspiring based on just how massive it appeared to be on the screen. In the live sense this must have been a sensory overload to the audience that was lucky enough to be present for the show. The full orchestra is positioned behind the group who performs in front of them with the electric guitars, bass and drums while Sharon sings and often adds interesting dance moves and gestures to her vocal lines. It’s great that she is not just standing still and instead is getting into it as much as everyone else in the band. She also doesn’t seem to stop smiling for the entire show and I guess this is something that is totally possible when performing for such a loving home based crowd. For those who have enjoyed Within Temptations music in the past you already know how well it works with the symphonic elements but to see it done live in front of your eyes was just majestic. Clearly the Metropole Orchestra was the perfect choice for the musicians to raise the bar of many already excellent Within Temptation numbers. The orchestra while 60 musicians, is also comprised of a 20 voice choir that adds more depth to those tunes that required such things.
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“Mother Earth” (remaster) by Within Temptation

Artist: Within Temptation
Title: “Mother Earth” (remaster)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 8/5/2008
Genre: Symphonic Gothic Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

My introduction to Within Temptation does not come without some back story to it for I remember that I had only been turned on to Nightwish a couple of years earlier and while sitting in the cubicle at one of the gulag’s I worked in, I was listening to the freedom that music offered a person from that realm via Yahoo’s Music player. When I set the player up to bands I enjoyed, it said “listeners who like Nightwish also like Within Temptation” or something to that effect, and with this being before the days of mass Ipod use or millions of web-based music sites, this was pretty cool. The songs that the Yahoo player started delivering were from Within Temptation’s “Mother Earth” album and I was immediately hooked on the powerful symphonic drive of the group as well as some of the haunting melodies that they blended so well together. Of course, being 2002-2003, finding this album stateside was impossible and now thanks to Roadrunner Records releasing a remastered and expanded edition a larger fan base can finally catch on to them in 2008. “Mother Earth” is the bands second studio album and probably the best place that a listener can come on board and begin their own appreciation of them based on the overall strength of the material and the fact that the band had moved on from a far darker sound with this album and maintained course since. Opening with its title track “Mother Earth”, the release sets the mood in dramatic fashion and while the band crunches and grooves behind her, singer Sharon den Adel simply mesmerizes you. Her voice is fantastic and while she can attain some of the soaring operatic heights she also sings at a normal register and that fact makes the album a little easier to appreciate. The song has remained one of my own favorites since this was the first track that I ever heard from them.
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Within Temptation @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (9/7/2007)

Within Temptation is an amazing Gothic Metal band from Holland and tonight’s show would be their first headlining go round in the states. We caught them on the “Hot Chicks of Metal” tour a few months ago and should you want to learn more about the show just scroll past the logo below.

Logo - Within Temptation

Artist: Within Temptation
Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Dear & Departed
Date: 9/7/2007
Label: Roadrunner Records

After their amazing performance on the “Hottest Chicks In Metal” tour, Within Temptation had returned to New York City as they promised and this time around would be the headliner for an evening of Symphonic Gothic Metal at its finest. For that last show they were the direct support for Lacuna Coil and while the Italian Rockers were doing their best to give the crowd a night to remember it seemed very clear that the real shining stars on the tour was Within Temptation. It was no surprise to me for it was the bands first ever US tour and that made the NYC show quite historic as well. You just know you are seeing something special when a band is onstage doing mostly new material that awaits release and manages to keep the audience rocking for every step of the way. Since that incredible night the bands debut on Roadrunner Records has been released and achieved a status of selling some 375,000 copies since it hit the shelves. The band would obviously lean heavily on the new album with the goal to keep this number on the rise and they would bring with them The Dear & Departed as one of their support acts.
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“The Heart Of Everything” by Within Temptation

Artist: Within Temptation
Title: “The Heart Of Everything”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 7/24/2007
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

For the American fans of the Gothic Metal genre the wait is finally over as Within Temptation arrives with “The Heart Of Everything” – their debut release on Roadrunner Records. The bands presence in this part of the world is long overdue to many, and also might seem a bit too late to capture audiences who have been buried by similar groups over the past few years. Since 1996, the band led by Sharon den Adel has delivered Gothic tasting Metal that blended in well with a Symphonic edge and gave an instant classic status to albums such as “Mother Earth”. Forming in the same year as the Finnish juggernaut Nightwish, these Metal superpowers would lead the pack for Symphonic Operatic Metal and go on to inspire more bands than you could possibly imagine or hope to name in one sitting. One such stateside inspiration is clearly found in Evanescence and this fact makes parts of “THOE” very interesting to listen to as there are some songs on this release with an uncanny similarity in the song composition and groove. The lead single comes in “What Have You Done Now”, a duet of sorts with Keith Caputo, the lead singer of another Roadrunner staple Life Of Agony. It’s a powerful track but has a lot of the same feel that Evanescence had with “Bring Me To Life” – their own blockbuster hit that found the male and female voices performing against one another. There are many who feel the inclusion of Caputo on the debut single for Within Temptation has taken a little of the bands thunder away, and I tend to agree for with an all male band standing with her – Caputo’s presence was not needed at all. If a re-launch of his own career is pending, then it should not come at the cost of the kudos and accolades for this wonderful Melodic Gothic troupe. The US version also gives you an extended version of this same track.
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Lacuna Coil @ Blender Theatre at Gramercy (5/12/2007)

Lacuna Coil was headlining a tour that was labeled as “The Hot Chicks Of Metal”, and each of the groups had a female lead vocalist leading their charge into Metal. The bands featured this evening were Stolen Babies, In This Moment, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil and while we had seen both Coil and In This Moment before, it would be the first time seeing Stolen Babies and Withn Temptation. To my knowledge WT was making their very first NYC appearance tonight. Peter Parrella and I were on point at this incredible show to document and photograph so scroll past the logo to see the full scoop.

lacuna coil logo

Artist: Lacuna Coil
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Within Temptation, In This Moment, Stolen Babies
Date: 5/12/2007
Label: Century Media Records

When you hear about a tour being called “The Hottest Chicks In Metal” you know your curiousity is going to flare up to see what it is going to be about and believe me folks I am glad that I had my attention called to this one. It was a tour that would feature Lacuna Coil in the headlining spot and most of the Metal Male demographic can agree that Cristina Scabbia is one of the calendar pinup favorites when it comes to female lead singers. To up the ante on this in terms of appeal and interest they would also feature Holland’s Within Temptation, melodic Metalcore upstarts In This Moment and the quirky Stolen Babies. Tonight the show would be at The Gramercy Theatre and be my second visit to the venue. Since I had just attended the Dark Tranquillity show at this same club I was able to know in advance that this would be the perfect setting for the goings on. As I walked in I was informed that it had been sold out for weeks and that’s never a bad thing in Metal. Here is the scoop on an incredible evening of music.
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