Within Temptation - The Silent Force
Gothic Opera Metal
11 songs (46:34)
Release year: 2004
Within Temptation, BMG
Reviewed by Jay

Holland's Within Temptation return with their fourth full-length album. Noticeable from the first track is stellar production, bombastic orchestration and the wonderfully powerful vocals of Ms. Sharon den Adel. With the commercial success of the likes of Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and the now surging Nightwish, Within Temptation has released the right album at the right time. The case may be made that they’re more successful than some of these other bands, garnering the number one album position in The Netherlands upon the release of this album as well as a going gold in Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. A quick perusing of this album will easily show the reason for their popularity. While the music is a complex mix of orchestral, guitar and keyboard leads, it is driven by the vocals.

You could compare Sharon den Adel to Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) or Tarja Turunen (Nightwish) however, I find her voice to be much more feminine than either of them. While Tarja can hit high notes and bend her voice in amazing operatic styles, there is an element of fragility that is lost in her vocals. Cristina Scabbia is a great vocalist but her diction leaves much to be desired at times. den Adel combines the best of both worlds. An amazing range, great timbre, excellent diction and the ability to pound out the high registers. Just check out "Angels," "Jillian," or "See Who I Am" for further proof of this. Her voice is the centerpiece that the band builds their sound upon. While not technical, the guitar work is pretty much in line with the rest of the genre in terms of sound. Similarities are easily drawn to Lacuna Coil and Lullacry. The guitars more often than not do not carry the main melody of the song but function as support to either the electronic parts or orchestrations. The orchestrations are excellent. Unlike most of the bands trying to do the operatic style, the orchestrations are live instruments and that quality of recording is certainly reflected in the mix. Another prominent element is the bass. Normally absent in albums like this, it’s good to hear the rhythm section in action.

Some tracks on this album are simply stellar. "It's The Fear" is one of them. The chorus is so catchy with the double tracked vocals and simplistic but melodic keyboard work. Or how about the opener "See Who I Am?" It certainly borrows an element of bombast from Nightwish but takes its own path. Instead of going for the jugular and driving the operatic parts home, it focuses on more fragile elements and goes down tempo for the verses to strike a balance between the overblown choruses and the soft verse. An excellent bridge builds the music to a crescendo and thundering chorus. The next song, "Jillian" follows a very similar song structure and has an even more infectious chorus. I found myself singing this one in the library this week, much to the dismay of my fellow med school classmates.

The only real problems with this disc are the formulaic patterns that emerge. While each song is good, no songs are truly great. However, I do think that this album can seriously contend against the likes of Once and Comalies with its powerful attack. Anyone who is a fan of operatic metal should investigate this one further.

Killing Songs :
Jillian, See Who I Am, Stand My Ground, It's the Fear, Angels
Jay quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Within Temptation that we have reviewed:
Within Temptation - Resist reviewed by Ben and quoted 78 / 100
Within Temptation - The Unforgiving reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Within Temptation - The Heart Of Everything reviewed by Ben and quoted 76 / 100
Within Temptation - Enter reviewed by Ben and quoted 72 / 100
Within Temptation - Mother Earth reviewed by Sin and quoted 92 / 100
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