It has been five long years since Within Temptation’s last release “Hydra”. As many of you may know, Sharon den Adel during that time released a solo album, “My Indigo”. In a recent interview I did with her that you can check out HERE, she talks about how the band’s creativity had been suffering and they were not sure where to go moving forward. There were even thoughts that Within Temptation’s days may be numbered. One thing about Within Temptation is you never get the same album twice. They like to take chances and mix things up a bit, but after six studio albums they needed a new direction to continue.
That brings me to the new album “Resist”. On your first listen you realize this is not the Within Temptation you have been listening to for years. Yes, Sharon’s voice is still incredible as she is one of the most gifted metal vocalists on the planet. It is the music that has really jumped into the modern day. When I interviewed Sharon, I mentioned the new album seemed to be a cross of Within Temptation and Imagine Dragons and she through that was a good comparison. The orchestra arrangements and classical music feel to a lot of the songs is gone. They have been replaced by a much more modern sound that really pushes the envelope and makes the album sound almost futuristic.
Right from the first song, The Reckoning, you get the full force of this new sound of Within Temptation. With a little help from Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach the album starts very strong with one of its best songs. The musical opening is unique with several instruments layered over each other. Jacoby starts with an ear-piercing growling yell. Sharon’s vocals come in as strong as ever. The song is very catchy and has a great chorus. This more modern sounds is really on display. They way Jacoby and Sharon play off each other simply draws you into this song. The album is off to a strong start!
Next up is another of my favorite songs, Endless War. Another unique opening starts off this song and Sharon really kicks it into gear. After the first verse we get her signature high end voice that is so spectacular. This song is very melodic and feels very modern. The atmosphere of the songs is dark and mysterious. That is something you feel through the entire album. I think that is part of what really can draw you into this album. It feels more like an experience, then just listening to some music.
Next up is the song Raise Your Banner. This song features Anders Frieden the lead vocalists from In Flames. This is another song that starts off a bit mysterious with Sharon’s eerie high-pitched singing in the background. The song also has a very futuristic video to go with it like The Reckoning did. The videos are well done. We also have some great guitar work and solos in the middle of the song. Once again though, it is the atmosphere of this song that really carries it. Frieden adds some very intense moments and growls throughout the song. After three tracks you know what kind of ride to expect from this album. Futuristic, with a lot of atmosphere and attitude. Sharon’s voice is as great as ever and this album is going to give you quite a ride.
Other tracks on the album that really jump out to me are Supernova, Holy Ground, Firelight and Mad World. Supernova has some great medevil like backing vocals and a lot of vocal tricks through the entire song. Holy Ground has an intense opening that leads into Sharon singing very rhythmically. It is great song all around that has some attitude to it. Firelight is a ballad sung with Belgium’s best alternative rock singer Jasper Steverlinck. It stays true to the feel of the entire album, but the song itself is simply beautiful and mesmerizing at the same time. There is a lot to like here, and the album keeps you guessing to what is next.
The last song I would like to touch on is In Vain, the most recent single. It has a very modern opening and great vocal work to start. This leads us to a great chorus that is well done. The drum work just keeps hitting at you through the entire song. You can really feel the drum and bass work on this album, more so then any other Within Temptation album. The song picks up pace and intensity as it goes and is unrelenting. Then suddenly there is a soft part with Sharon’s vocals that is perfectly placed before it kicks back into gear. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it feels a bit haunting and really sticks with you.
It is so hard to describe this album in words and is one of the hardest reviews I have ever written. Within Temptation takes such a different approach on this album, it is almost a different band except for Sharon’s vocals which are always immediately recognizable. I have always admired Within Temptation’s willingness to take chances in their music and this album was a BIG one. After listening to this album for a while now, it has completely won me over. On my first listen, there were a lot of songs I liked. I was just not sure of the new atmosphere and how this new modern sound would hold up. The more I listen to it, then more I feel it carving its way into my soul. It is that kind of album, that leaves a lasting impression. I highly recommend this album and I think it will go down as one of the biggest surprises of the year.