Dutch metal legends Within Temptation
formed in 1996 in Waddinxveen and would become one of the figureheads of the symphonic metal genre alongside others such as Nightwish
, and Delain
. Their lengthy run continues to grow with their sixth full-length album released in 2014 entitled "Hydra
The musicianship in this album, while nothing too special, is quite good. For starters, Sharon den Adel's singing delivers its melodies very nicely. It lacks the power and boldness that other female metal vocalists have, but it carries through anyways. The guitars and drums hold their ground as well, and the symphonic effects are placed in a manner that gives the music more atmosphere and a cinematic edge. The instrumentation fares well.
The diversity of these songs is definitely something to admire about this album. While the band continues to stay true to its symphonic metal and rock roots, it manages to reach towards other types of sounds so that each track has something different to offer. Drawing influences from genres such as pop, gothic, and alternative, this album succeeds in spanning itself without losing its identity and remaining as its own sound.
Another clever aspect of "Hydra
" is that this variety also works off of the guest vocalists that appear in the album. Superstar rapper Xzibit and ex-Killswitch Engage
vocalist Howard Jones, respectively, help give a heavier edge to their songs "And We Run
" and "Dangerous
Turunen, the former lead singer of Nightwish
, contributes a gothic feel to "Paradise
(What About Us?)," and Soul Asylum
frontman Dave Pirner blends in with "Whole World Is Watching
's" alternative rock aura. These singers all have intriguing roles to play in these tracks, and they're very well applied.
Oddly enough, despite these positive points, there doesn't seem to be enough to this album to propel it to higher levels. To be more specific, there isn't much to this album that truly stays with the listener once the album passes by. The melodies, while decent, do tend to get a bit repetitive and cheesy, and I couldn't help but feel like I have heard that type of sound on a pop radio station. It can be catchy, make no mistake, but the music isn't deep enough to grip you beyond its diversity. In short, this album is big on substance, but small on flare.
that, however, "Hydra
" is an overall enjoyable album from a very renowned band. The musicianship is solid, the guest singers are nice additions, and the songs are well-constructed, but the music's sense of variety is definitely the record's strongest aspect. It just doesn't really ensnare you into its atmosphere to be considered a great record. Nonetheless, chances are that newcomers will find something to like here, and chances are even greater that Within Temptation
die-hards will take pleasure in it even more. "Hydra
" may not be the strongest, but it's safe to say that this longtime band still has steam left.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/