With 14 years’ experience dabbling in the world of symphonic metal, Within Temptation rock our world with the release of their long-awaited fifth album ‘The Unforgiving’. Following the anticipation for video release ‘Faster’, vocalist Sharon has replaced the eyeliner and corsets with less make-up and loose fitting tops to prepare for the joys of motherhood, but WT have thankfully stuck to what they know – decadent and deep metal music. Based on a comic book series written by Steven O’Connell, each track from this long-awaited album is based around a character from the comic, with the characters and scenery drawn by comic artist Romano Molenaar.
The album begins with a haunting voiceover from Mother Maiden, the main character in this release, and sums up in a short track her purpose and why she does what she does. Meanwhile, ‘Faster’, being their first release to CD is a soulful tune that is guaranteed to get you in the mood to rock out in your bedroom, bathroom or at the bar. Using repetition of the track’s title to great effect, it is the track most likely to stick in the mind – an incredibly strong and powerful beast of a tune.
The album continues the band’s legacy and does not disappoint fans at any point. Catchy melodies, rockin’ guitar riffs and Den Adel’s flawless vocals continue on to make this a welcome addition to their musical journey. ‘Fire And Ice’ particularly, contains anthemic piano backing notes and comes across as one of the most beautiful ballads that WT has ever recorded. ‘Stairway To The Skies’ meanwhile, sees Sharon showing her vocal abilities off through a range of pitches and with the added impact of seriously intelligent guitar workings, this song becomes hauntingly beautiful.
The new album expands well upon the established formula that the group has perfected over the years and successfully combines a comic book and metal music is a duet come true for both WT and the artists. Overall then, it is a well constructed collection of ballads, catchy melodic tunes and vocals so pitch-perfect they’ll no doubt overwhelm you each and every time you listen back.