Very little time has passed since I had to listen (three times) to the whole Muse‘s Simulation Theory as to have to listen to Within Temptation‘s Resist also entire (twice). And I don’t know why I do this review if this is supposed to be a site dedicated to rock and metal. I guess it’s hard to forget about the past. And that’s what Within Tempation seems to have been trying to do for the last decade. The problem is that they are doing it badly, very badly.
Within Tempation was one of the first symphonic metal bands I listened to. They never seemed geniuses to me, they had a very pop sound that they managed to wrap with some metal and the result was cool. Enter (1997), Mother Earth (2000), The Silent Force (2004) were albums that I enjoyed a lot. Even The Unforgiving (2011) didn’t seem too bad. And compared to Hydra (2014) or the present Resist, it has aged very well. It seems that metal ceased to be enough for the heart of Sharon den Adel and the rest of the band, who have embarked on a race to abandon their previous sound (the truth is that symphonic metal has been in decline for some years) and do something else next to the pop sound they’ve always carried inside. And that’s why now they talk about “who cares about genres?” and all the stuff that artists say when they try to escape from their previous projects. But if you take Within Temptation‘s old albums and change the drums for electronic beats and the lead guitar for synthesizers, you get the sound of the new album.
Anyway, where to start? What do you think when you read the title of the first song and see that along with Sharon sings Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach? We all have the fear that nu-metal will resurface again, and The Reckoning is a song straight out of that nightmare. The synthesizer with which it starts and that is repeated throughout the song is the most regrettable thing I’ve heard in a long time. All the rest seems taken out of nu-metal but much worse. Sharon’s voice is as usual, at least something decent. And the bridge and outro of the song is completely recycled from other albums of the band. Things doesn’t improve with Endless War and another nu-metal intro. The synthesizer again, hammering in your head. But hey, it’s catchy and dramatic, and we could save it. The next song, Raise Your Banner, would be the highlight of the album if that term was applicable in this case. During the intro it seems that they’ve transformed into Epica and the final part is interesting, especially for the guitar solos and the vocal part.
Supernova returns to the most conventional pop with the horrible synthesizer that already seems to be their new hallmark. And so we come to the most embarrasing song of the whole album: Holy Ground. Sharon’s attempts to quasi-rap are terrible, as well as all those false ‘ya. Nothing of flow and definetely, the worst track. And from this low point, there is no possibility of getting better. A handful of songs follow, each one badder than the previous: In vain, Firelight (a slow one with which Sharon tries to seduce us), Mad World (the cliché festival), Mercy Mirror (seems out of a pop album of series Z) and Trophy Hunter. On the last song, it seems that since their new fans will never reach the end of the album, they can afford to go back to something slightly darker.
And that’s all there’s to be said about Within Temptation‘s new work. Filler and no real emotion. It seems done just so that Sharon can show off her vocal talent. You won’t like it, so don’t waste your time. The sad thing is that this is the most logical conclusion to the career of Within Temptation, a band that always liked a bit to follow trends. And, to cap it all, they dare to release an Extended Deluxe version of the album. No comments.