Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Review of Within Temptation "The Heart Of Everything"

Within Temptation bridge the gap between the eccentric Nightwish and the commercial Evanescence. Some songs here have operatic notes and choir harmonies, but the choruses and melodies could easily appeal to the popular music crowd that has embraced Amy Lee's more universal vocal style. Actually, that puts Within Temptation a little closer in comparison to Lacuna Coil, but only the melodic, less ambient/electronic side of LC (think "Karma Code" album). I've seen a lot of people online label Within Temptation as a the best "goth" band currently on the metal scene. I can easily see how female-vocal bands like this get lumped into the goth sterotype and see how goth teens would embrace this album's lyrics and sound, but this album has so much more to offer to a far broader audience. The melodies are absolutely amazing, especially on the first four or five tracks. The opening "The Howling" is a scorcher. The single "What Have You Done" is catchy but still strong. "Our Solemn Hour" with its backing choir chants is magically addictive. I mean, did you ever think growing up as a kid that you'd ever love a song with "opera" vocals in it? And then closer "Forgiven" is one of those ballads that can stop you in your tracks, force you to pull out the lyric sheet, spin the track on repeat, and truly bring you to introspection for its duration. Maybe that's the goth element hitting home? End of the day, this album is a 9 out of 10, which is very high regards in my book.