Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Arena filling giants of Symphonic Rock, Within Temptation have few peers and their co-headlining tour with Evanescence last year saw packed houses all over the globe being dazzled by retina scorching and ear shattering shows.
They’ve worked hard to get here though, their career having stretched to close on three decades now, having formed in 1996 and in that time created a raft of well-crafted and drama-filled albums.
Refining their sound whilst pushing boundaries, the growth from debut ‘Enter’ to this, their eight album has gone through twists and turns and with the delayed recording and release of ‘Bleed Out’ has reaped new dividends.
With seven of the eleven tracks being released slowly over a protracted time, the opportunity to thoroughly soak up each bite has made the whole more the sweeter now that the complete album is here and it sets a high benchmark for anyone else around right now.
Skilfully mixing their almost classical stylings with crushingly heavy riffing, the band have worked with producer Daniel Gibson to create something that manages to blend soaring highs and pounding lows with aplomb.
Conjuring images of sweeping snow-covered vistas, ancient ruins and steampunk cities, Sharon den Adel and crew paint large canvases that go from the widescreen to the intimate, sometimes in the space of one song. Featuring some of their heaviest and chunkiest guitar work to date, ‘Bleed Out’ is a hard-edged work, a steel fist inside of den Adel’s silk glove of a voice.
It all starts brutally, the wrecking ball punch of the guitars and drums on ‘We Go to War’ and the title track’s range of dynamics worthy of Led Zeppelin at their most glorious. The production magnifies every high and low with not a note wasted, dirty guitars, urgent vocals and pounding rhythms all intertwine taking the listener on a journey filled with incidence.
There seems to be an eternal tug of war at play here, the sense of light versus dark in ‘Wireless’ and ‘The Purge’ tangible amongst the big hooks and shimmering patina that hides something just below the surface.
With German metalcore band annisokay bringing added heat to the compelling duet ‘Shed My Skin’ and the tribal ‘Ritual’ that somehow sounds like a jam between Britney Spears pop and Midnight Oil’s earthy rock, there is plenty to take in here.
A kaleidoscopic album that shows their range, ‘Bleed Out’ is something that deserves the largest stages and biggest audiences the world can offer. Arguably the peak of their career so far, delicious tension abounds here as the sensual and stratospheric come together in a mesmerising dance that can both thrill and eviscerate. Nobody does it better.
1: We Go To War
2: Bleed Out
4: Worth Dying For
6: Cyanide Love
7: The Purge
8: Don’t Pray For Me
9: Shed My Skin (feat. Annisokay)
11: Entertain You
Bleed Out will be released on October 20th worldwide on multiple formats via Within Temptation’s label Force Music Recordings in a joint venture with Bertus Distribution. For further details and to pre-order the album go to within-temptation.com
photo credit: Tim Tronkcoe
We are releasing our upcoming album, Bleed Out, on October 20, 2023.
Preorder your copy now. Go to https://wt.lnk.to/preorder_YT
Get the newest merchandise at our store now: https://wt.lnk.to/merch
Stay up to date on any Within Temptation news: http://www.within-temptation.com