Within Temptation
The Heart of Everything


1.5
very poor

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
July 21st, 2007 | 17 replies | 9,768 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album, despite being destined to be a commercial hit in the USA, falls horrendously flat musically.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

Imagine a band that once was great and received rave reviews from metal journalists. Imagine a band once praised for its inventivity and excellence at a certain genre. Imagine vocals so delicious you can taste the saliva dripping from all the mouthwatering fans just waiting to get another taste. And now imagine that band five years later, brimming with commercial success, but having foregone everything just mentioned for this commercial success.

That's what defines 2007's The Heart of Everything. Showcasing a terrific lack of originality, a far too obsessive adhesion to a cliched and obsolete formula, huge degrees of repetitiveness, bland and unimaginative lyrics, and unused musicianship that is becoming a cut below the norm, this album may be a commercial success, but it's also a musical disaster, setting forth the trend of declination from the beginning of their career.

The Heart of Everything was to become the next step on the road to stardom for these native Dutchies. Their debut Enter was an impressive slab of gothic/doom metal. The followup Mother Earth took the style to be more bombastic but added lush Celtic elements. The Silent Force expanded upon the symphonic metal elements of the band, propelling the band high into the mainstream, especially in their native homeland the Netherlands. (Make no mistake about it, these bands are everywhere on Dutch radio), but forsaking the elements that made their music so special. And now with this album the band plans to take even the USA by storm.

I bet the general populace in the USA is going to dig into this album like they dug into Christian mainstream rockers Evanescence. The band takes their cues heartily from the band, throwing in a guest vocalist for second song What Have You Done, and indeed, it sounds like Amy Lee with backup band, Volume II. As if that wasn't enough, the rest of the album is also centred around Sharon den Adel's voice, just like Evanescence concentrated on Lee's voice.

But, hint hint, Lee could play the piano as well. Sharon can't. It transforms such as All I Need and Forgiven into the ultimate definition of cheese. As Sharon croons in child terms about the strength of unconditional love, sane people will have decided that by now they crave something decidedly more mature and interesting, and the pop fans have realised that Celine Dion just is more catchy overall. All I Need has such cringeworthy vocal lines that it leads me to skip the track after thirty seconds to avoid an imminent headache; if you don't want to suffer the same fate, it's highly recommended you do too.

Now, salvation should come from the more uptempo songs, right? But that doesn't work if every song is a carbon copy of the next. The songwriting never deviates from verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus 2x structures, and when it does, like on Our Solemn Hour, the overdone vocal dramatics sound so tedious and cheesy you're going to have to ask the band why they ate so much Edammer during the recording.

The band also shows no variety musically: the bass can't be heard over the churning guitar riffs, which sound the same exactly every song (and there is like ONE guitar solo on the whole album, which is basically one note played over and over.) There are no nice drum fills to be found anywhere. The band is basically just a backing band trying to make this into Sharon's "woe is me" party. Unfortunately, this isn't Mrs den Adels solo band, this is Within Temptation, and you're expected to be able to do more than play three riffs, 4/4 rhythms, root notes, and overdone vocal lines.

Even the over-the-top symphonic orchestral arrangements can't save the album. Apparently the band decided to try to make up for their lack of musicianship by implanting huge orchestras to keep some sort of melodic sound. But the arrangements sound synthetic and forced, like they were put there just because they had to be, not because they actually sounded right, and are what you might call the fluff trying to make up for any attempted substance. This means the band are trying to be dishonest as well: please, if you can't play, don't try to attempt to sound ridiculously huge so it camouflages your shortcomings musically. Just be honest and play something down-to-earth, at least it renders you credible.

And that's the state of female-led metal bands anno 2007. As innovativity is slowly being drained from the tired and saturated genre, and bands like these are just the next big thing for the radio to play when you get tired of Evanescence, gems like Tristania and friends keep passing under the radar in favour of watered down commercialised bands marketed like a trend. The USA will love it and eat it up like the next commercial one-hit wonder, but I fear that the band's staying power and credibility has been used up after this latest failure, and if Within Temptation continue to pursue this musical direction, I think they'll soon find that all that glitters is not gold. Until then, pass this album by when you visit the cd shop and spend your money on bands that actually know how to make proper music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
blackmilk
July 21st 2007



584 Comments


This won't be a commercial hit in the US.

Phil
July 21st 2007



1473 Comments


I disagree with the review.

HumanCannonball
July 21st 2007



350 Comments


I agree with the review.

Within Temptation is one of the worst bands ever.

Abaddon2005
July 21st 2007



684 Comments


I don't remember them being that big on the radio.. maybe it's me though

Altmer
July 21st 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

They are where I live. This album is the first of theirs that will be released in the US.

Geedrummer
July 21st 2007



607 Comments


i agree. i think these are one of teh worst bands ever

Abaddon2005
July 21st 2007



684 Comments


They are where I live. This album is the first of theirs that will be released in the US.


I live there too dude. ;)

jrowa001
July 21st 2007



8749 Comments


i cant stand lots of gothic metal bands like this and Evanescence, not cuz of the vocals but cuz of how uninspiring and bland the musicians are

Altmer
July 21st 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Oh, I didn't know lol but I hear them like everytime I turn on the radio

TheHamburgerman
July 21st 2007



1251 Comments


I've heard the single, it's such an unimagebly atrocious song that I'd rather not hear the rest of the album.

I live there too dude.
And so do I. the Netherlands has lots of these gothich chick-fronted bands, it's weird.This Message Edited On 07.21.07

BallsToTheWall
July 21st 2007



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I love nightwish but i never really liked within temptation or theatre of tragedy.

Det_Nosnip
July 21st 2007



374 Comments


Yeah, Within Temptation are laughably bad nowadays. I don't think they'll be much of a commercial success in the US, either...meaning that selling out will just be a giant waste of time.

"Enter" is a masterpiece, though.

Wizard
August 1st 2007



18799 Comments


Why is it that most of these goth/nu-metal/alternative bands have the exact same rhythm and power chords in all of their songs........oh ya, and don't forget the uninspired piano tune thrown in their for a heart tugger.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

ReturnToRock
November 16th 2007



3448 Comments


saw them in concert. my friend liked it. i thought they sucked.

one more sustained high note from that chick and i would have gone up on stage with a shotgun and killed her. unlike Dimebag, she would have deserved it :P.

Captain North
November 2nd 2008



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Listening to it now...I always thought of Within Tempt as a clone of Nightwish...now I realise they're a clone of Fallen era Evanescence...with worse lyrics, musicianship and vocals. Incredible.This Message Edited On 11.02.08

Altmer
November 2nd 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

They used to be a worse After Forever.

Chewie
February 22nd 2009



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

well considering this sounds almost exactly like Dark Passion Play, I don't get how you love that and hate this.



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