Within Temptation
An Acoustic Night At The Theatre


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
October 28th, 2009 | 46 replies | 14,027 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Acoustic versions of these songs are actually more effective than the originals.

What is Within Temptation known for? They’re obviously known for having one of the prettier vocalists in the metal scene (even after two kids, go Sharon). They’re also known for extremely bombastic orchestral parts that generally dominate every song. For detractors of gothic rock they’re one of the main poster-children for everything that is wrong with the genre. Two things that they’re not known for is their guitar riffs and songwriting skills, so it was a bit of a shock to see them releasing a live acoustic album. It was shocking because a stripped down acoustic album is going to live or die based on the strength of the songwriting and guitar melodies (if guitars are used) – both of which are somewhat lacking to varying degrees on their studio albums. It was obviously an even bigger surprise, then, when it turned out that every track on this release worked better stripped down than it did on its original album.

Of course, “stripped down” is a relative term and there is still plenty going on in each song. The main thing this album has going for it is that most of the orchestral sections have been replaced by violin and piano. This reduction in orchestral elements allows the remaining components to more effectively compliment Sharon’s vocals and finally allows them to be a complimentary force instead of an overwhelming one. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the guitar plays as minimal a role here as it does on every other Within Temptation album. That’s not to say that the guitar isn’t present only that it is still mostly inconsequential. With the music playing a much more subtle role than it generally does, Sharon’s voice is placed front and center. Without having to compete with a wall of overblown orchestral parts, her voice is able to come across smoothly and easily steals the show. The album also benefits from a warm, full sound that keeps crowd noise to a minimum and provides an intimate atmosphere which highlights the songs perfectly. When guest vocalists including Anneke Van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique, Ex-The Gathering) and Keith Caputo (Life of Agony) are added into the equation, the result is a surprisingly good album from a band that, by all accounts, should have failed miserably.

Despite all of these qualities, a person’s enjoyment of this album is still going to hinge on a few elements outside the realm of the music. Obviously, if someone is not into the band they’re probably not going to get much enjoyment from this album (although they may not hate it as much as previous releases). Also, with its subdued tempos it is an album that is going to require the right frame of mind before being played. If, on the other hand, the listener is a fan of the band and is ready for something mellow this will be the perfect album to put on. An Acoustic Night at the Theatre proves that the band can write good songs and that sometimes less is more – a lesson we can only hope they remember while writing for their next studio release.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Saleh (3.5)
Great album and possibly a way out for similar bands. Go acoustic!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 28th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review #2 in my "better-than-nothing" series where I'm trying to just get quick, informal reviews out for 2009 releases that I don't have the time to do full ones for.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

pride
October 28th 2009



227 Comments


This is one of the bands I was into before I started listening too metal. Its nice to here something semi-promising from them.

jingledeath
October 28th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the single was horrible but I might still check this out

Willie
Moderator
October 28th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The single is basically alt. rock and is definitely not representative of the album.

rasputin
October 28th 2009



14504 Comments


Great review Trey. Probably not something I'd enjoy all too much however.

PoetandthePendulum2
October 28th 2009



16 Comments


Never liked this band.

Willie
Moderator
October 28th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked them through "The Silent Force" but I have a soft spot for female vocals, in general.

Chewie
October 28th 2009



4531 Comments


The Cross was HORRID on the studio version, how is it live acoustic?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2009



15981 Comments


Really, really dislike this band.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

Willie
Moderator
October 28th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha ha, most people do. They're not nearly one of my favorites, but they have some cool songs (and a lot of crap too). This was actually pre-planned to be a negative review, but I couldn't lie.

The acoustic version still has her do the weird "ah ah ah ah ah" thing, but it's not nearly as obnoxious and the rest of the song is much better.

Elementary
October 29th 2009



26 Comments


Should have put 'the howling' on this

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2009



8221 Comments


Great review Trey, but i have had enough of Within Temptation (and Evanescense) , even if this is an acoustic album. And haha, i have enjoyed both of these bands in the past, but now, I am just not able to.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

Willie
Moderator
October 29th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't think I'd get any enjoyment from this. I was expecting it to be boring as hell... maybe low expectations played some part in my rating; who knows? This isn't an album I'm trying to reccomend to anyone. This is just a review to fill some of the missing 2009 releases.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2009



8221 Comments


yeah I understand. Might do a review myself today, gotta take advantage of the free time I have on my hands atm.

Apollo
October 29th 2009



10083 Comments


I downloaded last night, will be checking out later today

Douchebag
October 29th 2009



3624 Comments


I know nothing about this band exept that my band does a killer version of Jane Doe by these guys.

Willie
Moderator
October 29th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't remember what that song sounds like...

Douchebag
October 29th 2009



3624 Comments


I think it was a bonus track or something. Our singer is obsessed with this band.

ameypv
October 30th 2009



807 Comments


never gave a shit about goth rock/metal so this ones worthless for me too

Willie
Moderator
October 30th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha ha. That's why I didn't spend much time on this review - because everyone hates this band anyway. I was hoping to use it for a negative review, but it turned out to be ok.



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