Review Summary: Possibly the greatest show on earth
In 2007, Within Temptation proved themselves capable of working studio magic to their will and producing an album that succeeded not only on the band's home continent, but in US chartspace as well. With its huge choruses, rich symphonic elements, and, of course, singer Sharon den Adel's captivating voice, The Heart of Everything
was an absolutely huge auditory experience. But the question remained if the band was able to replicate the enormity of its studio work in a live environment. Well, a year later Black Symphony came out and not only does it answer that question with a solid "yes", but also presents an experience that well-surpasses the boundaries of the symphonic metal genre.
For this show Within Temptation enlists the services of the Metropole orchestra and Pa'dam choir, the skilled musicians and choirists of which fully manage to recreate and enrich the atmosphere found on the band's albums. Not a single beat nor note is missed when it comes to carrying through the movements, as the masterful conductorship of Jules Buckley provides for a bombastic execution which highlights the core symphonic elements that define the songs. As this is a live show, the band attends not only to the sense of hearing, but to sight as well, as numerous pyrotechnical and light effects are placed here and there to smartly accentuate key passages. Additionally, Sharon den Adel's employment of a selection of lavish dresses and body movements is quite kind on the eye as well, fully bringing the cinematic character of the band's work to the forefront, without this hindering her ever-sure and unfaltering vocal delivery.
To fully complete its entourage, the band invited several guest singers as well. The male-female interplay between den Adel and Keith Caputo (Life of Agony
) in What Have You Done
is absolutely huge in the verse, and even huger in the choruses. Meanwhile, the harmonizing with Anneke van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique
) on Somewhere
is nothing short of beautiful, as is thrilling the contrast between George Oosthoek (Orphanage
)'s growls and den Adel's mezzosoprano in The Other Half
. It is a watermark of professionalism and serious attitude about creating a genuine experience that the band went through the effort to fully bring to bear the arsenal of an orchestra, a choir and guest singers.
If you're looking for a bona-fide symphonic performance, with all its over-the-top, borderline cheesy moments, then do not hesitate to watch this show, as it (and I say this with all due seriousness) is quite possibly the greatest show on earth.