Within Temptation
Hydra


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (196 Reviews)
January 28th, 2014 | 25 replies | 7,868 views


Release Date: 01/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hydra is a solid enough continuation of Within Temptation’s brand of operatic goth-inspired metal.

Within Temptation have carved out a steady space in the world of female fronted metal acts, with sounds instantly recognizable in terms of Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish (as well as a few others), Within Temptation have grown, releasing solid albums one after the other. Understandably, the band’s musical formula will differ little as the member’s careers grow longer but the basic stereotypes give a better life to Hydra’s overall design. By now, Within Temptation are well-versed, practiced and their sixth release continues the momentum that’s rather impartial to the album’s own guest musicians. Within Temptation remain above the deluge of similar acts.

What’s surprising is as much as this is a typical Within Temptation album; there is a growth and exploration. The band avoid re-hashing too much of their older material, despite how formulaic the tracks may represent themselves to be. The songs structures are less “hook-y” and focus on a streamlined level of catchiness tying the guest musicians into an integral theme. For the album, it really matters not whether ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones adds a clean male harmony to ‘Dangerous’, Sharon den Adel’s operatic cleans fill the space perfectly – a contrast instead should have been made with Jones’ harsh screams, giving a different vocal shaping and utilizing a capable musician to achieve a more engaging track – in turn, this would have taken Hydra to completely new heights, even the Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) track doesn’t add any extra elements that would promote the guest musicians’ contributions, it’s merely another operatic female vocal section. Sure enough, the Xzibit featured track is an unexpected curve ball, but how much does an emotive female fronted metal band need the ramblings of a rapper to convey its themes? The answer lies in how well the rapped, cursing verse of Xzibit match in with Adel’s hanging lyrical passages. Within Temptation do push on the boundaries of their own music and explore different techniques to add interest to their music, but they don’t exactly need the other artists to drop in on the band’s sixth studio release.

Highlights emerge as the album progresses. Tracks like ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘Silver Moonlight’ convey some real emotion backed by some of the group’s strongest instrumental efforts to date. Twists and turns engage Sharon’s vocals pushing her above the minimalistic nothingness created by pauses and rests within the instrumental efforts. This is stylistic contrast used to the best effect possible. Not a lot of modern acts know when to simply shut up and allow the center point the limelight. Take the album opener for example: ‘Let Us Burn’ starts the album as you would expect; minor guitar leads and building guitar riffs hugged by both bass and drum kit. The track itself leads a crescendo into the rest of the record. The hook line dominates the chorus lines which create an instantly catchy sing a long theme; it’s not exactly a showcase of brand new song-writing techniques, rather a demonstration that old tricks can still work well - Within Temptation have a great musical sensibility.

For those who weren't exactly chuffed with the band’s other five studio releases, there’s a fair chance that Hydra will not change your mind. As for the band’s 2014 release, Hydra is exactly the Greek translation of its name-sake, showing an reformation of Within Temptation’s previous nuances, matured and shape-shifting into something individual for a band long considered a passable “copy act”. With their debut record long behind them, Within Temptation are destined to grow, one step at a time with a brand of music truly theirs. It’s not going to be spectacular by any means, but it does a whole lot better than average and more importantly gives better life to the group.



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
LaughingSkull (2.5)
Bland. Monotone. Forgettable....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2014



6931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Due out in a couple of days, so hopefully I won't be pushing the buck too much.

Myrkur
January 28th 2014



164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I didn't like this but good review

theacademy
January 28th 2014



28232 Comments


lol the xzibit track made this a must get for me

just funny that it exists

Kalopsia
January 28th 2014



920 Comments


i might check this out on youtube.. i don't know what it is, but female fronted metal/rock bands like this just don't do anything for me

Evanescence are... okay I guess
Lacuna Coil sucks
Nightwish sounds meh
In This Moment peaked with The Dream, now they suck


but i want to hear this xzibit track for sure haha

titanslayer
January 28th 2014



1444 Comments


I thought they broke up

bloc
January 28th 2014



34667 Comments


HAIL HYDRA

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2014



6931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but i want to hear this xzibit track for sure haha


It's a curve ball

HAIL HYDRA


Bow down to Within Temptation's supremacy!

I thought they broke up


They're forever releasing acoustics, lives and stripped down versions of their bigger hits...



VermTheInquisitor
January 29th 2014



489 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Band has been decent but nothing more.

Prefer Nightwish, Epica, Therion, Theatre of Tragedy and The Gathering

manosg
January 29th 2014



5683 Comments


Their only album I really enjoy is their debut. Early Theatre of Tragedy and The Gathering are on a whole another level than these guys imo.

Nice review too.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

VermTheInquisitor
January 29th 2014



489 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Those 5 bands are in another whole level in every aspect. Bands like this and lacuna coil, sirenia, tristania and leaves eyes are enjoyable and have good songs but nothing more

TheSlenderMan
January 29th 2014



606 Comments


And We Run is my SOTY.

manosg
January 29th 2014



5683 Comments


@Verm
Agreed. Those bands are more commercial or poppier.

LaughingSkull
January 29th 2014



216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The album hasn't been officially released yet, so I suspect this will be deleted in due course. At least my preview got deleted.

Anyway, this album didn't do it for me. Only good tracks are Dog Days and And We Run. Xzibit saves the day. I still think that the band's peak was The Heart of Everything.

TheDarkestNight
January 29th 2014



174 Comments


No I think it's streaming somewhere.

TzarChasm
January 29th 2014



115 Comments


Your second and third paragraphs should *not* have semicolons in them. Neither what precedes your
semicolon in the second paragraph nor what follows it in your third are independent clauses. Please
see the final examples here: http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Semicolons.html

I'm honestly not trying to be a dick but I'm going to share with you a piece of advice a college
English professor gave my class back in the day: Never, ever make a mistake with a semicolon. It's
the most complicated punctuation mark in the English language and it stands out like a sore thumb.
Using semicolons correctly in your writing will instantly make it look more intelligent; employing
just one inappropriately will demolish your credibility as a writer.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2014



6931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album hasn't been officially released yet, so I suspect this will be deleted in due course.


By the grace of Willie, the fact that cross-posting is no longer allowed for Contributors, being a Contrib and the fact it's only a two day difference this won't be deleted. As long as I don't flaunt my promos too much the supreme beings of Sput don't mind too much. But say if I was to post my Carnifex review I might run into a few issues with deletion.

No I think it's streaming somewhere.


Don't think so, they've been releasing tracks though; almost half the album's out.

Your second and third paragraphs should *not* have semicolons in them.


Depends, if you're sticking to a formula without a mind for fleshing your thoughts out in a rhetoric. Essay structures are handy, but I don't want to be writing the same way forever. They're main points I want separated from a usual thought process.

I'm honestly not trying to be a dick...


Funny how the guys who write these lines are dicks, just because you might provide a disclaimer doesn't stop it.

Regardless, kudos for a read over. : ]

Kalopsia
January 30th 2014



920 Comments


I'm honestly not trying to be a dick...




that's like when you start a sentence with "I'm not racist, but.."

Fredosaurus
January 30th 2014



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking awesome album

Apollo
February 1st 2014



10264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't care who knows, I love this band. Always have. This album is awesome.

jethrokay
February 3rd 2014



1 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

as a big fan of them, i'm completely disappointed to the album.
They could do some good musics like the Enter, Mother Earth, the Heart of Everything, but they chose to be more popular.




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