Within Temptation
Hydra


2.5
average

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (32 Reviews)
January 31st, 2014 | 7 replies | 1,848 views


Release Date: 01/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bland. Monotone. Forgettable.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

When Within Temptation set out to create Hydra, their intent was to showcase the varied and multi-faced character of their music. Try as I might, though, after listening to the album a few times, I just cannot bring myself to label it as "varied". Throughout its 10-song duration, Hydra's music blends into a homogeneous mass with barely any distinguishable elements that make the songs stand out. To me, the band has lost the skill to lay down huge and memorable melodies that they previously wielded so successfully. The musicianship predictably degenerates into boring guitar/synth rhythms, with lacklustre drums backing them up. Singer Sharon den Adel's voice has retained its edge, but does little to save the overall instrumental failure. Meanwhile, the symphonic elements have been watered down and simplified to the point where the band could have just as easily done without them. There is certainly nothing "symphonic" about this release, and even less "metal" or even "rock". The only band member that makes his presence more known is guitarist Ruud Jolie, with the occasional (admittedly very skilled) solo that he puts down.

The addition of guest singers cannot gather much praise either. Dangerous, featuring the otherwise great Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage, fails to unleash the full potential of the singers, as their vocals seem rather underused. The duet with Tarja on Paradise is rather unimpressive as well, as the girls' voices are just too similar to create an interesting interplay. And the ballady closer Whole World is Watching with David Pirner is easily the most watered down and cheesy song on the album.

The positive sides? I have to give special props to Xzibit for saving And We Run. His rapping delivery adds a whole new level of attitude and character, viciousness even, to this otherwise unnotable song. This is the one time when the addition of a guest musician succeeds, and succeeds well, as the vast difference in styles creates an exciting contrast. Silver Moonlight has a rather big chorus that makes it stand above the rest of the tracks, while Dangerous despite the weak vocal duet features a very energetic computerised dance beat that is bound to make the song a hit. Paradise may not be that interesting, but it still is a pretty strong track. I mean, come on, it is Tarja and Sharon, after all -- the two most recognised names in the sub-genre. The best number on here, however, is Dog Days. It is very well developed, progressing through a haunting keyboards intro, to a very accentuated drum pattern during the big verse and chorus, both featuring great lyrics and vocal delivery, goes through an interlude with a cool solo, to arrive at a stunning finish.

Overall, Hydra witnesses a great watering down in Within Temptation's sound, and is quite a long shot from being the multi-headed beast it was intended to be. The listener is left unfulfilled, especially considering the great previous two efforts the band put out.

Recommended tracks:
-Dog Days
-And We Run
-Paradise
-Silver Moonlight




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user ratings (97)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Hydra is a solid enough continuation of Within Temptation’s brand of operatic goth-inspired metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2014



6993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid enough review, couple of pointers though:

Try as I might, though, after listening to the album a few times, I just cannot bring myself to label it as "varied".


Remove the "though" and give yourself that flow back.

with lacklustre drums backing them up.


*with lackluster drum backings.

There is certainly nothing "symphonic" about this release, and even less "metal" or even "rock".


Going to have to point out the stupidity of this statement. You've used three genre-adjectives incorrectly : /

Dangerous, featuring the otherwise great Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage, fails to unleash the full potential of the singers, as their vocals seem rather underused.


*ex-Killswitch Engage, fails to unleash the full potential of the singer*, as his* vocals seem quite underused.

You've gone from talking about multiple guest vocalists to specifying one, change your tense to match your context.

---------------------------------------------------------More on the next post.







NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2014



6993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And the ballady closer Whole World is Watching with David Pirner is easily the most watered down and cheesy song on the album.


Starting a sentence with "And" is pretty obvious, try: Even, However....

Also you do nothing to back this statement up, provide examples, the where and the how?

The positive sides?


There are other ways to do this than providing a cheesy question. Mention that there are highlights of the album and lead into your examples. The rest of that paragraph is better.

Recommended tracks:
-Dog Days
-And We Run
-Paradise
-Silver Moonlight


Remove this, you should be able to tell your readers (and you already have) what tracks are worth checking out (if any).

Anyway, just needs a bit of cleaning up.

titanslayer
January 31st 2014



1601 Comments


wow a laughingskull review that didn't completely suck

Dreamflight
February 1st 2014



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes it does.

jk album is pretty awesome though.

bahlof
February 20th 2014



45 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I agree with most of this review except the praise for And We Run completely surprised me haha. The song might be okay on its own but the rapping sticks out ridiculously that the song feels like gimmick. IMO

To me the album feels like The Heart of Everything and The Unforgiving thrown together. There's hardly any trace of the symphonic metal band that made the first 3 albums.

That said there's a few good songs on here, but the album's gonna be an afterthought a few years from now.

Dreamflight
February 21st 2014



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"To me the album feels like The Heart of Everything and The Unforgiving thrown together. There's hardly any trace of the symphonic metal band that made the first 3 albums. "

At least they're expanding their horizons instead of being just another one of the 100000 symphonic bands with female vox that exists nowadays.

I understand why old fans don't appreciate their post TSF stuff but I feel that with recent albums WT present us with more diversity and to me they're still top of the genre.


bahlof
February 24th 2014



45 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They're definitely not bad but I don't think they put as much into the albums like they used to. The experimenting doesn't bother me its the compromises they make in order to have airplay now. It feels a lot like they're making their music around the guest vocalist on this album instead of focusing on their own style.

As a whole the album is okay there's just not really anything that makes it stand out for me.





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