Review Summary: Within Temptation’s best album.
Within Temptation stand out in the symphonic metal genre. They may not be as heavy as some bands, but they more than make up for it with gorgeous melodies and tenacious vocals. Sharon is one of my favourite singers in metal, her voice control is astounding. Half of why The Silent Force is compelling is because of her soulful, heartfelt singing. She makes it looks easy as she hits hard notes, impressive considering the chorus of Jillian (I’d Give My Heart), which would be hard to sing for anyone. A large number of the lyrics revolve around a broken relationship, a relatable topic made believable by Sharon’s charming performance. It may be cheesy to say, but I wouldn’t want different lyrics, it would diminish the heart of the album.
The Silent Force never feels bloated or overly bombastic, it instead has beautiful melodies. The symphonic element is weaved seamlessly with guitar riffs (great riffs in my opinion), and vocals. The guitar is not the focus in the mix, it is mainly used to support the overall sound. Such a decision could be controversial, but the epic movie soundtrack feel throughout the album is the intent, and it is well founded. This is the crux of Within Temptation’s style, to have sparkling melodies complimented with a symphonic backing and one of the best singers you’ll find. It’s hard to skip such a pretty album, especially with a tear jerker like the song Pale. Disney, eat your heart out (I’m only kidding, don’t sue me).
Songs on the album have a similar song structure, and ultimately explode into a large, repeated chorus. There are enough variations on how they get to the chorus though, to keep it engaging. The melodies set each song apart, and the choruses are powerful enough to stick in the memory easily. Powerful and stunning, the album is a very enjoyable listen. It’s easily their best album, and also the best use of their orchestral elements. The songs are very well written and it never feels like instruments were jammed in for the sake of extra instruments. If the album is too samey or not aggressive enough for some, that’s one side of the coin, but if you like your melodies there’s not much unappealing here. In the symphonic metal genre, it’s difficult to beat the juggernaut that is The Silent Force.