Within Temptation
Resist


3.5
great

Review

by Scheumke USER (8 Reviews)
February 27th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Still relevant? Well yeah. Kind of.

Within Temptation have always had a very special place in the Dutch music scene. Singlehandedly bringing the goth-rock movement into the mainstream with their sophomore record ‘Mother Earth’ in the year 2000 (quickly followed by Evanescence’s debut three years later), they have since had a soft spot in this little country. Until this day they are pretty much the only (hard)rock band to get airtime on the radio (albeit few and far between), and mostly because they are seen as the Dutch pride, something our country has in abundance when it comes to DJs (Hardwell, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack etc.) but sorely lacks in rock music.

let us not forget though, that after this initial blowup in popularity, they quickly fell out of the picture in terms of exposure. Their lead single from The Silent Force, Stand My Ground, didn’t do as well as the previous number one hits Mother Earth and Ice Queen. Three years later, What Have You Done did a little bit better, but by now the initial goth-rock hype had blown over. It became clear that from this point on, their real mainstream success had had its high point and would go nowhere but downwards. ‘And some things, that should not have been forgotten, where lost. History became legend, legend became myth, and for four long years, the band passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, it created a new record’.

This record was 2011’s ‘The Unforgiven’. A bold concept piece that saw Within Temptation with renewed vigor. It sounded like the band was creating the music that they wanted to create for the first time: catchy, up-tempo anthems, retaining their personal sound but with more of a devil-may-care attitude. It was a big hit with their new target audience (switching from full on mainstream to long-time fans and the average rock enthusiast). How do you follow up on what many fans call your magnum opus though? Well, Within Temptation opted to not even try, instead segueing into ‘Hydra’, a record that focused more on its collaborations with other artists. It wasn’t a big hit, but it did fine by its own rights.

The big question that rises after all this time: Is Within Temptation still relevant? Do they still have something to say in the world of mainstream rock? After listening to their new record ‘Resist’, my answer is: Well, yeah. Kind of.

Resist sees Within Temptation at their most poppy they’ve ever been. This is mainly due to two factors. Firstly, electronics have taken more of a foreground on ‘Resist’. This is plain from the very first second of the album, opening with a big synth lead, but continues throughout the album. Secondly, the production. Within Temptation have never been a metal band, but on this the guitars have been dialed down further, becoming more of the juice to fill up the frequencies and less the highlight that gives the music its punch, as on previous outings. That is not to say that I dislike the production, it’s very slick and does what it sets out to do, namely being radio-friendly rock music.

The songs themselves are also just that, radio-friendly, super anthemy rock songs that are catchy as all hell but don’t ever go into new or untrodden territory. The quality of the songwriting, especially on the first half of the album, is actually really good though. Without knowing which songs they chose as their singles, I could not tell from listening to the record. The first six songs all sounded like they could’ve been the lead single from ‘Resist’, which is tenement to the quality and catchiness of the songs present. Songs like The Reckoning, Endless War and Supernova are laden with hooks and are singalong material before the song is even finished.

It is a difficult art to figure out what made previous records work and even more difficult to build on that. With ‘Resist’, Within Temptation put together the two things that (apparently) worked best on their last two records:

1. A concept record to give cohesion to the songs, and
2. The collaboration with other artists.

Although the first is a little forgettable and feels like something added on top to create a cohesive live experience, the second actually works out pretty well. Although Sharon van Adel is her own force to be reckoned with and exceptionally consistent, her voice tends to get on the tedious side after a while. The addition of Jacoby Shaddix, Anders Friden and Jasper Steverlinck works to break this somewhat, and adds more dynamics to the songs (even though they are not up to snuff in the vocal department in comparison to van Adel).

With 10 songs averaging 4,5 minutes per song, the album flies by without any filler material. The flow would’ve been excellent, but has a big problem. Every single song on Resist is either a big mid-tempo anthem or a ballad/slower piece. This makes the individual songs very enjoyable, but listened to as a single entity it makes the second half of the album blend together. It could have really done with a big fast banger like In The Middle of the Night from ‘The Unforgiven’ to spice things up a little in the second half of the record.

For people that have enjoyed music from Within Temptation previously, there is little to dislike here. It’s still super catchy, quality mainstream rock material. People that already dislike their bombastic, poppy approach will loathe this just as much as their other records, so this will definitely not win over any haters. Yet it knows what it sets out to do and does so convincingly, without any bumps or stumbles.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Scheumke
February 27th 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty much the quintessential 3,5 for me. Enjoyable, easy to like (if you can stand this type of music to begin with) but without any real highlights or staying power (I think).

Digging: Saor - Forgotten Paths

Trifolium
February 27th 2019


3816 Comments


Pos man, good review!
I haven't checked the full album yet, little apprehensive because some of the tracks I heard featured too much of this synthy-dubsteppy sounds you hear in every track on the radio ever nowadays.
They were an important band to me when I was 15 or so though, so they're something special to me.

Scheumke
February 27th 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just go for it man. It's radio-friendly, but not in the way Imagine Dragons are radio friendly. Its still rock music throughout. If they're special for you I can almost guarantee you won't dislike this.

Scheumke
February 27th 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the pos btw, really appreciate it!

Trifolium
February 27th 2019


3816 Comments


No problem man!
Yeah, some of the singles stuck with me, so I guess I'm just waiting for the right moment.

Lucman
February 27th 2019


2088 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Hey, nice write-up! Was thinking of writing one for it but you did a great job. Yeah, it is the quintessential 3.5 but I love the sci-fi aesthetic so that multiplies my enjoyment three-fold.

Digging: Dirge (FR) - Elysian Magnetic Fields

Scheumke
February 27th 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Lucman. Yeah I can completely see why the aesthetic would increase the enjoyment for you. It doesn't do a lot for me personally though, because I don't think it has been worked throughout the songs enough, except for some of the lyrics.

Zig
February 27th 2019


1633 Comments


this band's still around !?

Digging: Yoshiko Sai - Mikkou

Trifolium
February 27th 2019


3816 Comments


Haha, yep. They take their time between records though.

pizzamachine
February 27th 2019


14131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

“her voice tends to get on the tedious side after a while.”



DIE



...



Good review bruh

Asdfp277
February 27th 2019


19660 Comments


rules. haven't heard tho

Toondude10
February 27th 2019


13735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

good album



production is kinda shit which is ironic seeing that the album was delayed for "production issues"

Asdfp277
February 28th 2019


19660 Comments


couldn't fix all of it maybe?

Scheumke
February 28th 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have no problems with the production tbh, but then my ears aren't trained as much to notice unless they are very on the nose problems (i.e. to compressed, shitty snare sound etc.).

Asdfp277
February 28th 2019


19660 Comments


just do like i do, buy shitty headphones and get used to them, that way everything sounds the same

stasar
February 28th 2019


49 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I can't get into it. Found it way too boring, especially lyrically

TheNotrap
February 28th 2019


9828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SUPER NOVAAA SUPER NOVAAA



Have a pos

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara



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