This is a gothic metal band from the Netherlands and this band is called "Within Temptation". This is their latest album and it is called "The Silent Force", the band is known for their stand-out singer Sharon Den Adel who sings like an angel in my own opinion. The band plays atmospheric gothic metal, in previous albums there has be two different vocal styles, Sharon's angelic singing and guitarist Robert Westerholt's doom/death growling. This album only has the beautiful voice of Sharon though.
The cast in this band is six members so we will begin with my favorite member Sharon Den Adel, a great singer who can sing like an angel. Her voice is crystal clear, sing doesn't sing any opera based vocals as Tarja Turunen (former singer of Nightwish). Her voice may seem a bit low and/or quiet in some songs, she do sing quite high in some of the songs but there are moments when you think that she could use more of her potential. Robert Westerholt and Ruud Jolie is the two guitarists in this band, there is nothing special about them because there is not much sound from the guitars, there are no fast shredding or riffing in the songs and no guitar soloing, just basic power-chords most of part.
The bass player is Jeroen van Veen, his bass is also pretty poor because you can almost not hear anything from the bass. This may be a bad comparison but there is not the same base-frequence as other metal bands has like "Overkill" for example, they use very much bass in there material. Martijn Spierenburg is responsible for the keyboards which is one of the instruments that is very hearable. You can hear piano notes in basically every song, there are very melodic but some times you get bored because there is just to much keyboards. And the final member is the drummer, one of the most important member in a band in my opinion. This is nothing advanced about Stephen van Haestregt's drumming, most times there is heavy beats and easy drumming, there is nothing like other metal drummers amazing work (which sometimes may seem inhumanly fast to others).
So now we are done with the members of the band, now to the songs so keep on reading if you want to know more about this album. The album starts with "Intro", it starts with an atmospheric intro with opera chanting along with some 'light' drumwork, it stops and Sharon sings some beautiful tunes and then it stops. "See Who I Am" starts with a dramatic intro, up-rising guitars and heavy drumbeats along with background chanting. The song has the same structure throughout the whole time, great vocals that really touches you. A song that you actually here all instruments, a quite catchy song. "Jillian I'd Give My Heart" also starts with a dramatic intro, almost like the previous track. This song has also a quite simple structure, lot of great singing, powerful guitars, heavy drumming and chanting. "Stand My Ground" has been played on different music channels like MTV (not so sure though). This song is very catchy and powerful, the song slows down after the intro, the song gets heavy again and it feels quite atmospheric. The vocals are good but I think that Sharon could've given some more force in her vocals.
"Pale" starts with flutes and violins I think, the singing touhes you once more along with piano notes. This song is a bit boring in my ears, there is not a powerful song, she sings like its was a powerful song but there is basically just drums and keyboards in this song, it feels a bit pale. "Forsaken" begins with singing, the song rises with the instruments kicks in plus the background chanting. The song feels a bit apocalyptic and dramatic but not much, not a good song though. "Angels" starts with what I think is keyboard effects, Sharon starts to sing and song finally gets serious. The song is a bit heavy and pretty catchy in the chorus, but the verse is a bit boring when the crew slows down and the singing wants the most attention. "Memories" starts first with violins and later piano notes, this ballad is wonderful, the vocals are great and the song pattern is sligthly catchy, one of the albums greatest songs in my opinion.
"Aquarius" starts with some 'sad' violins and later the heaviness kicks in. The song gets a bit dramatic to its sound, the vocals here is good but not great, the song is a bit hard to endure because of the chunky guitars. "It's The Fear" also starts with some pianno notes and then the chanting and heaviness starts to play. This song feels similar to the previous songs, the song is not so catchy but the chorus is really great but unfortunatly the song isen't. The last track is "Somewhere", the song starts with wailing from Sharon that really touches you, she sings great in this song but the vocals is a bit low in this song. The song by the way is not a great one, it sounds like an intro that repeats itself, the only thing is that the musical part is the thing that builds up with the time.
So, now you when you have read this I will begin with the things I liked and disliked. Don't worry, just kidding, this is the end of the line in my review. I thought that this album was great, Sharon is a really great singer. I thought that Tarja from "Nightwish" had a beautiful singing voice but Sharon out-classes her by hundreds in my opinion, Sharon sings like an angel but the only thing that I didn't like about her was the times when she sang so low which becams a bit boring. It was also a bit boring musically because there was not much of all the instruments, the keyboards and drumming made the songs sound boring and was not so interesting to hear. But there are songs that you want to listen through many times before you get tired of them. This album is recommended to gothic and power-metal fans and to those who like beautiful and skilled singing. Any corrections are welcome and I hope that this review was helpful and enjoying.
+ These vocals are very touching, Sharon does sing like an angel, crystal clear singing
+ The material is very melodic, catchy and relaxing
+ People who like atmospheric music would enjoy this
+ A good choice of music when you want to find some peace and calmness
- The material can be boring after a while because of the dominating keyboards and drumming
- Sharon sings sometimes to low when she would give her best
-- Stand My Ground
-- Jillian I'd Give My Heart
The overall album rating for this beautiful album will be: 4/5