Within Temptation vocalist Sharon den Adel once described their music as as epic and cinematic. Considering the origins, those words describe Within Temptation's fifth album The Unforgiving. The band's early ideas revolved around writing both score and lyrics for a film, but abandoned the pursuit after considering the transient and speculative nature of movie business.
Instead they approached writer Steven O'Connell (The Chronicles of Spellborn) with their concepts. Despite some initial reservations to his ideas, WT and O'Connell found common ground, and The Unforgiving developed. O'Connell, with illustrator Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, The Darkness and X-Men), created the story and comic book. Within Temptation developed the music and songs around the characters and storyline. The result is classic Within Temptation, yet heard in a fresh and exciting new way.
The Unforgiving has all the epic and grandeur that a listener would expect from Within Temptation, one of the premier bands of the symphonic metal genre. Yet, The Unforgiving also bristles with an energy heretofore unfound on previous releases. It seems this concept album has invigorated Within Temptation to become more deliberate, even more dramatic, accessible, and entertaining. There's a convincing, but not pedestrian, 'popular' sensibility woven in every song that hooks you and pulls you in. Every song rings with individual power and intensity drawn upon a canvas of brilliant melodies, immense hooks, grand orchestration, soaring guitar solos and, of course, Sharon den Adel's impressive vocals. Adel has never sounded better: strong, convincing, and breathtaking.
The Unforgiving is striking, convincing, and entertaining, and easily Within Temptation's finest work. Perhaps, the only thing to do is to highlight my favorite cuts, even though the whole album simply shines. These include: the mysterious Shot in the Dark, the catchy Faster, the hooks within heaviness of Iron, the sweeping grandeur of Sinead, and classic WT grandeur of Stairway to the Skies. All these demonstrate Within Temptation's flawless song craftsmanship and renewed musical purpose; they have never sounded better. The bar has been raised once more, and even higher, for any female fronted symphonic heavy metal band. Strongly recommended.
The Unforgiving is striking, convincing, and entertaining, and easily Within Temptation's finest work. They have never sounded better. The bar has been raised once more, and even higher, for any female fronted symphonic heavy metal band.
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