January 28, 2019 Within Temptation – Resist (Album Review)
It has been five long years since Within Temptation’s last full-length collection of new material, but fear not! Two-thousand and nineteen is poised to deliver fans an irresistible new offering from the band: Resist arrives on Friday, February 1, 2019, thanks to Spinefarm Records.
Formed in 1996, Dutch metalheads Within Temptation are one of the biggest and brightest names in Symphonic Metal. With the release of their 1997 debut, Enter, the band began to create a prominent name for themselves in their homeland, which parlayed into a successful international career that is two decades strong and growing. With each successive release – and there have been six including 2000’s Mother Earth, 2007’s The Heart of Everything, and 2014’s Hydra – Within Temptation’s star has only continued to rise as they hone their superb talents and continue to defy a clear-cut categorization.
For Resist, the band chose a futuristic approach to their craft, one that pushes aside orchestras and classic Metal riffs in favor of expanding Within Temptation’s sound profile toward the self-proclaimed “bombastic.” At times heavier, dirtier, and definitely exploring a brave new world, the band – Vocalist Sharon den Adel, Guitarists Ruud Jolie and Stefan Helleblad, Bassist Jeroen van Veen, Drummer Mike Coolen, and Keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg, along with the wisdom and contributions of Founding Member Robert Westerholt – have utilized their seventh full-length release to explore some exciting new terrain. The 10-song Resist invites fans to defy the status quo, educate themselves and open their minds, all while blending in new musical influences to prove that Within Temptation stand behind their own words.
Resist begins with darkly entrancing, lush walls of sound on “The Reckoning,” a bold, attention-demanding start to the collection and obvious choice for first single/video. Here, Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix fits flawlessly into the band’s sound and feels like a welcome seventh member and not a random, feature artist. This makes way for the lusciously undulating layers that twinkle throughout “Endless War,” where Gothic and Sci-Fi twinges propel den Adel’s vocals toward operatic heights in the name of hunting miracles.
A rallying call to fight for what you believe in and to fight for your freedom, second single/video “Raise Your Banner” goes for the full-blown, super catchy Gothic Symphonic Metal experience, complete with an appearance from Anders Fridén of In Flames. The result is a miniature epic that will haunt your heart in all the very best ways. Next, “Supernova” churns through the paces with some entrancing synths and a danceable beat, making way for “Holy Ground,” which opens with a bold, lyrical sucker punch and verses that have an almost Hip Hop pacing to their presentation. It’s a bit of an experimental approach for Within Temptation but it works wonderfully, bringing a little something left-field to the mix.
“In Vain” soars skyward in the name of memories of a relationship that cannot be saved, while for awe-inspiring “Firelight” – which was originally intended for den Adel’s My Indigo project – they go for a folksy yet ambient beat. Here, a startling minimalism anchors each of the verses before the full band explodes for the powerful punch of the choruses. This works to create a truly ground-breaking and entrancing offering, one that shows that Singer/Guitarist Jasper Steverlinck (of Arid fame), who duets with den Adel throughout, is a welcome, powerful, and inspiring collaborator.
In case you weren’t along for the surprising ride of “Firelight,” the band bounces back up to a danceable, toe-tapping beat for the wicked game of “Mad World,” then glances into the “Mercy Mirror” for a sweeping, ballad-esque offering. Lest you think that Within Temptation are not going out with a bang, they erupt into a Djent-y crunch that leads into “Trophy Hunter,” a meandering little rocker full of those delicious layers of sound and a hearty goodbye to this collection.
On Resist, Within Temptation author a disc that is steeped in the massively layered, full-bodied sound that fans know and love. However, they also gently experiment with some new approaches, ones that fit their characteristic sound beautifully and only bolster the good Within Temptation name. Truth be told, even the eclectic guest artists featured on the collection (Shaddix, Fridén, and Steverlinck) fit so flawlessly into the fold that one cannot help but wonder if Within Temptation should become a nine-piece?
In short, Resist is an alluring, entrancing, and wholly beautiful collection that has moments of epic glory, and some toe-tappers as well. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock give Within Temptation’s Resist 4.5 of 5 stars.