Rating:
8.4
Within Temptation - Hydra
31 January 2014


01. Let Us Burn
02. Dangerous [featuring Howard Jones]
03. And We Run [feat. Xzibit]
04. Paradise (What About Us?) [feat. Tarja Turunen]
05. Edge Of The World
06. Silver Moonlight
07. Covered By Roses
08. Dog Days
09. Tell Me Why
10. Whole World Is Watching [feat. Dave Pirner]
11. Radioactive [Imagine Dragons cover] [iTunes bonus]
12. Summertime Sadness [Lana del Ray cover] [iTunes bonus]
13. Let Her Go [Passenger cover] [iTunes bonus]
14. Dirty Dancer [Enrique Iglesias cover] [iTunes bonus]
15. And We Run [evolution track / audio commentary] [iTunes bonus]
16. Silver Moonlight [evolution track / audio commentary] [iTunes bonus]
17. Covered By Roses [evolution track / audio commentary] [iTunes bonus]
18. Tell Me Why [evolution track / audio commentary] [iTunes bonus]
+ Paradise (What About Us?) [feat. Tarja Turunen] [video] [iTunes premium bonus]


Welcome the New Year with class - welcome the New Year with Within Temptation.

They tested a path of 80's rock and pop influences in 2011, but The Unforgiving brought them conflicting responses. 2014 signals a return to the heavier and more symphonic style we had the pleasure to listen to some years ago, but the soul of the last record hasn't been totally trashed, since the new album Hydra blends tradition and experimentation.

And it's that fearless experimentation which hits the listener in the face already in the starting tracks, disguised as fan-feared featurings. While the work with Tarja Turunen comes quite natural and the collaborations with ex-Killswitch Engage's Howard Jones and Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner can be unexpected, yet not shocking, the one with rap star Xzibit is. "And We Run" is your typical Within Temptation symphonic semi-ballad, until Xzibit brings his performance that, while lyrically questionable, since hearing a "mothaf*cka" in a song of this kind is definitely clashing - is musically awesome. Therefore, making it the most dreaded album track, but one of the probable favorites of every open-minded fan.

With that being said, Hydra is basically a typical Within Temptation album, full of the catchy keyboard-driven melodies that made the band's fortune - and that also brought the most passionate criticisms due to their explicit radio-friendliness.

And while the guitar work could be improved, especially in the sometimes monotonous rhythm sections and in the short, few and low-mixed solos, what is impossible to improve is Sharon den Adel's stunning vocal performance. The co-founder/singer delivers once again with her very own emotional vocals; soft as velvet, though powerful as hell when needed. But that was sure-fire, wasn't it?

Hydra brings back some classic Within Temptation trademarks, as the huge amount of orchestrations which were subdued on The Unforgiving due to the modernization of the sound, the bombastic heaviness deadened in the last albums and, in "Silver Moonlight", the growls that will cause nostalgia in every long-time fan of the early days. But be warned: do not approach this release expecting a pure gothic album a la 1997's Enter; you'll be disappointed.

With Hydra, Within Temptation carry on in their own way, unconcerned of the boundaries imposed by the expectations of that non-constructive part of the audience that would like to hear the same songs recorded over and over again in the same style. This brings to the fact that the problem with this release consists in the close-minded outlook of the metal community, which too often associates the word "mainstream" with "crap", and therefore not giving any real chance to the music itself.

This may not be the best work of the band, but another pearl in the necklace these talented musicians are assembling.


Band profile: Within Temptation
Album: Hydra


 



Written on 09.01.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››

Staff review by
Ag Fox

Rating:
6.2
Most people have heard of the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Seems like Within Temptation are familiar with it too, as they've mostly stuck to their guns with the winning formula of 80's pop-influenced symphonic rock over soaring female vocals as per their previous album The Unforgiving, while trying to push the envelope a bit by featuring high profile performers in their latest album Hydra.

Read more ››
published 12.04.2014 | Comments (11)



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Rodney - 10.01.2014 at 03:54  
Glad to hear the Xzibit feature is enjoyable and not just awkward and out of place. I dig a fair amount of Xzibit's work.
Angel_Lament - 10.01.2014 at 04:56  
Thanks for the review, I'm anticipating Hydra with a lot of expectations, since it got so much good reviews...
Unhealer - 10.01.2014 at 05:20  
I think I'll give a try to this one... and their first albums as well, I used to listen to a few singles of this band only.
Susan - 10.01.2014 at 06:18  
Excellent review! I can't wait to compare it to the actual music. Only a few more weeks I must say, I'm a huge fan but still... I'm even more excited now after reading this.
PocketMetal - 10.01.2014 at 09:31  
The last one was so boring , hope this is better ... your review makes me wanna give it a try.
Ivor - 10.01.2014 at 10:07  
After the last album I've definitely am waiting for the new one. Though I've learned to never expect too much from any band's new release, I'm feeling quite good about it. Especially after reading your review.

I.
Joodicator - 10.01.2014 at 18:23  
I've never listened to Within Temptation, but I'll definitely be listening to this. Any symphonic metal release with those guest appearances simply has to be heard, whether it's good or not.
The Melting Snow - 10.01.2014 at 18:42  
I was greatly disappointed when I saw the tracklist and featuring artists, but your review gives me hope. Anything along the lines of The Silent Force and Mother Earth would be great.
Fred - 10.01.2014 at 20:02  
Very well written, especially in the end.
mariano - 10.01.2014 at 20:59  
Written by R Lewis on 10.01.2014 at 03:00

the problem with this release consists in the close-minded outlook of the metal community

Really...?
Well, in my opinion the problem with Within Temptation is that they turned into something that is not metal anymore but they still want to be part of the metal scene and so they are judged as a metal band as a consequence.
Uldreth - 10.01.2014 at 22:25  
Written by mariano on 10.01.2014 at 20:59

Written by R Lewis on 10.01.2014 at 03:00

the problem with this release consists in the close-minded outlook of the metal community

Really...?
Well, in my opinion the problem with Within Temptation is that they turned into something that is not metal anymore but they still want to be part of the metal scene and so they are judged as a metal band as a consequence.

Which is exactly a closed minded outlook. You should evaluate purely the music without taking anything like "they still want to be part of the metal scene" as it is a non-musical point.
R Lewis - 11.01.2014 at 00:27  
Written by Uldreth on 10.01.2014 at 22:25

Which is exactly a closed minded outlook. You should evaluate purely the music without taking anything like "they still want to be part of the metal scene" as it is a non-musical point.

M C Vice - 12.01.2014 at 01:40  
So it'll be another Silent Force or Heart Of Everything, then?
The Shape 1973 - 12.01.2014 at 12:01  
Way to go, slagging off sections of the metal community.

Not everyone likes change. Originality doesn't always have more value if it is worse than what was before. Music is a form of entertainment for me, nothing more nothing less. If I don't like it then I am not interested. I stopped being a back catalogue completist years ago.

I have nothing against the band, more the way this review is written. It is almost closed minded in itself by thinking that everybody that is open minded is right and everybody who knows what they like is closed minded, non-constructive and wrong.
R Lewis - 12.01.2014 at 13:39  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 12.01.2014 at 12:01

I have nothing against the band, more the way this review is written. It is almost closed minded in itself by thinking that everybody that is open minded is right and everybody who knows what they like is closed minded, non-constructive and wrong.

"[...] and therefore not giving any real chance to the music itself."

How do you know that you won't like sth if you already approach it thinking "this is gonna be crap"? First you should listen without prejudices to an album and then, in case, criticize it.
But in the end, that's just my humble opinion.
rpsgc - 12.01.2014 at 13:44  
Quote:
This brings to the fact that the problem with this release consists in the close-minded outlook of the metal community, which too often associates the word "mainstream" with "crap", and therefore not giving any real chance to the music itself.


Newsflash: not liking something doesn't automatically make you close-minded or intolerant.
R Lewis - 12.01.2014 at 13:52  
Written by rpsgc on 12.01.2014 at 13:44

Quote:
This brings to the fact that the problem with this release consists in the close-minded outlook of the metal community, which too often associates the word "mainstream" with "crap", and therefore not giving any real chance to the music itself.


Newsflash: not liking something doesn't automatically make you close-minded or intolerant.

The answer lies right in the sentence you quoted: "and therefore not giving any real chance to the music itself."
I'm not criticizing who doesn't like it - that's tastes.
I'm criticizing who already before listening to the album bashes it as crap simply because it became even slightly mainstream. And trust me, there's loads of people acting like this.
Uldreth - 12.01.2014 at 15:26  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 12.01.2014 at 12:01

Way to go, slagging off sections of the metal community.

Not everyone likes change. Originality doesn't always have more value if it is worse than what was before. Music is a form of entertainment for me, nothing more nothing less. If I don't like it then I am not interested. I stopped being a back catalogue completist years ago.

I have nothing against the band, more the way this review is written. It is almost closed minded in itself by thinking that everybody that is open minded is right and everybody who knows what they like is closed minded, non-constructive and wrong.

Except he didn't say any of this.

Not liking this album is not being close minded.

"Lol dere iz a rapper featured on da album imma not gon cehck it out lulz, rap sux dis iznt trve methulz, und Sharon sung in a meinsteram tarnce song she iz a pozer derp"

Now this would be. Which did not seem to happen in this thread so far and this site is, bar a few occasional exceptions, free of this crap, this does seem to characterize the metal subculture. So the reviewer's attitude is quite well justified.
Cynic Metalhead - 12.01.2014 at 15:47  
Bring back your trains on track guys. Bring back.
sleipnirlovenig - 13.01.2014 at 14:43  
What is Within Temptation doing here? This is METAL Storm:hopeless:
4look4rd - 14.01.2014 at 13:58  
Any links for the "And We Run" song? I couldn't find it on youtube and spotify still doesn't have the album.
R Lewis - 14.01.2014 at 14:21  
Written by 4look4rd on 14.01.2014 at 13:58

Any links for the "And We Run" song? I couldn't find it on youtube and spotify still doesn't have the album.

You'll have to wait until the album is released, sorry. But, if you like, I can send you an audio track with me singing it.
It could be fun.
a MasT - 15.01.2014 at 19:51  
Haven't heard the song and won't. Could care less if that's "closed-minded". If WT was a notch above "Evanescence" and the rest of the media-f***** rabble they aren't anymore. At least for me, in my HUMBLE OPINION.
R Lewis - 15.01.2014 at 20:09  
Written by a MasT on 15.01.2014 at 19:51

At least for me, in my HUMBLE OPINION.

Hmm... I sense... sarcasm over here.
mariano - 15.01.2014 at 22:50  
Written by Uldreth on 10.01.2014 at 22:25

Which is exactly a closed minded outlook. You should evaluate purely the music without taking anything like "they still want to be part of the metal scene" as it is a non-musical point.

...but this is Metal Storm, right? I'm not gonna find a review on the latest from Coldplay here (I hope) regardless of my ability to evaluate that kind of music
R Lewis - 15.01.2014 at 23:29  
Written by mariano on 15.01.2014 at 22:50

...but this is Metal Storm, right? I'm not gonna find a review on the latest from Coldplay here (I hope) regardless of my ability to evaluate that kind of music

Let's close this discussion with a pretty arrogant ending by me.
I have listened to the album.
You have not.

When you'll have listened to Hydra - if you ever will - come here and I'll be happy to continue this topic.
Uldreth - 16.01.2014 at 11:20  
Written by mariano on 15.01.2014 at 22:50

Written by Uldreth on 10.01.2014 at 22:25

Which is exactly a closed minded outlook. You should evaluate purely the music without taking anything like "they still want to be part of the metal scene" as it is a non-musical point.

...but this is Metal Storm, right? I'm not gonna find a review on the latest from Coldplay here (I hope) regardless of my ability to evaluate that kind of music

But Coldplay is not a metal band and has nothing to do with metal.

Regardless whether we consider Within Temptation metal or not, they have released definitely metal albums in the past (their first two for example). A band that switches styles from metal to something else won't get removed from here.

If Coldplay ever released a metal album, it'd be on the site and their non-metal albums would be available for review too, just like it happened with Dawn Of Ashes.
Nefret - 16.01.2014 at 18:58  
The song Paradise ft my favorite female singer, Tarja is nothing but a waste of a collaboration, in my opinion. Having listened to it, I stopped anticipating Hydra to be a better album than the last one
annodomini - 17.01.2014 at 09:33  
I can't believe I am saying this, but "And we run" is a game changer. What a song!!!!
Rulatore - 17.01.2014 at 15:46  
Thank you for the review, the most interesting part of the review is this one:

Quote:
And while the guitar work could be improved, especially in the sometimes monotonous rhythm sections and in the short, few and low-mixed solos


This, now I know that I'll probably hate it.
mariano - 19.01.2014 at 16:44  
Written by R Lewis on 15.01.2014 at 23:29

Written by mariano on 15.01.2014 at 22:50

...but this is Metal Storm, right? I'm not gonna find a review on the latest from Coldplay here (I hope) regardless of my ability to evaluate that kind of music

Let's close this discussion with a pretty arrogant ending by me.
I have listened to the album.
You have not.

When you'll have listened to Hydra - if you ever will - come here and I'll be happy to continue this topic.

but I did listen to the album!
That "arrogant ending" of yours actually tells a lot about why you approached the review the way you did: thinking that readers are not going to like the album because they are close-minded metallers
R Lewis - 19.01.2014 at 16:59  
Written by mariano on 19.01.2014 at 16:44

but I did listen to the album!
That "arrogant ending" of yours actually tells a lot about why you approached the review the way you did: thinking that readers are not going to like the album because they are close-minded metallers

Already? Oh, damn leaks.
Well, you're trying to turn the close-mindedness thing against me making me seem close-minded, nice trick
Seriously, now: I'm just saying that I find reasonings as "this is not metal --> I don't like it" just stupid. I could find interesting reasonings from somebody that justifies his opinion not basing on genre tag, but focusing on the actual music.

If you give this a 2 expressing your opinion and saying what you think is wrong with Hydra, I may not agree with you but hey, that's tastes.
If you give this a 2 saying "this is not m3tla xdxd" I find this pretty dumb. Just this.

* I'm saying "you" referring to the "X" metalhead, not necessarily to you, mariano
M C Vice - 24.01.2014 at 09:15  
Written by R Lewis on 15.01.2014 at 23:29

I have listened to the album.

Do you know if the growls that are apparently on the album are done by Westerholt or if they got someone in to do them?
R Lewis - 24.01.2014 at 10:22  
Written by M C Vice on 24.01.2014 at 09:15

Do you know if the growls that are apparently on the album are done by Westerholt or if they got someone in to do them?

Well, just listening to them, I'd say those are Robert's, but I haven't any proof or something.
M C Vice - 24.01.2014 at 12:15  
Written by R Lewis on 24.01.2014 at 10:22

Written by M C Vice on 24.01.2014 at 09:15

Do you know if the growls that are apparently on the album are done by Westerholt or if they got someone in to do them?

Well, just listening to them, I'd say those are Robert's, but I haven't any proof or something.

Do they just send you a digital copy to review? Easier for them, but it sounds lazy.
R Lewis - 24.01.2014 at 12:24  
Written by M C Vice on 24.01.2014 at 12:15

Do they just send you a digital copy to review? Easier for them, but it sounds lazy.

I have never received non-digital albums. It may sound lazy, but think of how much money they are saving from shipping and such. It's comprehensible.
Dark Forever - 28.01.2014 at 20:55  
Written by R Lewis on 24.01.2014 at 12:24

Written by M C Vice on 24.01.2014 at 12:15

Do they just send you a digital copy to review? Easier for them, but it sounds lazy.

I have never received non-digital albums. It may sound lazy, but think of how much money they are saving from shipping and such. It's comprehensible.

I receive something around 1 non-digital album for every 5 releases I get for my magazine. We contact most bands directly and we give special support to national bands, so they retribute the favor by giving us physical copies. But almost all bands with a well known label send digital copies.
M C Vice - 31.01.2014 at 09:50  
Written by R Lewis on 24.01.2014 at 10:22

Written by M C Vice on 24.01.2014 at 09:15

Do you know if the growls that are apparently on the album are done by Westerholt or if they got someone in to do them?

Well, just listening to them, I'd say those are Robert's, but I haven't any proof or something.

Got the cd now, it doesn't say who does them (maybe it's Sharon?). But they do sound like Robert's from Enter.

6 songs in and I like what I've heard so far. Typical Within Temptation album. And We Run was a bit underwhelming after all the talk about it. I was expecting something either really good or really bad.
deadone - 03.02.2014 at 11:47  
The rap thing sounds like it'd be atrocious. It instantly puts me off.

I wish decent musicians would stay away from collaborations with rappers.

It reminds me off the last Dido album (Girl Who Got Away) which had a very ill advised collaboration with some lame rapper. It made a mediocre album unlistenable. Very disappointing. At least her first three albums are good.

And before anyone accuses me of "close mindedness" notice I admitted to liking Dido in the above paragraph.

Oh and Aerosmith, Anthrax, ad Biohazard collaborations with rappers were good but that was done in a better time for both rap and metal.
deadone - 03.02.2014 at 11:51  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 12.01.2014 at 12:01

Way to go, slagging off sections of the metal community.

Not everyone likes change. Originality doesn't always have more value if it is worse than what was before. Music is a form of entertainment for me, nothing more nothing less. If I don't like it then I am not interested. I stopped being a back catalogue completist years ago.

I have nothing against the band, more the way this review is written. It is almost closed minded in itself by thinking that everybody that is open minded is right and everybody who knows what they like is closed minded, non-constructive and wrong.


Excellent post.


There is also such a thing as change being bad.

Not all change is good, despite Western societies' increased obsession with New = Good.
juanopereira - 13.02.2014 at 06:04  
I don't understand the fans of this awesome band. Their best albums are the ones with lower rates and their worst albums are the ones with higher rates.
dismaleuphony - 14.02.2014 at 05:10  
The two songs (with videos) I have heard from this album were forgettable to say the least if not quite lame, even if they were catchy. (I have listened to them since the first day). I'll get around to listening to this album, someday, but I'm mostly dreading it. Time will tell. And to think, The Unforgiving earned a 10 from me.

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