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Within Temptation - Mother Earth

Within Temptation -  CD Review
Mother Earth
CD Info
DSFA Records
10 Tracks + 1 CD-ROM Track
English lyrics

*Enhanced version also includes band info + photos, wallpapers, 'Making of Mother Earth' video and a game!

Within Temptation are hard to comprehend when you consider that being a band is just a hobby to them, since they spend a lot of their time in 'proper jobs'. How then, they've managed to get Mother Earth together is a wonder.

This band have been likened to After Forever [and indeed they do collaborate occasionally] and their style is similar, though softer and more dreamy, for want of a less annoying word. All the elements are there - the heavy guitars, the choirs and Sharon del Adel's incredible voice, which is pure, beautiful and bewitching. I read one reviewer describe WT as 'orchestral Gothic metal' [whatever that really means], but that's the closest I've heard anyone get to what this is.

All of the tracks here are good, but the title track, Ice Queen and Caged could be described as outstanding. Mother Earth teases you gently and persistently before unashamedly blasting you with all the strength its power chords can muster. Ice Queen - the first song I ever heard from WT - is probably their finest moment to date - easily accessible with not an imperfect bar in it. Also, the expression with which Sharon sings, "he told me he loved me while he laughed in my face" on Caged sounds perfectly sincere even if it might be artistic license [hey, her boyfriend writes the songs, doesn't he?].

There are softer, piano-dominated tracks here as well, such as Our Farewell and Never-ending Story [yes, there is something Fantasy-esque about this album, as the cover-art hints at]. The only slightly annoying thing is how the Mother Earth theme permeates a little too much of the album and how they use some kind of flutelike effect in some of the songs, but if you can get over this [which isn't hard to do, admittedly], all the better. If you like your instrumentation heavy and your vocals soaring and harmonic, this is for you.