Within Temptation - Hydra

Within Temptation Hydra cover
Within Temptation
Within Temptation Recordings
To put it simply, Within Temptation is the best band in their genre. Even though they had a tough competition with Evanescence back in mid-00s, they keep on going while Evanescence became a pitiful shadow of themselves. Definitely, there are several very good atmospheric, symphonic & gothic female-fronted rock/metal bands out there but none (at this moment) can be compared with Within Temptation.
“The Unforgiving” is the band’s finest moment since their beginning. It’s an album so ideally-made which has no mediocre tracks but only hits. A bit too modern & “mainstream” for the metalheads but the truth is that this album is simply amazing. Thus, I was quite skeptical about their next music step after “The Unforgiving”. You know, the pressure to beat your best work is huge but I was sure that Within Temptation wouldn’t take the wrong path neither would they try to beat themselves. That’s a wrong move and you must learn to give space & time to your creativity without trying to copy-paste yourself in order to create “one of the same” just to please some fans and the media.
“Hydra” features two new members, the drummer Mike Coolen (Maiden United) & the guitarist Stefan Helleblad (ex-Elleanore) on board. It is also marked by the 4 guest appearances. First of all, we have the first video for “Paradise (What About Us?)” which features a duet between Sharon & Tarja. It’s fantastic how much those two divas complement each other. A spending sympho metal track with some exceptional vocals! The “Dangerous” was released and Howard Jones (Devil You Know, Blood Has Been Shed. ex-Killswitch Engage) features on vocals along with Sharon. The track is very good, powerful & modern. The third video is for “Whole World is Watching” which features Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) on the original version and Piotr Rogucki (Coma) on the Polish version. A rather mellow & atmospheric pop-rocker with nice melodies. These are the 3 videos which have been released to date.
The album also has other worth-checking tracks like: “Let Us Burn”, “Edge of the World”, “Roses” & “Dog Days”. The album is wonderfully produced by Daniel Gibson (Oomph, Edurne, etc.). It has a very balanced, dynamic & full sound in general.
And We Run” could have been a favorite track if it weren’t for the rapper Xzibit who ruins the whole song from the moment he starts doing his thing. What the hell were the guys thinking? They address a rock/metal audience and surely a rapper doing all those poser stuff can only make things terrible. Now, that is how you mess up a good song!
“Hydra” is a really nice album which continues the legacy of the band. Not as impressive as “The Unforgiving” but still a worthy release. The weird thing is that Within Temptation has released this album independently and they have given licenses to a couple of labels in certain territories in order to put it out. They finally broke free of their previous “music label dynasts” and they are free to do things their way. Is this actually the future of the music industry? If the music labels do not change their approach then more and more bands will follow the path of independence. Anyhow, we will see how this “experiment” can work out for Within Temptation. Till then, enjoy the music if you’re into atmospheric sympho-gothic rock/metal female-fronted bands. After all, Sharon Den Adel is one of a kind!