Saturday, 2 February 2013

Music of Michaelmas 2012: Within Temptation Edition

Before the end of last year, I promised a post on the music I listened to in Michaelmas Term.  Seeing as we are now three weeks into Hilary, I thought I'd better get this music post up now before it becomes morbidly too late.

Because I went to Within Temptation's fifteen-year anniversary concert in Antwerp, I spent some time listening to their back catalogue, Enter (1997), The Dance EP (1998), Mother Earth (2000), The Silent Force (2004), The Heart of Everything (2007), and The Unforgiving (2011).  In honour of this re-listening to one of my favourite-ever bands, I give, you my favourite six seven songs. 

(Which were incredibly hard to choose!)

"Candles", from Enter.  My favourite from the era of the first album and EP, when the band did "Beauty and the Beast"-style singing.  That is, pairing Sharon den Adel's lovely "clean" vocals with male, er, growling.  If you don't listen much music with growling, it will come across as strange and Cookie Monster-ish, but I've developed a bit of a fondness for it (in moderation!) and I quite like the contrast it creates in songs like this one.

Mother Earth, the titular song from Within Temptation's second studio album.  This is one of the songs that first got me into the band back in 2005 (which seems like rather a long time ago now).  Nature imagery, celtic influences - it's hard to beat.

"Ice Queen", also from the Mother Earth album, a huge fan favourite, often played at the end of concerts.

"Jillian", from The Silent Force.  My favourite song off this album for the bombastic choirs and symphonic elements.  My other favourite from this album is the single "Stand My Ground" which I am not including in this list, only because I'm attempting to be very restrained and selective.  Also, it's a very strong album as a whole.

 "Our Solemn Hour", from The Heart of Everything.  Frankly, what's not to love?  It features on introductory voiceover from one of Winston Churchill's most famous World War II speeches and has a guitar solo and a choir chanting in Latin (though I think that Latin may sadly be incorrect grammatically).

"The Cross", which I think is really interesting and original and thus tricky to describe.

And finally, "Sinead", which has a neat dancy, 1980s feel to it, while still being a great rock song and talking about a doomed romance.  From Within Temptation's last album, which was a concept album, The Unforgiving.  Less symphonic than the previous two albums but still really, really good.

So, that is my quick introduction to the awesomeness of Within Temptation.  Tim hasn't been won over but I know a few of my internet friends are big fans.  Perhaps you will like them too.  :)


  1. Fellow-fan here! I must confess I only have Mother Earth and The Unforgiving, but your post made me realize I need to listen to their other music too. I love the way their songs tell stories and I love the atmosphere their music breathes. My favourites (also as writing music)are Our Farewell and The Last Dance (from the special edition of The Unforgiving).

    1. Hi Andrea! Always glad to meet another fan (especially since most people I talk to have never heard of them before). I'd definitely say that all the albums from Mother Earth on are really strong and well worth listening to. And, yes, Within Temptation is definitely great for writing music - so atmospheric. I really like The Last Dance too but it's so sad!