Dutch symphonic metal group Within Temptation are on the rise again. They are about to release their seventh studio album Resist, their first since 2014’s Hydra. It is the follow- up to the live album/CD of Elements & Hydra – Live in Concert. Within Temptation is notorious for incorporating various genres and influences into their sound. It has even caused associated with different sub-genres like goth metal and doom metal. Varying influences on each album make it easy to see where this comes from. However, they are most notably described as a symphonic metal band. While it may blur the lines occasionally, it is a practice the band has not forsaken yet.
Resist boasts generous tides of symphonic metal while not quite relying on its laurels to carry it. Hiding within are many sonic nuances. Like digging through a musical treasure chest and finding gems in ordinary items. While there are some great points of interest, you need to be patient if you want to find them. Here are the aforementioned hidden gems.
Opening this dark opus is “The Reckoning” which introduces itself to listeners with a battle-like fanfare. As if it were preparing an army and calling them to arms. Sharon den Adel’s voice seems to soar, while Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach provides a solid, deeper contrast. The result infuses more of a hard rock edge into the song.
“Endless War” goes in a different direction. The beat is reminiscent of something you’d find in modern hip hop. It sounds like a strange combination, and perhaps it is. It does add a nice, unexpected groove to the song. There is a beautiful piano piece hiding underneath which is only entirely noticeable as the outro.
Similarly, “Firelight” also strays off the beaten path a little. It’s not quite the danceable rhythm that exudes from “Endless War”. More like a dark pop or goth pop as some say. It is sultry and melodic—a mystery that envelopes you but never quite unravels to the truth. One thing that isn’t a mystery is the appearance of Jasper Steverlinck. In yet another twist, “Raise Your Banner” summons operatic elements, twisting them into heavier instrumentation. There is another guest appearance here, this time by Anders Friden of In Flames.
Over all, the album is enjoyable but maybe not as much as it could be. Unless you’re a die hard fan of Within Temptation or similar bands, you may find the songs blending together. As a result, you might find yourself resisting a yawn. Pun intended. While the highlights are enough to capture your interest, they are just too sparse to hold it from beginning to end. Which, as mentioned, is why you need the patience to listen to Resist. If you’re into instant gratification, this isn’t something you’ll want to purposely sit down and listen to. Maybe give it a try in the background of another activity. Or even toss it in the car stereo for some driving music. If symphonic metal is your thing, you’ll probably want to give this a listen.