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Within temptation’s development has been a matter of discussion since its early days. When the band released “Mother Earth” some fans criticized the new sound, although still was an amazing work of gothic metal, quite soft, but maintaining a great quality. Even though suddenly this band lost all of their credibility and released and infamous album called "The Silent force", an embarrassing exercise of emulating bands like Evanescence and Nightwish.
Fortunately before they fell into disfavour with the metal scene Sharon and company released two great albums, specially the one I review, a masterpiece of gothic/doom metal called "Enter", sadly the only one which remains true to the genre. If we compare this album with other gothic/doom gems we can appreciate that the growls are not so prominent, mainly because in this debut Sharon commands most of the voices, but believe me, her performance here is absolutely awesome, her sweet, beautiful and fragile voice fits perfectly well with the music, shining specially in Restless and perhaps my favourite one, Candles, an amazing composition where you can dream helped by this angel’s voice. As I have mentioned the growls are few but well done, nothing spectacular but it gives the music the necessary strength and obscurity, Roberts reinforce the doomish atmosphere in songs like Enter. In Deep within, perhaps the most heaviest one, George Oosthoek of Orphanage adds some brutal vocals making this song a highlight.
But Enter is not great only because Sharon’s work. Far from the new metallic pop-rock guitars of later albums, which simplicity and lack of any harmony is embarrassing, in this album we can find the only guitar work in WT’s career which deserver some respect. Ok, this is not technical or complex metal, but at least we find some heavy riffs and melodies adding some density to the songs. A quite remarkable moment is the initial riff of Deep Within, a perfect example of what I have commented, it’s simple but quite addictive and more important, metallic. Don’t try to find anything comparable on the next albums because you will irremediably lose your time.
Overall, this album is fantastic from the very beginning to the end, with no clear flaws (perhaps too few growls?), an excellent and clear production and one of the best and most sensual covers I have ever seen in the gothic scene. It’s really a shame to see how WT lost its way only to obtain fame and money.