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"Within Temptation" finally released "The Unforgiving" four years after the release of "The Heart of Everything". I wrote a review for said album in which I explained the evolution of "Within Temptation"; this band has gone from a darker symphonic metal to a heavy, symphonic, elctronic metal or hard rock with some pop influinces. The sound on this album is quite hard to describe. The guitars are brought up more now and play catchy and memorable riffs that stay with you, these are backed by a mix of symphonic keyboards or electronic keyboards. Sharon's vocals are a more hard rock belt rather than her past semi-operatic vocals she used to use for all of their albums, which is good because the vocals would not fit the music if she sang like she always did. But sometimes I listen to this album and I feel the vocals sound just a little bit fake and that the music is smothering them.
This is a concept album, but I don't really care about the concept, I get it, and it's a good story, but I care more about the music than anything else. The concept doesn't show up in the songs as much as the music videos and short films that the band have filmed exept for a few spoken parts here and there in the character Mother Maiden's voice. But I do love the comic idea, I just wish that all the albums came with the comic to help go deeper and understand the concept more and give more story. Anyways back to the music.
"Within Temptation" still knows how to make it dramatic and theatrical, the intro to "Faster" sounds like a song on a preview for an action movie, and the intro to "Murder" sounds like a song that would be on a preview for a thriller movie. Even in Sinead" the one song on this album that sounds like it would be played at a dance party has a symphonic theatrical incline that makes you feel like that you're still listening to "Within Temptation" no matter how different it is.
The guitars are standing out more in this album, and the riffs they play are fun to listen to, especialy in the intro for "Iron" and "In the Middle of the Night" are catchy and they make me want to get up and jump around. Not to mention the solos, because there are solos. The solos are rare in "Within Temptation's" music, or at least they used to be. Now in this album there are powerful solos in at least half the songs. The vocal lines are great, they're somrthing that you can always remember and enjoyable. Mostly the songs are exciting and energetic and highly memorable, but there are also a few ballads, "fire and Ice", "Lost", and "Stairway to the Skies". These tracks are beautiful and a bit calm to take a breath from the driving music or end the album.
In conclusion, this is an album that is completely different from all those that came before it. It's an almost-masterpiece, but not all the songs are "blow you away amazing songs" so it comes a little short from a 100. But amazing none the less.
Highlights: In The Middle of the Night, Faster, Iron, Where Is the Edge, Lost, and A Demon's Fate