Roundtable Review: Within Temptation – Hydra

downloadLabel:  Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Release Date:  4 Feb 2014

Songs:   18 (bonus version)

Length:  1 Hr, 27 Min (comes with additional video)

Genre:  Symphonic Metal

Studio Albums:  6

Location:  The Netherlands

 

WarpRider – I can dig some symphonic female-fronted music…and I stress “some.”  I initially held off on buying this album because I wasn’t terribly impressed with their previous album, The Unforgiving though I liked a small handful of songs.  I figured WT would at least string a few heavy, yet pretty songs.  Instead, the band got weaker and less appealing, in my humble opinion.  Seems like they are trying to appeal to an even bigger audience.  I don’t think all the guest artists did anything to help their cause.  Ok, the one with Tarja was ok.  Though I didn’t expect much; probably still my biggest disappointment of the year.  2.0 

Atleastimhousebroken – Trying to be objective as possible, I guess it’s good if you like overly poppy female lead symphonic power metal like Nightwish and their ilk.  I hate it and I even pushed myself to listen to the whole album for objectivity’s sake.  Nothing felt like true passion or anything came from the heart.  It was just all cookie cutter.  And the lyrics, lordy lord (“One Two Three Four; What are you waiting for” facepalm.jpeg) I’d liken this to the Katy Perry of metal.  Was still better than Amaranthe (spelling?). 1.5

Irmelinis – If you’re a metal band wanting to appeal to mainstream music fans, this is one way to do it. Put all the focus on the singer(s), let the music just follow along in the background, make sure you have an abundance of sing along hooks, a little beauty-and-the-beast dynamics and avoid including unexpected elements and surprises on your album. The decision of having a guest rapper like Xzibit is in fact the only moderately interesting moment on this record. Not even my old crush Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) was allowed to bring anything new to Within Temptation’s sound. On the good side:  Sharon’s voice is great, as always, the keyboards are played with elegance and overall it’s an album that flows well. But for me personally, I might as well put on the latest CD of “Best of Eurovision Song Contest”. 1.5

ChristopherMammal – I approach Within Temptation with a measure of bias; I think Sharon den Adel is one of the sexiest women in the world and also one of the best symphonic and operatic singers. This partiality for Sharon is moderated by the fact that sweeter, lighter symphonic metal is not my favourite music. Therefore my assessment is objective. You believe me, hey? Good. Well, then… older fans who preferred Within Temptation’s earlier Gothic style may find Hydra a little on the fluffy side. On the other hand, I expect most of the band’s exceptionally devoted followers will recognise that the band has mellowed and fits perfectly in what might be called the mainstream of symphonic metal. My only carping would be the inclusion of just a few brief, jarring elements – some incongruous rapping by guest performer Xzibit, and some god awful autotune tampering with the female vocals. 3.8

A Metal State of Mind Score – 2.2 out of 5 

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on April 9, 2014, in Roundtable Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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