Label: BMG Rights Management/Dramatico/Victor Entertaiment Japan
Review by Tony Cannella
When the Iconic Dutch metal band Within Temptation released the EP “Paradise” featuring a duet with Tarja a few months ago it built the anticipation for their new album “Hydra” which is exactly what it was meant to do. Well, “Hydra” has just been released and was it worth the wait? Is it any good? The answer is yes, and yes. The thing that I have always loved about WT is that after all these years (this is their 6th album, I believe) they have always managed to grow, evolve and push things a little bit further. Each album has its own vibe and life and “Hydra” is no different.
“Let Us Burn” is the opener and has a great up-tempo, melodic base to set the table. The next three songs feature collaborations from varying ends of the music spectrum. The first is the track “Dangerous” featuring a duet with ex-Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones. This is an aggressive metal track and one of the heavier ones. Also, the killer melody and chorus really sparks this tune. Next is probably the most intriguing collaboration on the song “And We Run” which featuring some guest rapping from Xzibit. Fear not, WT fans they are not trying to enter the rap market. Instead Xzibit’s input is done better than expected and while not everyone will love this, I think it’s done very well and the track is very good. Next is the fantastic duet with Tarja on the track “Paradise (What About Us?)” This is a melding of two excellent voices – not just in Femme Metal – but any music genre. “Edge of the World” is a ballad/mid-tempo symphonic number. Other highlights include: “Dog Days”, “Tell Me Why” and the closing number “The Whole World is Watching” which features another fascinating duet – this one Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum joins the band to deliver a beautiful ballad to end the album.
I would never assume that “Hydra” will go over great with 100% of the Within Temptation fan base, but as a huge WT fan myself, I have to say that I am extremely happy and satisfied with this latest output. If Within Temptation is to ascend to the next level in mainstream popularity and worldwide appeal, “Hydra” is the album that will do it for them.
Rating – 89/100
- Let Us Burn
- Dangerous (Featuring Howard Jones)
- And We Run (featuring Xzibit)
- Paradise (featuring Tarja)
- Edge of the World
- Silver Moonlight
- Dog Days
- Tell Me Why
- The Whole World is Watching (featuring Dave Pirner)
- Sharon den Adel – Lead Vocals
- Robert Westerholt – Rhythm guitar, grunts
- Ruud Jolie – Lead guitar
- Stefan Helleblad – Rhythm guitar (live), additional guitars (studio)
- Martijn Spierenburg – Keyboards
- Jeroen van Veen – Bass
- Mike Coolen – Drums