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Within Temptation – Mother Earth

I recently found this CD for $2 and brought it home because it’s on the venerable Roadrunner Records. I didn’t know anything about this band or their music prior to this discovery, but that’s one of the unending joys of trolling through the bins. Always something new to hear!

Folks, this is a powerful, varied and beautiful record. Every song is its own epic adventure. The band offers up big guitars and drums equally on the rockers and the ballads, while a full orchestra sound dominates at times, or sometimes simple piano and violin. Sharon Den Adel sings with beauty, control and a boatload of power. I hear a lot of celtic influence here, even some church choral hints. It’s classical, it’s metal, it’s many, many things (often within one track).

This is an exciting, gorgeous effort. On Mother Earth, Within Temptation ably serves notice that they’re a full-on band worth hearing.

*** This album was released in 2000, but here I’ve got the 2005 re-release with four bonus live tracks. Three of these are live versions of album tracks, while the other, Candles, comes from their 1997 debut album, Enter.

***Digging around a bit more on this band, there’s mention of metal-growl vocals on some of their other records. This is the only record of theirs I currently own, but I didn’t hear any Cookie Monster impersonations here. And for that I am glad, they made a smart choice. Vocals in that style would have ruined these songs.

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