Following my recent posts on my blog about my love for metal, I thought to share my review on recent listenings on iTunes Radio. To inaugurate this series of posts, I decided to share my thoughts on the latest Within Temptation album: “Hydra”.
For those who know me, Within Temptation (or WT for the fans) is one of these metal bands I have a love-hate relationship. They had some great potential in their first albums and then decided to experiment their own tracks. Now that this is something that many fans will tell you: they either accept it or they just break here and stand alone. The loss of Tarja from Nightwish, the break of After Forever (however Floor Jansen really propelled the group and still do well as ReVamp)…..that was some depressing time for me, as you loose your only love.
Since their first album, Shannon and her band took what I would call a mainstream pathway, very similar to Christina’s Lacuna Coil. And I fully understand if you want to live. But in same time, you don’t have to go mainstream to sustain fair success. See Simone Simons and Mark Jansen’s Epica band. 10 years out of stream but a remarkable upkeep in music quality.
There are sometimes some really good songs from WT and even a full album that really enjoyed my hears. Just listen to their orchestral performance in their “Black Symphony” album. It is magistral, in particular “The Other Half of Me” performance that really show when Shannon outperforms herself, it can really blow your mind. And this is where I enjoy WT.
The latest album was indeed a good surprise. Like an hydra, WT showed one of their best heads. Many of the songs are very good and enjoyable to listen. “Paradise” with Tarja was of course one of my favorite (as a postnuke wastelander too, hats off the videoclip). WT were able to really blow the original Imagine Dragons “Radioactive” with their cover. But like the Hydra, there is also this weaker head and some discutable artistic choice. What the heck was Xzbit doing in the album? I mean this guy had already some discutable musical records (if you end up presenting MTV Pimp My Ride, that means you are not earning enough money from your songs).
I feel this album brought me closer from the original WT group but yet not enough, but if it can bring the average Joe to see that the metal scene is not dominated by devil worshippers let it be. There will be always some purists or headbangers that considers themselves entitled to decide the good from the bad metal (my personal sour note to Metal Archives admins) but what is great about metal is the variety of flavors it can take. And one aspect of my love of sciences and evolution is diversity. Diversity is the key to adaptation. Get rid of it and you end up fossilized like the dinosaurs.