Within Temptation – Hydra (2014)


After a very promising and fresh sounding EP titled “Paradise (What About Us?)”, Within Temptation finally unleashes their latest full-length “Hydra”. In this release the band continues their push for mainstream recognition and glory with some extremely unexpected collaborations and a handful of songs that still remind us of the older roots of the band’s beginnings.

The album opens with the final version of “Let Us Burn”, a track that is still as good and efficient as on their previous EP but with nice finishing touches. The band manages to sound like their old self with heavy guitars and lush orchestrations. The first guest appearance is marked by the vocals of Howard Jones on “Dangerous”. This track is quite heavy and enjoyable since both vocalists do a great job and the music is quite well developed.

Starting as a very dramatic and unique piece, “And We Run” is the track that made us cringe for several minutes. Suddenly between very emotional arrangements we have Xzibit rapping away…. a complete WTF moment. We have heard rap and Metal put together recently with bands like Deadlock (one song… and one too many), and it just does not work. WT should have known better than blatantly try to reach a broader audience and milk the ‘star’ status of Xzibit to gain exposure on this release.

To soften the blow, “Paradise” featuring Tarja follows and it is one of the band’s best songs in several years. The same could be said for the epic “Edge of the World” and “Silver Moonlight”. The band can do perfectly fine without the need of external ‘guest appearances’ as they showed on the previous tracks and on “Roses”, “Dog Day”, and “Tell Me Why”. The band’s music is heavy and crunchy on these songs and nicely brings us back to some of their earlier work and will surely grab the attention of any Symphonic/Gothic Metal fan that has already given up on the band.

Closing the release we have the dynamic “The Whole World is Watching”, featuring two guest vocalists, including the dude from Soul Asylum. While the song is good, we also think that there is no need for the ‘guest vocalist’ in it, other than the ‘success by association’ approach the band is trying to take. In general, “Hydra” is quite a solid release and could have done without the ‘begging for fame’ guest appearances. There are plenty of solid tracks and the band still has some of their mid-career spark, but the obsession with mainstream acceptance seems to get the better of them in this release (particularly with the crappy rap song).

Band: Within Temptation Album: Hydra

Label: Nuclear Blast USA

Release: February 4th, 2014

Oficial Site Social Media

Genre: Symphonic Rock

Country: Netherlands

Rating: 85/100

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