Dutch Symphonic Metal band Within Temptation are known for their atmospheric, soaring synth and some of the best and catchiest choruses in modern metal, and have had a stellar career with multiple chart placements and wildly successful tours behind them. With their new album Bleed Out, they pull no punches and showcase exactly why they are one of the most popular metal bands of the past twenty years.
Starting as they mean to go on with We Go To War, a song indicative of the songwriting style that Within Temptation have truly mastered where epic synth melodies and chunky, fiercely groovy guitars provide a fitting backdrop to some of the catchiest choruses you’ll ever here, an anthem designed purely for fans to scream along to. Immediately on it’s heels is the disgustingly heavy intro of Bleed Out, a fitting title track with surprisingly soft, yet tense verses. And of course, the second that bridge riff starts, you know an all-encompassing breakdown is on it’s way which is sure to cause more than a few concussions in the mosh pit.
On Wireless, a bouncing main riff pairs with the groovy, staccato verses like a fine wine, and it’s chorus is a perfect example of lead singer Sharon den Adel’s massive vocal talent, with far-reaching highs and soaring melodies. The aptly named Ritual is spiced with (you guessed it) “ritualistic” crowd chanting, and takes a more radio rock route, but still packs a massive punch in the fantastically mixed drums. Utilising electronic synth is something Within Temptation are surely known for, and on Cyanide Love it creates an evil-sounding atmosphere that permeates the entire track, and of course, a massive breakdown that stands out due to the incredibly eery vocals lilting over the top. Throughout the album, the lyrical prowess stands out on every track, but especially on the track Don’t Pray For Me with lines such as “For my confessions I don’t need a church, I don’t need salt to know where it hurts”. This song also has a truly heart-wrenching chorus with some absolutely epic high notes.
Shed My Skin pairs Within Temptation with the popular post-hardcore band Annisokay, and this collaboration yields one of the strongest moments on the album, with their vocals combining to create ethereal harmonies and even some guttural screams, which adds a crunch and anger to the record that is more than welcome. The album then starts to reach it’s apex with the songs Unbroken and Entertain You, the former with a by-now trademark anthemic chorus, which few bands can do better, as well as haunting vocals and even some rich orchestral melodies. The latter song is where the dynamics reach their peak, a fitting end to a strong record, with a main guitar riff that positively drips with attitude and a poisonous main lyrics line: “Don’t be mistaken, this ain’t no game, we’re not here to entertain you”.
Bleed Out is a fantastic addition to an already staggeringly successful discohraphy. It showcases everything that has made Within Temptation so beloved by their fans, and is sure to be welcomed to their live sets with open arms by the thousands who will turn out to see them on their upcoming tour.