Nightwish, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and now, Within Temptation. Parallels are often drawn between said bands. Terms like "Gothic Metal" or "Symphonic Metal" are often bandied around. Many things have been said about all these bands and Within Temptation are no exception. For me, all that can be said is that I felt very privileged to bear witness to their awesome performance at Download 2006 and can't wait to hear them again. It isn't often that a singer needs to tell the road crew to turn down the levels on her mic!
Within Temptation hail from the Netherlands and were formed in 1996 by the lead guitarist, Robert Westerholt and the lead singer, Sharon den Adel. Their Debut album, "Enter" was released soon after in 1997 and was well received in their home country. During that year, Within Temptation toured around Germany and Austria in addition to playing the Eindhoven open air festival.
Between 1998 and 1999 the band were largely on sabbatical, releasing only the EP "The Dance" in 1998. However, in 2000, the band returned to touring the continent and releasing the second album, "Mother Earth". "Ice Queen" was largely regarded as their biggest hit single from that particular album; an opinion shared by a large portion of the crowd at Download 2006 as I recall.
2001 saw the addition of a second guitarist, Ruud Adrianus Jolie and the replacement of Martijn Westerholt with Martijn Spierenburg. Still largely touring the European Continent, Within Temptation broke loose of European Shores to headline a gig in Mexico City.
It wasn't till 2004 that Within Temptation made a large impact here in the UK. The release of "The Silent Force" helped launch the band across Europe, resulting in their first UK gig in London in 2005. Around this time, the Video for "Stand My Ground" was released. Some, including myself, feel that it was a pop at Evanescence's "Bring me back to life", though if one looks past that, it becomes obvious that this band has serious talent. In 2006, Within Temptation won the "Dutch Pop Prize" and the "Dutch Export Prize", the latter being awarded to the band 3 times in a row. 2006 also saw their first appearance at the Download festival with the entire stage crammed full of adoring fans. "Stand My Ground" was also promoted in the film "Blood and Chocolate".
This year sees the release of the fourth album, "The Heart of Everything". Featuring guest appearances from Keith Caputo and other vocalists, "THe Heart of Everything" has been well received across the world. The video for "What have you done" was filmed in London in 2006 and features shots of the fans and various CGI elements.
If you are a fan of Melodic, Gothic metal, Within Temptation shan't disappoint you at this year's Download.