Within Temptation - Hydra

Dutch gothic lovelies Within Temptation are back with their sixth studio album; Hydra.

Hydra has a lot to live up to, it is the follow up release to The Unforgiven an album which was labelled as 'the best album of Within Temptation's career'. Upon looking at the track listing concerns crept in that Within Temptation's trick to out do their last album is to invite a wide range of guests to appear on it. The work of Xzibit, Howard Jones, Tarja and Dave Pirner all feature.

However, it turns out there was no need for concern as Hydra sounds like the perfect continuation of the band's career path. All ten songs on Hydra are sleek, well performed and produced; as always Sharon Den Adel's vocals are beautiful, soaring and captivating. Paradise (What About Us) sees Den Adel enters a vocal duel with former Evanescence vocalist Tarja Turunen; the tones of the two voices work perfectly together, creating an epic and anthemic number which you can listen to time and time again.

The cameo from Xzibit on And We Run works surprisingly well, his furious rap is the perfect contrast to Den Adel's angelic and soothing vocals, however, I fear a lot of people will write off this track purely because Xzibit is so out of place in this genre of music.

Edge Of The World and Silver Moonlight show off Within Temptation's musical prowess; on the majority of tracks the band's work is overshadowed by the booming vocal work so it is great that Hydra features a couple of tracks where the music alone makes you sit up and pay attention.

Overall, Hydra is a well-balanced album which makes for a great listen. Within Tempation haven't strayed from the sound they know really works for them; however, Dangerous gives a nod to the band's heavier past. Hydra is definitely an album worth checking out.