Within Temptation
The Heart of Everything
Style: Symphonic Metal
Release date: March 9th 2007

'The Silent Force' was a big commercial success for Within Temptation, and thankfully they haven't just made a spin off of that album. The approach and deliverance is darker, harder than and not as polished as the predecessor.

Some of you might know the album opener "The Howling" from the Online game 'The Chronicles of Spellborn', and it's quite a simplistic song for Within Temptation standards and a good beginning to the album. First single "What Have You Done" is the one song that I feel doesn't fit the mould with the rest of the songs. Sharon den Adel and Keith Caputo (Life of Agony) is sharing the vocal duties and this more modern sounding song show a new side of the band, one that doesn't go that well with rest.

With those things out the way, they return to more basic tunes; power metal songs with a symphonic edge, catchy choruses, huge soundscapes and stylish orchestrated parts. This album might not be as bombastic as their previous one; the songs are simpler and not as epic and grandiose, simply put: 'The Heart of Everything' is a more mature release.

The performance from Sharon den Adel on this album should catapult her straight into the Top 3 of female metal vocalists - she does hold one of those spots with me already! She proves once and for all that she can handle every task put in front of her; just listen to one of the 2 great ballads "All I Need" and "Forgiven" and hear her sing with a lot of emotion. On the rest she hits every single note, and delivers an outstanding performance throughout the entire album.

'The Heart of Everything' never reaches quite the same heights as 'The Silent Force' did, but this is still a awesome symphonic metal album. And "Our Solemn Hour" is in my humble opinion of the finest moments from Within Temptation ever.

A very strong album from one of Holland's premier metal bands, one that surely will please many fans as much as it pleases me...

Label: Gun Records
Distribution: Sony/BMG
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: March 11th 2007
Website: www.within-temptation.com