July 15, 2024

“We consider ourselves more an atmospheric melodic symphonic Metal/Rock band,” stated Within Temptation frontwoman Sharon den Adel.  “In my opinion, we are not a gothic band but we have gothic elements.”

Within Temptation formed in South Holland, Netherlands. A year later, in 1997, they released their debut album “Enter,” which established the band in the Dutch market.

Evanescence’s growing popularity piqued international and especially American interest in symphonic Goth Rock bands like Within Temptation. It also drove the band’s success on the Dutch charts.

Within Temptation’s fourth album, “The Heart of Everything,” was their first to land on the Billboard 200 (#106). 

Four years later, “The Unforgiving,” a concept album, did even better rising to #50 on the Billboard survey as band ventured beyond Symphonic Metal.  Songs were co-written by den Adel and founding guitarist Robert Westerholt with producer Daniel Gibson contributing to half the tracks.

By the time “Hydra” was released in ’14, Within Temptation moved from the Roadrunner imprint to Nuclear Blast. That and the addition of guest performers – former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen (“Paradise (What About Us?)” and Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner (“Whole World Is Watching“) – took the album to #16 on the Billboard chart. Also, keyboardist Martin Spierenburg co-wrote four songs for the album with den Adel, including “Paradise (What About Us?”).

By ‘16, the band had sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide.

Their popularity in the Netherlands was solid with albums landing at #1 or #2 on the Dutch charts. Much of Western Europe was falling in line placing Within Temptation albums in the Top 10 (only France and Austria, for some reason, were less enthused). In addition, the band had a steadily increasing U.S. presence.

“Resist” dropped five years after “Hydra.” While “Resist” did well in Europe, the set generated only half the U.S sales of “Hydra.”  As a result, the album only went to #129.  A new approach was in order.

Within Temptation released their eighth studio album, “Bleed Out” in ’23. Earlier, den Adel discussed the band’s decision to shift its focus from releasing albums to issuing a series of singles.

“Since we started doing only singles, it takes so much more time, so much more effort, because every single is a single. It’s not just a random song on the album.” 

Singles included “Bleed Out.” The track, which was first performed at Hellfest in France, addressed the plight of women fighting for their rights in Iran.

“I lived in Yemen when I was a kid,” den Adel shared. “Due to my time there, I feel connected to that part of the world. I’ve been so incredibly impressed by the bravery of the young women there who’ve been burning their scarves knowing they were going to be thrown in prison or worse. It’s heartbreaking.”

Another single was “Ritual.” “It’s a fun track about seduction,” den Adel explained. “It’s about the lady taking power in a male dominated world and taking her own initiative.”

She added, “(It) is one of the kinkiest songs the band have ever written.”

 The other featured tracks were Entertain You,” The Purge,” Shed My Skin and Don’t Pray For Me.”

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