Label: Spinefarm Records
Genre: Symphonic Rock/Metal
Release Date EU: February 1st, 2019
1. The Reckoning (feat. Jacoby Shaddix)
2. Endless War
3. Raise the Banner (Anders Fridén)
5. Holy Ground
6. In Vain
7. Firelight (feat. Jasper Steverlinck)
8. Mad World
9. Mercy Mirror
10. Trophy Hunter
It feels like ‘more haste, less speed’ was the approach for Within Temptation’s seventh studio album. ‘Resist’ was scheduled for December 14th but faced a delay due to production issues. This also had an effect on Within Temptation’s tour at the end of 2018 which they did without having the album out on the market. Together with a more staggered approach of releasing new songs it has been the scheduled live shows that included some songs of the new album, mainly the heavier ones. In that sense, the tour was more of a teaser and appetizer, a new way of promoting an album.
And not only this is something special. After having published the latest studio album ‘Hydra’, followed by an extensive tour plan, the band decided for a break. Singer Shanon den Adel faced a situation of exhaustion and writer’s block, which, together with some personal issues, didn’t leave any energy and creativity for Within Temptation.
A turning point was den Adel’s work for My Indigo, her solo project that led to a pretty good album. Slowly but steady also With Temptation gained speed again and more than four years after ‘Hydra’ has been released it’s a new album that showcases a new Within Temptation.
Now, before being patronized of this statement, Within Temptation didn’t turn their sound upside down. The new album reflects more of the evolvement of their music. The approach is more a pop-based one without being sugared too much. It’s the well-crafted melodies and the wider use of electronica that gives the album a pop music vibe, while it’s the heavier outburst like ‘Raise Your Banner’ and ‘The Reckoning’ that have enough edges and firepower to not end up in commercial mishmash music. Mentioning ‘Raise Your Banner’ and ‘The Reckoning’ also means mentioning the guest singers. Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix adds some vocals to the latter while it’s Anders Friden’s vocals that give some extra heaviness to the earlier.
Next to the harder tracks it an extra level of darkness and constantly present melancholia that give ‘Resist’ and some additional intensity. This could be recognized already during the latest live shows and although catchy melodies are present on ‘Resist’, the new album isn’t a light-hearted swinging record at all.
What else to report? It took me a while to get used to ‘Resist’. The more and more you listen to this album the better it gets. There are songs like the brilliant ‘Supernova’ and the extremely catchy ‘Magic Mirror’ that show the shift on the one hand but reflect Within Temptation’s great sense for big melodies too. Also, the anthemic ‘Endless War’ belongs to the winners on an album that doesn’t come with a real filler. Even the calmer and mystic ‘Firelight’ has its moments.
Next to the regular version of ‘Resist’ the promo package includes an instrumental version. What gets even stronger to the forefront with this CD is the bombastic approach and the modern aspects of each of the songs on ‘Resist’. A symphonic and dramatic soundtrack is what you can compare this extra CD with.
To sum up. Within Temptation’s new album is a good one, no doubt. It’s the most mature one the band ever released and it feels like the beginning of a next era of the band. ‘Resist’ sounds like the first step into a slightly new direction or better-adjusted direction. But no worries, it’s still 100% Within Temptation you get. Good stuff.
Written by: Markus Wiedenmann