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1990's was a golden era for many things. Music was one of them, a lot of people were popmania. It was a prime time for pop groups such as Spice Girls, Boyzone and Take That. Rock and grunge also got their limelight too. Nirvana got everyone smelling like a teen spirit, No Doubt told us not to speak and Alanis Morrissette asked isn't it Ironic?
Far away from the mainstream music that invaded the charts, radio and television, Robert Westerholt and his partner Sharon den Adel formed Within Temptation in 1996.
While their debut album never charted until the success of Mother Earth, they were hot choice in the underground music culture.
Many music acts remain underground for the rest of their careers. This is not the case for Within Temptation. Since releasing Enter in 1997, Within Temptation would go on and be one of the most successful rock/metal band from the Netherlands. The next three studio albums; Mother Earth, The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything would go on to reach much further success critically and commercially. They are currently working on another studio album called Unforgiving, that is planned to be released in 2011.
Sharon Den Adel - Lead vocals and song-writing
Robert Westerholt - Guitars, death grunt vocals and lead song-writing.
Martijn Westerholt - Synthesizers and song-writing
Ivar de Graaf - Drums
Jereon van Veen - Bass Guitar
Michiel Papenhove - Guitars
Richard Willemse - Drums and song-writing
Three session members also contributed to the album. All three of them come from Metal band, Orphanage. George Oosthoek performed vocals from Deep Within. Lex Vogelaar did guitars on Pearls of Light as well as some production on the album. and Guus Eikens contributed to the synthesizers.
Within Temptation's line-up currently includes Sharon Den Adel, Robert Westerholt, Jereon van veen, Ruud Adrainius Jolie and Martijn Spierenburg.
The album contains no explicit language or sexual themes but death growling might scare or make young children uncomfortable.
"I only had one and a half days to record my parts and it was quite hectic, just a short warm-up and go!" - Sharon den Adel
Enter is the first album released by the band. The work started a week after they were signed and completed in less than a month. What makes this album so different to all the other albums they've released is the strong theme of sorrow and more use of death grunts compared to later albums. The only single, Restless gives a chilling introduction to the album and the mood is consistent throughout the album. Songs from the album.
This is a lot heavier and rawer than the later albums, Sharon shows both her soft vocals as well as the harsh side of her vocals. At the same time, it could also be one of the most lightest.
The album is mostly considered gothic metal although Sharon stated in an interview that she doesn't consider the band gothic metal/rock, but more of a symphonic rock band. This debut album doesn't give me any rock vibes at all. I would class it as Symphonic/Gothic Metal.
I enjoyed the album because Sharon's vocals and the instruments really worked together. Haunting, heavy, melodic and enchanting at the same time. Everything seems to fit into the place even though I think the male vocals makes the debut much different and precious along with it's successors. They certainly give the album a punch up.
The standout tracks for me are Restless, Pearls Of Light and Gatekeeper. Restless was the first and only single of the album. The lyrics were captivating and the piano came in handy with the song. Restless felt like a prologue to the album because Enter felt like the real introduction to the album. Pearls Of Light felt mystical and Celtic.
Gatekeeper is my favorite track of the album because everything blends together nicely. It starts from going into an oasis to suddenly a beautiful riot. The tension can change at anytime with the album. What really stands out from this track is the way Sharon's vocals overlaps with Robert's growls and grunts. The song then flows into Grace where we hear a more fiercer side of Sharon's vocals.
This is defiantly one of their most underrated work. If you loved their later albums, you should defiantly give it a try.
Pearls Of Light *****
Deep Within (Feat. George Oosthoek) ****
Blooded (instrumental) *****
Disc #1 Tracklisting
3 Pearls Of Light
4 Deep Within