• Within Temptation - Mother Earth (2000)

     

    As I really appreciated the very popular singles by Within Temptation like the inspiring and dreamy "Mother Earth" and the catchy and magic "Ice queen", I decided to buy the entire album.

    I realized that this album was a rather calm album with a couple of ballads like "Our farewell", smooth folk tales like the highlight "Caged" where Sharon den adel sings in a surprisingly diversified and motivated way and a lot of instrumental passages or long instrumental introductions to the main songs. The problem is that those calm parts are inspiring when they are used in a well dosed but finally most of the album gets stucked into this peaceful tranquility. I have nothing against wuthering and soft albums if they are well executed, but the peaceful kitsch harmonies and the too high pitched and innocent voice make me feel bored as the pseudo-epic kitsch and way too long "The promise" begins until "In perfect harmony" fades out if I have not fallen asleep before by listening to this repeating Disney movie score kitsch. Sometimes the album really reminds me of Lorena McKennitt, Enya or the early works of Krypteria but a lot slower and less diversified.

    Without a doubt, this is an album to relax and dream and does a good job as a background music for romantic hours or longing autumn nights next to a window or fire place. Those who are expecting symphonic metal songs shall not be mislead by the two popular singles as this is rather an ethereal chillout album for hours and hours of meditation. But at least, this is a quite unique and natural approach to the genre and will surprise any fan of the later works of the band where big orchestrations and heavy guitars have taken the place of the softly instrumentalized songs. That's why I give a few points more than usual for the originality and uniqueness of this album even if it sometimes bores me to death.

     

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