• Within Temptation - The Heart Of Everything (2007)


    On this album, the band sounds heavier and more bombastic than ever. After several hit singles and an intenation breakthrough the abnd got the budget to use more and more orchestrations and to create more and more complex structures. That's why they didn't chose to go back to the minimalistic tranquility of the early years or to create another short and sweet album with a couple of hit singles, but to create a diversified album with some epic songs, some commercial singles and some typically calm and down to earth ballads. That sounds positive but it also has some negative sides such like a lack of uniqueness and straightness on an average cut into pieces record that seems to head blindly for any possible direction by losing a straight and clear structure.

    Especially the epic and experimentals songs work great on this record. The bombastic and straight opener "The howling" is epic, catchy and heavy at the same time and a true highlight of the album as well as the dramatically performed "Our solemn hour". "Hand of sorrow" convinces with a very catchy chorus and a few changes in style. "The truth beneath the rose" uses male choirs and a lot of orchestrations and that's why this song is way more entertaining than the early band's epics even if this song is far away from being stunning, progressive or amazingly entertaining. A few experiments like the electronically modified voices in "The cross" or "Final destination" do not even work at all but most of the songs are well executed and try to be build on something special. The title track has also some modified voices and modern technological experiments but is saved by its heaviness and energy.

    The catchy singles still work well on this record but are not as well exceuted and not as addicting as on the previous album though. "What have you done" is a catchy duet with Keitch Caputo even if it is not a truly profound or touching song. The ballad "Frozen" uses the same patterns as "Memories" or "Angels" but is less original. "All I need" is a kitsch ballad that we have already heard in a slightly different and way better version on the previous records. It's the same thing for the final "Forgiven". The patterns are all a little bit used and abused and the band could have done something new, fresh and less predicable but they chose once again to close the album with a piano ballad. This routine and repeating pattern destroy somehow the efforts of the more epic songs mentioned before.

    That's why there are many ups and downs on this album. I still like some experimental and even some of the commercial songs of the album but I am unable to appreciate the album as a whole. I recognize the talent of the band but I have always the impression that they have not yet explored their abilities and the depths of their creativity and I am always sure that the next album could be a fusion of their talents but each tiem again I am somewhat disappointed and don't get a closer approach to the band and their works. That's why I am forced to give once gain an average rating to this album.


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