Archive for Roadrunner Records

Delain – The Human Contridiction

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Delain
The Human Contradiction
Released 7th April 2014
Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Delain have become one of the most recognised names in symphonic metal following the release of We Are The Others back in 2012, which was also the last album the band released through Roadrunner Records before jumping ship to Napalm. With their UK tour supporting Within Temptation just around the corner, it makes sense to release the album in the run up to the tour.

Here Come the Vultures creeps in at the beginning of the album with Charlotte’s strong and emotive voice accompanied by Martijn’s eerie style of keyboard playing. The heavier sections of the song blast in unexpectedly, taking Delain down the dark and cumbersome sound of their pre-We Are The Others repertoire. Your Body Is A Battleground rings out with its catchy vocal melodies and memorable lyrics, underlined by a fistful of unrelenting riffs and keyboard strikes. The vocal duet between Charlotte and Marco (Nightwish/Tarot) add a very empathic characteristic to the track, bringing life to the dramatic lyrics.

Stardust follows up with a calmer combination of keyboard ballets and soaring vocals, that dance perfectly together in the sea of sharp, driving metal elements from the guitars and rhythm sections which makes it a prominent track on the album. My Masquerade soars like a raven in the night sky, bringing about a sound reminiscent of Theatres Des Vampires due to the way the song is portrayed throughout the instrumentation. The halfway point of the album, Tell Me, Mechanist, fuses the modern Gothic elements and fierce pounding stylistic characters of Delain’s music into poignant track full of plenty of clean vocals and bestial growls. The gentle swaying keyboards really stand out on this track, adding a truly unique flavour to the song.

Sing To Me really displays the emotional depth of Charlotte’s voice as well as the vigorous sound of the band’s music, keeping the harrowing sound blazing like a bonfire during a cold November dusk. Marco makes an appearance on this track as well, adding to the depth of Charlotte’s enchanting vocals. Army Of Dolls echoes with the sounds of the Lucidity and April Rain albums while bringing Delain’s newer sound into the fray as well, demonstrating how much the band’s sound has evolved since its formation. There are new aspects thrown into this song as well that will drag the listener out of their comfort zone and into a strange new land of ethereal keys and soulful guitar passages.

Lullaby is another song that will drag the listener from their comfort zone but rather than leaving them in a new land, it will take them by the hand for a stroll down through a haunting forest of tainted riffs and shaded lyrics as well Plutonian symphonies. The atmosphere created by this track is like that found within Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. The Human Contradiction comes to a passionate and unrestrained close with The Tragedy Of The Commons which flows smoothly like a river, allowing tides of symphonic passages and riffs wash over the listener. Alissa White-Gluz’s hungry, demonic growls are a suprise on during the song, blending well with the atmospheric choir vocals and the twilit sound of the track.

Delain have become such a recognised name in symphonic metal for a long list of reasons and The Human Contradiction can be added to the list of reasons as it could easily rival the likes of Leaves’ Eyes recent album as well as Within Temptation’s discography. If anything, The Human Contradiction could be the best symphonic metal release of the decade as well as one of the greatest albums to be released through Napalm Records.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Black Stone Cherry announce UK arena tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Fresh from their very special, sold-out-in-a-day Southern Hospitality UK tour last month, Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry have proudly announced a string of UK arena shows that will take place in October and November. The band’s drummer, John Fred Young, comments:

We are beyond thrilled to be headlining our first arena tour in the UK!  It’s amazing for us to have this opportunity and we owe it all to the incredible fans that continue to support us and believe in our music!

Widely acknowledged as an electrifying live band, Black Stone Cherry are also looking forward to the release of their fourth studio album, Magic Mountain, which hits stores on 5th May through Roadrunner Records.  The Joe Barresi (QOTSA, Soundgarden)-produced opus follows 2011’s Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea which racked up a silver sales certification from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), marking over 60,000 UK copies sold.  Magic Mountain can already be pre-ordered over at iTunes and Amazon.

Support on all dates comes from two Roadrunner labelmates, rabble-rousing Aussies Airbourne, who released their third album Black Dog Barking in May of last year and radio-friendly Canadians, Theory Of A Deadman, who are working on a new album pencilled for release this summer. Tour dates are as follow:

Sun 26th Oct – GLASGOW Hydro
Mon 27th Oct – SHEFFIELD Arena
Tue 28th Oct – CARDIFF Arena
Thu 30th Oct – BIRMINGHAM LG Arena
Fri 31st Oct – MANCHESTER Evening News Arena
Sat 1st Nov – LONDON Wembley Arena

Black Stone Cherry online:

http://blackstonecherry.com
http://facebook.com/officialblackstonecherry
http://youtube.com/blackstonecherry
http://twitter.com/BlkStoneCherry

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Turisas w/ support @ 02 Academy Islington, London

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 21st October 2013 by vmteam

Astrohenge, Revoker and Turisas
02 Academy Islington, London
10th October 2013

After a series of botched attempts to stay all the way throughout a Turisas gig, this would be my third attempt at seeing the Finnish supergroup live in London. Arriving at the O2 Academy Islington late, and wandering up to a sparsely populated floor, I realised I had missed first supporting act Astrohenge. I didn’t particularly want to see either support, to be honest, and actually feel a little bit sorry for groups who need to support a group as highly anticipated as this warpainted northern rabble. The sea of red-and-black faces, plastic Viking helmets and synthetic furs lounging around with beer cups firmly clasped in hand was testament to the fact that everyone was here for one reason, and that any other supporters could get on with it.

Revoker, a band with a frontman whose accent was confusingly Welsh, were up before that, however. They weren’t terrible, either, and had I been less eager to see Turisas I might have fully been able to enjoy them! Aggressive and dangerously charged deathy-thrash is their game, with standard tracks like the brawling Stay Down and the shouty Great Pretender proving enough of a hook to get the crowd fist-pumping, even if no pits were started. For a Welsh band sitting in the shadow of the gargantuan Bullet For My Valentine, their track record is impressive enough: they’ve worked with Skindred and have been previously signed to Roadrunner Records. Well worth a listen in the future- and their ‘just good music’ vibe was certainly an omen of things to come from our headliners…. [3/5]

Turisas– with a fashionably long wait- hit us next, after anguished cries of ‘Battle Metal!?’ echoed around the room for half an hour. Opening the set tonight was a track from their latest album (the oddly named Turisas2013) For Your Own Good. A powerful song in its own right, the sound was impeccable and Turisas’ entrance met with a swelling crowd – however, it was clear that the songs from their latest album aren’t their strongest or most well received in the flesh. Musically, songs from Turisas2013 sound great- solid, catchy, jumpy and more hard-rock than metal- but seeing the band live leaves little doubt that their real power is behind the grittier, harsher songs of previous albums. A Portage to the Unknown followed, bombastic, crushing and ridiculous like the Turisas we know and love, and the place went crazy for the anthemic To Holmgard and Beyond, which induced the most intense jumping I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. But new releases Ten More Miles and Piece by Piece, whilst good songs, lacked the same energy. Picking up the pace from the new album, and a song that I had hoped would be performed live as it truly is a ‘live song’, was Greek Fire, undoubtedly Turisas2013’s most ‘metal’ track, rising and falling in a roaring crescendo and sparking a whirl of flying bodies across the floor. Another odd one, which didn’t get the reception I was hoping for, was No Good Story Ever Stars With Drinking Tea, a fun little drinking jig that translated well on stage; penultimately, ‘We Ride Together’ was a soaring, feel-good tune and was the last of the new tracks to be showcased. However, matched with the epic As Torches Rise and One More, there was no contest as to what was most preferred.

The setlist for the night provided a varied crowd with a range of songs to choose from- old school fans like me and new converts both got a healthy mix- and with Turisas as energetic on stage as ever, Mathias gliding around the stage and throwing punches to the air, the show was of little fault. Telling, however, was that the lulls in the night (if you could call them that when the crowd was still chanting and singing) were from the new album. [4/5]

Jon Geirson

Scar The Martyr release video for “Blood Host” and announce UK shows

Posted in News with tags , , , on 17th September 2013 by Pieni

 photo STM2_zps450e69b9.jpg

Slipknot‘s primary songwriter and drummer Joey Jordison has put together a new band with lead singer Henry Derek and the result of their combined writing will see the light of day on the 30th of September via Roadrunner Records. Scar The Martyr is their name, for which the album is also named after, and the line-up is completed by Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails) on keyboards and Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad) and Kris Norris (Darkest Hour) on guitars.

The first video, “Blood Host”, has been posted online today:

The album is available for pre-order at iTunes (http://smarturl.it/scarthemartyr)  and Amazon (http://amzn.to/1cz1Woy).

It was also announced today that Scar The Martyr will be supporting Alice In Chains on their UK tour this November, on the following dates:

Sat 9th Nov – LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sun 10th Nov – LEEDS O2 Academy
Mon 11th Nov – MANCHESTER Academy
Wed 13th Nov – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy
Thu 14th Nov – GLASGOW O2 Academy
Sat 16th Nov – NEWPORT Centre

http://scarthemartyr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ScarTheMartyr

Dames Of Darkness Festival set for 2013 after five years

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 27th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic metal outfit Delain have been confirmed as headliners of the 2013 edition of The Dames of Darkness Festival, which will take place at The Robin 2 in Bilston, near Birmingham. The event which returns by popular demand after five years is set to take place on Saturday 11th May and features 8 female fronted metal bands from the UK and Europe.

Delain who released their album in June on Roadrunner Records entitled We Are The Others are looking forward to playing to their UK fans again having last played in the UK before the album was released due to label politics. A much publicised campaign by their fans to get it released was successful and now they will get their chance to see the band perform songs now familiar to them.

Also on the bill are Visions of Atlantis, a band which formed in 2000 and are currently signed to Napalm records. Visions of Atlantis are well known in the genre and have toured the world supporting acts such as Nightwish and Epica. They have not however played in the UK before so the festival will be their UK debut, much to the pleasure of their UK fans.

Highly rated French ‘philharmonic metal’ band Whyzdom have just released their second album Blind and will be playing the UK for only their second time but first with new singer Elvyne Lorient. Festival creators and hosts Apparition are amongst the bands and they have also invited Azylya from Belgium and Ex-Libris from The Netherlands.

Kicking things off will be Incarna, followed by Chemikill both from the UK.

For information on tickets, etc visit the following links:

www.therobin.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thedamesofdarknessfestival

 

4th Brisbane show added to The Amity Affliction’s tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 20th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Yet another SOLD OUT date on The Amity Affliction’s Chasing Ghosts Tour! 4th show added to Brisbane!

THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s Chasing Ghosts Tour is set to take Australia by storm this spring. Several shows have already SOLD OUT, with the continued demand from fans prompting the move to add three extra dates. The newest addition to the run is an All Ages event at The Tivoli on Monday 24 September. The show is ON SALE NOW and takes the count to a mammoth four shows in THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s hometown of Brisbane.

The response to the tour announcement is unsurprising. THE AMITY AFFLICTION have cemented a reputation for an unwavering live show, and fans have also been tempted by small glimpses of brand new material from THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s impending studio release, Chasing Ghosts (out Friday 7 September on Roadrunner Records). You can listen to the title track of the album down below, from which both the release and the tour take their name.

Tickets for all shows on THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s Chasing Ghosts Tour with THE GHOST INSIDE, ARCHITECTS and BURIED IN VERONA are on sale now!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW & SELLING FAST!

Monday 24 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane AA EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Tuesday 25 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane 18+ EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Wednesday 26 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane AA SOLD OUT!

Thursday 27 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane 18+ SOLD OUT!

Friday 28 September – Panthers, Newcastle Lic AA

Tickets from Moshtix on 1300 438 849, www.moshtix.com.au or the Venue

Saturday 29 September – Big Top, Sydney Lic AA

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au, Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 BIG TOP or www.bigtopsydney.com

Tuesday 2 October – UC Live, Canberra Lic AA

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849, www.ticketek.com.au  or Shop UC

Thursday 4 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne 18+ EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 5 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne U18

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 5 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne 18+  SOLD OUT!

Saturday 6 October – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide Lic AA

Tickets from Venuetix on (08) 8225 8888 or www.venuetix.com.au

Sunday 7 October – Metropolis, Fremantle 18+

Tickets from www.heatseeker.com.au, 78’s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf

Monday 8 October – Metropolis, Fremantle U18

Tickets from www.heatseeker.com.au, 78’s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf

THE AMITY AFFLICTION’S Chasing Ghosts instore September 7 on Roadrunner Records.
THE GHOST INSIDE’s Get What You Give is out now on Epitaph Records
ARCHITECTSDaybreaker is out now on Century Media Records
BURIED IN VERONA’s Notorious is out now on UNFD

Delain – We Are The Others

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 6th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Delain
We Are The Others
Symphonic Metal
Released: June 2012
Released via Roadrunner Records

Delain, founded by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and ex-To Elysium frontwoman Charlotte Wessels, have become one the most recognised symphonic metal bands in recent years. The band have toured extensively around the globe and have played high profile festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Sonisphere. Up until recently, Delain were touring in support of their newest release: We Are The Others.

The album starts with eerie, almost Gothic and industrial sounding introduction of Mother Machine, which creates somewhat of a mystifying and enchanting atmosphere as the eerie keyboard section and machine-like sounds progress into the fierce guitar riffs. The drums are almost machine-like while the vocals are sultry but ghostly, a strange combination, to say the least but it works. The melodic parts are unexpected but a welcome addition to the song. Electricity begins with a solemn keyboard intro before the guitars kick in, bringing a heavy but laid back sound to the song. The vocals breathe a lot of life into the song, straying it from becoming dull. The keyboard sections, and the guitar solo, are the parts that stand out the most, however. The title track, We Are The Others, begins with a catchy and memorable hook in the form of a keyboard section. The guitar riffs add a lot of emphasis to the keyboards, bringing that hopeful and uplifting sound and atmosphere to the song. The child-like choir brings a quite spine-chilling effect to the track but it fits in well with the piano medley and Charlotte’s vocals. Milk And Honey strays from the sounds of the previous track, starting with an odd synthesiser section that gradually brings it into something more industrial metal based. Fortunately, the track does contain an essence of Delain’s symphonic metal sound as well.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot, overall, is very symphonic rock orientated, straying away from the band’s usual sound. The differing synth and keyboard medleys add a certain level of emotion, which contrasts with the somewhat bland guitar riffs. The vocals are very poignant, working well with the more emotional sounding synth and keyboard sections. The sober combination of vocals and piano, that makes up the intro of I Want You, masterfully paints a tragic, romantic image of emotion. The keyboard sections ring out a very classical sound and the guitars are heavier and more exciting than the previous track. Where Is The Blood might sound like the title of a cheesy vampire film but the song is far from being cheesy. The track features Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell, whose vocals add a very aggressive touch to both the song and the chorus. The track rings out a histrionic and fervid sound that is reflected well in the guitars and keyboards. The chorus is memorable, catchy and has a great hook, though it does feel lyrically limited.

Following after is the atmospheric song Generation Me. The strongest point of the song, without a doubt are the keyboard sections. The vocal work isn’t overly impressive or exciting, with most of the energy and excitement being generated by the symphonic musings of the track. Babylon brings a very sinister aspect to the album, with a very evil sound echoing from the guitar and bass work. The lyrics and vocals paint some very sombre imagery as the song progresses on. Following in a similar vein to the last song, Are you Done With Me has a very cold and dark sound, one that even Charlotte’s vocals fail to bring some amount of warmth to. The vocals sound rather diverse, compared to how they’ve been on the vast majority of the album. The intro for Get The Devil Out Of Me rings in similar veins to that of Nightwish though the guitar and vocal sections that follow are typically that of Delain. The keyboard riffs add a dash of freshness to the song, keeping it from turning completely stale. The album finishes with the more symphonic rock-orientated Not Enough that follows down the same musical routes as the vast majority of the album. The vocals are the only part of the song that have some life to them, as the rest of the track seems very bland and flavourless in comparison.

Judging by what I’ve heard from the first two albums by Delain, I see why they’ve got to the point they’re at and why they’re one of the most successful female fronted acts on the scene, however We Are The Others doesn’t do the band any justice. The album, for the most part, is bland and almost every track sounds like the previous one, save for the odd track like Where Is The BloodMother Machine and Babylon. The album is worth adding to the collection for any hardcore Delain fan but I don’t think the band will win over any new fans with this.

2.5/5

Nico Davidson

Roadrunner Europe Division Set To Close Its Doors!

Posted in News with tags , on 26th April 2012 by Nico Davidson

Logo of Roadrunner Records

For the past several hours, the internet has been rife with rumours of Roadrunner Records shutting down. Sadly, the rumours are true. We received the confirmation from Roadrunner only moments ago via e-mail and Roadrunner Records publicist , Kirsten Sprinks confirmed via her Twitter account (@hellinhighheels) that Roadrunner Records will be closing its European Offices and unfortunately, all employees of RR’s European offices will be out of a job. This is indeed a sad day for the metal scene.

We will be publishing any further news or information on this. We wish the best for all Europe-based employees of Roadrunner in their future endeavours.

RIP Roadrunner Records Europe.

Amon Amarth w/Support @ Vicor Street, Dublin

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd March 2012 by colmcasserly

Bands: Amon Amarth, Grand Magus, In Solitude
Location: Vicar Street

Date:  15th April 2012

Epic night of metal right here and my first assignment for Valkyrian Music so I was very excited about this! The night was  not just anticipated by me but the entire Dublin metal scene as it was Amon Amarth’s first time to bring their stage show with them. I had never heard Grand Magus or In Solitude before the night and I was very surprised by both bands they both had some seriously good tunes and they put on a great show. It was the second night of the tour and the bands seemed very confident on stage as the first date jitters had worn off it seems.

In Solitude were the opening act and they really played a blinder, they’re blend of black and old school metal was really interesting and they set the stage for a really good night. They could come off a little cheesy at times though and the vocals were far too low in the mix and that is one of their selling points I feel cause the style of vocals are very alluring. Also, what was with the dead fox? But quality songs and great stage presence combined made for an awesome set!

Grand Magus were on next and they’re something else! Soaring, powerful vocals with epic sounding songs without even a hint of power metal except some song titles, “Hammer of The North” for one, just good old Heavy Metal! They started a little shakey but pulled it together very quickly and delivered a very entertaining set and they truly looked like they were having the time of their lives! They did get a little samey over the course of the set though.

And the headliners, Amon Amarth, they have made quite a name for themselves over the years so we all really knew what to expect from them. They played the best part of an hour and a half which consisted of old faithfuls (The Pursuit of Vikings) and some newer tracks (Death In Fire) but they never relented and even the slower tunes never dropped the intensity. Any issues with the levels or sound were gone now and it was now crystal clear. I don’t think they made one mistake all night, and it being very close to St Patrick’s day in Dublin any crowd interaction went down really well. They had their stage complete with glowing ruins and the drum riser was massive and they had some pretty epic set pieces on it. A lot of Amon Amarth songs recently have guest guitarists playing solos and here is what annoyed me, they can’t do them live. They give them their best shot but never seem to pull them off convincingly. Other than that minor problem they really gave a 110% and it looked like they really had a blast. Epic gig, epic bands great night!

Opeth Set To Release Reissues Of Iconic Albums

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

The End Records presents four iconic titles from Swedish metal band Opeth, as part of their acquisition of rights to the Music For Nations catalog. With collective Soundscans of over 300,000 sold, these three albums and one live DVD/CD recording present the very best of Opeth from their black metal era to their progressive rock transformation. The albums, produced by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, along with the magnificent live DVD and documentary Lamentations, are necessary reissues for any Opeth enthusiast.

Be sure to catch Opeth on the 2012 North American Heritage Hunter Tour with Mastodon, beginning April 4th.

LAMENTATIONS – Special Edition:
• Live DVD and 2-disc CD live recording (first time ever that the audio and video components will be in one package)
• Includes documentary on the making of sister albums Deliverance & Damnation (available below)

BLACKWATER PARK – Casebound Legacy Edition:
• Blackwater Park package includes bonus DVD, and 28 page full-color casebound booklet / digipak
• The band’s first collaboration with Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson
• First Opeth album ever released in North America

DAMNATION – Reissue:
• Departure from the band’s death metal sound and entrance into progressive rock genre
• Only Opeth album to chart the Billboard 200

DELIVERANCE – Reissue:
• Album won Swedish Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance
• Appeared in the Top 20 on Billboard’s Heatseekers and Top Independent Albums charts
• Considered one of the band’s heaviest albums

US Tour Dates with Mastadon and Ghost

April 4 – State Theater – Portland, ME
April 5 – Orpheum Theater – Boston, MA *
April 6 – Metropolis – Montreal, QC *
April 7 – Sony Centre – Toronto, ON *
April 9 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
April 10 – The Dome – Wallingford, CT
April 11 – Roseland – New York, NY
April 13 – Riviera Theater – Chicago
April 14 – Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
April 15 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
April 16 – TN Theater – Knoxville, TN *
April 18 – Diamond Ballroom  – Oklahoma City, OK
April 19 –Palladium – Dallas, TX *
April 20 – Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX *
April 21 – Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX *
April 23 – Fillmore – Denver, CO *
April 25 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
April 26 – Gibson – Hollywood, CA *
April 27 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA *
April 28 – Grand Sierra Resort – Reno, NV
April 30 – Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA *
May 1 – Orpheum – Vancouver, BC *
May 3 – Edmonton Events Centre – Edmonton,AB *
May 4 – MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
May 5 – The Odeon – Saskatoon, SK
May 6 – Burton Cummings – Winnipeg, MB *
May 9 – The Fillmore – Washington, DC *
May 10 – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
May 11 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
May 12 – Masquerade Music Park – Atlanta, GA

*Opeth closes the show

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 16th March 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Within Temptation
Album: The Unforgiving
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Gothic Metal

“The Unforgiving” is the fifth studio release by Dutch symphonic metal sextet “Within Temptation”. It is due to be released along side a series of short films and a comic book series to encompass a concept story.

The album begins with “Why Not Me” which is composed entirely of orchestration and female narration which makes for a very mystical and epic atmosphere. “Shot In The Dark” follows soon after, beginning with the haunting sounds of a soft choir mixed with some very powerful vocals from Sharon. About a minute in, the drums and guitars make themselves heard, making the track heavier. The track turns soft again for a short while later on, which is followed by an amazing guitar solo. Next is “In The Middle Of The Night”. It begins with a hard rock sounding guitar riff. The vocals soon come in after the keyboards, drums and bass. The vocals are astounding on this track and the keyboard parts are simply brilliant. The track turns more Gothic sounding in terms of the guitar riffs about half way through, giving the track a more sinister sound for a short while.

“Faster” comes next, beginning with another hard rock sounding guitar riff which is soon accompanied by drums. Once again, the vocals are astounding and full of energy and power. This track is certainly one of the less symphonic and lighter tracks on album, featuring a small amount of emphasis on the keyboards as such.  Straight after is “Fire and Ice”, which begins with a very cold and dark orchestral section before the piano and vocals take over, bringing some warmth to track. However the lyrics keep a cold touch on the track. The piano is eventually replaced by a heavy orchestral piece, bringing a certain epicness to the track and album. The track finishes on a beautifully slow outro.

“Iron” comes blasting in next with another hard rock sounding guitar intro, which is soon accompanied by drums, bass and orchestration. The vocals soon come in making the track complete. The vocals are absolutely amazing and the orchestrated sections are beautifully composed. There is a use of female narration which just makes the track more enjoyable. The track does slightly heavier after the narration, leading straight into a guitar solo of immense proportions. Next is “Where Is The Edge” which begins with haunting beautiful female vocals and an amazing orchestrated medley before the guitars, drum and bass kick in. Like the previous tracks, the vocals are again astounding and full of power. The use of a synth riff just makes this track seem that much more dramatic.

“Sinead” is next, which begins with a choir sound and soft orchestration, accompanied by Sharon’s vocals. The drums soon make their way onto the track, working very well with the orchestration. The guitars bring a more rock sound to the track when they finally make themselves heard. The drums stay oft, whilst the orchestration pretty much dominates the track alongside the vocals. After is “Lost” which begins with a calming acoustic intro. Sharon’s vocals work amazingly well with the acoustic section. The orchestration gives the track a more mystical feeling. “Murder” comes next and it begins with a very dramatic sounding orchestral sound. Sharon’s vocals seem to sound more aggressive on this track as well. The use of synth works well with the guitars, drums and bass.

The second to last track “A Demon’s Fate” comes next, beginning with an intro similar to that of “Fire and Ice” until the guitars come blasting in. The orchestration on this track is simply amazing. It works well with everything else going on in the track. The use of double bass pedal works extremely well with the orchestration as well and the guitar solo just makes this track so much more amazing. “Stairway To The Skies” is the last track. It begins with orchestration and a piano medley, setting a very sombre yet tense atmosphere, which leads the way for the guitar and drums which stay soft. The vocals soon follow, before the track turns slightly heavier. The track switches between heavy and light, keeping a nice balance of the two.

“The Unforgiven” is far from being a symphonic metal album, however, it does have the Within Temptation sound. The orchestration and guitar riffs are simply mind blowing and Sharon’s vocals are as powerful as ever. It is well produced and well presented. This is certainly one for any fan’s collection.

5/5

Nico Davidson