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Within Temptation


Within Temptation (1996-present): a Symphonic metal band from Waddinxveen, Netherlands.


utch symphonic metal band Within Temptation was founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. They have been classified by critics as gothic metal and symphonic metal, although each album contains other influences outside these genres. Their most prominent and well-known sound is described as symphonic metal, although their earlier material, such as debut album Enter under the membership of Sharon den Adel (lead vocals), Robert Westerholt (rhythm guitar/unclean vocals), Michiel Papenhove (lead guitar), Martijn Westerholt (keyboards), Jeroen van Veen (bass) and Ivar de Graaf (drums), was mostly gothic metal, with Enter also having a hint of doom metal. In an interview, den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre with various influences. In another interview, den Adel stated that "We consider ourselves more an atmospheric melodic symphonic metal/rock band... In my opinion, we are not a gothic band but we have gothic elements".

After the release of their debut album Enter in 1997, Within Temptation became prominent in the Dutch underground scene. It was not until 2001 that they became known to the general public, with the single Ice Queen from their second album Mother Earth (2000), which reached 2 on the Dutch charts. This was followed by the band winning the Conamus Exportprijs, a Dutch music award, four years in a row, and a fifth in 2016. Their next albums The Silent Force (2004) with new members Ruud Jolie (lead guitar), Martijn Spierenburg (keyboards) and Stephen van Haestregt (drums) and The Heart of Everything (2007) debuted at No. 1 on the Dutch charts and expanded their international recognition. In 2008, they released Black Symphony, a live album recorded with the Metropole Orchestra. This was followed in 2009 by An Acoustic Night at the Theatre, another live album, this time with acoustic renditions of the songs.

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The band's fifth studio album, The Unforgiving (2011), was released in March 2011 and was one part of a transmedia effort, alongside both a comic book series and a series of short films that together encompass a story. The album saw the band increasingly venturing on new musical territories outside symphonic metal. Their sixth studio album, Hydra (2014) featuring new members Stefan Helleblad (rhythm guitar) and Mike Coolen (drums) advanced the band's exploration of new musical genres and featured guest appearances from various artists including Finnish singer Tarja Turunen, who appears in the lead single Paradise (What About Us?); Howard Jones, former vocalist of American metalcore band Killswitch Engage; Dave Pirner, lead vocalist of American alternative rock band Soul Asylum; and American rapper Xzibit. The band had extensive airplay on BBC Radio 2 in the United Kingdom with one of the songs from the album, Whole World Is Watching featuring Pirner.

Resist (2019) incorporates influences from other musical styles such as industrial and EDM. By 2016, the band had already sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide.

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