We may not have the new album just yet, but this taster is the first new music from Within Temptation in a couple of years and it was definitely worth the wait. The Paradise (What About Us?) EP may only be a few demo versions accompanying a single, but the fact that the single is a collaboration with Tarja Turunen is enough to have fans of female fronted symphonic metal drooling at the mere thought of it. Having celebrated their 15th anniversary last year with a huge celebration concert in Antwerp, Within Temptation are showing no signs of stopping and if they keep producing the quality of albums we’re used to, they could easily go another 15 years.
Kicking things off is single and title track Paradise (What About Us?) featuring the always impressive Tarja Turunen and her beautiful operatic vocals in a powerful duet which instantly makes this an EP worth owning. We were lured in by some jumpy strings before the guitars blast in, providing that familiar symphonic metal riff so popular with both Within Temptation and Tarjas old band Nightwish, though during the verses this gives way to a chugging background riff allowing the vocals to take pride of place. And when you have these two ladies on board that is what should be done every time. Though the voices inevitably shine, Tarja in particular has a chilling operatic solo just before a frantic guitar solo, showing us that the musical side of this single can keep up with the vocals and the subtle keys are a brilliant touch too.
Let Us Burn is the first of the demo tracks and is a bit of a slow builder, but once the chorus kicks in this song packs a powerful punch and the breakdown with Sharon’s distorted vocals pleading “why won’t you let me burn?” sends a shiver down your spine. The heaviest song of the quartet is Silver Moonlight, although sandwiched between heavenly opening and closing sections, the filling is packed with power, attitude and the first real inclusion of Robert Westerholt’s snarling vocals, giving this a slightly different edge to the rest of the EP. Wrapping things up is Dog Days which has an atmospheric feel throughout and a chilling feel to the verses before the usual supremely powerful choruses Within Temptation are famous for, closing out things in style and leaving us eagerly anticipating the new album in January.
Within Temptation are always going to deliver what you expect from them; the style remains the same but that’s not a bad thing. The songs still manage to sound different enough (take note AC/DC), the lyrics always have feeling and the band remain one of the most talented in the symphonic metal genre. The inclusion of Tarja Turunen was great for both sides, seeing as her profile has dropped significantly since the Nightwish era and her talent can only help Within Temptation. The quality of Paradise (What About Us?) proves this, and it should hold us over until January when the new album is released. The only problem is that now we have heard how great these new tracks are, how the hell are we supposed to wait until then?
Standout Track: Paradise (What About Us?)
For Fans Of: Nightwish, Lacuna Coil
Written by: Andy Wilkinson