Within Temptation Hydra on 2LP
Following up 2011's Top 5 album The Unforgiving was no easy task for guitarist/songwriter Robert Westerholt, singer Sharon den Adel, guitarist Ruud Jolie, bassist Jeroen von Veen, keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg, guitarist Stefan Helleblad and drummer Mike Coolen, better known as Within Temptation. After all, Within Temptation has never been a band to be content with simply repeating their past. With Hydra, their sixth studio album since their 1997 debut release Enter, the group has raised the bar once again, writing their fastest, most powerful material in years and inviting a stellar cast of guests to help them deliver the music to their worldwide fanbase.
As Sharon explains, "We've looked back over our past albums, and taken different elements that we like and brought them back for Hydra. We had death metal growls on Enter, but we've never used them again - until now! It's all about new blood and new ideas for us; we need changes in our music so that we can continue to explore in the future. We don't believe in boundaries."
You want to hear unconventionally? Say hello to American hip-hop legend Xzibit, who delivers a rap on the song "And We Run." Another soon-to-be fan favorite is "Silver Moonlight," which Robert describes as "the opposite of a love song. It's about how people have hunted down through the ages other people that they didn't understand, using the metaphor of werewolves. I did some death metal growls and screams on this song. It's been a long time since I did those, and as soon as I started recording them I realized why I stopped singing that way...It really hurts! It was fun to do them again, though."
"Dangerous" was recorded with the former Killswitch Engage singer Howard Jones, whose epic vocals are a perfect fit for Sharon's. The darkest depths of the human condition are explored in songs such as "Roses," which Robert explains was inspired by the poet John Keats (Ode On Melancholy). Hydra goes from strength to strength with "Whole World Is Watching," featuring Soul Asylum's golden-voiced singer Dave Pirner.
And of course there's "Paradise (What About Us?)," a collaboration with Finnish metal diva Tarja Turunen. "We knew that Tarja's voice would give "Paradise" extra power," remembers Robert. "The way she delivers those high melody lines left us all speechless. There is always a bit of tension between different bands of the same genre - mostly created by people on the outside - but we knew this wouldn't come between us, and that we'd be able to work together. We had a great time, and the fans responded beyond our expectations."
Robert sums up Hydra: "This album is about the big things in life and in the world today. It's dark, and powerful! We still have our symphonic elements, but it's much faster and heavier than The Unforgiving. It goes in completely different directions - hence the title Hydra because it represents the different side of us."
Within Temptation Hydra Track Listing:
1. Let Us Burn
2. Dangerous feat. Howard Jones
3. And We Run feat. Xzibit
4. Paradise (What About Us?) feat. Tarja
5. Edge Of The World
1. Silver Moonlight
2. Covered By Roses
3. Dog Days
4. Tell Me Why
5. Whole World Is Watching feat. Dave Pirner