Serena

Within Temptation II

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This is gonna be my least fav WT album... Honestly... Don't like this modern poppish style that band is going... Even Hydra is better for me as far as I heard..(Great Rocky with grunts Silver Moonlight and screaming violent-moody Tell Me Why for example.. ) It is simillar album like with self titled album The Rasmus... Lauri gone solo electronic album first and after that weaky poppy album with the band....  The same thing is with Sharon's solo project My Ingigo and now new band album... Solo projects reflected/influenced badly....

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The way it feels right now for me, Resist will be way better than the "meh" parts of Hydra (Let Us Burn, Dangerous, Tell Me Why), and on par with the best parts (And We Run, Paradise, Silver Moonlight, Whole World is Watching).

My Indigo seems to have had a great influence on Sharon's singing, as well as songwriting, and from what I've heard so far this album has some of the best vocals since she started using a more contemporary style.

It all comes down to what you wish for, I guess.

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While I do agree the new album is influenced by Sharon solo work on My Indigo (she even said one of the songs is literally repurposed from that project). I think they started going in this direction way before that, I mean they recorded all those cover back in 2012. I can understand people not being into the new sound, I'm not totally sure how I feel about it and I don't think I'll make up my mind until I've listened to the new album for a while (It's the production I'm having the hardest time with, from what I've seen online I like most of the songs played live).   

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I listened to the samples and I was bit underwhelmed by some songs.. Endless War is awesome and so is In Vain - it's growing on me!

Raise Your Banner and Firelight are instant favorites. The Reckoning somehow, I slowly started to feel sick with this song. Don't know maybe I overlistened to it since it's been released. :D

So for the WT albums rankings..

Enter - 7 (a good debut though some songs are a bit boring for my taste.)

The Dance - 9 (why not!??? TBH this is much better than Enter.) 

Mother Earth - 6 (I have to be in the mood to listen to the entire album. Before, I usually just listen from Track 1 until Our Farewell and skip the rest and then play Dark Wings and In Perfect Harmony). :D 

The Silent Force - 8 (The first WT album I had and I like it, but songs like Aquarius and A Dangerous Mind are underwhelming for my taste)

The Heart of Everything - 9.5 (this and The Silent Force are like siblings in terms of sound, but this album has more kick and more catchy melodies)

The Unforgiving - EASY 10 (Definitely my most favorite WT album! Everything is just too good. Like what Yoshee mentioned, everything flows in this album - and the songs are strong even on its own. Even the not-so-strong songs like Where Is The Edge? and A Demon's Fate are good! I usually listen to this entire album like 2-3x a day)

Hydra - 7 (some songs are good, and the rest are meh! Edge of the World and And We Run are definitely the best songs from this album)

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1 hour ago, silverlining said:

 I think they started going in this direction way before that, I mean they recorded all those cover back in 2012.

I feel they've always gone for the commercial sound or the most popular sound at the moment of the recording/release. And it was more evident with the Q Sessions as you said. Linkin Park did the same thing since 2010, so I kindda got used to bands changing their style and going more radio-friendly than ever before.

What I don't really understand is why some people don't want certain bands like WT to go more popular/commercial, as if they were infringing some sort of mandatory rule of sticking to their style forever (and they made it QUITE CLEAR they do not want that) and that new fans would ruin everything. All of us have been new fans sometimes, and I don't mind welcoming more followers coming from completely different styles like pop, hip hop, etc.

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3 hours ago, NeoGeorg said:

The way it feels right now for me, Resist will be way better than the "meh" parts of Hydra (Let Us Burn, Dangerous, Tell Me Why), and on par with the best parts (And We Run, Paradise, Silver Moonlight, Whole World is Watching).

Same here!! :D

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It's not at all about the sound for me. I like the slight industrial vibe, with the synthesizers and all. That's only the outer wrapping of the product itself. And I actually think it's the most solid sound they've had post The Heart of Everything.

What I'm mostly underwhelmed by is the songwriting itself. These songs could have been performed with a full orchestra and choir in the background and they would still give me the same impression. The lyrics in combination with how the melodies often go is very similar to your average Katy Perry track on the radio. We heard this already during the verses of Edge of the World. Constantly repeating words is definitely a trait you find in modern pop music.

Supernova, su-supernova, supernova-ah-ah-ah...

All in vain, ah-ah all in vaaain... ah-ah all in vaaaaain

It's annoying. Especially since the lyrics are so shallow.

It's too early to tell if I'll like the album better than Hydra, which was just a hot mess with no direction to speak of, and I suspect I will, but I can already tell it's not going to be among their best work. Which is a bit sad, since Raise Your Banner is classic Within Temptation with a new coat of paint and if the entire album was up to that standard this could definitely have been among their best.

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7 minutes ago, Magnus said:

Supernova, su-supernova, supernova-ah-ah-ah...

 

All in vain, ah-ah all in vaaain... ah-ah all in vaaaaain

I feel like "mad world" is going to be the worst by far, in this regard...

For the rest, I agree. Raise Your Banner gave me hope that the album would be something greater than we now know it is.

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1 hour ago, NighttimeBird said:

I feel like "mad world" is going to be the worst by far, in this regard...

We'll discuss this when we hear the whole thing!!

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Hmph. I'm not really a fan of such repetition. It can be done right, though. Supernova works for me.

Less than one week left, and there's a chance my brother and I will do a first listen together. Never done that before, so I hope he'll be available next weekend. I won't wait much longer. :)

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6 minutes ago, NeoGeorg said:

Supernova works for me.

Not very fan of it!!

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This is what I think based on reviews and the samples on the songs. If you took the guitars away, it would just be typical radio pop rock music. It's nice they've brought back the strings and the choir for small parts, but I'm just imagining if all the songs had a bombastic orchestra and choir in the same vein as Epica. 

WT's lyrics have never been very deep, but the repetition is just lazy writing. We heard repetition in Supanova, Mad World (seems awful from that sample) and In Vain. I know WT's songs have always leaned towards the commercial pop side of the symphonic metal genre (everything after Enter anyway), but they've gotten poppier with each release. If they do another album after RESIST will they pull a Bring Me the Horizon and Linkin Park on us?

I do look forward to the album. I loved The Reckoning and Raise Your Banner. Trophy Hunter seems like a big one too. In Vain is okay, but I keep thinking an orchestra would've taken this song to the next level. Endless War sounds much weaker than the live version. Supanova sounded interesting live (the part in the middle) but I worry there'll be so many edits to Sharon's vocals that the song might lose its magic. Is it just me or do the guitars sound muffled so far? Some of the songs sound no heavier than a Pink or Avril Lavigne song.

I want a live version of the entire CD. I hope they do another Black Symphony.

 

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They are much better live than in studio, these days!

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3 hours ago, Serena said:

They are much better live than in studio, these days!

Oh yeah. I've never seen them live and I probably never will either since there are no plans to come to Australia unfortunately.

But from the dvds and youtube, the sound is so much better. Endless War sounded much better without all the electro stuff.

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I wouldn't say they've gotten poppier with every release, as "Hydra" sounds heavier than "The Unforgiving" to these ears (it's not as good as TU though, which is admittedly my favorite WT album!).  This new album, though?  It does sound like it'll be their most pop-oriented one so far, just judging by those samples.  Not sure if they'll pull a BMTH or Linkin Park and go in an almost purely pop direction, but I guess it wouldn't be super shocking if they did either.

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On the other hand, I think this is truly the path they want to take. They all seem to be happy with where they're at. Sure, they suffered a writer's block after Hydra but I always think back to that interview with Sharon where she said that after The Heart of Everything she and Robert separated for a while and the band in general was just in a very bad place - record company executives pushing them around, having them over work and what not all to make more money off of them. They almost called it quits for real because it had taken a huge toll on both their mental and physical health.

You can tell there was a big shift in their image starting with The Unforgiving too. They ditched the Gothic imagery, which was most likely something they'd previously been advised to stick with for marketing reasons. The Unforgiving was influenced by music they grew up listening to back in the 80's, as if to reconnect with what made them want to make their own to begin with. It was also around this time when Sharon started to mention in interviews that they're not going to stick with a particular sound like AC/DC has done, but keep exploring. So it seems to me they've also ditched the idea that they're even in the symphonic rock genre to begin with (which is the genre they used to put themselves in prior to The Unforgiving). I think they don't want to be put in a box, as cliché as that sounds. I guess melodic heavy rock comes the closest to describing them?

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5 hours ago, Werewolf said:

I wouldn't say they've gotten poppier with every release, as "Hydra" sounds heavier than "The Unforgiving" to these ears (it's not as good as TU though, which is admittedly my favorite WT album!).  This new album, though?  It does sound like it'll be their most pop-oriented one so far, just judging by those samples.  Not sure if they'll pull a BMTH or Linkin Park and go in an almost purely pop direction, but I guess it wouldn't be super shocking if they did either.

Oh true, I forgot about The Unforgiving! Song structure wise it all sounds like standard WT and all. I'm just fearing how the electronic elements will drown out the band and Sharon's vocals.

EDIT - Album has been leaked. I'm not going to say where though. But it is out there. I have listened to it. It's a low quality version though. I don't think I can post my review here since it's leaked material, but if you do want to read my thoughts, send me a PM.

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12 hours ago, Serena said:

They are much better live than in studio, these days!

I disagree.

Remember that concert they streamed a while ago? That was... very far from perfect. Sharon couldn't hit many of her notes, especially on The Unforgiving songs, and the overall sound of the band was just not impressive.

To me, all the new songs sound better on the album for sure. This is a consequence of the more poppy direction. When you have an oldschool metal song, like from TSF, it relies on the skill of the singer and musicians to work. Thus, when played live, it's at least as impressive as on the album. These newer, poppy songs, like In Vain or Supernova, rely on a carefully crafted atmosphere with all kinds of sounds placed just so and so in the studio. That creates a song that's catchy and pleasing to the ear, but it doesn't work live, because that carefully crafted atmosphere goes out the window. That's why I was really not impressed by Supernova, for example, until I heard the snippet in the album teaser. That, I actually liked.

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I just liked all of them live except for Supernova! Why? Easy! Sharon's voice sounds more natural live! Autotune doesn't fit her voice!

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The album leaked. I love it!!!!!!

I am going to buy the album, might go for vinyl and CD this time.

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5 hours ago, laputa said:

The album leaked. I love it!!!!!!

I am going to buy the album, might go for vinyl and CD this time.

Thanks for the heads up, I grabbed it right away. I don't feel guilty since I already preordered and it was supposed to released in December anyway.

Anyway,

Spoiler

I love Supernova and Endless War, and Mad World isn't as repetitive as I feared. They just picked the only repetitive part and put that in the teaser.

Edit: Use spoiler

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2 minutes ago, NighttimeBird said:

They just picked the only repetitive part and put that in the teaser.

That things happen! Like when they pick the worst part of a film for the trailer!

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3 hours ago, NighttimeBird said:

Thanks for the heads up, I grabbed it right away. I don't feel guilty since I already preordered and it was supposed to released in December anyway.

Anyway, I love Supernova and Endless War, and Mad World isn't as repetitive as I feared. They just picked the only repetitive part and put that in the teaser.

Spoiler

My leak has pretty awful sound quality but I was amazed by how good the songs are. Endless War and Supernova were really great and I didn't expect that at all from the latter! It also surprises me in the sense that it sounded like a really good blend of The Heart Of Everything and Hydra. A lot better than I was expecting, and the songs carry more weight than the samples indicated. 

Use the Spoiler tag - Serena

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Spoiler

I've listened to it as well (was going to buy the album anyway :P). Mixed feelings... but I like it much more than anything from Hydra... the only part which I'm not sure about is the way Sharon sings and pronounces some parts (yeah I know it sounds weird!:laugh:) in verses of Holy Ground. Besides, the album really has a very strong sci-fi feel and I find SUPERnova SUPER cool :) don't wanna share more before the 1st Feb.

good luck with resisting! I couldn't wait any longer due to my impatient nature :music:

Edit: Use spoiler - Serena

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1 hour ago, valice said:
Spoiler

I've listened to it as well (was going to buy the album anyway :P). Mixed feelings... but I like it much more than anything from Hydra... the only part which I'm not sure about is the way Sharon sings and pronounces some parts (yeah I know it sounds weird!:laugh:) in verses of Holy Ground. Besides, the album really has a very strong sci-fi feel and I find SUPERnova SUPER cool :) don't wanna share more before the 1st Feb.

good luck with resisting! I couldn't wait any longer due to my impatient nature :music:

 

To be fair we have been waiting an abnormally long time...

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