Serena

Within Temptation II

848 posts in this topic

Spoiler

The album is better than Hydra (and I liked Hydra). It's definitely better mixed. In fact, Hydra is the weak point of their entire discography.

  • I do like the throwbacks to their orchestral days in Supanova, Endless War, Raise Your Banner and Trophy Hunter
  • I still feel the electronica moments don't really add anything to their overall sound though. The guitar work is very disappointing. 
  • Sharon's vocals sound great and she's doing different things with her voice. Can she pull it off live though?
  • Holy Ground's aggressive lyrics don't really match the tone/tempo of the song to my ears. I was expecting something darker and bombastic.
  • Poor guitar work. The Unforgiving showed the band can play. What happened here?

It is a solid album. Much better than Hydra. Musicianship lacking to The Unforgiving though. It also lacks a true piano ballad like Forgiven from THOE which I find sad. 

Use spoiler - Serena

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Spoiler

Ok, so let's do some quick rundown.

  • Trophy Hunter is even better than I expected. It might - MIGHT - be on par with Stairway to the Skies as the best WT album finish - and I'm big on Stairway to the Skies.
  • I can see the Mad World/Sinéad comparisons and I've come to love the latter. Definitely sounds like a song that will grow on me. I like it quite a bit as of now, anyway. 
  • Mercy Mirror is still my least favorite from the record. I bit generic for my tastes, but a bad song to be the worst from album. Not at all.
  • I still love Supernova. Yeah, it's poppy, but really, I see a lot of Muse in it, actually. Like, Black Holes and Revelations/Absolution Muse. Hard to say it's my favorite with Trophy Hunter around, but I really, really dig it.
  • The rappish verses on Holy Ground are weird, but I kinda like them, I guess.
  • Did I mention I really, really, like Trophy Hunter?

I really can't rank this album right now, but I definitely like it quite a bit. Will be listening to this a whole lot.

 

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:58 PM, Serena said:

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

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..................

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They should have re-named this album:

 

"HOW TO TEMPT OUR FANS INTO A SECRET GROUP AND LET THE MINORITY RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF LISTENING AND SHARING OUR UNWILLINGLY RELEASED ALBUM, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ANNOYING THEM BY JOINING A NEW RECORD COMPANY, WHICH SCREWED UP OUR RELEASE BIG TIME AND EVEN MANAGED TO POSTPONE IT BY TWO MONTHS, WHILE LEAKING ALL NEW SONGS".

The re-named song titles are:

1. "The Universal mode"

2.  "Close down the website"

3. "Break-up-spreading rumour"

4. "Not so secret hideaway on Farcebook"

5.  ''The wreckoning"! (first single)

6. (Second single): ''Is there anybody out there at Universal?"

7. "From the 14th of December to the 1st of February"

8. "Snippets here, there and everywhere"

9. "The last single" (their 10th single release)

10. "The story of how to leak an album befor its release"

 

And then there is an extra song for those secret Farcebook fans who ordered in advance: "Sorry that it was not so secret after all".

 

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So I just saw this:
 

So Sharon agrees that Raise Your Banner is the best song on the album. That does make me wonder why not more of the songs went in that direction, capturing more of the symphonic metal and classic WT feel.

(edit: I twisted her words a bit, what she says is that it's her favorite)

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She's so beautiful!! :) Still not feeling the artwork though and that coffin inspired photoshoot is a bit meh.

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8 minutes ago, Serena said:

Cool unboxing! :D

Yeah, I like when they do an unboxing video with the artist :)

3 minutes ago, Lena said:

She's so beautiful!! :) Still not feeling the artwork though and that coffin inspired photoshoot is a bit meh.

Coffin? It looks to me more like cryo chambers

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^Right, but like they died in them. :P

It's a bit Game of Thrones-y

220px-Game_of_Thrones_Season_6.jpeg

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20 minutes ago, Lena said:

 Still not feeling the artwork though

Neither do I!!

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1 hour ago, hunebedbouwer said:

They should have re-named this album:

 

"HOW TO TEMPT OUR FANS INTO A SECRET GROUP AND LET THE MINORITY RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF LISTENING AND SHARING OUR UNWILLINGLY RELEASED ALBUM, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ANNOYING THEM BY JOINING A NEW RECORD COMPANY, WHICH SCREWED UP OUR RELEASE BIG TIME AND EVEN MANAGED TO POSTPONE IT BY TWO MONTHS, WHILE LEAKING ALL NEW SONGS".

The re-named song titles are:

1. "The Universal mode"

2.  "Close down the website"

3. "Break-up-spreading rumour"

4. "Not so secret hideaway on Farcebook"

5.  ''The wreckoning"! (first single)

6. (Second single): ''Is there anybody out there at Universal?"

7. "From the 14th of December to the 1st of February"

8. "Snippets here, there and everywhere"

9. "The last single" (their 10th single release)

10. "The story of how to leak an album befor its release"

 

And then there is an extra song for those secret Farcebook fans who ordered in advance: "Sorry that it was not so secret after all".

 

Agreed. You summed it up "beautifully" :giggle::good:.

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For IMO being the weakest of the songs live, Supernova is really freaking good.

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So... it's officialy out, in the legal sense of the term :P I see most of the people form the RT community have already shared their packages and also it's already on local stores. Except in this side of the world, you know.

Gave it a couple of listents, I really like every song of the album. Maybe "Firelight" is the only one I found a bit weak, but I'll get used to it, for sure. I feel this is a perfect balance between Hydra's experimentation and TU's consistency. Now it's time for me to listen to it with the offical lyrics, so I'll get a better idea of each song.

 

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The weakest song of the album (for me) it's Holy Ground!

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My copy is on its way, and my brother and I will have a first-time listening session this Monday evening.

So it's a solid album, then? Anyone want to rank the songs 1-10?

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8 minutes ago, NeoGeorg said:

Anyone want to rank the songs 1-10? 

This weekend!

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So, I am (re)writing this after I’ve listened to the album twice (listening to it for the 3rd time now). The first time around I was quite disappointed. The second time I left it playing in the background and I was like, hey, this is not that bad! It’s not as flat and repetItive as it seemed to be, I enjoyed it a lot more than the first time. 

Song  by song: 

Spoiler

Raise Your Banner is still m top fave.

Mercy Mirror is beautiful, I already liked the live version, it's one of my favourites!

I love Supernova, it's the catchiest song of the album, in the good way. It could have been on The Unforgiving. (But the beginning of it reminded me of a DOS game, lol. It worked perfecty with the concept of the album though.)

Based on the samples I thought I'll hate Mad World, I don't, on the contrary, I love it! I loved how it began and also the way the „Walls are falling down on us” line sounds, the chorus is not as repetitive as it seemed - at all, the male vocals in the chorus give a lowkey Depeche Mode feeling to it. It sounds real good!

I didn't like the live version of Endless War, but I liked the album version! The first time around I was still annoyed by the chorus what I couldn’t get into for months, and it felt like the choral part doesn’t suit the song, but I’ve got used to it and it’s actually a pretty enjoyable song! And those backing vocals at the beginning of it are gorgeous.

Holy Ground on the other hand is not really working for me... I'm not diggin' ya'. The chorus is not bad though! 

In vain and The Reckoning are ok, enjoyable, but nothing special. And I think I like In Vain more out of these two. 

I still haven't fully listened to Firelight, for some reason It's too depressing for me. 

Trophy Hunter is pretty good, still not the bombastic song I hoped for, but it is one of the two heaviest songs of the album, and the choir finally fits from the first listen. I’m still not entirely sure where exactly it would be in the ranking. It needs some more spins. 

My ranking after roughly 3 listens, from best to worst, would be something like this. 

  1. Raise Your Banner
  2. Mercy Mirror
  3. Supernova
  4. Mad World
  5. Trophy Hunter (+/-)
  6. In Vain
  7. Endless War
  8. The Reckoning
  9. Holy Ground
  10. Firelight

So at first I felt like it will be my least favourite WT album from the past 6 albums. I think it's still my least fave, but it doesn't mean it's bad! It’s much better than the first impression I got from it. I kept saying that Hydra is an album around half of which I love, and half of which I skip, and Resist is much better than the parts of Hydra which I didn’t like. But barely 1  or 2 songs are better or as good as what I liked from Hydra. So It’s a pretty cool album, an average to good one imo, I'll surely listen to it by now and then. But I don't think it will be overplayed, it's not the type of the album which makes me want to listen to it again and again and again (most of their albums were). Some songs might be though!

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Now that I've listened to them all a few times, here's my best to worst ranking:

1. Raise Your Banner
2. Trophy Hunter
3. Supernova
4. Endless War
5. The Reckoning

Those were the 5 songs I like tbh. I don't really care about the next 5, but for what it's worth:

6. Mercy Mirror
7. Mad World
8. In Vain
9. Holy Ground
10. Firelight

@SophiaAt least we agree on the last two :)

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I kinda wanted to see if the "best" songs are the ones we've already heard either as singles or live... and it seems there's some truth to that, hahaaa...

I probably won't rank the songs myself. I find that doing that has gotten harder over the years, but we'll see.

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I find that, for me at least, ranking songs works probably a year after the release or something. Most of the times I love/hate some songs in the beginning which I end up hating/loving after some time has passed.

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My rankings from least favourite to most favourite. Rankings out of 5 with 5 being the best.

  1. Holy Ground [2/5]
    • I don't know. I don't like it. Lyric intensity just doesn't match with the mid pace tone of the song. Don't like those random electo noises in the first half of the chorus.
  2. Mercy Mirror [2.5/5]
    • It's okay. It's just a pop song though. I miss the piano tracks like the Forgiven, Bittersweet etc.
  3. Mad World [3/5]
    • This one feels like Sinead remade but less interesting. It is catchy though. But what happened to the guitars?
  4. In Vain [3.5/5]
    • I actually liked this one and I don't really know why. It just sounded pleasant and relaxing to my ears.
  5. Supanova [3.5/5]
    • Some parts I like. Some parts I don't like. I feel the song is a lot better from middle and onwards though.
  6. The Reckoning [3.5/5]
    • This song used to be higher, but I've listened to a lot by now and it's gotten old. But I do still really like this one.
  7. Fireflight [4/5]
    • I really like duets. I could've done without the 'woah-oah' crooning going in the background though. Would've been better without it
  8. Trophy Hunter [4/5]
    • Not as bombastic as I had been hoping
  9. Endless War [5/5]
    • I love this song. This is great.
  10. Raise Your Banner [5/5]
    • Everything I love about WT rolled into one song

Is it just me or do the guitars sound almost non existent in quite a few of the songs? I know guitars have never been a big thing in WT, but after TU they showed they could play. To me, it sounds like the guitars are pushed in the background to bring the electro elements forward. No interesting riffs or solos either except for RYB. There were at least 5 guitar solos on Hydra and quite a few on The Unforgiving. Resist really feels like a huge step backwards in the guitar department and that's disappointing. I'm not saying guitar solos are essential - they're not - but the songs all have a very similar structure on Resist and the same tempo (on most songs)

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Let's see

1- Mad World

2- Raise Your Banner

3- Trophy Hunter

4- Endless War

5- Mercy Mirror

6- Firelight

7- In Vain

8- The Reckoning

9- Supernova

10- Holy Ground

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I just gave it a first spin, and I have to say this is the best material WT has come up to since THoE in my opinion. There were only two songs I liked on Hydra, and maybe 3 on The Unforgiven. However, I liked every single song on Resist, which is pretty impressive!

My favorites so far are Raise Your Banner (I wish WT made more songs like these nowadays!), The Reckoning, Mad World and Mercy Mirror.

I hope that for future releases they stray a bit away from the electronic sound. I would also love to hear more beautiful ballads like Memories, which remains one of my all time favorite songs.

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31 minutes ago, AquilaTempestas said:

Is it just me or do the guitars sound almost non existent in quite a few of the songs? I know guitars have never been a big thing in WT, but after TU they showed they could play. To me, it sounds like the guitars are pushed in the background to bring the electro elements forward.

No I agree, it's a bit disappointing. Even on the guitar focused Trophy Hunter, the sound is too much in the background imo. It's hard to focus on it because even the drums are way more prominent.

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Am I the only one who thinks The Reckoning is a bit meh?

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