Serena

Within Temptation II

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I don't have a fixed opinion about the album yet, but the initial impression is good. I think it has a nice flow to it, even if I find the overall sound of the music a little muddy and I think this could have been mixed better. Trophy Hunter is a favorite of mine and I still don't like Mercy Mirror, but like @Imagineersaid how I feel about music tends to change over time.

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20 minutes ago, silverlining said:

I don't have a fixed opinion about the album yet, but the initial impression is good. I think it has a nice flow to it, even if I find the overall sound of the music a little muddy and I think this could have been mixed better. Trophy Hunter is a favorite of mine and I still don't like Mercy Mirror, but like @Imagineersaid how I feel about music tends to change over time.

Muddy is her vocals here and there,aspecially in verses in my opinion

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Wow! It's now Friday here, and the album is out! Spotify has the "Extended Deluxe" version, which includes the regular tracks, the single edits, and the instrumentals, all in one! That's unexpected, but much appreciated!

I'm not listening to anything new until Monday, of course, but I can already enjoy the instrumental versions of The Reckoning, Raise Your Banner and Firelight!

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5 hours ago, Sophia said:

I'm not diggin' ya'.

LOL :P

I think my favourite so far is "Mad World". I love the 80's style poppy sound... don't know how to call it. But the music is awesome and catchy. Specially the chorus, catchy as hell.

Trophy Hunter sounds like a lost child from THOE. That was an instant favourite, but I'm staying with the pop style from Mad World right now.

I already liked Endless War and Supernova live versions. Those are very good tracks, but nothing special. Just like In Vain.

Finally I read the lyrics of "Mercy Mirror".... that was harsh :( Poor Sharon. I think it's the one with the best lyrics on the album, imo.

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So, are all concerns about the sound possibly being somewhat too commercial... no more?

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45 minutes ago, NeoGeorg said:

So, are all concerns about the sound possibly being somewhat too commercial... no more?

I don't care about the commercial sound. Within Temptation post Enter have always leaned towards the more poppy side of things anyway and I like some pop music (like Florence + the Machine if that is even considered pop). 

My concerns are simply

  • Electronics pushing the guitars further into the background
  • No piano ballad
  • Only one guitar solo after they showed promise on The Unforgiving and Hydra.
  • Most songs have the same tempo
  • Mixing is a step up from Hydra, but doesn't sound as clean as earlier records. Can they hire Jacob Hansen?
  • Pretty predictable song structure for most of the album. Loud anthemic chorus. Poppy electronic verses.

It's a solid album though. If this was WT's first album, I would love it. If this was an album from a brand new band, I'd be pretty impressed. 

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I'm tentatively ranking the songs to keep up with the thread, but it'll probably change a lot, except for the top 2. I at least like all of them, honestly. Even Mercy Mirror is growing on me quite  a bit - and, as pointed out, that song has some solid lyrics. 

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

I'm torn if I like this album or Hydra more. It's mostly even for me. Resist probably has higher highs, though - but Let Us Burn, Covered By Roses, Silver Moonlight and Tell Me Why are not that far of from the top Resist songs, either. Glad it's all around very solid for me. I'm positive this is gonna be my most listened album of the year.

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9 hours ago, Serena said:

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

 

It is but i think RYB is worse. The chorus is not catchy and neither are the verses :(

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So I made the first listen when iTunes automatically downloaded the songs in my library. Currently doing the second spin right now while doing some work.

I have to agree with some of your opinions that most of the songs have the same tempo - mid-paced songs, that's why I felt underwhelmed by listening to the whole album for the first time. It's not as diverse as their previous records like Hydra or Unforgiving which has some interesting mix of fast-paced songs, mid-paced, and slow songs. (I had the same problem when I heard Epica's The Quantum Enigma where all songs are fast-paced and I was overwhelmed by it because the tempo of 95% of the songs are the same, well, except for the ballad and Sense Without Your Sanity).

To be honest, I was bit confused with the songs - some interesting parts, some catchy melodies, but some are "meh" or like "what that thing is doing in there?" moments.

But I know, the entire album will grow on me after a few more listens and can stand putting a heart icon on my favorite songs where I can listen to it on its own.

Goodness gracious, no album comes close to The Unforgiving when it comes to listening to the entire album back-to-back and repeat again after doing so in an hour!

So let me just share my first impressions of the entire album.

It's pretty much a more experimental album than The Unforgiving and they relatively pushed the core sound way more back than the last two efforts. It's a good and a bad thing for me, but I'm in between, for now.

For the songs.. or Individual roasting!

The Reckoning - I loved it when it came out. But now, I started to feel bored by it. I dont know whyyyy... 3,5/5

Endless War - My goodness, this song is good! I like the live version and this one kicks me out of my seat too. But I felt like the song is too short and suddenly ended after the choral part, don't you think? 4,5/5

Raise Your Banner - easy 5/5. Brings us back to the 2007 era of Within Temptation meets modern pop sound. 

Supernova - I'm a little bothered by the repetitiveness of the lyrics. But still, a good song I can say. 3,5/5

Holy Ground - I like the chorus; the rap-like part is okay, the verses are good - but it's a forgettable track. Leave the rap parts to Xzibit, Sharon. :D 2/5

In Vain - This song is okay but nothing really awesome! Even the weak songs from Hydra (Dog Days, Tell Me Why) beat this track. 3/5

Firelight - The only slow-paced song from the album. I really enjoyed this one; although when someone mentioned that it'll be more powerful if they replaced the electro parts with actual orchestral song - It'll be a song of the year for sure! 4,5/5

Mad World - A more decent track than HG and IV. Yes, it resembles Sinead in a way but I'm digging this too. Will surely grow the more I listen to it. 4/5

Mercy Mirror - Beautiful song, although there we have some repetitiveness again but it's not as obvious or as lazy as the other songs. 4/5

Trophy Hunter - When everyone mentioned that it'll be the same as Stairway to the Skies, I expected more but I was a bit disappointed. Sure a decent track but feels like it can still be improved? I don't know. It surely is heavy and catchy, but lacks some "power" or "hooks" to get me addicted to it. For now, it'll be 3,5/5

 

My ratings will surely change from time-to-time, just like how I felt when I listened to The Unforgiving for the first time. AT first I thought that was a flop, but now I'm begging to the Gods that Within Temptation can get inspirations again to make an album that can defeat The Unforgiving in terms of composition, music, and cohesiveness - because for me, that is a really solid album!

Irresistible Songs: Raise Your Banner, Endless War Mercy Mirror, Mad World, Firelight

Maybe these will grow: Trophy Hunter, In Vain, Supernova

I'm Over It: The Reckoning

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The instrumental Raise Your Banner really made me appreciate the song even more. There is a lot going on under the vocals that you don't hear, and it feels very polished.

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Sorry WT-fans but it sounds like a mixture of Amaranthe+Evanescence+In Flames=alternative/techno/electronic/gothic/screamo/pop-rock. This is definitely not symphonic metal in any forms. There is nothing enjoyable here excluding Sharon's vocals. Background "music" is so bland. Their early stuff was quite enjoyable gothic rock.

Edit: Removed swearing - Serena

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16 minutes ago, Allsort_Metal said:

Sorry WT-fans but who the fuck listen to this shit? It sounds like a mixture of Amaranthe+Evanescence+In Flames=alternative/techno/electronic/gothic/screamo/pop-rock. This is definitely not symphonic metal in any forms. There is nothing enjoyable here excluding Sharon's vocals. Background "music" is so bland. Their early stuff was quite enjoyable gothic rock.

Ouch:o

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22 minutes ago, Allsort_Metal said:

Sorry WT-fans but who the fuck listen to this shit? It sounds like a mixture of Amaranthe+Evanescence+In Flames=alternative/techno/electronic/gothic/screamo/pop-rock. This is definitely not symphonic metal in any forms. There is nothing enjoyable here excluding Sharon's vocals. Background "music" is so bland. Their early stuff was quite enjoyable gothic rock.

Pretty harsh, but you're entitled to not like it.

WT haven't been symphonic metal since THOE.

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9 minutes ago, AquilaTempestas said:

Pretty harsh, but you're entitled to not like it.

WT haven't been symphonic metal since THOE.

Yeah. Maybe I shouldn't have commented anything but it is sad that band has sold out this badly. The Unforgiving was still semi enjoyable.

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Lol ok. We are gonna have the “Within Temptation sold out” conversation for the third album in a row. Great stuff :rolleyes:

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I am a bit letdown of vocals by Sharon. Its a bit "unclean" I mean modulated...  For In Vain song I thought I heard a low quality of this song but when I heard 320 kbs quality I still hear this song in a low volume which is disappointing too.. Resist is not even close to amazing TU album to me.

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I'm a bit underwhelmed. It's a very good album, probably on par with Hydra, but it didn't really thrill me. Hopefully I'll like it more the more I listen to it, but atm I'm not very pleased with it. I agree with those of you that said that it's not as musically diverse as their previous albums and that some of the songs kinda blend into each other. I also feel that the songwriting was rushed and not as thought out as I would've liked it to be - there're too many repetitive and generic lyrics. 

The Reckoning - I still like it, not as much as RyB, but definitely more than Firelight and In Vain. I do feel that I need to take a break from listening to it though.

Endless War - One of my favourites. Love its dynamic, the orchestra/choir touches, the vocals and the lyrics. It's just a tiny bit too short (also does she pronounce miracle weirdly or is it me that does?).

Raise Your Banner - Still love it. Makes me want to put on an armour and FIGHT. :P The fact that it's Sharon's fav makes me hopeful for the music they'll bring out in the future.

Supernova - Quite nice, very energetic and catchy. The choir part feels a bit out of place, but I like it overall.

Holy Ground - The bordeline rap vocals are cool and the chorus sounds gorgeous. However, I wish they'd worked more on the lyrics, they're so bad. I actually cringed everytime I heard those "ya's".

In Vain - I've grown tired of it.

Firelight - Still like its dark & haunting atmosphere, but as someone has already mentioned, I could do without the oh-oh-oh's.

Mad World - Super generic lyrics as well. It does remind me of Sinead, but the latter is SO much better.

Mercy Mirror - It started out beautifully and has some very touching lyrics, but I feel that they don't match the rest of the song's tempo/music, I think I'd prefer them in a ballad.

Trophy Hunter - I like it a LOT, it could've been in The Unforgiving, but it doesn't reaaally pack a punch, there's something missing.

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While I do not feel I have something to contribute to what you guys have already mentioned, I will say that it sounds to me a bit... dated. This type of music and lyrics would have been ahead of its time maybe... 5 years ago?

You know when Kamelot released their album earlier in 2018 about AI and robots and whatnot, that it had come a little too late? Which tried to build on Netflix's Altered Carbon style; which was already dated to begin with. For example, Raise Your Banner is an excellent song, but the style and lyrics have been done to death; the rebellion of a group of people (or robots? I don't remember clearly) against a heavily armoured regime-protecting force? Not so groundbreaking, not to mention that the video being set to constant slow-motion was a bad choice; slow motion is good for emphasising a very important scene or frame, but having it all in slow-motion takes away from the epicness and just makes it slow.

Which is what my problem is I think; everything is too heavy-handed. it is too easy for us to understand what the songs are trying to say; from the album's title to the videos. It sounds too commercial and done-before because everything is spoon-fed to us. 

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14 hours ago, Damian said:

I think my favourite so far is "Mad World". I love the 80's style poppy sound... don't know how to call it. But the music is awesome and catchy. Specially the chorus, catchy as hell.

Same here! :D

14 hours ago, Damian said:

I read the lyrics of "Mercy Mirror".... that was harsh :( Poor Sharon. I think it's the one with the best lyrics on the album, imo. 

Agree!!

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3 hours ago, Imagineer said:

Lol ok. We are gonna have the “Within Temptation sold out” conversation for the third album in a row. Great stuff :rolleyes:

I feel like this has happened with every single album since at least "The Silent Force", and it'll probably continue to happen for all eternity.  WT have been blatantly commercial since then, and that's fine - they're good at pop-metal.
Also, yet another misuse of the term "screamo" (there isn't a single trace of it on this album).  I guess there are more important things to worry about, though!

And no, the album's not symphonic metal, but I don't think it's bad.  I don't really like "Holy Ground", though.  My favorite is probably "Supernova" at the moment, very catchy, upbeat and fun with a tinge of classic WT.

My biggest gripe with this album is how truly terrible the mixing is.  Even when streaming this in high quality, it sounds like I'm listening to it on the radio.  I take it when my CD gets here, that won't change.

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I personally quite like the album overall. I did see one review that rankled me a bit by calling the album complete garbage, but seeming to come from a place where the reviewer had already decided they were going to hate the album; and some of the reasoning seeming to be that it's not really metal (and anything not metal is automatically bad - heaven forbid anything comes close to pop!) It's not that I don't see some of the faults or reasons some people don't like it as much, but there's a difference between someone simply not liking an album and someone going out of their way to just sh** on it.

Anyway, I've listened to it a few times over the last week since it leaked, so I have some rough opinions that may not be final. It overall feels more cohesive and has better direction than Hydra, as has been said already, though not quite on the level of The Unforgiving. I actually quite liked the electronic elements - while they could have done more with them, I don't really think they needed to. And the guest vocals are utilised a lot better than on Hydra (especially Jasper), adding to the songs without taking away from Sharon or the band; they feel like part of the songs rather than just being added for the sake of it as a couple on Hydra did, if that makes sense. The songs themselves are mostly very good, too; I can point to at least three that I would consider stand up against some of the best of their previous work. I do agree the band themselves seemed to take a bit of a back seat overall though - unfortunately not quite The Unforgiving Part 2 I was hoping for. :rolleyes:

The production is... okay. I'm reserving final judgement until I've listened to it officially now, as the leak wasn't the best quality, but based on what I could hear... It sounds better than Hydra, but a lot of elements still seem to be muffled by noise. I was really pleased to hear choirs used throughout the album, adding another element to the songs, but don't ask me to tell you what the hell they're actually saying. Raise Your Banner is one of the best songs on the album, but again the choir and the orchestral elements seem to blend in with or be drowned out by the background guitars and the electronic elements. I was quite pleased with how Sharon sounds overall though. (Agreed about the pronunciation of "MeeREEcall" though, that's not how it's spelled or said, Sharon!)

I don't know where I'd rank it yet among their albums overall, though it doesn't beat my top two. The Unforgiving is a rare album I'd consider pretty much perfect, with all the songs being great and the album flowing perfectly. The Heart of Everything is a quintessential symphonic metal album and contains one of my very favourite WT songs (The Howling). So tbh this album would've had to blow me away to beat those two. :P

Favourite songs at the moment are Raise Your Banner, Supernova, and Mercy Mirror. I also really like Firelight.

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Resist is #1 on iTunes worldwide

How about that?

If that's what they intended with the new sound, it just worked for them. I'm really proud of them :) Way to go, WT!

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^^Wow that's impressive given that they rarely get played on the radio, unlike artists like Rihanna or Beyoncé. :rolleyes:

I definitely like Resist a lot more than The Unforgiving and Hydra. I've been a fan of WT since 2004 and I had almost given up on them after not liking their past two albums (my favorite album of theirs remains The Silent Force). I particularly disliked Hydra, especially that duet with Xzbit (Omg! :rolleyes:). I love the "war" theme of Resist though and how much punch the songs have. I just wish they'd use a bit more classical elements like choirs and orchestras.

I think WT doesn't use enough classical elements anymore, while NW uses too much of them lol!

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23 minutes ago, Leila23 said:

I definitely like Resist a lot more than The Unforgiving and Hydra. I've been a fan of WT since 2004 and I had almost given up on them after not liking their past two albums (my favorite album of theirs remains The Silent Force).

I second that! :D  But.....

25 minutes ago, Leila23 said:

that duet with Xzbit (Omg! :rolleyes:)

I liked that! It was... different! :)

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I liked And We Run too. I was never crazy about Xzbit's parts but they fit the music better than Sharon's rapping in Holy Ground does. That was indeed a bit cringy for me too, just like @Lena siad.

For me this album is around the same level as Hydra, but not quite there. Hydra has a couple of better songs than almost anything from Resist imo. 

I'm surprised that Mercy Mirror is not among the generally preferred songs. I really like it. I don't know whether it's because the lyrics resonate with me (same reason as in Sharon's case), or because I like the music itself. I think both, after all it was the only new live song I truly liked. It's simpler, but it has the most catharctic effect on me from the album.

Today I wasn't really in the mood to listen to the album. I just listened to a couple of songs while going to work, then skipped to something else. I was hoping this will be an album I'll be wanting to play on repeat, and - although the songs were growing on me - it's not exactly like that.

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