Serena

Within Temptation II

847 posts in this topic

Hmm, I don’t mind as much pop/electro influences as they want, but I feel the album is lacking some memorable hooks. Might have to listen to it again, but I think I actually prefer Hydra, which was not so coherent but more catchy. 

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16 hours ago, Sophia said:

I'm surprised that Mercy Mirror is not among the generally preferred songs.

There's a poll in their FB community for which song from the new album is the best one, and Mercy Mirror is on the second place. Trophy Hunter being the #1, and Endless War on #3 place, IIRC.

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1 hour ago, Damian said:

There's a poll in their FB community for which song from the new album is the best one, and Mercy Mirror is on the second place. Trophy Hunter being the #1, and Endless War on #3 place, IIRC.

Oh that's cool! I haven't seen the poll, I just read some comments from the Resist group yesterday and the ones from here. I shouldn't generalize this fast, I guess!

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7 hours ago, Sophia said:

 I shouldn't generalize this fast, I guess!

Nah, nevermind. I pointed that out because I had read the poll a couple of minutes before reading your post.

Sharon will be as guest in the BBC radio again! :)

 

Looking forward to know which songs she'll play.

I really wish they could play some time in the Live Lounge, the show from the BBC where arstist go and play a couple of songs from them and also some random covers. The show is mostly dominated by mainstream artists, but I'd love they could be there in the near future.

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1 hour ago, Serena said:

Anyone heard it?

There are some links in the tweet above, the last one is the one to listen to the whole show online. The interview with Sharon starts at 50min.

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It was a nice interview! And Sharon said they're trying to organise some more UK dates, we just have to hope they get a better sound team along with them this time. :giggle:

I had no idea Supernova was about Sharon's dad, that makes it so much more meaningful. I feel kind of bad for underestimating it after hearing the live version as it's definitely one of my favourites from the album now, haha.

Not to mention it contains possibly the best lyric on the album:

"Like thunder screaming out for a flash of lightning, stars are falling down for God's applause"

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1 hour ago, Yoshee said:

I had no idea Supernova was about Sharon's dad, that makes it so much more meaningful

I figured that out, when I saw part of the lyric in the samples video! Probably Mercy Mirror is also about him!

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54 minutes ago, silverlining said:

Really nice interview with Sharon where she talks about the new record label, how some of the music industry changed over the years and a little bit about the future of My Indigo.

http://www.heavymusichq.com/within-temptation-interview/?fbclid=IwAR1IE-vV-9lGd1pASYmr__SNone4aI9VL-aLG1rOe4NA_ImiMoIgGCSqr7U  

Love the interview!!

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They just get further and further away from my taste. The songs are way too slow for me. The verses sound boring and overly soft, and most of the songs sound really similar overall. Well, just had to give my two cents. Not even going to give this one another listen.

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On 2/3/2019 at 12:01 AM, Damian said:

Nah, nevermind. I pointed that out because I had read the poll a couple of minutes before reading your post.

Sharon will be as guest in the BBC radio again! :)

 

Looking forward to know which songs she'll play.

I really wish they could play some time in the Live Lounge, the show from the BBC where arstist go and play a couple of songs from them and also some random covers. The show is mostly dominated by mainstream artists, but I'd love they could be there in the near future.

Wow!  Will have to listen back to this.

BBC Radio 2 is always just SO hip and trendy:horns:

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I've listened to the album quite a few times now. In my case, the first 2 listens, especially the first one, does make the biggest impression on my reviews. Always have. I can't remember the last time when an album 'grew' on me. 

 

What I already thought after 'The Unforging' and 'Hydra', was even more confirmed after hearing 'Resist'.........WT's musical peak was the 'Silent Force - 'The heart of everything'/'Black Symphony' era. By far! After such a release as THOE, one hopes that the next release would be at least as good or possibly better, but it wasn't even close. Bummer.....big bummer! Maybe that's why I rate 'The Unforving' not that high.

 

After Hydra, I knew that their creative and musical peak was over, but I still liked that release. From then on, I did set my expectation mode in the 'anything-that-WT-still-produces-and-I do-like-is-positive'. They are still one of my favourite bands (I think they are a very nice and civilized bunch) and I'm grateful for what they've given me, but the appreciation is totally different now. I'm happy that WT still exists, that they release new albums and more important, that they still tour! It could have been different if you read about their struggles over the last few years.

 

But with every release that they now do, I'm not super exited, but await calmly what songs I do like. A bit like cherry picking from a mediocre cake....really enjoying the few pearls they are still able to produce and not really care about the lesser songs. With that attitude I listened to the 'Resist' album. The only exitement I had was about the rumours of a heavier music mode.

 

And to be clear.......I don't have anything against trying other things/directions (I do find 'And we run' really great). I also think that these things keep a band going. But obviously, you will like the outcome or not. But these things will always split fans, no matter whatever direction they turn. Every band should decide themselves what they do.

 

But unfortunately, the worst expectation has become true. WT have prodouced the worst album of their career. Even to a standard, that forces me to upgrade 'The unforgiving' with 1,5 points to a 7. That album is suddenly not that bad at all, but 'Resist' is! It also surprises me that there is such a divers appreciation amongst the fans. After listening to 'The reckoning' I had a good feeling. It sounded really alright and I do like it a lot. It was my most played WT song until listening to the whole album release. And then I bumped into 'Trophy hunter', which is undoubtly and by far the best song!!! But it will not be enough to buy the physical copy......not even close. To be clear, I also gave my copy of 'The unforgiving' away. Could not listen to the full album.

 

After 'The reckoning' followed a string of 8 very similar sounding songs. Different here and there by the cooperation with other singers ('Raise your banner' is an alright song), but all pretty uninspired and covered by that kind of muffed, unclear and overpowering heavy sauce that smothers most of the sound and sometimes even the lyrics. Sometimes I have no clue at all what they sing.

 

And despite 'Supernova' being an important song to Sharon personally, I think it is still crap. A deeper meaning in the lyrics doesn't make a crap song suddenly better. The use of electronics is okay, but what does it bring to this song? And what happened to Stefan's and Ruud's guitar playing? Just 40 seconds of a kind of solo at the end of 'Firelight'?????????????? Ridiculous!

 

I was really a bit depressed after having listened to song 2 to 9 (only 10 songs a well.......result of songwriter's blocks?) and then I heard the first 30 seconds of 'Trophy hunter' and I was immediately sitting up and my ears and musical mind became very interested. Now we were talking! It's a fantastic song and up there with the quality of 'Stairway to the skies' and TSF and THOE songs!! I LOVE it! And that's what I mean when I say enjoying the possible Pearls that WT can still produce after their peak era.

 

So, my summary of this 'Resist'  album is, that after song 1, basically nothing interesting happens (apart from an alright 'Raise your banner'-through the cooperation with Anders Friden) till song 10, which is great! Can't make anything more of it and I certainly could not enjoy it playing the whole album. For a possible 'Best of'- cd, I would only rate those 3 songs high enough to make the cut. As ratings go, and if you compare it to the other WT albums, I would rate 'Resist' a 5/10. AND it does make my appreciation of 'The Unforgiving' a different story, for it is not their worst album anymore. A solid 7/10 for that release now!

As a last remark about this album, I do agree with lots of other fans, that I do not like the general design and vibe of the album cover. To me, it looks like a failed Star Trek series with a gorgeous Alien singer and a bunch of Outer Space guitarists who were forbidden to express themselves.

 

P.S. It's difficult to keep a band together for more than 20 years now. All kudos for that. And that with just 1 singer, who is also one of the songwriters. It's only natural given that you can't stay on the highest creative level. 1 Singer in that regard is a disadvantage. No matter what you say and think about the change in NW singers, those changes have been the savior of the band NW itself. No way, NW with Tarja would have produced continous great albums if she was still the singer. They probably wouldn't have been around anymore. So,  for all the drama around the Nightwish divas, it worked out for the best..........still interesting releases with different singers and millions of pages for the fans who enjoy drama.

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I gave it a shot and... I don't know what to think. For me, it misses a certain factor X, you know, when you listen the album and then at some point it 'clicks' with you. Resist and I didn't 'clicked' and I doubt we will.

It has some beautiful lyrics, but not even beautiful lyrics can save a song with not-so-good (at best) music, sometimes.

I listened it and my interest slowly faded. I just couldn't concentrate and couldn't simply get "in" the album.

The only song I really liked is Firelight (what an irony, eh? The song that was written originally for My Indigo is the song I like the most) and to some extent I liked Raise Your Banner and The Reckoning.

The rest, let's just say I'm not impressed. I just kept listening and wondered: when this will end?

Song after song I've had a deja vu feeling, it's like the same song was repeated over and over with some variations here and there.

It's an album I listened two times and that's it. It's not an album I'd listen over and over again.

As a whole, imo, it's simply doesn't work and isn't cohesive. I just don't feel connection between songs.

I'm so sorry, actually. A big dissapointment.

Hydra was one of my favorite albums in 2014 but this one is like 'okay, I listened it, let's move on - on something else'.

 

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@hunebedbouwer

Maybe you've set your expectations too high when you were waiting for those "pearls" in the album. I'm not implying this is a bad thing, everyone demands from the band whatever they want to hear. But it's more likely to end up disappointed this way, 'cause you're expecting for every single track to be more punchy or more bombastic, or in this case heavier than they actually are. And they're clearly NOT.

To me it was pretty clear since TU that the band is not going to the heavier + pompous orchestral sound direction anymore. So I personally expect something completely different as it is the band trying to combine their old style with the new styles of music that are considered trendy or mainstream at the moment of the release. So the electronic elements, the voice distortions, the random collaborations are of essence TO ME when I listen to Within temptation. I know there won't ever be a THOE 2.0 nor TSF 2.0, they just don't want to repeat themselves by no means.

I do agree with you regarding Raise Your Banner, Firelight and Supernova. Except for RYB, the other two are the ones I usually skip. The rest of the album is pure joy to me. I feel that the singles fell weak in comparison to the other songs.

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@Damian

 

Nah, I thought I made it clear not to have ANY expectations after THOE. But WHEN pearls would be released, I would pick those and enjoy those. Like 'Trophy hunter'. A bit the same with Nightwish really, although they got a much better chance to produce the goods with the combination Tuomas/Floor.  

 

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The album is so polarizing! I LOVE IT!

I'll finally listen, in about an hour, but I'm probably more excited to hear what my brother, who's a real Silent Force-era fan, thinks.

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5 hours ago, hunebedbouwer said:

P.S. It's difficult to keep a band together for more than 20 years now. All kudos for that. And that with just 1 singer, who is also one of the songwriters. It's only natural given that you can't stay on the highest creative level. 1 Singer in that regard is a disadvantage. No matter what you say and think about the change in NW singers, those changes have been the savior of the band NW itself. No way, NW with Tarja would have produced continous great albums if she was still the singer. They probably wouldn't have been around anymore. So,  for all the drama around the Nightwish divas, it worked out for the best..........still interesting releases with different singers and millions of pages for the fans who enjoy drama.

I so agree and disagree with this! No, I don't think having the same singer/band members is a disadvantage at all until they get along well. I respected a lot bands like WT or Epica especially for being able to keep going despite their personal issues. Yes, Nw did benefit a lot from all the drama and vocalist changes because it kept them in the spotlight and gave people something to constantly chew on, but music-wise I'm not sure... EFMB for example is a rather average album, I liked it more than Resist but had it not been the first release of Nightwish "featuring" Floor Jansen, it would have also been pretty forgettable for me. So I don't think it's that much above it. I won't go further back on their timeline now.

In a nutshell, one doesn't have to change one's spouse because they want something fresh, one can find a way to do something refreshing. :P It might work, it might not. Of course changing one's spouse is also an option. Again, it might work, it might not. Each with what suits them better, I guess. :pardon:The risk is the same.

This  being said, I'm mostly with you, Resist is their weakest album. But I am not saying I'll never listen to it again, it's not like I hate it, I am just used to much better from them. (And this applies to Nw's latest releases too.)

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2 hours ago, NeoGeorg said:

I'll finally listen, in about an hour, but I'm probably more excited to hear what my brother, who's a real Silent Force-era fan, thinks.

Tell us what he thinks! :D

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Woo! We have finished our double listening session! First the regular album, immediately followed by the instrumental versions, just because we could! (I'd like to believe I won my brother over there, he hasn't taken interest in instrumentals previously.) This is the first time we've done something like this, and it was definitely a fun experience. Unfortunately a one-off, I think.

NeoGeorg's official thoughts and opinions on Resist

Songs I had heard prior to today: The Reckoning (Single, and live), Endless War (Live), Raise Your Banner (Single, and live), Supernova (Live), Firelight (Single), Mercy Mirror (Live). I haven't really looked into the lyrics much, but when it comes to Within Temptation it has always been music first for me.

The Reckoning

Spoiler

 

When I first heard it, I really liked the sluggish riff, made heavier by the growls. Once it became clear that many songs had that similar mid-tempo this song felt less "special". (Though I have to say the album as a whole did not feel as monotonous in its energy, its momentum, as I was prepared for.) Part of me wishes they would have taken the dubstep flirting even further, but it works the way it is, and is an "OK" track.

NeoBrother (my name isn't Georg though) had this one as a favorite from day one. It's coincidentally also the only song from the album he had heard in its studio version... I think it has already lost first place in the Resist playlist of his heart, but by how much remains to be seen.

 

Endless War

Spoiler

 

Ooh, I had high hopes for this one. I knew the studio version apparently was different from the live version, but I can't say either is better or worse. I love the attitude of the chorus, and it's in my ears the first of many examples of Sharon using her voice differently on this album, as she had said herself. It's a shame it's a bit short, I've never been a fan of songs lacking a "C-part", but it still works for me. A bit disappointed that the choir doesn't appear in the instrumental version, as I was hoping to use it for an upcoming audition... I already love singing this song myself... if lowered three semitones.

NeoBrother liked it. He said he would have liked the classical piano as both intro and outro.

 

Raise Your Banner

Spoiler

 

Well, this was one of my favorites since day one. Like, literally day one, since I listened to the demo that was accidentally (or "accidentally") uploaded on Apple Music. Love everything about the music, with and without vocals, especially the punchy drums in the verses. The instrumental part after the second chorus is pure adrenaline. The modulated choir parts (can't tell if they're artificial of not) in the final chorus are a really nice touch. Classical vocals somewhat reminiscent of The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything in the outro makes this a win.

I had hyped this one up for NeoBrother, and he was always like "yeah, yeah... Live version wasn't that special..." This brother apparently knows best, because once he heard it in proper he thought it was epic. And it is.

 

Supernova

Spoiler

 

I'm liking this one, but it definitely needs more time to grow. It wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable without the choir part in the middle, which reminds me of Mother Earth. They're not similar, but it can't be helped. Other than that, there's not much else to say.

NeoBrother didn't care for this one. Maybe because it needs to grow, as mentioned.

 

Holy Ground

Spoiler

 

This is the most atmospheric song for me, all thanks to the instrumentation. It nails the sort of etheric feel, very fitting for its name. Sharon rapping is kinda fun, and the synth parts and the rhythm is catchy! It's a shame the chorus is the weakest part of the song, though it has potential to grow slightly, I think. The strings solo, and the following instrumental part is very cinematic, and something I've wished for in Within Temptation's music for a long, long time. We both enjoyed the instrumental version as well, it works kinda well on its own!

NeoBrother and I liked this one equally, but he especially fell for the strings on the first listen.

 

In Vain

Spoiler

I don't regret skipping this one when it was released as a single. As of now, both NeoBrother and I agree that this is the weakest track of the album. He almost dozed off, though that probably had more to do with him working all day, playing floor ball, and then coming over right after. It's not a bad song, per se. The intro actually had me quite optimistic, gave me some The Unforgiving vibes, but as the song went on it was just... uninteresting. It deserves some more listens though, of course.

Firelight

Spoiler

 

My speakers were already quite familiar with this one, if you get what I mean! I think the strongest part of this song is the melody, and to some extent the vocal harmonies, and I love how the second chorus just soars as the choir and orchestra grows not once, but two times. The whoah-oo's throughout makes the song slightly hypnotic to listen to, which I guess works in its favor. Still, I have to admit my enthusiasm drops a bit after the singing is done, leaving me waiting for the guitar solo, but almost feeling it overstayed its welcome when it's over.

NeoBrother just said it's a good song, but not one of the best on the album.

 

Mad World

Spoiler

 

Hold on, now. This song was the star of the night. A well needed spark of up-tempo, but that's just the beginning. As we were surprised by the pre-chorus, I think something ignited in us both, that moved along into an energetic chorus, the likes of what we may both have longed for at that point. I honestly had low expectations for this one, but the high energy, dance inspired parts and fun backing vocals made this dynamic piece a total highlight. I love how they let the main riff linger for the outro as well, the song is all the better for it.

NeoBrother liked the idea of the crowd singing along in the pre-chorus if they were to play this one live. Totally makes sense. I hope they take it on tour for the next time we see them.

 

Mercy Mirror

Spoiler

 

I don't want to use the word "disappointment", but I after seeing and hearing recorded live performances of this one I had hoped for more. It's an emotional song, but the production dragged it down for me. It's the only song on the album that made me feel that way. The choruses lacked punch, lacked bass. The guitars weren't audible enough. The synth drowned in a mess of sound. This song would have benefitted from a simpler arrangement, perhaps. And why didn't they go for Sharon crying out "let you gooo...!" for an ending, as in some performances? Anticlimax.

NeoBrother thought this was one of the most mainstream sounding songs, but liked it. I had warned him they were possibly going for something more commercial with this album, but neither of us had an issue with the overall sound. Quite the opposite.

 

Trophy Hunter

Spoiler

I could have sworn this was a leftover track from The Heart of Everything! As I've seen, this is a favorite for many, and I get that. Personally, I think it can grow a bit more, but there is no doubt it's a worthy album closer. Still, it indeed doesn't quite reach that Stairway to the Skies-level one could have hoped for. A melodic guitar solo would have been nice, not that I'm the right person to say if it would fit. Anyway, very good. Not much else to say yet. We both liked this one.

Overall, Resist exceeded expectations for us both. Speaking for myself, it sometimes did so in unexpected ways, which is fun. I already know it's more solid than Hydra - Resist's best parts are on par with Hydra's best, while the worst parts are better than Hydra's worst, yeah. Apart from that it's hard to compare Within Temptation's albums to each other, as the band keeps evolving their sound, as per their aspiration to. They never cease to surprise me, and I admire them for it!

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34 minutes ago, NeoGeorg said:

They never cease to surprise me, and I admire them for it!

That's the point! :D

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I listened to Resist a few times and  I liked the electronic elements, but I didn't like how these elements pushed out the guitars in most of the songs. It's possible to do both. Like Sirenia did for example in Decadence:

If Resist had followed more similar to that, I would have been estatic. Also, after a few songs the use of electronic elements seemed a bit formulaic and tiring. Resist still needs time to sink in, so I'll see how much I end up liking Resist.

Hightlights: The Reckoning. I like how heavy it is .(According to Play Music, I have listened to the song 65 times since it was released), Raise Your Banner, Endless War. I have that line "You are fighting an endless war" stuck in my head. 

Low Points: Mercy Mirror. It had potential, but didn't live up to it. It's kind of a middle of the road song they way it is. Making it a ballad would have given it an edge. 

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The video of "Supernova" is going to be revealed today :) really happy they chose it.

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