“It has been three years in the making and eagerly awaited both by fans and fans of the genre, desperate for their fix of heavy emotive metal and for an evocative, captivating female presence so sorely left empty by the departure of Tarja Turunen from the front line band Nightwish. Such a loss was this that some might have even forgotten about a band just as worthy, about a voice perhaps even more stunning and talented and very wrongly so. Three years later the silent forces have returned to remind us that Nightwish are not the only ones who know how to marry the perfect sounds of metal and opera together, to remind us that other stars shine just as brightly and that they are just as powerful and enticing as ever. Be prepared to be tempted, very tempted, by the spellbinding Dutch enchantress Sharon Den Adel and her band Within Temptation.” Alana King

The UK has seen a lot of Within Temptation in 2007: and so have we at R13!

There was Download, plus two headline tours playing decent sized venues, like Brixton Academy in London where we caught them last. Back in the spring though it was Manchester’s Academy where we tracked them down for a chat just after the release of the ‘Heart of Everything’ album.

Reflecting on the initial reaction to the band’s new material, Robert Westerholt said: “It's doing very well. Doing much better than the last record. I don't know why. There's a bigger awareness.”

On how the band progresses from one record to the next, he continued: “We are still not satisfied with what we have. We can always find something new. Often when making an album you find new challenges like "ah shit, we should try this in the next album" you know? We are also not so closed in by a specific form. And we ourselves, let ourselves do what we like, what we want to do. I think this record shows what we've learnt from all of our records. That's why we are so pleased with this one. It's something we've had for years in our minds.”

So the long awaited album was out, read a review
here, and the band were on the world tour trail. Check out our live verdict from Manchester
here, where a few technical difficulties threatened, but ultimately failed to stop this from leaving our reviewer mightily impressed.

Within Temptation returned in June for
Download, but as the review shows, not all went to plan.

“Whilst the band were the sad victims of technical problems, they made an impact with the few songs they did manage to play and many of those who gathered to watch them this afternoon will be heading off to their UK tour later in the year.” Philippa Mcmahon

And “later in the year” duly arrived, with the band returning to play major venues in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham on a short tour at the end of November. A far cry from the short Download set, as our review shows, this was everything a Within Temptation fan could hope for an more.

The tour was accompanied by a special edition of their latest album, which included the hard-hitting single 'Frozen', a track that tackles the subject of abuse within the family.

When released in Europe earlier this year, the band decided to donate their profits from the single to Child Helpline International, a global charity of help lines working in over 150 countries.

Vocalist Sharon den Adel explains: "We decided to raise this topic because it's still not discussed enough in public. The victims of abuse can suffer their whole life. Abuse and violence often take place within the closed net of the family and therefore, abused children are hesitant to disclose their abuser as they can feel threatened by this person. In addition they may feel guilty about accusing a family member. Since becoming parents we have become much more aware of the subject. If you imagine for only one second this could happen to your own child, you start losing your mind. We learned when writing the lyrics to 'Frozen' and then later filming the video how difficult it is to talk openly about this subject.

"When the 'Frozen' video was shown for the first time on YouTube, it was viewed by more than 50,000 people within a few days thus becoming one of the most viewed music videos on the website. That showed us how important it was for many people that we made a video about this issue.”

Watch the ‘Frozen’ video here

Speaking on more general terms about the process of making videos, Robert Westerholt told us: “We have a love hate relationship with videos. Because when you make a record you have control over it and time to develop and change if you don't like things but with a video you come up with an idea you like, but you are still so much in the hands of the director and if he's having a bad day or not quite into it as you thought he would be or the timing... you are always so much under time pressure with videos. They always have to be released "By Then". You don't have a lot of time if you are working on a record or touring. And sometimes, you have to shoot it in a day, or two, three days. And it has to happen and if it doesn't happen you have something you have to live with.

“The 'Mother Earth' video I liked and the 'Memories' video I like. The 'Angels' video is nice but there are some elements which I felt differently about. We have our million dollar ideas but you don't have a million dollars.”

Read that full interview
here, and our recent one with Ruud Jolie from London

Awards have started to come their way once again, including a European regional recognition at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Who to say that there won’t be plenty more following the year Within Temptation have had.

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