Within Temptation are a Dutch band founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and her boyfriend, guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music is usually described using two of the following words: symphonic, gothic, metal, and rock. Their last two albums debuted at #1 on the Dutch charts.After the release of their first album Gothic Metal album Enter, the band became prominent in the Dutch underground scene. It was not until 2001 that they became known to the general public, with the single "Ice Queen" from the album Mother Earth, which reached #2 on the Dutch charts. Since then, the band won the Conamus Exportprijs four years in a row. Their next two albums The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything debuted at #1 on the Dutch charts. In 2008, they released a live DVD and CD, Black Symphony, recorded with the Metropole Orchestra. This collection was followed in 2009 with An Acoustic Night at the Theatre.The band's fifth studio album The Unforgiving, was released in March 2011, alongside both a comic book series and a series of short films that together encompass a story. The first single, "Faster", was released on January 21, and the first short film, Mother Maiden, was released on January 31. The band has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.They are reminiscent of a variety of bands including but in no way limited to, Nightwish, Epica, Evanescence, Kamelot and Lacuna Coil.
Audience Participation Song: "Stand My Ground," "What Have You Done," "Ice Queen." On the tour supporting The Unforgiving, Sharon also plays repeat-after-me with the audience during parts of "In the Middle of the Night."
Back to Front: Played with in "Memories" - the video is mostly done going forwards, but the scene where the young Sharon is in a music room (around the second verse) sees a broken chandelier return to the ceiling as well a table reform with a pot plant and candles sitting on top. The chandelier ends up falling back down as Sharon flees the building in the final chorus
Costume Porn: Sharon wears many elaborate dresses in music videos and live concerts.
The Cover Changes The Gender: From the Q-Music Sessions: the subject in "Don't You Worry Child" becomes male. Subverted in "Dirty Dancer" where the titular person is still female, but the line "But she’s a ten when she’s on top of me" becomes "But she’s a ten when she’s on top of him"
Hide Your Pregnancy: The video for "Sinéad," where Sharon wears a heavy coat and is only shown from the chest up.
Hologram: Used in the "Ice Queen" and "Memories" videos.
Hope Spot: Discussed and subverted in "Deceiver Of Fools" - the subject recognises that in their heart there's an ever-present light at the end of the tunnel, but knows it won't actually lead anywhere because of the extent of the darkness.
As well as "Lost," particularly the bridge, where Sharon notes that "hope plays a wicked game with the mind" and ends with "She won't come around" referring to whoever it is the protagonist was trying to save. And since the next song on the list is "Murder," whoever was responsible for this is in for one hell of a reckoning.
I Will Find You: "Somewhere" and "Pale." And from The Unforgiving, "Stairway to the Skies" and to some extent, "Lost".
Ice Queen: Used a metaphor for winter in "Ice Queen".
In Da Club: "Sinead" starts out like this. But is immediately subverted once we see the titular character walk in with two guns and shoot two middle-aged men in the chest while another man tries to flee the scene
Loved I Not Honor More: "Hand of Sorrow" is about the fact that the titular Hand's duty prevents him from being with his True Love.
Melismatic Vocals: Common in the first two albums (such as "Restless" and "Mother Earth"), rarer afterwards.
Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Normally about a 6-7. "In Perfect Harmony" is a textbook level 1 while songs such as "The Howling", "Murder" and "Our Solemn Hour" move into 8-9.
Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: From 1 ("In Perfect Harmony", "Bittersweet", "Forgiven") to 7 ("The Dance", "In the Middle of the Night", "Our Solemn Hour"), possibly 8 in "Silver Moonlight".
Mood Whiplash: The existentialist "World of Cardboard" Speech "Why Not Me?" is followed on The Unforgiving by "Shot In the Dark," where the singer discusses her betrayal, loss of faith and desire for it to all be over.
New Sound Album: Almost every album, actually, due to the long intervals between each, but Mother Earth was particularly different from its predecessor, Enter. The band moved away from a mostly-Gothic Metal sound towards Symphonic Metal, Robert stopped using Harsh Vocals and the average song length was shortened quite a bit.
The Unforgiving as well, with its '80s influences.
Of Corsets Sexy: Sharon's stage outfits, which she designs herself (She studied fashion before becoming a professional singer).
"Jillian (I'd Give My Heart)" is a Shout-Out to the Deverry Cycle novel series, of which one of the characters is a character known as Jill, who is the reincarnated Love Interest of the male protagonist in the series.
Subverted, however, with "Sinéad". The character in question is one of the people revived by Mother Maiden to be part of her fight against evil.
Out-of-Genre Experience: Sharon lent her voice to Armin Van Buuren's "In and Out of Love". Notable for being the most liked video on Dutch Youtube and one of the most viewed videos on Youtube worldwide with over 120 million views (Link).
Precision F-Strike: Their cover of "Little Lion Man" by Mumford And Sons leaves the word intact, a "Fuck you" can also be heard in the "Mother Maiden" video and Xzibit's rap in "And We Run" includes "...I crush every motherfucking thing I touch."
Rapunzel Hair: Sharon and former guitarist Michiel Papenhove seemed to compete with each other for the longest hair during promotion of The Dance.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "The Promise", "Murder" and "Tell Me Why". "Angels" also features one, implied to be from beyond the grave.
Rousing Speech: The entirety of "See Who I Am" is one of these. So is "Stand My Ground", "Faster" and "Iron".
Say My Name: "Say My Name" involves the singer trying to reach out to a relative with dementia or Alzheimers to remember their existence.
Scary Scorpions: Appears in the video for "The Howling" (in the apocalyptic environment setting). Its appearance is downplayed though, as it only appears in the beginning of the video where it rests on a horrified Sharon's hand.
Scatting: The Silent Force's "Intro" as well as "The Cross" are two good example.
Serial-Killer Killer: Sinéad and all of Mother Maiden's servants in The Unforgiving, emphasized in the song "Murder."
Shout-Out: A number of the songs contain recognisable elements from fantasy works (provided you're a fan of course, otherwise it's going to be lost on you). Much less subtly, "Final Destination" was indeed inspired by and is about the film series of the same name.
"A Demon's Fate" from The Unforgiving uses the same pattern of 5 descending notes as the famous opening of the theme for The Phantom of the Opera.
"Hand of Sorrow" from The Heart of Everything was inspired by Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, though the lyrics are just vague enough that it could be applied to any number of stories as well.
The music video for "All I Need" could just as well be called "Ode to The Cell"
Soprano and Gravel: Used in Enter (save for "Restless" (Sharon only), "Deep Within" (Robert only) and "Blooded" (neither)) before being abandoned for "Mother Earth" with the exception of:
"Jane Doe", a bonus track on some editions of The Silent Force.
The Heart of Everything has "What Have You Done" (with Keith Caputo), "Our Solemn Hour" and the title track itself.
Hydra has "Silver Moonlight" and "Tell Me Why" (Robert), "Dangerous" (Howard Jones), "And We Run" (Xzibit) and "Whole World is Watching" (Dave Pirner/Piotr Rogucki).
Spiky Hair / Dye Hard: Martijn had a mohawk during the Mother Earth and The Silent Force eras. He then ditched the mohawk but went blonde for The Heart of Everything which faded back to a sandy brown colour a year later, which remains that way to this day.
Spoken Word In Music: "Our Solemn Hour" includes samples from Winston Churchill's "Be Ye Men Of Valour" speech.
From "The Promise": "Where are you now... you're almost in heaven."
Vocal Evolution: Subverted. Sharon can still easily hit the high notes of their earlier songs, but the deeper vocals found in their two most recent albums was because she thinks they fit the album better.