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Within Temptation, "Mother Earth" Album Review

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Within Temptation's Musical Breakthrough

Mother Earth is the second studio album by symphonic metal band Within Temptation and being a fan of the band since the days of their debut album Enter, I naturally had the curiosity to want to listen to this album and review it. The album brings back feelings of nostalgia for the late 1990s and I was very impressed with this album after that first initial listen. As of 2011, it was reported that 800,000 copies of the album had been sold. Mother Earth is considered to be the band’s breakthrough album. The heavy metal magazine Metal Hammer gave Mother Earth much praise ranking it among the 20 best albums of the year 2000.

One Noticeable Difference Between This Album and Enter

The album shows the impressive vocal range of Sharon Den Adel as she soars ever higher and makes the songs a very pleasant listen. However, the vocal growls that you heard on the band’s debut are not present on this album as the focus has been to create something different this time. However, Mother Earth was not officially released in the United States along with the band’s next album The Silent Force until August 2008 on the label Roadrunner Records.

"Intro"

Sharon Den Adel Explains the Band's Change of Style

The style departure for the band could be seen as a sign of growth and that’s one of those qualities that I would always be in favor of. It gets kind of old recording the same type of album over and over. In a 2008 video interview, vocalist Sharon Den Adel shared her thoughts on how the recording process went saying: “We didn’t want to have the grunt vocals anymore. We felt like everyone was using that as a gimmick and we didn’t want to have it in our music anymore because of that.”[1] That’s only part of what she said but this gives the reader a general idea of the band’s approach at the time.


[1] Taken from “Part 1 interview Within Temptation” YouTube.


A photo symbolizing Mother Earth in visual form.

A photo symbolizing Mother Earth in visual form.

An Underrated Vocal Performance on Mother Earth

The album starts with the title track that is influenced by Amorphis when they had made their transition to a more progressive rock kind of sound. However the symphonic influence is also very clear in this opening song. The power of Sharon’s voice as she says “until the end of time” is heard here and her range also fits within that vocal power to create one of the best voices in the heavy metal genre. It is nice to read these kinds of things from the person that is analyzing this album but others have enjoyed this album as well. Robbie James remarked that “Sharon has the voice of an angel lost in the midst of an extravaganza of pure power and beautiful music!", [2] The angelic quality of Sharon’s voice cannot be disputed at all and she is one of those vocalists that may be overlooked as other female vocalists in the genre may get more credit because of their fame. Mother Earth may be the band’s first noticeable commercial success but it shows the power of the vocals which enhances the songs themselves. As far as Within Temptation albums go, this is a good one to listen to after you listen to the band’s debut.

[2] Taken from YouTube. Accessed on March 30, 2021. Source: Robbie James.



It is one of the most proper things to do and this album review is dedicated to Sharon Den Adel, Robert Westerholt and all the members of Within Temptation.

References

“Part 1 video interview Within Temptation” YouTube. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2021.

James. Robbie. YouTube. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2021.



"Never-ending Story"

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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