Within Temptation - Enter
DSFA Records
Gothic Metal
8 songs ()
Release year: 1998
Within Temptation
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Every band, no matter how big or small, always has those “humble beginnings.” Within Temptation are no exception to the rule. While Mother Earth was the album that put these Netherland natives on the map and The Silent Force then catapulted them into stardom, their career stretches back to 1998 and this simple yet engaging platter of gothic metal. At the time there were few bands performing this type of music. The Gathering was causing a small stir in the water, Nightwish had released the potential packed (and very tepid) Angels Fall First, and Lacuna Coil would be releasing their debut ep the same year as Enter. Granted each of these bands have gone on to tremendous success (although The Gathering’s is a bit more cult status than their peers) it is Enter that is the strongest of this era’s outings.

New fans weaned on the hit singles of Angels, Memories, or Ice Queen may be a put off by the airy atmosphere that courses throughout Enter. There are no moments of over the top bombast to be found anywhere on these eight songs, nor are there any tracks that are radio ready for mass consumption. Also guitarist Robert Westerholt provides harsh vocals to play off Sharon’s gorgeous natural timbre. Rob’s a decent growler but due to the fact that the speed of every song is either slow and plodding or comatose he really doesn’t have a chance to stretch himself. His vocals generally blend together to the point where specific parts that he sings can’t be recalled by the listener since the tempo and rhythm is the same every time he opens his mouth. Sharon on the other hand is a delight to listen to and her vocals are the ingredient that Enter has that puts this at the top of the list of late nineties gothic metal. She doesn’t sing in any type of over the top faux opera style, or near as loud and harsh (and I do mean this in a good way) as Cristina Scabbia. Instead she reminds me of a more refined Tori Amos. She’s so damn good that even the ladeeda’s of Restless sounded pretty good despite the cheesiness.

I really like Within Temptation. Mother Earth is an album that I place fairly high on my list of “acts with chick singers.” Enter is a good way to trace back the roots of the band and also is a solid chunk of atmospheric gothic metal. It is so far removed from what they are doing now that it’s almost a shock to find out that it is the same band. This is also a good time to look upon a band who sat down and took note of their strengths and weaknesses after this was released and capitalized on their strong points. Because if they hadn’t had the courage to make the correct changes (dropping the growls, picking up the tempo, and giving Sharon even more accentuating vocal melodies) we wouldn’t have the masterpiece of Mother Earth. Take note of that if you will.

Killing Songs :
Restless, Enter, Blooded
Ben quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Within Temptation that we have reviewed:
Within Temptation - The Unforgiving reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Within Temptation - The Heart Of Everything reviewed by Ben and quoted 76 / 100
Within Temptation - The Silent Force reviewed by Jay and quoted 85 / 100
Within Temptation - Mother Earth reviewed by Sin and quoted 92 / 100
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