09.02.2014

Album Review | WITHIN TEMPTATION - Hydra (English)


(c) Roadrunner Records
Released: 31th January 2014
Genre: Symphonic/Modern Metal

Maybe I lowered my expectations too much. And I also know why. The singles that have been released have given the wrong impression about WT's "Hydra". It has constantly been harped on the guest vocals, and especially the title "And We Run" with Xzibit has been seen very critically. That’s all bullshit. Singles do not tell everything about an album. That was the same thing with HIM and the first single "Tears on Tape" last year.
And to all the people for who Within Temptation have screwed it up: I have good news for you. This album does, for God's sake, not only contain guest appearances and experiments, as I had expected.
This is the completion of the experiments from the previous album "The Unforgiving", a new Within Temptation but also an old.

The fact that there is more melody on this album than ever should be clear. We're finally in the age of modern metal, and it all sounds like that. Synthesizers and voice distortion are commonplace. And yet, WT didn't forget where their roots are. Classical orchestral instruments and choirs are given here, but are not as strong in the foreground as on "The Heart Of Everything". One or the other guitar solo is also heard. Sharon's voice no longer breaks as strong as on the previous album, in addition to belting she also sings with her wonderful head voice and it's really nice to hear how she gets better without any training from album to album.

But there are also songs like "Edge Of The World", which made me think , "OK, now it's over. Only keyboard? Really?", but fact is that WT enhance even their most poppy ballads skillfully with drama. If you could see what goosebumps this album gives me…

There has been packed so much diversity on “Hydra” that it will absolutely appeal to everyone in some way, even if it is for one only the ballads and for the other up-tempo-songs "Dangerous", "Silver Moonlight" or "Tell Me Why". "Silver Moonlight" and "And We Run" strongly remind me of the "Enter"-time, although both songs are very modern, and especially of "And We Run" I am very pleasantly surprised. It did not become a cheap nu-metal number, which have already existed for many years now.

And stone me, but "Paradise" is, in spite of Tarja's singing, not the best song. Not epic enough, as Soffel of Reality Cuts Deep told me already. The singles were simply selected unfavorable. But of course the collaboration with Tarja also is a marketing thing at some point.
 

No matter with who WT are collaborating, a rapper, a metalcore singer or the Queen Of Symphonic Metal – they simply rule.
And again: The guest vocals are not in the foreground. All songs are thought out well.

To be honest, actually, I thought this album wouldn't overstep the 6/10-mark. WT have got hits and some boring songs. But what can I say: I am pleasantly surprised. I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun with "Hydra" from now on.


Rating: 8/10
Highlights: Let Us Burn, Dangerous, Silver Moonlight