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Within Temptation - Enter

Within Temptation -  CD Review
CD Info
DSFA Records
8 Tracks
English lyrics

Having mailed demo tapes off to various record companies, it was DSFA who finally took the bait and signed Within Temptation in 1996. The songs on Enter are more or less what was on that demo tape, and for these to be some of the first that the band was to produce is something very impressive indeed. In a way, Within Temptation are very fortunate to have discovered their sound so early on - this is an album that knew exactly what it wanted to be.

When Enter first came out it was described as death/doom metal by many. Maybe so, because at the time, that's what it was. The way that it differs from Mother Earth is the inclusion of the extreme vocals – which work very well and I'm not sure why they omitted them from the next album. My only guess is that the band felt they didn't work, but they do work - and they don't for many other artists who are just sheepishly following the genre. However, Gothic Metal was still in it's foetal stages in the 90s with a lot of experimentation going on, so maybe now WT have the sound they want.

Enter is split straight down the middle - half of it is heavy and half of it reflective. The best of the softer moments goes to the two main piano-backed tracks, Restless and Pearls Of Light. These are calm, enchanting and the piano works nicely whereas it sounds like it was stuffed in in places just for contrast on Mother Earth. The best of the heavy tracks on this album is Enter itself, and Deep Within comes a close second, although it is a little tuneless, to be frank.

In spite of the fact that Within Temptation has a high track record, there are a couple of things that count against them. Firstly, the affliction that they suffer the most from is that their songs either fall into instantly memorable of instantly forgettable categories. We'll remember numbers here like Enter and Restless, but the rest of the album's a bit of a blur to me, and I have listened to it a lot. Secondly, though Sharon sounds great here she does go a little off in places, but I'm only saying that having heard her set herself such a high standard on Mother Earth. Nevertheless, these points are purely trivialities and don't do the band too great a disservice. They're still up at the top in the Gothic Metal stakes and deservedly so, since the material they produce is quality, and there's certainly a good deal of that here.