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Within Temptation - 'Resist' Album Review


1. The Reckoning

2. Endless War

3. Raise Your Banner

4. Supernova

5. Holy Ground

6. In Vain

7. Firelight

8. Mad World

9. Mercy Mirror

10. Trophy Hunter

Well that’s a hell of a song to start an album off with! You may or may not have already heard the opening track to 'Resist', as “The Reckoning” was released as a single in the back half of 2018. If you liked it on its own, be prepared to enjoy it even more in context, as it works even better as a gateway to the full-on sonic assault that this long-running Symphonic Metal band has unleashed.

'Resist' is the seventh album from Within Temptation, and as they have matured into their sound they have chosen to continue to experiment rather than rest on their laurels. This album is loud, well made, has some brilliantly catchy moments and is not afraid to wear it’s influences on its sleeve. The band have incorporated a significant amount of electronic instruments and effects to expand their traditional sound, which is great. It gives the album the freedom to sound familiar yet new all at the same time – and such experimentation is something that will always make me sit up and take notice.

The opening 1-2-3-4 combination of “The Reckoning”, “Endless War”, “Raise Your Banner” and “Supernova” made me feel that this was going to be an album full of unstoppable classics – but unfortunately when it comes to the rest of the album, that feeling falls away. That’s not to say they are bad songs, it’s just the first four tracks of the album wrote a cheque that the rest of the album fails to cash. There are a couple of great songs later in the album – I'm a big fan of “Mad World”, and “Trophy Hunter” is pretty good too, but nothing lives up to that early promise, and I found that to be the most disappointing thing.

In a way, this album has reminded me why I have never been the biggest fan of Within Temptation – they have some absolutely great songs, but it always feels as if they cannot sustain that across an entire album, and sadly that was the impression I’ve walked away from 'Resist' with.

Is it still worth listening to / buying? Absolutely. Those first four tracks alone are brilliant, and the rest of the album isn’t terrible, it’s just a bit bland by comparison. If this review has got you intrigued, then give it a try on Spotify or any other streaming service, and if you like it then buy it. For me it’s definitely a four-star record, but it’s a shame, because when I was four songs in, I was convinced this would be a five-star album, and a contender for best album of the year. Sadly not.

Review - Michael Braunton

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