Rating:
9.0
Within Temptation - Enter
7 April 1997


01. Restless
02. Enter
03. Pearls Of Light
04. Deep Within
05. Gatekeeper
06. Grace
07. Blooded
08. Candles
09. Restless [classical version] [bonus]
10. The Dance [bonus]
11. Another Day [bonus]
12. The Other Half (Of Me) [bonus]


To start, there are a lot of bad feeling about Within Temptation nowadays, mainly since "The Silent Force" was released a few years after the frankly wonderful "Mother Earth." Fans just couldn't understand why the band they loved were beginning to move from from heavily symphonic metal to a more mainstream sounding Evanescence clone. Sadly, I agreed with this sentiment, and come the release of "The Heart of Everything" I was pretty much too depressed with the change to listen to WT any more. Don't get me wrong, both albums have some really great tracks on them, but I like my metal a little bit less MTV all the same.

So it's just as well I can now look back at WT's debut album and remind myself why I love this band.

Back in 1997 Enter was released, and this is why the METAL world, not the rock and pop groupies, sat up and took notice of this new band. The album sits between gothic metal and doom, a viewpoint I steadfastly cling to. In general the music is slower and more crushingly depressive than most gothic metal bands, even early Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania. As the first few bars of "Restless" begin, with the constant piano accompanying Sharon's ridiculously high vocals (which still manage to sound comfortably within her range) the listener knows that the album is going to be one whole trip into sadness, if not actual apathy. "Restless" is actually the lightest track on the album, definitely an indication of what would be perfected on Mother Earth. Come the next track you realize that back then WT were actually a HEAVY group. Here we have extreme vocals, crunchy guitars, slow driving drum rhythms (no double kicking here) and all the while Sharon's voice floating above the despair in a deliciously cliched gothic detachment.

Te tracks on Enter can really be divided into two groups. First is the heavier, more doom laden tracks such as "Enter," "Gatekeeper," or "Blooded," and it's definitely the more prominent type of track on the album, also the one track "Deep Within" which doesn't feature Sharon at all (other than some subtle backing vocals I believe); even the synths take a back seat to the extreme vocals, which acts as a brilliant pause in the album. The second type of track is that of the lighter, synth driven WT like in "Restless," "Pearls of Light," and "Candles," which begin with light instrumentation such as piano or harp-synth before the guitars and drums kick in to carry the melody along to a climax.

A brief mention of my favorite WT track of all time - "Grace." I think the main reason I like this song isn't just that it is a good example of the heavier side of early WT, but that Sharon really shows off her vocal range, not just in being able to swap octaves at ease, but in the way she managed to sound truly evil at times. It makes you pause, and gives you chills to think that despite the beautiful dresses and soaring voice she could do things to you that you'd only ever dared dream of, and probably even manage to keep you conscious while doing it! Or that might just be me.

So all in all I have to say any metalhead that likes gothic or doom metal should already have this album, just to remind ourselves that Within Temptation were a good, HEAVY band who wrote good metal once upon a time. Maybe that will stop the tears next time we see them on Scuzz or Kerrang. Despite not one single song from Enter appearing in their last tour, if WT ever use their new fame and fortune to again release an album as marvelous as this I will take back any disparaging comment I have made about them. This was the era when catchy riffs weren't just limited to repetitive backing guitar work.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Within Temptation
Album: Enter


 


written by velvet | 19.12.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Katatronik - 19.12.2007 at 12:22  
Very good debut album, restless is one of their best songs ever IMO...
Good review!
duyhung - 19.12.2007 at 12:52  
Actually in their latest tour WT did play 'Restless' (it was an acoustic version of the song though)
velvet - 19.12.2007 at 13:49  
Really? They didn't at the show i managed to see, bu then again the crowd there cheered louder at 'What Have You Done' than 'Mother Earth', so I'd already given up hope by then ;0
Collin - 19.12.2007 at 14:31  
They didn't play it on the last two tours (and I've seen them twice on the "The Heart Of Everything" tour) either.

This is my favourite WT album with Mother Earth. I really like the growls and the overall doomy feeling of this album. There was actually some thought put into the atmosphere and the melodies, and not just into having radio-friendly choruses. Oh, Restless and Candles are certainly two of the best songs they've ever come up with by the way.
duyhung - 19.12.2007 at 18:47  
Written by velvet on 19.12.2007 at 13:49

Really? They didn't at the show i managed to see, bu then again the crowd there cheered louder at 'What Have You Done' than 'Mother Earth', so I'd already given up hope by then ;0

You're also in the UK, aren't you? so which show did you attend? In the show i attended they played 'Restless' and some other old songs like 'The Other Half Of Me' , out of 19 songs they played that night there were 5 or 6 from 'Enter' and 'Mother Earth' era... , and those performances really showed me that if the band want to play their old music still they can manage to do it, with a very high quality

And here there is a clip of 'Restless' being played live, in case you're interested. This is from their gig in London in November (which is the show i was at) : http://youtube.com/watch?v=u0Bj2s494Hc
velvet - 20.12.2007 at 01:01  
I remember 'Restless' and 'The Other Half of Me' at Bloodstock, but not in 'the Heart of Everything' tour. I saw them at the Astoria earlier on in the year... If they played tracks from Enter later in the tour I'm going to be pissed They also didn't do 'Running Up that Hill' which i think is an awesome cover.

I agree the band are still very, very good live, and I certainly prefer most of their new tracks when the guitars are brought to the fore (Jillian or Our Solemn Hour for example were superb).

The restless clip was good quality for a gig film, thanks for the link.
duyhung - 20.12.2007 at 01:08  
Written by velvet on 20.12.2007 at 01:01

I remember 'Restless' and 'The Other Half of Me' at Bloodstock, but not in 'the Heart of Everything' tour. I saw them at the Astoria earlier on in the year... If they played tracks from Enter later in the tour I'm going to be pissed They also didn't do 'Running Up that Hill' which i think is an awesome cover.

I agree the band are still very, very good live, and I certainly prefer most of their new tracks when the guitars are brought to the fore (Jillian or Our Solemn Hour for example were superb).

The restless clip was good quality for a gig film, thanks for the link.

No problem. So it must be the Astoria show in April that you saw, about that tour i don't have any idea if they played old songs or not , but i'm glad they did in their recent tour, maybe i was luckier than you
Abattoir - 28.12.2007 at 00:55  
Hm...I listened this album a few times, but I realy didn't get into it till now, like in those 3 following releases...especially Mother Earth, which is realy a great album. But anyway, maybe it will sound better for me on the concert, when they are coming in our country in January...looking forward to that of course

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