When it comes to the symphonic and Gothic metal scene, there are a few bands that are simply impossible to forget, either because they have left quite a mark in our ears and hearts or because they keep on innovating what they do. In this stance, Within Temptation has both these requirements, hailing from the Netherlands and providing us with ground-breaking music since 1996. They are about to release their eighth record, “Bleed Out”, on October 20th through Force Music Recordings, and I couldn’t be happier to review it in its entirety.
“Bleed Out” consists of 11 tracks, 7 of which are already released as singles; if you are a fan of the band, you have already heard more than 60% of the album. This can give you the general idea and tone of the record, as the 4 remaining songs are not in any way different (but that is what I was hoping to hear).
Den Adel has completely abandoned her operatic style to adopt a more modern approach to the vocals, which is understandable due to the constant evolving of the themes and the sounds of the group. The evolution has been to darker and heavier sounds, almost crossing the melodic border of the genre: this is clear in “We Go To War” and “Bleed Out“. There are also doom elements (“Cyanide Love“) and electronic ones that reminded me of previous releases (“The Purge“, “Unbroken“).
Lyrically, the album continues the band’s penchant for exploring themes of obscurity, resilience, and emotional depth. Production-wise, “Bleed Out” is a polished effort, with crisp soundscapes that showcase the band’s meticulous attention to detail. Daniel Gibson has done an outstanding job, and it’s very hard to find a fault in the mixing.
Concluding, “Bleed Out” presents a sonic journey that straddles the realms of familiarity and transformation. While it may not rank as Within Temptation‘s magnum opus, it is an album worth exploring if you are ready for a new chapter of the group. The nostalgic followers of the band will miss the soaring, operatic metal anthems that defined earlier works, but you’ll be satisfied if you are looking for an improved sequel to “Resist”.