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Within Temptation, ‘Hydra’ – Album Review

Within Temptation Hydra
Nuclear Blast

At first glance, it could be easy to be distracted by the plentiful guest stars, but that’s not the case with Within Temptation‘s ‘Hydra’ album. In most cases, the vocals blend perfectly with Sharon den Adel’s powerful pipes to provide some interesting tracks that flow well within the context of the disc.

Fans who follow the group closely have likely already heard the singles ‘Paradise (What About Us?’) featuring Tarja Turunen and ‘Dangerous’ with special guest Howard Jones (formerly of Killswitch Engage), but there’s much more to this album. ‘Let Us Burn’ is a kick-you-in-the-pants opener that will have you pumping your fists triumphantly, and it’s set in motion by den Adel’s powerful vocals and a wicked guitar solo late in the cut.

It’s the perfect lead-in to ‘Dangerous,’ a powerful and rapid-moving track about taking sacrifices. ‘And We Run,’ while a solid song that would stand out more on an average album, takes a bit of a back seat here, with the guest rapping from Xzibit being the thing that sets the song apart.

The album is full of showcases for den Adel’s vocal prowess, whether it be trading lines with Tarja Turunen in ‘Paradise (What About Us?’), the early parts of ‘Edge of the World’ or when she brings it home on the late album standout ‘Dog Days.’ But the band also gets a chance to shine, rocking out ‘Silver Moonlight’ and amping up ‘Edge of the World’s back portion. The album comes to a conclusion on a high note, as den Adel joins Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner for the hauntingly beautiful track, ‘The Whole World Is Watching.’

Hopefully the whole world will be listening as well, as Within Temptation’s ‘Hydra’ is definitely worth your time as a complete album experience.

4 Stars

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