Within Temptation – The Silent Force (2004) – Review

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The album The Silent Force is a cool one, following Mother Earth in spirit, if not in sound. Albeit that the whole concoction comes across as a bit softer and more … mainstream.

Within Temptation have crafted a great 3rd studio album with The Silent Force that will hook you right from the beginning.

Some voices indicate that the metal is lacking (true), that Within Temptation has strayed from the true path of Gothic Rock to something more melodic (also true). And that they only did this to attract new fans (me, for example, so partly true). For the rest of the crowd, I cannot speak.

But then, death grunts have not sold a lot of records lately in the Gothic and Symphonic arena. And the style they deploy IS varied and DOES change in the course of the album. Which is really remarkable.

Sharon den Adel  – again – is the soul of the album. And she adds a good, personal touch to the songs throughout the record, and – finally – a lot grace to the production. And luckily so, because without a good front, this album would sound very flat.

So, The Silent Force turned out to be a real Within Temptation album in my book. But yet again, methinks that this record also dwells at a crossroads to a future change of style. And indeed it already incorporates some of the bombast The Heart of Everything would display later in the decade.

But back to The Silent Force. 

I won’t go into much detail, all the tracks are good, except one or two. Especially remarkable are See Who I Am, Aquarius, and Stand My Ground. Pale surprises with a heartbreak that is amazing in its projected emotion. Angels depicts the epic fight between good and evil with a really good video to back it up. 

On the negative, the album might lack a bit of the originality of former and later productions. And it could have used some more oomph. Yet, all of this is still good quality, with a good sound to boot.

In conclusion, The Silent Force is one of the best – if not THE best – album Within Temptation ever made. A little less metal in appearance and more rocky, though, there is almost no track on this production that is NOT good. Coherence, passion, and a frankly powerful delivery make this record worth your time. And it should most definitely form part of your collection.

Ed’s note: The review made it onto the first ever Intermittent Best Of. Congrats!

Record Rating: 9/10 | Label: GUN Records | Web: Official Site
Release date: 15 November 2004

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