Within Temptation are a Dutch symphonic metal/rock band founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and rhythm guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music has been descirbed as "epic" and "cinematic" by Sharon herself. Although their earlier material, especially Enter, was regarded as gothic metal, the band's reputation has grown over the years and they are now one of the most highly respected symphonic metal bands of today. In response to their genre, den Adel stated that they have many various influences towards their music. In an interview with 3VOOR12, she stated: "we consider ourselves a more symphonic rock band... we are, in my opinion, no gothic band."
After the release of their first album, Enter, the band became prominent in the Dutch underground scene. It was not until 2001 that they became known to the general public, with the single "Ice Queen" from the album Mother Earth, which reached #2 on the Dutch charts. The band then won the Buma Export Award, an award given to Dutch artists who have sold the most records abroad, four years in a row (2003-2006). Their following albums, The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything, debuted at #1 on the Dutch charts. In 2008, they released a live DVD and CD, Black Symphony, which featured the band perfoming with the Metropole Orchestra on stage. This was then followed by a 2009 live album entitled An Acoustic Night at the Theatre, which featured the band perfoming their biggest hits in a heart-capturing acoustic setting.
In March 2011, the band's fifth studio album, The Unforgiving, was released alongside both a comic book series and a series of short films that together encompass a story. The first single, "Faster" was released on January 21, followed by the first of three short films, Mother Maiden.
Long-term partners Robert Westerholt and Sharon den Adel began a music project in 1996, after Westerholt had left his previous band, The Circle, which was renamed as Voyage after his departure. Westerholt and den Adel created two demos, "Enter" and "Candles" which were then sent to former Voyage member, Jeroen van Veen, who was particularly interested in the music and left Voyage to join Westerholt and den Adel, along with Michie Papenhove who joined as lead guitarist. Robert's brother, Martijn Westerholt, joined the band as the keyboardist, and Dennis Leeflang joined on the drums. However, he was soon replaced by Ivar de Graaf. They were offered a recording contract by DSFA Records, who they then signed to and began work on their first release.
Enter and The Dance (1997-99)Edit
Within Temptation's first album, entitled Enter, was released in 1997. The album was well recieved and the band embarked on a four gig tour across the country, after which they performed at the Dynamo Open Air festival in Eindhoven. The band rounded out 1997 by embarking on their first international tour of Germany and Austria. Ivar de Graaf then left the band and was replaced by Ciro Palma.
In 1998, the band continued to tour and their profile had elevated them to the main stage at Dynamo for the 1998 event. However, Within Temptation had not released any new material since their last performance at the festival, and they had no plns for a second album at this point. They then elected to release an Extended Play, The Dance, with five songs (two of which were remixes of Enter tracks) that would further mature the sound from Enter.
Finally, taking a break from touring, 1999 was largely a sabbatical year for the band. They took the opportunity to construct their own studio, as well as returning to personal persuits, with plans to return to the studio the following year.
Mother Earth (2000-04)Edit
2000 was an eventful year for the band as they returned to touring and played three Dutch festivals: Waterpop, Bospop and Lowlands In addition, they went to work on their second album, releasing Mother Earth in the Netherlands and nearby areas on December 1. Th album was a moderate success in the Dutch charts the first few weeks after its release.
The lead single, "Our Farewell", was released on January 22, 2011, although it did not enter the charts. The second single, "Ice Quen" was regarded as the breakthrough release for the band and reached #2 in the Netherlands but climbed to the rop of the Belgium charts, giving Within Temptation their first #1 single. The success rebounded to Mother Earth, which continued to climb in the Duch album charts, ending the year at #3.
Ivar de Graaf left the band and was replaced by Stephen van Haestregt and Ruud Jolie was added as a second guitarist. Sadly, Martijn Westerholt left the band after being diagnosed with infectious monunucleosis, and was replaced by Martijn Spierenberg . Martijn Westerholt later started the band Delain.
In 2002, Within Temptation enjoyed their first concert in France and a headline gig in Mexico City. They attained their first major award, the Dutch Silver Harp. They bolstered this by embarking on a major international tour supporting Paradise Lost in 2003 and re-releasing Mother Earth on the GUN Records label across more European countries where it was a success in Germany after going platinum and reaching #7 in the charts. The re-release of "Ice Queen" also charted well in the top 30. In turn the Benelux regions got a different release, a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". The band headlined music festivals across the Netherlands, while their Mother Earth Tour DVD claimed the prestiguous Edison Award. Promotion of Mother Earth in the newer markets continued well into 2004 with various festival appearances ad other gigs, which also saw the band make their UK live debut in September, 2004 in London.
The Silent Force (2004-06)Edit
Plans for the band's third album came to fruition in 2004, with The Silent Force being released across Europe on November 15, 2004. The album was produced by Daniel Gibson and was an instant #1 in The Netherlands and charted well in many European countries. In support of the release, they embarked on another large international tour in 2005, with dates across Europe (including their first festival appearance in the United Kingdom, headlining Bloodstock) and a one-off show in Dubai. The performance at Java Eiland, Amsterdam on July 22, 2005 was filmed and used as the main focus of The Silent Force Tour DVD.
"Stand My Ground" and "Memories", the first singles from the new album, continued the band's run of the chart success, culminating a second Edison Award. The third single was "Angels", which immediately became a favourite among fans. "Stand My Ground" was later to be promoted on the trailer for the film Blood and Chocolate. The band also provided some of the soundtrack for the video game Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade.
In January 2006, Within Temptation won the Dutch Pop Prize (award for best Dutch pop contribution) and Dutch Export Prize (best-selling Dutch artist outside the Netherlands); the latter one given to them for the third time in a row. The band also reported that they were busy working on their next album, dur to be released during the fall. They also announced that they would start playing at festivals starting in April, in addition to going on an international tour at the end of the year.
On August 5, 2008, the band's albums Mother Earth and The Silent Force were released in the United States for the first time through Roadrunner Records.
The Heart of Everything, Black Symphony and An Acoustic Night at the Theatre (2007-10)Edit
Within Temptation's fourth album, The Heart of Everything, was released on Marh 9, 2001 in the Netherlands, followed by the United Stated on July 24. Two tracks, "The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom", were recorded as promotion material for the video game: The Chronicles of Spellborn. As a way to promote the North American release of the album, Within Temptation embarked on their first tour with Lacuna Coil in May. Roadrunner Records also released a limited edition EP called The Howling, which was available only at Hot Topic stores, containing the the title track plus popular tracks from their former album: The Silent Force.
The album debuted at #1 in the Dutch Album 100, making it their second number-one album. It reached #2 in Belgium and Finland and made the top 10 in eight countries, and top 100 in eleven. As of March 18, 2007, the album had sold 70,000 copies in the first week.
The music video for the first single, "What Have You Done", was initially recorded from December 12-14, 2006 at the Koko club in London, and a CGI studio in Windsor. The song features Keith Caputo of Life of Agony on guest vocals. Fans were allowed to participate in the making of the video, although the first version left the band feeling disappointed. Shortly after, a completely new video for the song was made and it peaked at #1 in the Netherlands and Finland.
The second single, "Frozen", was released in June across Europe. The video was filmed in Romania and focuses on child abuse, and the money raised from the single was donated to the Child Helpline Internation charity. "The Howling" was chosen as a digital single release for the UK, and another video was also shot. The extended version of the "Frozen" single features an unreleased b-side, "Sounds of Freedom".
The Heart of Everything was released in the United States on July 24, and the promotional single, "What Have You Done", was shipped to rock stations on July 2. This was the band's first album to be released in America, followed by the previous albums Mother Earth and The Silent Force a year later.
In support of the new album, Within Temptation decided to kick off their first headlining US tour in Fall 2007. The band played 13 shows, starting on Septermber 5 in Boston and ended on September 23 in Tempe, Arizona.
On October 19, 2007, the band released the video for "All I Need", the third single from The Heart of Everything. The single features the single and album versions of the song, as well as demo versions of "The Last Time", "Frozen" and Our Solemn Hour"
In November 2007, the band released information that their concert at Beursgebouw in Eindhoven was filmed for a possible inclusion on a new concert DVD. On February 7, 2008, the band performed a 10,000 audience show entitled Black Symphony at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in which they were joined on stage by The Metropole Orchestra, the Pa'dam Choir, Geoge Oostoek (ex-The Orphanage), Anneke van Giersbergen of Agua de Annique and Keith Caputo of Life of Agony. On September 22, 2008, a DVD and Blu-ray, alongside a double CD, of Black Symphony was released internationally (except for the US, which received it the following day). The trailer of the DVD (the entire live perofrmance of "Our Solemn Hour" from the show) was released on July 16, 2008. A final single from The Heart of Everything, "Forgiven", was released to promote the Black Symphony release.
On November 3, 2008, Ruud Jolie stated on his blog that the members of Within Temptation were going to take a year off: "After the Theatertour that will start next week, me and the rest of Within Termptation are gonna take a whole year off. For the last 7 years we've been hopping from studio to tourbus to airplane to boat to studio again to tourbus to bicyce to airplane to an occasional swimming pool on the top of a hotel to tourbus again. We all realy needed a break from the band..."
Their song "What Have You Done" was featured as downloadable content on the video game Guitar Hero: World Tour. Their song "The Truth Beneath the Rose" was used in commercials for the third season of The Tudors on ShowTime.
The band then set dates to restart the Theatre Tour in 2010. On August 11, 2009, Sharon announced on the official website that a live acoustic album would be released in late October/early November called An Acoustic Night at the Theatre. It would include the live acoustic set from Eindhoven's Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, and a brand new studio-recorded song. The album was released on October 20, 2009 with a new single, the studio-recorded song, "Utopia". The song is a duet between Sharon and British singer Chris Jones, which was released on October 23.
In April 2010, the song "All I Need" was featured in the American Television show, Vampire Diaries.