After a five year gap, Within Temptation are finally back with their long awaited seventh album Resist. After such a long wait the album is certainly highly anticipated from their fans especially after being delayed for almost another 2 months. So how do Within Temptation fare after coming back from such a long break?
Resist starts strong enough, The Reckoning is a stomping opener and feature’s a guest spot from Jacoby Shaddix that gives it some real power. Straight away this song also shows off Within Temptations shift to more electronic influences as the song is lead by a synth line instead of guitars. That’s not to say the guitars are completely gone, but the electronics really are pushed to the front this time. Of course the real attraction as always is Sharon den Adels vocal performance, which is as powerful as ever.
The album definitely leans more into pop music more than anything Withing Temptation have done before. Not just with the increased use of electronics but the melodies and a lot of the production techniques have more in common with what’s going on in pop music than metal. Raise Your Banner is the most metal influenced track here, with some occasional screamed vocals provided by Ander Friden of In Flames. This is ends up being one of the few memorable tracks on the album.
The biggest problem with Resist is how repetitive it ends up feeling. Lots of the songs just feel so similar and there’s so little to distinguish them. As good as Sharon’s vocals are throughout the album the songs themselves just feel so lifeless. The album has a futuristic sci-fi theme in all the imagery associated with it ans it’s clear the band have tried to replicate this with the sound of the album. Sadly the end results just sound hollow and almost every song feels incredibly formulaic.
There’s a run of songs in the middle of the album that all seem to follow the exact same pattern of a quiet verse with just some electronics used before the guitars come crashing in for the chorus. Firelight attempts to change things up slightly with the albums third guest vocal slot. It’s more of a brooding track that has Sharon singing alongside Belgian musician Jasper Steverlinck. Whilst it is slightly different this song ends up outstaying its welcome and really drags on. The whole album somewhat suffers from this problem and feels a lot longer than it’s 47 minute run time. If there was more variety perhaps this wouldn’t be a case but really there’s only so far a vocalist can carry an when everything else is so boring.
Perhaps die hard Within Temptation fans will find something to enjoy here but Resist feels like a huge disappointment, especially after the five year wait. Outside of some increased use of electronics it just doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table. Unless you are desperate to hear new material from Within Temptation then it’s probably best to steer clear of this one.
Resist is released on the 1st of February 2019 through Spinefarm Records.