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Within Temptation.jpg

Within Temptation are a Dutch band founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and her boyfriend, guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music is usually described using two of the following words: symphonic, gothic, metal, and rock. Their last two albums debuted at #1 on the Dutch charts.

After the release of their first album Gothic metal 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. Since then, the band won the Conamus Exportprijs four years in a row. Their next two 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, recorded with the Metropole Orchestra. This collection was followed in 2009 with An Acoustic Night at the Theatre.

The band's fifth studio album The Unforgiving, was released in March 2011, 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, and the first short film, Mother Maiden, was released on January 31. The band has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.

They are reminiscent of a variety of bands including but in no way limited to, Nightwish, Epica, Evanescence, Kamelot and Lacuna Coil



  • "Enter" (1997)
  • "Mother Earth" (2000)
  • "The Silent Force" (2004)
  • "The Heart Of Everything" (2007)
  • "The Unforgiving" (2011)

Extended Plays

  • "The Dance EP" (1998)
  • "Running Up That Hill EP" (2003)
  • "The Howling EP" (2007)

Live DVDs

  • Mother Earth Tour (2002)
  • The Silent Force Tour (2005)
  • "Black Symphony" (2008)
  • "An Acoustic Night At The Theatre" (2009)

Band Members

  • Sharon den Adel – Voice of an angel (1996–present)
  • Robert Westerholt – rhythm guitar, grunts (Studio only, 2011–present) (1996–present)
  • Jeroen van Veen – bass guitar (1996–present)
  • Ruud Jolie – lead guitar (2001–present)
  • Martijn Spierenburg – keyboards (2001–present)
  • Mike Coolen – drums (2011–present)

Within Temptation's music includes examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Dementia ("Say My Name"), the loss of a child ("Forgiven").
    • The mother in the "Frozen" music video witnessing the abuse of her child at the hands of her husband.
    • The loss of a loved one whose fate was never known in "Somewhere".
  • After the End: This seems to be the theme for "Forsaken."
  • Always with You: "Memories"
  • Altum Videtur: "Our Solemn Hour"
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Gothic Christmas," an Easter Egg found on the Mother Earth Tour DVD.
  • Audience Participation Song: "Stand My Ground," "What Have You Done," "Ice Queen." On the most recent tour, Sharon also plays repeat-after-me with the audience during parts of "In the Middle of the Night."
  • Blood Knight: "Iron"
  • Bob From Accounting: Robert Westerholt's day job before Within Temptation was in human resources.
  • Break the Cutie: "Blue Eyes"
  • Break Up Song: "What Have You Done" is about two lovers who are also mortal enemies.
  • Briefer Than They Think: They've been together since 1996, about 15 years, and they just released their fifth album. Robert Westerholt openly admits, "We're not the most productive band."
  • The Chosen One: The subject of "Dark Wings." Also a big part of "Hand of Sorrow."
  • Concept Album: Their most recent album The Unforgiving.
  • Continuity Nod: The man who solicits a streetside girl in "Utopia" is the priest from "Angels". Fridge Horror ensues.
  • Costume Porn: Sharon wears many elaborate dresses in music videos and live concerts.
  • Crapsack World: The subject of "Deceiver of Fools" lives in one.
    • Why does it rain, rain, rain down on "Utopia"?
  • Creator Couple: Sharon and Robert.
  • Epic Rocking: "Enter," "Candles," "The Promise," "Deceiver Of Fools" and "The Truth Beneath The Rose" are all in the seven-minute range.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Stand My Ground" album version takes 40 seconds to set the scene.
    • "Iron" also is this
  • Fallen Angel: In "Angels".
  • Fate Worse Than Death: "It's The Fear"
  • Follow Your Heart: "Faster", "Stand My Ground", "A Shot In The Dark".
  • Friend to All Living Things: "In Perfect Harmony" is a textbook example, aside from the subject being male.
  • Heel Realisation: "The Truth Beneath The Rose" is from the point of view of a Knight Templar who's realised how wrong their actions were, and wishes to become The Atoner.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: The video for "Sinéad," where Sharon wears a heavy coat and is only shown from the chest up.
  • Hope Spot: Discussed and subverted in "Deceiver Of Fools" - the subject recognises that in their heart there's an ever-present light at the end of the tunnel, but knows it won't actually lead anywhere because of the extent of the darkness.
    • As well as "Lost," particularly the bridge, where Sharon notes that "hope plays a wicked game with the mind" and ends with "She won't come around" referring to whoever it is the protagonist was trying to save. And since the next song on the list is "Murder," whoever was responsible for this is in for one hell of a reckoning.
  • I Will Find You: "Somewhere" and "Pale." And from The Unforgiving, "Stairway to the Skies" and to some extent, "Lost".
  • Karmic Death: The priest in the Angels video. He gets torn apart by the souls of his victims from beyond the grave.
    • The victims of Sinéad and Mother Maiden's servants in The Unforgiving may count as this.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: "Hand of Sorrow" is about the fact that the titular Hand's duty prevents him from being with his True Love.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
  • New Sound Album: Almost every album, actually, due to the long intervals between each, but Mother Earth was particularly different from its predecessor, Enter. The band moved away from a mostly-Gothic Metal sound towards Symphonic Metal, Robert stopped using Harsh Vocals and the average song length was shortened quite a bit.
    • The Unforgiving as well, with its '80s influences.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Sharon's stage outfits, which she designs herself (She studied fashion before becoming a professional singer).
  • One of Us: They are all gamers, and provided at least two songs ("The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom," both suitably epic) for the MMORPG Chronicles Of Spellborn.
  • One-Woman Wail: Sharon does this. A lot.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: There is an entire fansite devoted to Sharon's dresses.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "The Promise." "Angels" also features one, implied to be from beyond the grave.
  • Rousing Speech: The entirety of "See Who I Am" is one of these. So is "Stand My Ground."
    • "Faster" and Iron apply to,
  • Serial Killer Killer: Sinéad and all of Mother Maiden's servants in The Unforgiving, emphasized in the song "Murder."
  • Shout-Out: A number of the songs contain recognisable elements from fantasy works (provided you're a fan of course, otherwise it's going to be lost on you). Much less subtly, "Final Destination" was indeed inspired by and is about the film series of the same name.
    • "A Demon's Fate" from The Unforgiving uses the same pattern of 5 descending notes as the famous opening of the theme for The Phantom of the Opera.
    • "Hand of Sorrow" from The Heart of Everything was inspired by Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, though the lyrics are just vague enough that it could be applied to any number of stories as well.
  • Signature Song: All of their concerts typically end with "Ice Queen."
  • Single-Stanza Song: "Toward The End."
  • Soprano and Gravel: Abandoned entirely from Mother Earth onwards.
    • With the exception of "Jane Doe", a bonus track on some editions of The Silent Force.
    • The other exception is "What Have You Done" with Keith Caputo.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Our Solemn Hour" includes samples from Winston Churchill's "Be Ye Men Of Valour" speech.
    • From "The Promise": "Where are you now... you're almost in heaven."
    • In "Iron," part of Mother Maiden's You Have No Chance to Survive speech.
    • In "Say My Name," "Do I know you?" is quite hauntingly said.
    • "Why Not Me," as the intro to The Unforgiving.
  • Symphonic Metal: Enter was mostly Gothic Metal with traces of this, Doom Metal and Death Metal; later albums are mostly this genre. The song "Gothic Christmas" was a joke aimed at those fans who continue to call them a Gothic Metal band.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: Played with— Sharon prefers elaborate gowns to skimpy outfits, but much of what she does in the music videos can still be described as writhing.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Pale", "Somewhere", "Say My Name", "Aquarius" and "Iron".
  • Unplugged Version: Most of the songs on An Acoustic Night at the Theatre.
  • War Is Hell: "The Howling," "Our Solemn Hour," "The Truth Beneath The Rose."
  • Winter Royal Lady: "Ice Queen."
  • Woman in White: A lot of Sharon.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: "Stand My Ground"
    • "Why Not Me?"