Published on February 20th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Within Temptation: Resist (Spinefarm, 2019)
It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since Within Temptation’s last album (2014’s excellent Hydra). Maybe it’s because that disc (and the accompanying live set Let Us Burn) have been in steady rotation here ever since. The Dutch band is back with a new album this year, and needless to say expectations are high. Resist is the Within Temptation’s seventh full-length, and like Hydra it features a few notable guest appearances. Jacoby Shaddix (yes, from Papa Roach) shares vocal duties on one song, Anders Friden (In Flames) lends his growls to a track and Jasper Steverlinck (Guilt Machine) sings on one as well.
I should probably get this out of the way up front: Resist follows the same trajectory Hydra and The Unforgiving did. If you’re holding out for a return to the Mother Earth sound, you’re not going to find it here. Personally, I think the band has been way more interesting recently, and I’d rather see them continue to stretch themselves creatively.
Resist starts on a metal footing, with the resistance anthem “The Reckoning.” Papa Roach may suck, but Shaddix does a great job trading verses with Sharon den Adel here. The song definitely gets you pumped up. “Endless War” is another favorite, with a more modern pop vocal approach mixed with that signature Within Temptation metal style. “Raise Your Banner” is the album’s other anthem, and fair warning: you may find yourself screaming “BLOOD FOR FREEDOM” at random points throughout the day after listening to it. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, it’s nice to hear Anders Friden again without resorting to actually listening to a new In Flames disc.
The rest of the album is a bit more hit an miss. “Supernova,” “Mad World” and “Trophy Hunter” are really solid modern Within Temptation songs. Not top-tier, but definitely not bad. “Holy Ground,” “Mercy Mirror” and “Firelight” are very much in the pop vein, like Adele songs with guitars. I can’t decide if that’s awesome or not (leaning towards awesome at the moment), but at least they’re not forgettable songs. These tracks will definitely sneak into your subconscious in a hurry.
So yes, Resist is another step into more commercially-friendly territory for Within Temptation, and good for them. The band has more than paid their dues, and as far as I’m concerned the more people who hear this band the better.
If you’re a serious Within Temptation fan and have loved the last couple of albums, Resist will not disappoint. It’s as effective as it is innovative, and even more to the point it’s a really catchy album with killer vocals and impeccable production. Within Temptation can retire the “symphonic metal” tag and keep pushing the boundaries as long as they want when the result is albums like Resist. This one gets an early spot on the “best of 2019 “ list.
Summary: I can already tell this one is going to get played a lot this year.