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Hydra (cd)

167 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 4, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

2014 release, the sixth studio album from the Dutch Symphonic Metal band. Hydra finds the band moving forward into a more earthy and modern direction while remaining fast, heavy and uniquely Within Temptation. The album contains guest appearances by Metalcore singer Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), rapper Xzibit, classical-crossover/symphonic metal vocalist Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) and alternative rock singer Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum).


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 4, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • ASIN: B00GJ7CVUU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By primem0ver on March 19, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have such torn feelings about this new album that I am not sure exactly how to rate it. So since my feelings fall to extremes on both sides I will stick with logic and give it 3 stars.

I cannot fault Within Temptation for wanting to experiment with their sound which they have done considerably on this album. I am a person who likes the blending of styles and their attempts here have gone in some interesting directions. I really like their attempt to incorporate a small bit from other styles and genre's into their once unique style even though some of the attempts fail miserably (see my second objection below).

However, note my use of the word "once" above. I can and will fault Within Temptation for leaving us in the dark when it comes to two aspects of this album that both compromise what we loved about this talented band.

The first, and the worst is that they have left the basic sound for which we love them. No more lovely orchestrated ambiance. They have slowly been reducing this over the last two albums (to my dissatisfaction) but this album stands alone in that it has none whatsoever. This sin is almost to the level of Metallica leaving all their metal fans behind to make alternative music. (Even if I do like alternative music! Ironically, David Pirner is my favorite alternative musician.) It makes me question the integrity of the statements made by you (speaking to the band now) during Black Symphony. Giving some of your songs a hard edge doesn't require abandoning your core sound altogether. If you do not return to your basic sound you will lose me as a fan. I do not mind grafting in other styles. In fact... I applaud it. But PLEASE, Within Temptation, don't completely abandon the sound that made us love you.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By MattH on February 4, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I had been looking forward to this album since I had been following Within Temptation's YouTube channel and listening to the singles they had released (along with the Q-music recordings they had released officially). The YouTube pre-released video tracks Paradise and Dangerous are very catchy tunes, if nothing ground breaking. I'm actually a bit relieved that there isn't anything "high concept" on the album, as those tracks can be a risky proposition for fans. My favorite WT albums are The Silent Force and The Unforgiving. Similar in sound to The Unforgiving, I was pleased that this album continues a hard, driving sound with catchy melodies, although with much less of an "80's hair band" feel to it (which was very entertaining, but I'm glad they left it on the previous album). I applaud WT for bringing in guest artists to mix it up a little, as track after track of the same reverberated singing style could get a bit stale. For the most part, the sweeping symphonic sound of The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything is a thing of the past, it seems. There are a few symphonic backgrounds and introductions, but this album is mostly a continuation of the hard rock sound from the last album.

After a single listen in the car this morning, I didn't feel like there were any "throwaway" tracks necessarily, but by the same token, only a few of the tracks stood out over the first listen (aside from the two that I already knew - Paradise and Dangerous). I know I'll be listening to the album again and again over the next few days, so I'll adjust my review after I've had time to fully experience the album and get to know the songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sharon den Adel has said they are not interested in releasing the same album over and over like AC/DC (no disrespect intended, AC/DC rocks). And they have not. Enter’s doom metal is vastly different from Mother Earth’s fantasy folk metal, which in turn is completely unlike The Silent Force’s ethereal beauty, The Heart of Everything’s bombast, and The Unforgiving’s 80’s hard rock. The only real constants in WT’s music have been the beauty, power, and emotion of Sharon’s voice, and the creativity of the music.

Hydra is harder to classify. It is probably Within Temptation’s most diverse and experimental album. To be sure, WT has not abandoned its past. In fact, I think they have deliberately injected signatures from their previous albums. In addition, having changed labels to Nuclear Blast, I see WT is now officially classified as “female fronted metal” -- gone is the “symphonic rock” label of The Unforgiving era. Genres don’t really matter of course, but since I’m a metalhead, I’m happy to have the metal label back. I’m also hopeful that Nuclear Blast will give Within Temptation a great platform to be as creative as they want and to find an audience who appreciates it.

Beyond the label and the diversity and the experimentation, three things stand out about Hydra. One is that Sharon’s voice is more beautiful and emotional than ever. I think she has made the effort in the last few years to take her natural abilities to an even higher level; this was also apparent on The Q-Music Sessions, the covers album that WT released last year. Hydra also gives us much more of Sharon’s exceptionally beautiful high voice than The Unforgiving did. It’s not like The Silent Force, where she used that voice almost all the time, but she does use it a lot and to great effect.
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