Within Temptation

(DSFA - 1997)
The album starts with a sad piano and atmospheric keyboard, soon accompanied by sorrowful female vocals and later, slow distorted guitars and drums. The female vocals are in two ranges: the very clear and quite good lower ones, and the higher, weaker ones. At the high ranges she seems to have some trouble staying in tune, but are sometimes delicately charming. Her lower range is good although not as strong as someone like Anneke from the Gathering. The second track introduces a heavier element to the music - a gothic heaviness very reminiscent of the Gathering and some male death growls of the rough sandpaper kind, mixing the two vocal approaches as with Theatre of Tragedy. The atmospheric keyboards accompany the music throughout, but the songs vary in heaviness. Some use only gothic heavy riffs and the death vocals, others are softer and use only the female ones, the rest (the majority actually) use a mixture of the two styles. Overall, there is lack of maturity in the songwriting and a lack of professionalism in the singing that hurts the album, despite the rich variety of gothic metal sounds.

The Last Exit 1996-

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