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Title: An Acoustic Night At The Theatre
Artist: Within Temptation
Genre: Goth, Symphonic, Rock, Acoustic
Release Date: 30th October 2009
Label: Sony

Album Review

Dutch symphonic rockers WITHIN TEMPTATION have really succeeded in hitting the spot with their latest offering, the brave and live 'An Acoustic Night At The Theatre'. Recorded in Germany last year, it has most of their best work, acoustically played and beautifully engineered. The balance on this album is near flawless and the performances truly great. With some well picked guests it really is worth checking out. The album is out 30th October, but is preceded by their new single ' Utopia' (the last track on this album) which launches 23rd October and is a duet with Chris Jones. The single also includes 'Restless' recorded live at Eindhoven, so well worth a listen.

The first thing that hits you about  the first track, 'Towards the End' is the sheer clarity of the sound as a very beautiful harp introduction rings through the speakers as clear as a bell. It's soon joined by a flute before everything gets an awful lot harder but without losing a scrap of its melodic qualities. The vocals are not a disappointment being crystal clear and perfectly balanced making this a very dynamic track to begin with. ‘Stand my ground' is rhythmic and pleasing, with the audience clapping in time from the outset, which gives one a very clear idea of the excellent atmosphere that was permeating the hall on the night this was recorded. It also serves to remind you how scarily good this group is live, because, were it not for the audience being so audible, you could easily forget this is a live recorded track. It's so tight and excellent and has a definite studio sound to it.

The third track 'Caged' is a slower but quite heavy track, with soaring, impassioned vocals and a great clashing piano somewhere in the mix that gives a great and desperate energy to it. 'All I need' is another beautifully played, beautifully sung ballad, slow and rhythmic, melodic and passionate. There are some fabulous strings at play here, really lending an edge to the vocal line which seems an effortless cry from the heart. I really like this track as it knows when to scream and when to whisper, being really evocative and perfectly executed. More audience clapping to an excellent drum line behind and even more excellent piano leads us into ' Frozen' and is as ever flawlessly pulled off, as the band demonstrate why they have brought their own special brand of symphonic rock to a more intimate acoustic environment.

'Somewhere' is haunting and sears through you with high pitched longing vocals, and although it's hard to see past such a good front woman, the instrumentation really is gorgeous. Anneke van Giersbergen guests on this track, so we are treated to not just one virtuoso vocalist but two, and their voices meld together beautifully. ‘The Cross' is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite track of the whole album, being somehow more raw and authentic than any of the others. It's diverse and hard, gentle and searching and it really does tick all of the boxes in what anyone could require of a band live being energetic and performed without flaw. ‘Pale' is a more tranquil track, with nice acoustic Spanish guitar work at the beginning. It's sung simply and beautifully, giving the singer ample space to show how good her voice is without elaborate trappings. And it is.

Keith Caputo guests on this next track ' What have you done' which opens with strings, and it has to be said that the effect of the two voices of Keith and Sharon is magical, being a perfect balance of power, energy and gentleness. It's a really great track, with some awesome and aggressive strings which cap it off nicely. ‘Memories' has a discordant violin and piano at the beginning giving it real atmosphere, which leads us to a very lyrically appealing song, beautifully played and sung with real emotion. The penultimate track, 'Forgiven' with it's haunting lyrics and wildly desperate vocals, is vieing for first place along with 'The Cross' as my favourite of the album, and I can't honestly fault it as a song, it's lyrically beautiful and performed to perfection.

Simple acoustic guitar starts 'Utopia', their new single due to be released on 23rd October, with guest singer Englishman Chris Jones, and it's a nice divergence in style for them. I hope that it brings them great success, for a band such as this, who are as seriously good live as they have proved themselves to be, surely richly deserve it. I have never given and album a 10 yet, but this has deserved it for the performance, the sound engineering and the content. It's a really sublime album from this female fronted Dutch symphonic rock outfit and deserves all of the praise, and more, that I have heaped upon it.


1. Towards The End
2. Stand My Ground
3. Caged
4. All I Need
5. Frozen
6. Somewhere (feat. Anneke van Giersbergen)
7. The Cross
8. Pale
9. What Have You Done (feat. Keith Caputo)
10. Memories
11. Forgiven
12. Utopia (feat. Chris Jones)


Sharon den Adel
Robert Westerholt
Ruud Jolie
Martijn Spierenburg
Stephen van Haestregt
Jeroen van Veen

Website /



Music: 10
Sound: 10
Extras: -
Total: 10 / 10


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