Within Temptation

Within Temptation is a band from the Netherlands. Founded by guitarist Robert Westerholt and vocalist Sharon den Adel, their music is variously described as symphonic metal and sometimes by the media as gothic metal, from which they take influence.

Long-term partners Robert Westerholt (on guitar) and Sharon den Adel (vocals) began the band in 1996, quickly adding Jeroen van Veen on bass guitar, Martijn Westerholt at the keyboard and (following a succession of short-lived drummers), Ivar de Graaf. They were quickly offered a recording contract and signed to DSFA Records later that year, beginning work on their first release.

Enter (1997)
Enter, the debut album, was released in 1997. The album was well received and the band embarked on a four gig tour across the country, after which they were asked to perform at the Dynamo Open Air festival in Eindhoven, one of the Netherlands' largest heavy metal festivals. The band rounded out 1997 by embarking on their first international tour, of Germany and Austria.

The Dance (1998-1999)
In 1998 the band continued to tour actively - their profile had elevated them to the main stage at Dynamo for the 1998 event. However, Within Temptation had released no new material (and did not have plans for a second album at this point), to which end they elected to release an EP, The Dance.

Finally taking a break from touring, 1999 was largely a sabbatical year for the band. They took the opportunity to construct their own studio, as well as returning to personal pursuits, with plans to return to the fold the next year.

Mother Earth (2000-2003)
2000 was an eventful year for the band as they returned to touring, playing three Dutch festivals; Waterpop, Bospop and Lowlands. In addition they went to work on their second album, releasing Mother Earth in the Low Countries on December 1st. The album was a hit, receiving positive reviews across the board and rooted itself in the Dutch charts.

The band first released the single Our Farewell, which never entered the charts. The second single from Mother Earth, Ice Queen, was regarded as the breakthrough release for the band; in 2001 it climbed to number 4 in the Netherlands but was their first number one single when it climbed to the top in Belgium. The success rebounded to Mother Earth, which continued to climb in the Dutch album chart, ending the year at number 3.

2001 also saw a number of changes in personnel; Ruud Adrianus Jolie was added as a second guitarist, drummer de Graaf was replaced by Stephen van Haestregt, and Martijn Westerholt (suffering from infectious mononucleosis) was replaced by Martijn Spierenburg. Westerholt later started the band Delain.

The band achieved still wider appeal in 2002 with their first concert in France and even a headline gig in Mexico City. They attained their first major award, the Dutch Silver Harp. They bolstered this by embarking on a major international tour supporting Paradise Lost in 2003 and re-releasing Mother Earth on the GUN Records label across more European countries; it was a particularly large success in Germany, where it went platinum and reached number 7 in the charts; the re-release of Ice Queen also charted well in the top 30. In turn the Benelux regions got a different release, a cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill. The band highlighted music festivals across the Netherlands and their Mother Earth tour DVD claimed the prestigious Edison Award.

The Silent Force (2004-2006)
Plans for the band's third album came to fruition in 2004, with the release of The Silent Force on November 15th, 2004 across Europe. Daniel Gibson's production was an instant number 1 in the band's heartland and charted well in many European countries. In support of the release they embarked on another large international tour in 2005, with dates across the continent (including their first major UK concert in London) and a one-off show in Dubai. Stand My Ground and Memories, the first singles from the new album, continued the band's run of chart success, culminating in a second Edison Award. Stand My Ground was promoted on the trailer for the film Blood and Chocolate.

In January 2006, Within Temptation won the Dutch Pop Prize (best Dutch pop contribution) and Dutch Export Prize (best-selling Dutch artist outside The Netherlands), the latter given to them for the third time in a row. The band also reported that they were busy working on their next album, due to be released during the fall, and that they would start playing at festivals starting in April, in addition to going on an international tour at the end of the year.

The Heart of Everything (2007-present)
The new album The Heart of Everything from Within Temptation has been released on the 9th of March in the Netherlands and 24th of July in the United States. The release dates for multiple countries are found on their official Myspace page. Two more tracks, "The Howling" and "The Sound of Freedom", have been recorded as promotion material for the video game The Chronicles of Spellborn, and the first of these will be included on the album. The full track listing was revealed on the 10th of January.The band will embark on their first North American tour with Lacuna Coil in May.The album debuted at #1 in the Dutch Alnum 100, making it their second number-one album. It's also the first any Dutch act ever charted within the United World Chart. It peaked at #38 selling 50,000 copies in their first week. It reached top 10 in eight countries and top 100 in eleven countries. As of March 30, 2007 the album has sold 90,300 copies.

The song "What Have You Done" will be the first single from the new album. Its music video was recorded on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of December in 2006 in London, Windsor and a studio for CGI, and features Keith Caputo's guest vocals. Fans were allowed to participate in the making of the video, and will appear in it. Shortly after, a completely new video for the song was made, and it is this version that can currently be seen on their MySpace page. The song peaked at #7 in the Netherlands and #4 in Finland.