“OffWorld” Giveaway Results and “Within Temptation”

Before I begin my blog post about one of my favorite musical acts (from Holland); let me first announce the winner of this week’s giveaway,which was a free copy of “Offworld” by Robin Parrish. In order to certify a completely fair, unbiased results; I utilized a freeware program called “The Hat.” And as the name implies, it works similarly to the traditional method of drawing individual’s names from a real hat. As result from my drawing, the winner of the “Offworld” giveaway is Abby. Abby, please send me an email at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address. Thanks to all those who read and commented upon that specific review. There’ll be plenty of other opporitunities within the immediate future.

This week’s Band of the week’s Within Temptation. From here on out; I’ll be writing a blog post with a featured band from my playlist. Along with it, I’ll be posting two of the band’s notable songs. In addition I’ll be writing a terse detail with the main details as to why I especially like the band amidst the crop of other bands out there.

Within Temptation’s a very unique band to those of us who live within the USA. For their music fuses both rock and classical music in a manner that’s very catchy and rememberal to the listener. Also many of their lyrics evoke a wide array of emotions including confliction, betrayal, unrequited love, sorrow, and more importantly the promise of hope contained within some of our darkest moments.

Unlike many American bands, they have more of a dependence on vocal power. In this band’s case, Sharon den Adel really separates this band from the many generic imitations with her unique mezzo soprano sound. Also, she’s able carry these vocals over from her recording to their live concerts. Where her vocals literally undulate through where they play. Very few vocalists are able to sing with this capacity especially when moving amongst the stage.

Sharon, in this case, brings her own dance moves during songs. These dance moves consist of emphatic hand motions that really connect well with the rhythm of the songs being performed. Her hand gestures can be seen during live performances of “Mother Earth” and “The Promise.” But she’s been known to do these hand motions to a lesser degree in the midst of the instrutmental only sections of various songs.

In regards to their lyrics, as opposed with American bands. European bands prefer to write lyrics that tell a story that expresses more than one emotion. For example, the band’s song “Jillian” is based upon existing mythology that tells of someone whose been reincarnated severeal times in order to carry out their life duty. This life duty is to find their destined lover and spend eternity with them. But as the song’s character is unable to obtain that love so as such she’s destined to be reincarnated to find the love she’s sought after. Of course the song could also be metaphorically detailing how some of us have that one person we envision to spend eternity with. And we’re in some ways being reincarnated in various ways in order to earn our lover’s notice. This reincarnation reflects the various stages of growth we go through. And how these certain situations transform as as people. Basically we’re never the same person throughout life.

Other songs are even based upon movies and books which the band has either read or watched. “Hand of Sorrow,” from “The Heart Of Everything,” album’s based upon Robin Hobb’s Royal Assassin. As the song tells of an asassin who has given their life over to the kingdom. And the kingdom sees to it that he carries out certain covert missions. Though he’s aware of the importance of this role, he’s torn inside because of the intense love he feels towards a certain woman. But he’s aware that being the king’s assassin prevents him from being with this woman. Therefore, he hopes this immense sacrifice will be known to the girl sometime within her life.

On a final note, for all those curious about this band. There happens to be a special live performance where the band performs live with an orchestra. Usually the band relies on prerecorded tracks of the orchestral sounds for their live performances. Seeing as the price for an orchestra to travel along with the band would be a very high cost. Yet they were able to perform one time with an orchestra in February 2008 and this special concert was apporpriatley titled “The Black Symphony.” For all those who’ve never heard of this band before my blog post. Please do yourself justice by gracing your eyes with at least one of the tracks from this concert. As it’s one of the best live performances within the last decade and something of this caliber will probably never be repeated by this band.

All in all, I love this band immensely as their ethereal sound transports any listener from their surroundings to a whole other dimension. And for all writers, their sound really inspirits us to write. To all those skeptical of most rock music and are usual listeners of classical music. Please attempt to listen to this band because they’re are not your standard rock band with discordant grunting and uninspired lyrics. They are really a band that creates melodic, nuanced music.

Below are clips of the two songs that were mentioned, “Hand of Sorrow,” and “Jillian.” Along with those is a clip of one of their Black Symphony performances. Here’s a clue for next week’s band; two of the this band’s albums are one complete story. If you’re able to guess right, you’ll be awarded with Chris Evan’s ” A Darkness Forged in Fire”. All answers must be emailed to narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com.


Hand of Sorrow

Black Symphony Performance of “Our Solemn Hour”

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