Mother Earth (Within Temptation album)

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Mother Earth
Mother earth.jpg
Studio album by
Released24 December 2000
RecordedJune–August 2000
StudioStudio RS29, Waalwijk, Netherlands
Genre
Length53:54
LabelDSFA
ProducerOscar Holleman, Anthony van den Berg
Within Temptation chronology
Enter
(1997)
Mother Earth
(2000)
The Silent Force
(2004)
Singles from Mother Earth
  1. "Our Farewell"
    Released: 22 January 2001
  2. "Ice Queen"
    Released: June 2001
  3. "Mother Earth"
    Released: 2003
Reissue cover
UK 2007 and US 2008 releases
UK 2007 and US 2008 releases

Mother Earth is the second studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation. Originally released on 24 December 2000 in the Netherlands, and 21 August 2001 in other parts of Europe. The album was licensed to be released in Germany and neighboring countries through GUN Records in January 2003 as a special extended edition with four bonus tracks. The same edition reached the United Kingdom through Sanctuary Records with a release in September 2004. The album was re-released by Roadrunner Records on 28 September 2007, with bonus live tracks. On 5 August 2008, Mother Earth along with The Silent Force was released in the United States on Roadrunner Records.[3] On 17 December 2018, it was announced that the album would be rereleased on vinyl in January 2019.[4]

The album features mainly fantasy and nature themes and was a sleeper hit in the band's heartland, entering the Dutch charts at number eighty-two, by the end of 2000, and only managing to reach its peak third position two years later with the second release of the single Ice Queen. The album later reached platinum status in the Netherlands and Germany. As of 2011, the album had reportedly sold 800,000 copies.[5]

Recording[edit]

By 1999 the band had built their own studio and had begun recording demos for the Mother Earth album there. The album itself was recorded in Studio RS29 in Waalwijk, the Netherlands.[6] Oscar Holleman, who had produced and engineered The Dance, was again producer and one of the sound engineers was Stephen van Haestregt, future drummer for the band. Sharon recalls that "I had a day for each song, which is still not very much, but you can try out things. We also did some demos before the recordings, so there you can check if you like or dislike parts of a song, and so you have more time when it comes to recording". Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen provided the guitar solo for the track "Dark Wings".[6]

Music style[edit]

The sound of Mother Earth was a departure for the band. In a 2008 interview with Faceculture, Sharon states that Mother Earth was "a little bit older, a little bit more knowledgeable about how we wanted to sound, even then, of course you grow, so we had a better picture of how we wanted to sound. We didn't want to have the grunt vocals anymore. We felt like everyone was using that as a gimmick, and we didn't want to have it in our music anymore because of that...and also we were very much enthralled by a movie at that time, Braveheart, which was very Celtic, and that's how our album became very Celtic because we were so in love with the soundtrack of the Braveheart movie. So inspired by that, the album came out that way...I still love that album very much...it came together in a very natural way. The songs were sometimes written in a day, it did take time to work it out more, the way it sounded in the end, but it was like the ideas and the whole concepts of certain songs were written mostly in one day, the chorus and the verses."[7] According to Metal Injection, the album critical and commercial success can be attributed to the combination of its musical ambiance and the imagery the band presented at that time, citing the landscapes from the Mother Earth music video as an example of the great blend between their musical style and visual presentation.[8] Louder Sound also pointed the bombastic and cinematic characteristics present on the album, highlighting the use of synthesizers and strings.[9]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[10]
Chronicles of Chaos3.5/5 stars[11]
DPRP7.5/10[12]
Metal Hammer (Ger)5/7[13]
Rock Hard7.5/10[14]
Sea of Tranquility4.5/5 stars[15]
(remastered)

The album, which was considered the band's breakthrough, received positive reviews particularly around Europe. AllMusic rated the album 4 and a half stars, the reviewer calling it "easily one of the best releases of 2001", and praising it for its "mature and confident sound" and Sharon den Adel's "elusive and intangible presence", adding "The rise of goth/prog metal seemed to reach a peak at the turn of the century, with an endless supply of bands offering their own spin on the subgenre. Only a handful of these bands seem to have anything interesting or unique to offer... With the release of Mother Earth, there was little doubt that the cream of the crop had indeed risen to the top... A landmark release that set new standards for creativity, musicianship, and taste — not just for goth/prog metal, but for any style of music."[10] German magazine Rock Hard awarded the album a score of 7.5 out of 10 and considered it an improvement over their debut album, Enter, praising den Adel's vocals and the catchiness of the songs, locating the album between pop music and gothic metal.[14] Chris Flaaten, from heavy metal webzine Chronicles of Chaos, also pointed the renewal the band showed in the album in comparison to their debut, and gave the album a positive score of 7 out of 10. The reviewer praised the intrumentals and how it was managed well in what refers to establishing the fantasy-like setting the album presents. However, he considered that while the band had gotten "more epic", they also got "more mellow", citing the "easy listening" aspect as a weakness for those who seek intensity on the metal genre.[11]

Commercial Performance[edit]

When first released, by the end of the year 2000, the album entered the charts only in the band's homecountry at position eighty-two, peaking at position sixty-seven at the beginning of 2001 before falling off the charts.[16] Two singles were released that year, the first for the track Our Farewell, which failed to enter any charts, and the second for the track Ice Queen, which debuted at position seventy-three on June 2001 and disappeared from the dutch charts right after.[17] With the release of a second version of the single due to a better elaborated music video, the song started climbing the Dutch and Belgian charts, resulting on a new sales boost for the album, that quickly re-entered tha charts and ended up peaking at the third position on both countries in 2002.[16] By the course of that year, the album reached platinum status in the Netherlands, with sales in excess of 80.000 copies, and gold status in Belgium, with sales in excess of 25.000 copies.[18][19] With the album receiving distribution in new European countries by the beginning of 2003, it also managed to enter the German, Swiss and Austrian charts. In Germany, the album peaked at number 7[20] and was later certified platinum on the country, with sales in excess of 200.000 copies.[21] By the beginning of 2004, the album also entered the Norwegian charts at number seventeen, peaking at number eleven three weeks later.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Sharon den Adel, except where noted; all music is composed by Robert Westerholt, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Mother Earth" (music: R. Westerholt, Guus Eikens)5:29
2."Ice Queen"5:20
3."Our Farewell"5:18
4."Caged"5:47
5."The Promise"8:00
6."Never-ending Story" (music: Oscar Holleman, René Merkelbach)4:02
7."Deceiver of Fools"7:35
8."Intro" (instrumental; music: Merkelbach)1:06
9."Dark Wings"4:14
10."In Perfect Harmony" (music: Gerarda Matheeuwsen, Holleman, Merkelbach)6:58

Personnel[edit]

Within Temptation[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Arjen Lucassen - guitar solo on the track "Dark Wings"
  • Rene Dissel - fretless bass guitar on the track "Never-ending Story"
  • Guus Eikens – synthesizer, co-arrangements on "Mother Earth" and "The Promise"
  • René Merkelbach - additional keyboards, orchestral arrangements
  • Caspar De Jonge, Hans Cassa, Melissa 't Hart, Yvonne Rooda - choir

Production[edit]

  • Oscar Holleman - producer, engineer, mixing, mastering
  • Stephen van Haestregt - engineer
  • Anthony van den Berg - executive producer

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA)[32] Gold 25,000*
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[33] Gold 10,000[34]
Germany (BVMI)[35] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[36] Platinum 80,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[33] Gold 20,000^
Summaries

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, Rustyn (14 August 2014). "Within Temptation continue to evolve with new album, Hydra". axs.com. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Hydra review by Within Temptation". Ultimate Guitar. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Within Temptation: 'Mother Earth', 'The Silent Force' To Receive U.S. Release In August". Blabbermouth.net. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  4. ^ https://www.musiconvinyl.com/catalog/within-temptation/mother-earth
  5. ^ "Within Temptation" (in Dutch). Roadrunner Records. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b Mother Earth (CD Booklet). Within Temptation. Vlissingen, The Netherlands: DSFA Records DSFA1021. 2000.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ "Part 1 video interview Within Temptation". YouTube. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  8. ^ "#TBT: WITHIN TEMPTATION's Mother Earth Is an Intense Symphonic Escape". Metal Injection. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  9. ^ "The 10 best Within Temptation songs". Louder Sound. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b Taylor, Robert. "Within Temptation - Mother Earth review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  11. ^ a b Flaaten, Chris (14 January 2002). "Within Temptation - Mother Earth". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  12. ^ van Kooten, Jerry. "Within Temptation - Mother Earth". The Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Within Temptation: Mother Earth". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  14. ^ a b Pierce, Ken. "Within Temptation: Mother Earth (remaster)". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Within Temptation: Mother Earth". Rock Hard. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Within Temptation - Mother Earth". MegaCharts. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Within Temptation - Ice Queen". MegaCharts. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Goud/Platina". NVPI. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  19. ^ "GOUD EN PLATINA - ALBUMS 2002". Ultratop. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Within Temptation - Mother Earth (Album)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  21. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - WITHIN TEMPTATION's 'Mother Earth' Certified Platinum In Germany". Legacy.roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Plasseringer på Topp 40 album". VG-lista. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Within Temptation – Mother Earth" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  24. ^ a b c "Ultratop.be – Within Temptation – Mother Earth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Within Temptation – Mother Earth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Within Temptation – Mother Earth". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  27. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Within Temptation – Mother Earth". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Within Temptation – Mother Earth". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  29. ^ "Within Temptation: Year-end Belgian Charts". Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  30. ^ "Within Temptation: Year-end Dutch Charts". Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  31. ^ "Within Temptation: Year-end German Charts". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  32. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2002". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "Within Temptation" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  35. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Within Temptation)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Within Temptation – Mother Earth" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 22 June 2015. Enter Mother Earth in the "Artiest of titel" box.