Resist (Within Temptation album)

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Resist
Resist album cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1, 2019
Recorded2017–2018[1]
Studio
GenreSymphonic metal[2]
Length47:35
Label
ProducerDaniel Gibson, Mathijs Tieken
Within Temptation chronology
Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live in Concert
(2014)
Resist
(2019)
Singles from Resist
  1. "The Reckoning"
    Released: September 14, 2018
  2. "Raise Your Banner"
    Released: November 16, 2018
  3. "Firelight"
    Released: November 23, 2018
  4. "In Vain"
    Released: January 11, 2019
  5. "Supernova"
    Released: February 5, 2019
  6. "Mad World"
    Released: April 15, 2019

Resist is the seventh studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation. It was scheduled to be released on December 14, 2018,[3] but later postponed to February 1, 2019 due to production problems.[4] The album contains guest appearances by singers Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach), Anders Fridén (In Flames) and Jasper Steverlinck (Arid) and was produced by their longtime producer Daniel Gibson. The album marks the longest time gap between the band's releases at five years.[5]

Five singles were released for promoting the album, "The Reckoning", was released at midnight on September 14, 2018, and features Shaddix as guest vocalist. The second single, "Raise Your Banner", featuring Fridén, was released on November 16, 2018 and "Firelight", the third one, a week later, on November 23. The other two singles were released on 2019, "In Vain" on January 11, and "Supernova" on February 5. The group also commenced The Resist Tour by the end of 2018, before the album release.

The album followed the band's pattern of incorporating new musical elements on each release, this time featuring more electronic, pop, and industrial influences. It received generally favorable reviews from music critics and achieved commercial success, peaking at the first position in Germany, and entering top ten positions in another seven countries.

Background and composition[edit]

After extensive promotion and touring for the band's sixth album, lead vocalist Sharon den Adel went through a process of exhaustion and suffered from a writer's block. The vocalist also went through personal problems, which led her to abandon writing for the band for a while to focus on herself. During this time, den Adel managed to start composing again, but this time for herself as a form to cope with her difficulties at the time. As these songs were not rock oriented or fit for the band, she then decided to release them as a solo project entitled My Indigo.[6] After going through this process and composing "smaller, much more direct, personal and vulnerable" kind of songs, the vocalist found herself again in the right state of mind to compose the "combative, powerful and big" kind of songs that Within Temptation needed and is known for.[7] As of the end of 2017, while announcing her solo release, den Adel confirmed that the band was already back to the studio recording new songs for a possible 2018 album release,[1] which was officially announced on September 13. It was also stated by the vocalist that this album was the most difficult one to be done by the band, as they didn't have any direction up until den Adel had recovered from her burnout and her personal problems managed. When finally having a direction to follow, the band was able to get the record done in less than a year.[8] The album marked the longest gap between studio releases by the band.[5] For the writing and musical composition process, the band approached the songs on different ways. Den Adel focused on giving the songs atmosphere alongside with producer Daniel Gibson, as she thinks it allows the songs to evolve naturally when you can go from the bigger picture to the smaller ones, like the choruses. Robert Westerholt, on the other side, focused on writing the choruses first and then progressing to the whole song.[9]

The album features Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix, In Flames' Anders Fridén and Arid's Jasper Steverlinck as guest vocalists.[10] Shaddix first met den Adel during Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.[9] He was invited to provide vocals for the opening track and lead single "The Reckoning" after the song was already completed, as the band thought that he could provide the song a certain anger mixed with some vulnerability and melancholy.[11] Fridén was invited to sing on "Raise Your Banner" as the band considered his experienced screaming voice would fit well the atmosphere and lyrics for that song.[12] "Firelight" was originally composed for den Adel's solo album My Indigo. The song was at that time considered too dark to fit the release, and then was put on hold. After meeting Steverlinck on a Flemish TV show, den Adel invited the singer to do a part on the song as she found that they had a real connection and their voices matched well together. After some reworking, it then ended up appearing on the final tracklist for the album.[13] Regarding on when the musicians were invited as guests for the album during the recording process, den Adel commented that the band first writes a song and only after that they think of possible names, as they prefer to see first what the song asks for and then invite someone who they think would fit well that demand.[11]

Structure and inspiration[edit]

"We always try, but I think we succeeded a little bit more with this than with previous albums, to take steps forward more in progression and how the band evolves sound-wise. You want to sound like it's up to date, more modern in a way. That's what we tried to do, and I think this album achieved that very well -- at least for my tastes."

— Sharon den Adel telling Billboard about always trying to develop a new and updated sound on each album.[14]

Speaking to Metal Hammer, den Adel stated that this album has taken pop music as an inspiration while giving it a dark and metal oriented treatment, as the band felt that modern music hasn't been edgy or daring in recent years.[3] Although taking it as an inspiration, the band pointed that it won't be a pop record and it probably won't have any airplay on pop radio stations.[15][8] For the record, the band aimed to approach a more futuristic style while not discarding their original symphonic metal and bombastic musical roots. According to den Adel, the band didn't want to sound too far from their original style, but also wanted to have their main musical elements recognizable throughout the songs, which resulted on the blend between elements from their old style and modern music elements as electronic parts and the said futuristic approach.[16] Regarding the symphonic elements of the songs, the band opted to use only where they found it would have an impact instead of in the whole song, in order to offer a bigger showcase of the other instruments and den Adel's vocals.[17]

The title of the album itself, according to den Adel, represents "not being put in a box and refusing to do what other people are trying to influence you in a way that you might see just one side of the story".[18] Besides the musical aspects, inspiration for the album also came for contemporary technological and also political aspects. According to the singer, the fact that everyone is traceable today intrigued her and had her wondering about whether it would be good for the population, as in cases of national security, or bad, in cases of dictatorships. She had also found herself intrigued and annoyed by the algorithms behind merchandising offers and purchasing suggestions, and felt that it was putting people on boxes according to their supposed personal tastes based on what they look for in the internet, restricting them from having new interests and points of view. Regarding to this, den Adel stated that "Resist, for me, it's a personal message but also a political statement. Before, we did not talk so openly about our political views, but today we do it more.[...] To return to the "political" message, it is always with a positive aim, hoping that in the future, things will really change."[19] The singer stated that this loss of individuality might even compromise democracy, as people are fed information that is calculed by their personal tastes and positions, difficulting them to search or understand other worldviews. This theme was mainly aborded on the track "Raise Your Banner".[20] According to the vocalist, the song draws inspiration from protests that happened during the decade of 1980, where people went to the streets claim their rights and contrasts it with the online protests from nowadays, which she considers more passive and lacks resistance.[21] The track "Holy Ground" argues that people should have their limits respected regarding their individuality, and its title acts as a metaphor for personal themes related to one person's personal space, such as gender, race, or other personal subjects.[21]

Despite containing a central theme, the record wasn't thought as a concept album and therefore not all songs were lyrically inspired by the same main subject.[22] "Supernova" is a song about hope, and was dedicated in memory of den Adel's father, who had passed away on early 2018. The track contains outer space references and metaphors relating to a person that still wants a sign from the afterlife of someone already gone.[20][14] It features mainly EDM influences while also containing orchestral passages and verses sang by a choir, and was originally conceived as an uptempo, symphonic, and dreamlike song.[23][24] "Mercy Mirror" is another personal song, and it deals with forgiviness on a relationship that has been hurting the people involved for years by not saying or discussing issues the proper way.[9]

Artwork[edit]

For the first time, the band did not use a custom cover art for an album. Instead, they bought a piece of artwork from artist Emmanuel Shiu on DeviantArt. On an interview to French radio station Radio Metal, den Adel explained:[25]

The album artwork and the music videos follow the same theme as the cover art; the album's layout makes it look like the band is inside a spaceship, and for this reason the video for "The Reckoning" features a spaceship.[25]

Promotion[edit]

The album's music videos feature its science fiction themes, and the band opted to invest greatly in them as they didn't find radio stations a realiable way of promoting heavy music nowadays.[11] The videos for "The Reckoning" and "Raise Your Banner" are pictured.

At the end of November 2017, before any recent signs of releasing new material, the band announced a European tour for the end of 2018 in hope for a possible release on that same year, considering that they had already some newly written songs.[26][27][28][29] At the beginning of December, almost a year before the tour, two concerts were already sold out.[30] The first single, entitled "The Reckoning", was released the day after the official album announcement, on September 14 2018, alongside with a lyric video. The single features Shaddix as a guest vocalist.[10][31][32] On September 24, the official music video for the first single was officially released.[33] The video was shot on the island of Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, and featured the band members walking through a desert on a post-apocalyptic landscape while facing extraterrestrial threats.[34] Dutch newspaper AD.nl stated on their website that the band was looking for extras for a new music video, in which the recording would be taking place on October 7, 2018, in the city of Zaandam. The newspaper published that they were seeking strong men to play futuristic police officers and thinner men and also women to portray futuristic robots.[35] A few days later, also Dutch newspaper Tubantia stated that the chosen song was "Raise Your Banner", produced by Boost+ Switzerland and directed by Rogier Hendriks, with a hundred extras appearing on it.[36] The single was officially released on November 16, and was at first accompanied by a lyric video.[37] The official music video for the song was then released on November 30.[38] The third song chosen to receive a music video was "Supernova", which was released on February 5, 2019, four days after the album release. The video was the first by the band to have its premiere handed by American magazine Billboard.[14] As the band noted the difficulty of having radio airplay with the kind of sound present on the album, they opted to invest more on the music videos as a way of promoting, obtaining people's attention and expressing visually the concepts present on the record.[11]

Tour[edit]

The band embarked on their The Resist Tour on 11 October 2018. Initially, only club and arena dates throughout Europe were added to the tour, visiting seventeen countries, before the band started scheduling dates for some 2019 summer festivals. This first indoor part of the tour counted with German and Brazilian bands Beyond the Black and Ego Kill Talent, respectively, as opening acts.[39][40] The day after the 2018 edition of the Wacken Open Air, the festival announced the band as a performer for next year's edition.[39] Due to den Adel's decision to stay more time at home in order of being more present on her children's life, which was getting difficult due to the band's heavy touring schedule from previous years, the tour dates were elaborated here with normally two weeks on tour and two weeks off.[41][42] At the end of 2018, it was announced a new leg of the tour passing through North America at the beginning of the following year, with In Flames as special guests.[43] After the North American leg, the band then commenced another round of concerts throughout Europe, consisting of festival presentations and special concerts at palace gardens.[44] The tour featured special stage and costumes designs related to the futuristic and technologicam themes of the album. Steel-like ornaments, special stage lighting effects, projection screens, and fog machines were also used in order to intensify the atmosphere of the songs. The band male members made use of special futuristic uniforms, and den Adel of a futuristic black dress, a white cloak, and a special flag for the opening song "Raise Your Banner".[45] Guitarrist Robert Westerholt was part of the visuals selection to set the stage, as the band wanted to create a special concert imagery that would fit the experience of listening to the album.[46]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic67/100[47]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[48]
Daily Express4/5 stars[49]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[50]
Metal Injection6/10[51]
PopMatters5/10[52]
The Music3.5/5 stars[24]
The Skinny4/5 stars[2]
Ultimate Guitar7/10[53]
Volkskrant4/5 stars[54]

The album currently holds a score of 67 at the aggregate review site Metacritic, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[47] The first public review of the album came from British webzine Devolution. Reviewer Gary Trueman was positive about the record, praising its freshness amongst a musical genre that has got staler over the years, as the band were able to give contemporary pop music a "dark coat". The reviewer also praised Sharon den Adel's vocal performance while pointing that, even as a high point, it didn't overshadow the band. Trueman ended his review alleging that the album could be Within Temptation's "Fallen moment", as he considered it "by far the best album they’ve put out to date".[55] In his four star review, Steve Beebee from Kerrang! was also positive about the record. The reviewer pointed the hard times the band went through on their personal lives before the release, and considered that the album "distils that time of trauma, healing and new beginnings into 47 dazzling minutes". Beebee was also positive about the new musical styles incorporated on the record, even if it might not please listeners who dislike changes, and its overall flow, stating that the songs "breathe together, and thrive when heard as a whole".[56] Australian magazine The Music also commented positively about the new elements incorporated, such as the EDM influences on the track "Supernova" and the pop and industrial on the track "Mad World", while also praising the album overall songwriting and cohesiveness.[24] Not every reviewer, however, was positive and welcoming of the musical changes. The German issue of Metal Hammer had its publisher team divided by the album, which led them to publish one 5 stars out of 7 positive review and one 3 stars out of 7 negative review. Whilst the positive one welcomed the new elements and styles adopetd by the band for the album, the negative one criticized the record as being "radio-pop" and considered some of its compositions and instrumentations "plastic".[57] AllMusic's James Monger had an in between position regarding these topics in his lukewarm review, and summarized that "in shifting gears to stoke their creative flames, Within Temptation have created an immersive - if not wholly original-sounding - set of songs that play to both their strengths and weaknesses".[48]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one in Germany on February 8, 2019, making it the band's highest charting album in the country, surpassing the peak reached by their previous studio album Hydra, which had charted at number four.[58] The band also reached again its peak position in Belgium with the album debuting at number two, a position previously reached only by their fourth studio album, The Heart of Everything.[59] In the Netherlands, Resist debuted at number two, one position behind the previous studio album,[60] although selling an equivalent of 92% from the first position sales.[61] In the United Kingdom, the album reached the fifteenth position on the UK Albums Chart, their second best to date.[62] The album also managed to reach number one on the UK Rock & Metal Albums Charts and the tenth position overall based solely on physical copies sales.[63][64] In the United States, the band was met with their lowest debut to date, entering the charts at position number one hundred twenty nine. However, at the Top Album Sales, which accounts the total amount of pure sales from the album in its entirety and excludes streams and separate track sales, the album entered the charts at the thirteenth position.[65] This trending of achieving more sales with physical albums rather than stream and digital sales could also be seen in France, which while the album debuted at the twenty second position on the overall charts, it reached the eleventh position on the physical one,[66] and Finland, where the album managed to reach the fourth position on the official charts, and the second on the physical one.[67]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Reckoning" (featuring Jacoby Shaddix)4:11
2."Endless War"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
4:09
3."Raise Your Banner" (featuring Anders Fridén)
5:34
4."Supernova"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
  • William Knox
5:34
5."Holy Ground"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
4:10
6."In Vain"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
  • Knox
4:25
7."Firelight" (featuring Jasper Steverlinck)
  • den Adel
  • Gibson
  • Sarah De Courcy Astos
  • Daniel Barkman
4:46
8."Mad World"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
4:57
9."Mercy Mirror"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
3:49
10."Trophy Hunter"
  • den Adel
  • Westerholt
  • Stefan Helleblad
  • Emma Bjernvall
5:51
Total length:47:35

Personnel[edit]

Within Temptation

Guest musicians

Production

  • Daniel Gibson - producer
  • Mathijs Tieken - producer
  • Taylor Larson - mixing
  • Brian Gardner - mastering
  • Stefan Helleblad - engineer
  • Emmanuel Shiu - cover art

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[68] 13
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[69] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[70] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[71] 5
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[72] 64
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[73] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[74] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[75] 4
French Albums (SNEP)[76] 22
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[77] 1
Greek Albums (IFPI)[78] 45
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[79] 8
Italian Albums (FIMI)[80] 84
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[81] 55
Japanese Hot Albums (Billboard Japan)[82] 67
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[83] 18
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[84] 13
Scottish Albums (OCC)[85] 9
Slovak Albums (ČNS IFPI)[86] 19
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[87] 20
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[88] 11
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[89] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[90] 15
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[91] 1
US Billboard 200[92] 129
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[93] 5
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[94] 19

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