The Heart of Everything

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The Heart of Everything
Within Temptation - The Heart of Everything (2007).jpg
Cover photography by Erwin Olaf
Studio album by
Released9 March 2007 (see details)
RecordedMay - November 2006
  • The Metal Cemetery
  • Studio Arnold Mühren, Volendam
  • Soundpark Studio, Schiedam, Netherlands
  • Barrandov Studios, Prague, Czech Republic
LabelGUN (Europe)
Roadrunner (rest of the world)
ProducerDaniel Gibson, Stefan Helleblad
Within Temptation chronology
The Silent Force
The Heart of Everything
The Unforgiving
Singles from The Heart of Everything
  1. "What Have You Done"
    Released: 14 February 2007
  2. "The Howling"
    Released: 1 May 2007
  3. "Frozen"
    Released: 11 June 2007
  4. "All I Need"
    Released: 12 November 2007
  5. "Forgiven"
    Released: 12 September 2008

The Heart of Everything is the fourth studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation, released by GUN Records on 12 March 2007 in Europe. It was released in North America on 18 June 2007 by Roadrunner Records. The album follows the symphonic metal sound the band had been improving and deepening until then, and is considered by lead vocalist Sharon den Adel as the album in which the band finally managed to achieve this kind of sound.[3]

The album originated a total of five singles. The first and most successful one, "What Have You Done", was released on February 14 and was met with moderate chart success across Europe.[4] The song eventually became one of the band's signature songs, being played in almost every concert.[5] The album itselft was also met with commercial and critical success, earning positive reviews from publications such as Metal Hammer,[6] allmusic[7] and PopMatters.[8] The album opened at number 1 on the Dutch Charts and also was the first to enter a Billboard chart.[9] To promote the album, the band embarked on their first world tour, entitled The Heart of Everything World Tour, visiting countries in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.

Composition and recording[edit]

Composing for the album started at the end of 2005, and recording lasted for half 2006.[10] About their inspiration, the band cited books as well as important moments of their personal lives, mainly the act of making choices.[11] About certain songs, like Our Solemn Hour, lead vocalist Sharon den Adel wrote about how "people get sacrificed also for war and we don't learn from that."[10] About their second single, "Frozen", den Adel said that they "wrote a song about child abuse", so they released the song as a single and gave all the profits to the Child Helpline International. In den Adel's words: "We chose this organization because they are represented in 160 countries and it is very easy to get in contact with them. You can send them an e-mail or call. They are there not only to help, but also to just listen, and you can decide how much help you want."[11]

As the album focuses on some of the difficult choices people make throughout their lives, the band decided to reflect this theme by depicting Lady Justice on the cover, a figure known to symbolize the weighing of moral decisions.[11] The artwork was done by Dutch artist Erwin Olaf.[12]

Release and promotion[edit]

The full track listing was revealed on 10 January 2007[13] and the album was released on 9 March 2007 in the Netherlands, and on 24 July in the United States. This was their first album released in North America, due to the upgrading recognition they were earning throughout Europe.[11] Roadrunner Records decided to put the song "Stand My Ground", taken from their former album The Silent Force, on the American edition of the album as a means to interest people on the band's earlier albums that were later released.[11] Roadrunner Records also released a limited edition EP called The Howling, which was available only at Hot Topic stores, containing the title track plus popular tracks from The Silent Force. Album opener "The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom" were recorded as promotional material for the video game The Chronicles of Spellborn.

Promotion was intense for the album and included their first world tour, entitled The Heart of Everything World Tour, which started 14 March 2007, in Amsterdam and ended only on 13 September 2008. The band toured in the United States of America for the first time, first supporting Lacuna Coil and then as headliners. About the American tour, den Adel said that "Well, we don't have any expectations because it's such a big country and you never know where people will like your music. It's totally different tastes and we're going to come over here and play and see if people will like it. You can't change [it] if they don't. And if they do, then it's another nice country we can go and play at and enjoy the culture."[10] The band also visited South American countries, such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile for the first time. The band continued to perform at several large European festivals, such as Pinkpop, Pukkelpop and Download which helped the band to reach the status of a mainstream band throughout Europe, as The Heart of Everything appeared in several European charts.[14] At the end of 2007, the band professionally recorded a sold out show for 8,000 visitors at the Beursgebouw, in The Netherlands, for a possible future DVD release.[14][15] On 7 February 2008, the band performed a special show accompanied by The Metropole Orchestra, the Pa'dam Choir, and special guests including George Oosthoek (ex-Orphanage), Anneke van Giersbergen and Keith Caputo of Life of Agony, filmed by 14 HD cameras at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, with an attendance of 10.000 people. This recording was later released as the main show of the Black Symphony DVD, and some parts of the show in Eindhoven came as an extra on the second disc of some editions of the album. Both shows featured special stage effects like explosions, pyro and fireworks.[15][16][17]


Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com4/5 stars[18]
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[19]
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles3.5/5 stars[20]
Metal Hammer (Ger)6/7[6]
Metal Storm3/5 stars[21]
Planet Internet(favorable)[22]
PopMatters3.5/5 stars[8]
Rock Hard4/5 stars[23]

The criticism of The Heart of Everything was generally positive, with particular praise for the symphonic elements and Sharon den Adel's vocals. Chad Bowar of praised the use of different elements on the album, while saying that the album has "the optimum balance of the melody and hooks of mainstream rock, the depth and complexity of classical music and the dark edge of gothic metal."[18] AllMusic review highlighted how "the sextet isn't afraid to get downright symphonic".[19] Mark Gromen, from Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, praised specially the track "Our Solemn Hour" by offering "an accurate portrayal of what Within Temptation are all about, (...) grandiose, orchestral and rocking, it encompasses all aspects of the band." Gromen also lamented the "ignorant comparisons" with Evanescence the band started to achieve, while entering the North American marketing after a successful European career.[20] Metal Storm reviewer was less favorable, stating that "it's simply hard to find amazing songs, real hits. Of course if you're not looking for something new and a bit deep, it should be ok but on the other hand I didn't find anything special on this release." and finished the review saying that "this is not the worst album ever but Within Temptation is able to do something better."[21]

The album ranked 20th position on the list of 2007 Best Metal Albums delivered by international online magazine PopMatters.[24] In September 2015, the Official Charts Company, responsible for the music industry reports in the United Kingdom, launched a new category of chart in which indicates the best selling albums that push the conceptions and boundaries of traditional music. OCC then elected the Top 30 Progressive Artists of the 21st Century previous to the chart release, putting Within Temptation at the 27th position with The Heart of Everything.[25]

Critics' lists[edit]

Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
PopMatters Best Metal Albums of 2007 20 [24]

Live history[edit]

"The Howling" was premiered in 2006, at the end of The Silent Force Tour. When The Heart of Everything World Tour started in 2007, all songs were played often except from "Final Destination" and "Forgiven". "Forgiven" premiered at the end of 2007, and was played often in 2008. During the Theater Tour in 2008 and 2010, "What Have You Done", "Frozen", "Our Solemn Hour", "The Heart of Everything", "Hand of Sorrow", "The Cross", "All I Need" and "Forgiven" were played at all shows, and "The Howling" and "The Truth Beneath the Rose" were played on the last date.

At the beginning of The Unforgiving Tour in 2011, "The Howling", "What Have You Done" and "Our Solemn Hour" were played at almost every show, although by December 2011, "The Howling" was completely replaced by "Hand of Sorrow". "The Cross" was also played on two festivals, and "The Truth Beneath the Rose" and "Forgiven" were played on the 2011 Fanclub Day. No songs from the album were played on the Sanctuary Theater Tour.

"Sounds of Freedom", one of the B-Sides from the album, was played once in 2006 and also on the band's Sanctuary Theater Tour.

Track listings[edit]

All lyrics are written by Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt, except where noted.

Standard edition
1."The Howling"
  • Westerholt
  • Daniel Gibson
2."What Have You Done" (featuring Mina Caputo)
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
4."Our Solemn Hour"4:17
5."The Heart of Everything"
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
  • Han Kooreneef
6."Hand of Sorrow"
  • den Adel
  • Spierenburg
7."The Cross"
  • den Adel
  • Spierenburg
8."Final Destination"
  • Westerholt
  • Gibson
9."All I Need"den Adel4:51
10."The Truth Beneath the Rose"
  • den Adel
  • Spierenburg
  • den Adel
  • Spierenburg
Total length:57:01
  • The original version of "What Have You Done" is named "Extended Version" and the US edit is named "US Single Version" on the North American edition[26]


Five singles have been released from the album:

  • "What Have You Done" (four different versions), released in February 2007.
  • "The Howling" (both as an EP, released in the US on 1 May 2007, and as a co-release with "Frozen").
  • "Frozen" (standard and maxi versions), released on 11 June 2007.
  • "All I Need" (standard and maxi versions), released on 12 November 2007.
  • "Forgiven" (maxi version) was released on 12 September 2008 to promote the Black Symphony release.

B-sides and demos[edit]

The following songs have appeared in released singles during The Heart of Everything promotion. The released demos have extreme differences, lyrically and musically (and often named differently) to the originals.

  • "Blue Eyes" (available on the European maxi CD single of What Have You Done)
  • "Sounds of Freedom" (available on the maxi CD single of Frozen)
  • "The Last Time" (demo, available on the All I Need single)
  • "Frozen" (demo, available on the All I Need single)
  • "Our Solemn Hour" (demo, available on the All I Need single)
  • "Hand of Sorrow" (demo, available on the All I Need single)


Within Temptation[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Mina Caputo - vocals on "What Have You Done" (all versions)
  • Jonas Pap - cello on "The Cross", "All I Need" and "Forgiven"
  • Tom Salisbury - piano on "Frozen", "All I Need" and "Forgiven", choir and orchestra arrangements
  • Siard de Jong - fiddle on "Hand of Sorrow" and "Forgiven"
  • The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Hein


  • Daniel Gibson - producer, arrangements on "All I Need"
  • Stefan Helleblad - co-producer, engineer
  • Niels Hahn - engineer, additional editing
  • Stefan Glaumann - mixing
  • Patrick Mühren - mixing
  • Franck van der Heijden - orchestral arrangements
  • Geert Keysers - orchestral arrangements


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA)[53] Gold 20,000*
Germany (BVMI)[54] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[55] Gold 35,000^
Russia (NFPF)[56] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Silver 60,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Region Date
Netherlands 9 March 2007
Europe 12 March 2007
Finland 15 March 2007
Australia 17 March 2007
Japan 24 April 2007
United States 18 June 2007


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