The dance, Enter, Mother Earth

some recorded and produced, all mixed


Within Temptation are a Symphonic Metal/Rock band from Waddinxveen, Netherlands formed in 1996 by lead singer Sharon den Adel and guitarist/vocalist Robert Westerholt. The band was initially known as The Portal and featured members of Westerholt’s previous band Voyage (who were previously known as The Circle). The initial complete line-up of the band consisted of den Adel and Westerholt, his brother Martijn Westerholt (keyboards), Jeroen Van Veen (bass guitar), Michiel Papenhove (guitar), and Richard Willemse (drums). Willemse didn’t stay with the group long and was replaced by Dennis Leeflang. It was around this time that the band became known as Within Temptation. With this line-up the band recorded two demos, and untitled one and the Enter demo. The style of the band at this stage was closer to Gothic Metal and Doom Metal than on later releases, and featured both the vocals of Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt.

By the time of the release of their debut album, also called Enter, Ivar de Graaf had replaced Leeflang as the group’s drummer. The Enter album was released in 1997 through DSFA Records, who had signed the group within two months of their demos creation. The band follows this with an EP, The Dance, in 1998, which featured three new songs and two remixes, which were included because of a demand for them, according to Sharon den Adel. The Dance marked the last release by Within Temptation as a Gothic/Doom Metal band. The band spent much time touring around this time, before taking a break in 1999 to construct their own studio and for the member’s to pursue personal projects.

When Within Temptation returned in 2000, their sound had shifted towards Symphonic Metal, was the music was somewhat more commercially orientated, mostly notably the band’s vocals were now solely provided by Sharon den Adel, although Robert Westerholt would continue to provide growls on live performances. There were several line-up changes coming up within the band, the first of which was when Martijn Westerholt left the band due to health reasons (he later started his own project, Delain). He was not replaced before the next album, Mother Earth was recorded and released and so the keyboards on this album were recorded by session musicians. Martijn Spierenburg, another former member of The Circle, was later taken on as the band’s new keyboardist. Michiel Papenhove and Ivar de Graaf also parted ways with the band around this time and were replaced by Ruud Jolie and Stephen van Haestregt respectively. Within Temptation would now keep a steady line-up until 2010. Mother Earth was Within Temptation’s breakthrough album with singles doing consistently well in various European charts. A DVD, Mother Earth Tour, was released in 2002.

It would be several years before the band would make their next album, The Silent Force, which was released in 2004 and the band continued to become increasingly popular, becoming #1 in their native Netherlands and again doing well in other countries. The Silent Force saw three singles released, Stand My Ground, Memories and Angels. Like Mother Earth Tour before it, The Silent Force Tour DVD was released in 2005.