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Back of The Billboards: 'Paradise (What About Us)' by Within Temptation

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Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.

Week of 10/09/2013

WHO: Within Temptation
WHAT: Paradise (What About Us?) EP
SPOT: 196
WHY?: Within Temptation is not exactly a small act, at least certainly not in its home continent of Europe. The band is the best-selling international act in the Netherlands, and has peaked in the Top 10 of several European markets. The group specializes in symphonic metal, certainly among the most grandiose of the subgenres. Its 2004 LP The Silent Force involved the six-piece act recording back by a full orchestra and an 80-member choir.

The EP Paradise (What About Us?) serves as a teaser for the band's yet-unnamed new LP. For those whose interest was piqued by the epic nature of Force's recording, we regret to say that Paradise won't be quite as ambitious. The final three tracks are rather less symphonic than much of the band's discography, but they're also labelled as demos, so things could change by the time the album drops. Rhythm guitarist Robert Westerholt gets to supply some death growls during "Silver Moonlight," a change of pace.

Many fans will take to Temptation for powerhouse vocalist Sharon den Adel, who complements the epic nature of the music with a voice similar in style to Evanescence's Amy Lee or Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia. "Paradise" the song is fully produced, including the symphonic elements, and features Tarja Turunen (formerly of Nightwish) adding deeper operatic tones to del Adel's mezzo-soprano.

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