Within Temptation’s gothic-tinged take on symphonic metal, incorporating myriad other influences is some of the most beautifully triumphant metal to be heard.

In 25 years, the Dutch band have seen a meteoric rise that sees them now headline huge festivals and playing to enormous crowds. And this is exactly how Within Temptation should be experienced – big.

This is a band built for the grandiose. Powerful metal and sweeping strings create an undeniably magnificent soundscape. And this music is built around appealing choruses that can trigger singalongs and beautiful melodies, of course carried by Sharon den Adel.

Sharon den Adel’s voice is incredibly captivating and, even in her gentlest vocal moments, it is incredibly powerful. When the band really lets loose, and the symphonic elements raise everything to another level, to then have Sharon just unleash with that voice – this is Within Temptation in full flight and it is breathtaking.

While they weren’t the first, and won’t be the last, to perform with an orchestra, Within Temptation’s Black Symphony performance, later released as a live album under the same name, built upon that truly epic atmosphere even more.

Symphonic metal has a lot of potential as a genre, and there are many great bands that wear that label, but when it comes to the grand, epic, and bombastic, Within Temptation are the masters.