Symphonic Metal Meets Opera Meets Hip-Hop on “Hydra”

within_temptation_imageDutch Symphonic Rock band Within Temptation is preparing to release their sixth studio album, Hydra, on Nuclear Blast. The band recently revealed details regarding the guest appearances made on the release, and some of the artists involved may be a little unexpected — and therefore very exciting.

First on the list is Dave Pirner of “Runaway Train” fame, frontman to Soul Asylum. Having just completed his Fall tour with Soul Asylum and Fountains of Wayne, Pirner managed to squeeze time in the studio with Within Temptation to lay down some vocals for the song “Whole World is Watching.”

Next up is Howard Jones of Devil You Know, previously of Killswitch Engage. He lends his Metalcore voice to the song “Dangerous,” which Sharon den Adel, vocalist for Within Temptation, says is “one of [her] favorite songs on the record and one of the fastest [they’ve] ever written. It has the most bass drums [they’ve] ever used, too, and a very fast riff which [they] doubled with synths (…) and it’s very aggressive.”

Then we have the mistress of Operatic Metal, Tarja Turunen. The marriage between the two acts seems almost perfect, each blending the beauty of classical composition with the aggression and grit of Hardcore Metal. In fact, Tarja used to sing lead for the Finnish Symphonic Metal band, Nightwish. Since her departure from the band in 2005, she has led a stellar solo career. In fact, she appeared on Within Temptation‘s recent EP release, Paradise (What About Us?), which came out in September.

Finally, and perhaps the most surprising, is American Hip-Hop star X to the Z Xzibit. His most recent project is a collaborative album entitled Serial Killers featuring X, B Real (of Cypress Hill) and Demrick (relative newcomer and protégé of the two seasoned veterans). While somewhat unexpected, it seems as though the general aesthetic of Xzibit’s music will lend itself well to that of Within Temptation. Robert Westerholt, guitar player for the band, seems to agree: “Xzibit is amazing. This song [ed. “And We Run”] is about how you’ve got to live your life now. He’s rapping at full force on this song. It’s really heavy.”

The album will be released in the U.S. in early 2014. In the meantime, you can watch the video for Paradise (What About Us?), below, or spend your time staring at the beautiful album artwork, done by none other than Romano Molenaar of Batman and X-Men animation fame.

Keep your eyes and ears open for this one; it’s gonna be special.

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