Within Temptation Biography
Formed in HOLLAND, in 1996 around the nucleus of guitarist Robert Westerholt and lead vocalist Sharon Den Adel, the Goth-Metal combo Within Temptation initially featured Michiel Papenhove on guitar, Martijn Westerholt on keyboards and Jeroen Van Veen on bass; they worked with a succession of drummers until Stephen Van Haestregt was named the permanent stickman.
Within Temptation issued their debut album, "Enter", through Dutch indie label DSFA in April 1997. The album saw the group playing gigs across the continent, firmly cementing their phenomenal live reputation.
The band delivered its sophomore album, "Mother Earth", in December 2000; the new record again garnered critical acclaim. Starting the year with a major club tour of their homeland, Within Temptation released two singles from "Mother Earth": "Our Farewell" and "Ice Queen". It was "Ice Queen" that finally led to Within Temptation's first mainstream commercial success, the single peaked at #2 on the Official Dutch chart with the CD entering the National Albums chart at #3, eventually reaching platinum status. The band's popularity in the Netherlands continued to grow and in 2002 it spread like wildfire across the continent. "Mother Earth" clocked-up platinum and gold status in Germany and Belgium, respectively.
Returning to the studio in 2004 with new members, guitarist Ruud Jolie, who replaced Papenhove and keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg, who took the place of Martijn Westerholt, the group were set to record their third and most successful record to date, "The Silent Force", it included a Russian 80-piece choir and an 80-piece orchestra. Fuelled by the massive international radio hit "Stand My Ground", the album was released in November going straight to #1 in the Netherlands and Finland, #5 in Germany, top 10 in Belgium, Portugal and Spain. A myriad of gold and platinum certifications followed. The Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers toured extensively to promote their third full-length disc, including successful European tours with Iron Maiden and Rammstein.
In March 2007, Within Temptation released "The Heart Of Everything", their first album on Roadrunner Records, the 11-song set not only debuted at #1 or at least in the top 10 in all Central European countries, but also broke into the U.K. Top 40 Albums chart and reached the #106 spot on the American Billboard Top 200. The CD included the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock top 40 hit "What Have You Done", featuring guest vocals from Life Of Agony frontman Keith Caputo. In addition to this track, three more singles have reached the top 20 in their native Holland: "Frozen", "All I Need" and "Forgiven".
Recorded on the Eindhoven leg of their unique 2008 tour, the live album
"An Acoustic Night At The Theatre" was released in the fall
of 2009; it contained material from three of their four studio albums
as well as a previously unreleased song: "Utopia".
Haestregt left the band in the spring of 2010 in order to focus on his family life and work as a studio technician. He was later replaced by drummer Mike Coolen.
"The Unforgiving", the long-awaited concept album from the Dutch Metal vets was released in March 2011 and peaked at #50 on the American Billboard Top 200 list. The 12-track set, which included
the single "Faster", also charted within the top 40 in U.K. and into the top 10 in almost all Northern European countries.
A few months after the album's release, guitarist Robert Westerholt, announced that he would step down from touring duties in order to focus on taking care of the three children he has with the band's lead singer. His replacement on stage was Stefan Helleblad.
Within Temptation joined forces with Tarja, former lead singer of the Finnish band Nightwish, for the first single of the group's next studio album, "Hydra". The cooperation was the single "Paradise (What About Us?)", which became a minor hit at U.S. Active Rock radio. Released in January 2014, "Hydra" was a top 10 hit all over Europe and peaked at #16 on the American Billboard Top 200 chart.