The Unforgiving - Within Temptation
The Unforgiving Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Apr 8, 2011
    90
    The dark-hued, hard rocking glory of 'Sinead' and the Evanescence-bothering theatrics of 'A Demon's Fate' should draw Within Temptation a wider audience, but it's the ferocious guitar/keyboard attack of the blazing 'In The Middle Of The Night' that might coax most bullet belts out of retirement.
  2. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    The end result is that The Unforgiving is easily Within Temptation's most ambitious record, an album that benefits from an increased energy level and strong songwriting in order to deliver a collection of the band's strongest songs to date.
  3. May 9, 2011
    80
    Coupled with the short films and the comic book that are companion pieces to the album, The Unforgiving is much more than just an excellent record. It is an all-encompassing audio-visual experience that will leave its audience breathless for a long time to come.
  4. Apr 8, 2011
    60
    On the whole, though, while this is flawless and expertly crafted, it's also pretty unsatisfying. [26 Mar 2011, p.52]
  5. Apr 8, 2011
    60
    While her vocals alone are unlikely to gain Within Temptation too many new listeners, fans who have stuck with the band throughout their career will likely forgive The Unforgiving's occasional missteps.
  6. Apr 8, 2011
    60
    Because however cheesy, however smothered in Eighties patische, what Within Temptation have done is write a collection of killer melodies that are so strong it's almost impossible to sniff at them. I just wish they'd done it with a little more of a personal flourish.
  7. May 18, 2011
    20
    The Unforgiving's rampaging orchestral stabs and hysterical synths, coupled with Sharon den Adel's fevered vocal flourishes, make for awful Euro-pop with the odd distorted guitar. [May 2011, p.115]

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Aug 27, 2012
    10
    Superb album. Music perhaps more fitting for soundtracks & story telling than straight-up listening, The Unforgiving nevertheless pushes all the right buttons. With upbeat themes mixed in with darker moments, I found that almost all the songs left me wanting to hit the replay button. It's about time someone did music like this; orchestral symphony meets rock - best played loud & unapologetically. Absolutely wonderful stuff. Expand
  2. Nov 10, 2011
    10
    Evolve or die out. Within Temptation's latest offering did just that - evolved their sound. The Unforgiving is a 'concept' CD. The band wanted to give a whole multimedia experience to their fans, that included the CD, videos, short films and a comic book series to tell a complete story. Guitarist Robert Westerholt and singer Sharon den Adel have both stated in interviews that they felt their last CD 'The Heart of Everything' accomplished the sound they had been developing for many years and it was time to move forward in their growth. The Unforgiving is more guitar oriented but it still has the orchestrated undertones that WT is famous for (Just listen to "Murder" and you will hear it clearly). It offers more in the way of Ruud Jolie's under-rated guitar work. And of course, Sharon's voice is still amazing as ever. The songs are solid and range from the rockin "Faster" "Middle of the Night" to the danceable "Sinead" to the heart felt "Lost" . If you are unsure of the change of your favourite band's latest, give it a few listens and you will find yourself singing along and enjoying them as much as you ever did. Remember: evolve or die and I'd rather WT evolved then died off. They are way to good to just fade away. They are currently on a world wide Tour! Catch them live if you can, you will not be disappointed. Expand
  3. May 9, 2011
    9
    Generally excellent throughout. It features a straightforward but fresh and bombastic approach rather than the refined sound of their previous albums and the story telling through imaginative lyrics and mixing light and dark themes works terrifically.
    Fantastic album
    Expand
  4. Nov 10, 2011
    9
    A thoroughly compelling release which gets better with each listen. Although the accompanying comic book does little to interest people like me, it provides a coherent story which, although it comes off as a little ridiculous in the short movie series, makes excellent lyrics for an epic soundtrack. The album's style follows largely in the footsteps of its predecessor, almost a summation of each genre the band dabbled with in their previous works, which range from the ludicrously named "Gothic Doom" to "Celtic Metal" and "Symphonic Metal." In spite of the stylistic similarities with 2007's "The Heart of Everything", The Unforgiving is leagues ahead musically- gone are the sappy ballads and in comes an aggressive crunch which makes this record as cinematic as its dramatic story demands. If you don't believe me then listen to "In the Middle of the Night" and first single "Faster" for a master class in high tempo 80s **** That isn't to say that there aren't any lighter moments, but even the softer "Fire and Ice" and album closer "Stairway to the Skies" are teemed with a dark edge and the occasional heavy metal gallop which keeps them from straying too far from the concept. For the WT hardcores, this has been quite a wait, but den Adel and co have made up for it with what every fan should have been hoping for; something truly spectacular. Expand
  5. Apr 25, 2011
    7
    I've listened to Within Temptation for a couple of years now and I've come to believe that they have a total of about 10 distinct and original songs that stand out from the rest of their tracks. Most of their music tends to sound repetitive at times but that does not mean they do not have talent. I respect WT as a band and have to say that they are probably one of the best examples of the symphonic goth style bands. The Unforgiving is basically a dip into the 80's, where the band sounds a little less themselves and more pulsing and electronic. The best song by far on The Unforgiving is "A Shot in the Dark"; buy that song on itunes and you'll have the best The Unforgiving has to offer. The best album release by WT to date is probably The Heart of Everything; if you want to actually buy a full album then go for that one. I highly recommend the band, but not so much The Unforgiving, it's probably one of WT's weaker albums. Here are Within Temptation's top songs in my opinion (try listening to a few):
    1 The Howling
    2 Angels
    3 What Have You Done
    4 Our Solemn Hour
    5 Ice Queen
    6 Shot In the Dark
    7 Mother Earth
    8 The Heart of Everything
    9 Frozen
    10 Memories
    Expand
  6. Dec 7, 2011
    2
    The album is perfectly crafted, and the songwriting is great. But, don't shoot me, the songs are so bland and dull. Sharon spends the whole album screaming her vocals and it sounds genuinely hollow and empty. In The Middle Of The Night is exciting at first but Sharon sounds the same the whole way through the album which is a shame, because I'm a huge fan of Within Temptation and her incredible voice. I just think they could've done so much better with the album, it was disappointing. I hope they reclaim some musical ground for their next album. This one is a creative masterpiece, I'm sure. But when it comes to actually listening to the music and the vocals, it falls flat. However, the Deluxe Edition track, Empty Eyes, is a standout track which, I think, has more life than most of the album. Expand