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Dutch symphonic metal band, founded in April 1996 by long-term partners Sharon den Adel (vocals) and Robert Westerholt (guitars). Together with Michiel Papenhove, Martijn Westerholt and Jeroen van Veen they recorded their debut album ‘Enter’ (1997). The album was well received and the band embarked on a four gig tour across the country, followed by their first international tour, of Germany and Austria.

In 1998 the band continued to tour. In the absence of new material they released an EP ‘The Dance’ with three songs plus two remixes. After a sabbatical year in 1999, the band returned with their second album ‘Mother Earth’. The album was a moderate success in the Dutch charts the first few weeks after its release. The second single from this album, entitled ‘Ice Queen’, was regarded as the breakthrough release for the band; in March 2002 it peaked at number 4 in the Dutch Top 40.

In 2002 they had their first concert in France and a headline gig in Mexico City. They received their first major award, the Dutch Silver Harp. They bolstered this by embarking on a major international tour supporting Paradise Lost in 2003 and re-releasing ‘Mother Earth’ on the GUN Records label across more European countries. The album went platinum in Germany. The Benelux region got a different release, a cover version of Running Up That Hill, which peaked at number 13 in the Dutch Top 40. Promotion of ‘Mother Earth’ in newer markets continued well into 2004 with various international festival appearances and other headline gigs. The band made their UK live debut in London in September of that year.

In November 2004, Within Temptation released their third album ‘The Silent Force’. It was an instant number 1 in the Netherlands and charted well in many European countries. As of early 2005, the album had already sold more than 400.000 copies only in Europe. ‘Stand My Ground’ and ‘Memories’, the first singles from the new album, continued the band’s run of chart success, culminating in an Edison Award. The third single was ‘Angels’.

In August 2008, both ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘The Silent Force’ were released in the North American market for the first time, through Roadrunner Records. The next album ‘The Heart of Everything’ was released in March 2007 in the Netherlands and in July 2007 in the United States. The album debuted at no. 1 in the Dutch Album chart, making it their second charttopper.

Within Temptation started their very first United States tour a few months after the European release of ‘The Heart of Everything’, supporting Lacuna Coil, and appearing alongside In This Moment, Stolen Babies, The Gathering, and Kylesa. The tour, dubbed The Hottest Chicks in Metal Tour 2007, was largely a success.

On 7 February 2008, the band performed a 10,000 audience show entitled Black Symphony at the Ahoy in Nederlands together with The Metropole Orchestra, a choir and several guest artists. The concert was released on DVD and Blu-Ray with a double CD in September 2008.

In 2009, the band released an acoustic album, based on recordings from a theatre tour at the end of 2008. Meanwhile, Sharon den Adel gave birth to a son in June 2009. The band continued to work on a new studio album , which was released in March 2011 as ‘The Unforgiving’. The concept of the album was based on a comic book series, written by Steven O’Connell and illustrated by Romano Molenaar. Each song on ‘The Unforgiving’ was written along Steven’s narrative, with characters in the songs reflecting the protagonists of the comic. The band was supposed to tour in promotion of the album, but the tour was postponed when Sharon den Adel fell pregnant once more. The tour moved from early 2011 to fall 2011. During this tour and subsequent tours, Stefan Helleblad took Robert Westerholt’s place, enabling Westerholt to raise his and den Adel’s children at home.

In early 2012, to continue promoting the album, the band started a South American tour, passing over Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. Right after coming back to Europe, the band presented a semi-acoustic Dutch theater tour in March 2012, called ‘Sanctuary’.

In 2013, the band released ‘Hydra’, followed by an arena tour in Europe. Due to the great reception of ‘Hydra’ in the United States, the band decided to tour again in North America, travelling from West to East coast and passing over twelve cities. A show in the Netherlands was filmed for a DVD release, ‘Let Us Burn’ (2014).

At the end of 2017, Sharon den Adel announced that she was embarking on a solo project. During this process, she regained inspiration to write again for the band. The new album ‘Resist’ was released in December 2018.