Dutch metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION have released their brand-new single "Ritual". The song is the focus track of their upcoming eighth studio album, "Bleed Out", due out on October 20.
Reflecting the tumultuous state of the world, for their newest record the band have drawn inspiration from events such as the murder of Mahsa Amini in Iran and the war in Ukraine. But that isn't to say that there's no light to the heavy shade on "Bleed Out".
Vocalist Sharon Den Adel explains that the song "is one of the kinkiest songs the band have ever written and is fully inspired by 'From Dusk Till Dawn'." She is referring to the iconic movie by Quentin Tarantino about a seemingly normal road trip turning into a vampire slayer party. "It's a fun track about seduction," she explains. "It's about the lady taking power in a male dominated world and taking her own initiative."
"Bleed Out" signifies a bold leap forward for the band. From contemporary, hard-hitting, and djenty riffs to soaring melodies displaying their symphonic roots, WITHIN TEMPTATION has created a sonic journey that fuses diverse musical styles and thought-provoking themes. This is an album that is as epic as it is unflinchingly outspoken, and now more than ever, this is a band who isn't afraid to make a stand on issues the members care about.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, WITHIN TEMPTATION have shifted their focus from writing about personal emotions and societal subjects to tackling global injustices and reflecting the tumultuous state of the world in a way that other artists seem unable or unwilling to do.
Den Adel states: "The war in Ukraine has influenced us a lot. As artists we are inspired by the world, and we have this platform. We are storytellers, and I think as human beings, these are things we should be talking about."
While songs such as "Wireless" and "We Go To War" examine the authoritarian aggression on display in Ukraine and other warzones, the title track itself addresses the plight of women fighting for their rights in Iran after the murder of Mahsa Amini.
Den Adel explains, "I lived in Yemen when I was a kid. My parents lived in several countries in the Middle East, and I've visited them a lot when they were there. It's a different world. Due to my time there, I feel connected to that part of the world. I've been so incredibly impressed by the bravery of the young women there who've been burning their scarves knowing they were going to be thrown in prison or worse. It's heartbreaking."
The album also grapples with the complex issues around a woman's right to choose in recent single "Don't Pray For Me" and throughout, this impassioned and political focus is reflected in the intensity and heaviness of the music. Embracing a new era of musical exploration and lyrical depth, WITHIN TEMPTATION have pushed boundaries and showcased their artistic evolution, delivering a fist-in-the-air proclamation of both their moral convictions and their fearless approach to music.
Imbued with a vast dynamic range that plumbs the full depth of symphonic heaviosity, "Bleed Out" is as exuberantly heavy as it is politically profound.
"Bleed Out" track listing:
01. We Go To War 02. Bleed Out 03. Wireless 04. Worth Dying For 05. Ritual 06. Cyanide Love 07. The Purge 08. Don't Pray For Me 09. Shed My Skin (feat. Annisokay) 10. Unbroken 11. Entertain You
"Bleed Out" will be released in multiple physical formats and across all streaming via WITHIN TEMPTATION's own label Force Music Recordings in a joint venture with Bertus Distribution for worldwide distribution and Amped Distribution for the U.S. and Canada.
During a press conference at this year's Hellfest, Sharon spoke about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for WITHIN TEMPTATION's upcoming studio album. She said: "We always try to evolve musically. And the things we're trying now [are] really challenging for us. The new album is gonna be quite different from what people are used to from us, I guess. It's old and new again, but we are implementing… We're inspired by new bands that are really actually doing a new sound now and trying to implement that in our music. And it's quite technical. It's a little bit more technical, the songs we're gonna release on the new album."
Asked whether WITHIN TEMPTATION would ever consider releasing only singles in the future or they prefer to stick to the album format, Sharon said: "Well, I think, if you look at dance music, and other genres sometimes as well, they only release singles. And I think they have an advantage and they have a disadvantage. For us, the reason that we wanted to [release several singles prior to the new album] is that you have a longer time spent for media to be talking about your music. Because a lot of times, when you bring out a record, it's, like, [you release] three singles and then you bring out the album, and then you have a media span of, well, let's say, a few weeks, and then it's gone. And now we try to drag everything out of you guys [in the media]. [Laughs] Because we've been working on songs also for such a long time, it is nice to have a little bit more media attention towards it. And besides that, I think with the singles, you can also write in the moment and then release it, instead of having to wait two years before it finally ends up on an album."
This past May, WITHIN TEMPTATION released a visualizer for its previous single, "Wireless". The AI clip was by created by Adriano Theel of Titanfilmmedia.de.
WITHIN TEMPTATION first released "Entertain You", "The Purge" and "Shed My Skin", singles that have all thrilled their fanbase, had great critical reception in Europe, peaked in the Top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Indicator charts and topped the official German charts. In July 2022, WITHIN TEMPTATION also released the official Jeb Hardwick-directed music video for the "Don't Pray For Me" single. It was the fourth single of the band's independent releases and will lead up to WITHIN TEMPTATION's next studio album.
This past May, Den Adel told Germany's Rock Antenne about WITHIN TEMPTATION's decision to shift its focus from releasing albums to releasing a series of singles, enabling the bandmembers to indulge themselves in their creative processes thus delivering freshly inspired music. Asked if this new process has resulted in each song requiring much longer to complete, Sharon said: "Well, to be honest, for us, this time, since we started doing only singles, it takes so much more time, so much more effort, because every single is a single. It's not just a random song on the album, where you also have, like, one or two or three in the end on the album, which are good but are not singles. But now we've been releasing a lot of songs that we think are singles and that we like ourselves very much. And of course, it was a way of releasing our stuff since just before corona started, actually. [We thought], 'What we're gonna do [this time] is different. We're not gonna release an album. We're just gonna do singles every time, just for the fun and see how that works.' And also with media attention and stuff, because a lot of times when you've recorded the single, they have the attention for that specific single, and then the next one, and then the album comes out and nobody talks about you anymore. And it goes a lot of effort and a lot of attention and time into a whole record. And now we get certain media for certain singles and other media for other singles, because it depends when they think it's something for them, then when they will join you on that adventure. So that's interesting to see that there's a different way of doing that. And I think in a way, especially during the corona time, it was the best thing for us to do, to stay in contact with everybody and to give people who like our music something and for us to stay sane while being locked up in our houses, of course. So it was a double win-win situation."
In a separate interview with Barbara Caserta of Linea Rock, Den Adel spoke about WITHIN TEMPTATION's new approach to making its music available. She said: "We already decided before we had the pandemic to do it this way. A lot of music scenes already do this — music genres, actually — but in the rock [world], we still do a lot of the traditional way of releasing albums. And we just wanted to try this out. And then the pandemic happened, and everybody started doing the same thing. Which is a good thing, because you live in the moment and you write something and you release it… So this is really how we feel at the moment, and it's what we re reflecting with our music, I think. It's a good thing."
Regarding the differences between recording and releasing singles and concentrating on making full-length albums, Sharon said: "We put a lot of time extra now into every single, where normally this is the maximum of singles that we release, and we're gonna release more. So I think there's more time spent to it. But it's scattered all over a time, so it's really sometimes difficult to get back into the flow of writing again; that's the negative side of it. So it has its positive and negative sides. And with a whole album, it takes sometimes two years when you've written a song that it finally gets released, and it already feels outdated sometimes. So now it's really [easy to give each track] a fast release."
WITHIN TEMPTATION's last album, "Resist", was released in February 2019 through Spinefarm Records, the specialist hard rock label of Universal Music Group.
"Resist" featured guest appearances by PAPA ROACH's Jacoby Shaddix, IN FLAMES' Anders Fridén and ARID's Jasper Steverlinck.
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