Within Temptation is a symphonic metal band from the Netherlands. The band was founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt Their music is variously described as symphonic metal, as well as gothic metal in some media, although in an interview, Sharon den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre

Directly after the release of their first album Enter, the band became prominent in the underground scene. It would however take until 2001, when they became known by the general public, with the single "Ice Queen" from the album Mother Earth, which reached position 2 in the charts. Since then, the band won the Conamus Exportprijs five years in a row. Their next album The Silent Force immediately reached first position in the charts. Their latest album, The Heart of Everything, also reached this position immediately.



Long-term partners Robert Westerholt (on guitar) and Sharon den Adel (vocals) began the band in 1996, quickly adding Jeroen van Veen on bass guitar, Michiel Papenhove on guitar, Martijn Westerholt at the keyboard and (following a succession of short-lived drummers) Ivar de Graaf. They were quickly offered a recording contract and signed to DSFA Records later that year, beginning work on their first release.

Enter (1997)


Enter, the debut album, was released in 1997 . The album was well received and the band embarked on a four gig tour across the country, after which they were asked to perform at the Dynamo Open Air festival in Eindhoven, one of the Netherlands' largest heavy metal festivals. The band rounded out 1997 by embarking on their first international tour, of Germany and Austria. Also subsequently Ivar de Graaf left the band and was replaced by Ciro Palma.

The sound of Enter was very melodic and doom paced, influenced by gothic doom metal, heavily relied on fast keyboards and drums and heavy guitar riffs. Also prominent on this album are death grunts by Robert Westerholt and members of Orphanage.

The Dance (1998-1999)

The Dance

In 1998 the band continued to tour actively - their profile had elevated them to the main stage at Dynamo for the 1998 event. However, Within Temptation had released no new material (and did not have plans for a second album at this point), to which end they elected to release an EP, The Dance.

Finally taking a break from touring, 1999 was largely a sabbatical year for the band. They took the opportunity to construct their own studio, as well as returning to personal pursuits, with plans to return to the fold the next year.

Mother Earth (2000-2003)

Mother Earth cover art for its Europe-wide re-release

2000 was an eventful year for the band as they returned to touring, playing three Dutch festivals; Waterpop, Bospop and Lowlands. In addition they went to work on their second album, releasing Mother Earth in the Low Countries on December 1st. The album was a hit, receiving positive reviews across the board and rooted itself in the Dutch charts.

The band first released the single Our Farewell, which never entered the charts. The second single from Mother Earth, Ice Queen, was regarded as the breakthrough release for the band; in 2001 it climbed to number 4 in the Netherlands but was their first number one single when it climbed to the top in Belgium. The success rebounded to Mother Earth, which continued to climb in the Dutch album chart, ending the year at number 3.

2001 also saw a number of changes in personnel; Ruud Adrianus Jolie was added as a second guitarist, drummer de Graaf was replaced by Stephen van Haestregt, and Martijn Westerholt (suffering from infectious mononucleosis) was replaced by Martijn Spierenburg. Westerholt later started the band Delain.

The band achieved still wider appeal in 2002 with their first concert in France and even a headline gig in Mexico City. They attained 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; it was a particularly large success in Germany, where it went platinum and reached number 7 in the charts; the re-release of Ice Queen also charted well in the top 30. In turn the Benelux regions got a different release, a cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill. The band highlighted music festivals across the Netherlands and their Mother Earth tour DVD claimed the prestigious Edison Award.

The Silent Force (2004-2006)

The Silent Force

Plans for the band's third album came to fruition in 2004, with the release of The Silent Force on November 15th, 2004 across Europe. Daniel Gibson's production was an instant number 1 in the band's heartland and charted well in many European countries. In support of the release they embarked on another large international tour in 2005, with dates across the continent (including their first major UK concert in London) and a one-off show in Dubai. Stand My Ground and Memories, the first singles from the new album, continued the band's run of chart success, culminating in a second Edison Award. Stand My Ground was promoted on the trailer for the film Blood and Chocolate The band also provided the original soundtrack to the videogame Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade released in 2004.

In January 2006, Within Temptation won the Dutch Pop Prize (best Dutch pop contribution) and Dutch Export Prize (best-selling Dutch artist outside The Netherlands), the latter given to them for the third time in a row. The band also reported that they were busy working on their next album, due to be released during the fall, and that they would start playing at festivals starting in April, in addition to going on an international tour at the end of the year.

The Heart of Everything (2007-present)

The Heart of Everything

The new album The Heart of Everything from Within Temptation was released on the 9th of March in the Netherlands, and was released on the 24th of July in the United States. The release dates for multiple countries are found on their official Myspace page. Two more tracks, "The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom", were recorded as promotion material for the video game "The Chronicles of Spellborn", and the first of these opens the album. The full track listing was revealed on the 10th of January. The band embarked on their first North American tour with Lacuna Coil in May to promote the North American release of the album. Roadrunner Records also released a limited edition EP called The Howling (EP), which was available only at Hot Topic stores, containing the title track plus popular tracks from their former album The Silent Force.

The album debuted at #1 in the Dutch Album 100, making it their second number-one album. It's also the first time a Dutch act ever charted within the United World Chart. It peaked at #38 selling 50,000 copies in their first week. It reached top 10 in eight countries and top 100 in eleven countries. As of March 30, 2007 the album has sold 150,000 copies.

The song "What Have You Done" was the first single released from the album. Its music video was recorded on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of December in 2006 at the Koko club in London, and a CGI studio in Windsor. It features Keith Caputo of Life of Agony fame on guest vocals. Fans were allowed to participate in the making of the video, although this first version left the band feeling disappointed (comments made by the band at their March show in Lyon). Shortly after, a completely new video for the song was made. The song peaked at #7 in the Netherlands and #4 in Finland.

The second single, released across Europe in June, was "Frozen". The video, filmed in Romania, deals with child abuse, and sales of the single will raise money for a children's charity, Child Helpline International. "The Howling" was chosen as a digital single release for the UK, and another video was also shot. The extended version of the "Frozen" single features an unreleased b-side, "Sounds Of Freedom", a second song written for computer game "The Chronicles of Spellborn".

Within Temptation started their very first US 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.

The Heart of Everything was released in the U.S. on July 24, and the promotional single of "What Have You Done" shipped to rock stations July 2nd.

In support of the new album, Within Temptation decided to kick off their first headlining US tour in Fall 2007. The band played thirteen shows, starting on September 5, 2007 in Boston and ended on September 23, 2007 in Tempe, Arizona.

On October 19, 2007, Within Temptation released their video for their third single "All I Need". The single was released in Europe around November 12 and features the single and album versions of the title track plus demo versions of "The Last Time" (previously unreleased track), "Frozen" and "Our Solemn Hour".

The band has said that of the fourth quarter of 2007, they will start writing new material for a new album they are eager to get out. The due date is between 2009-2010.



In 2007 the band announced it would be donating all proceeds from their single "Frozen" to Child Helpline International.

Current line-up

  • Sharon den Adel – vocals (1996-present)
  • Robert Westerholt – guitar (1996-present)
  • Ruud Adrianus Jolie – guitar (2001-present)
  • Jeroen van Veen – bass (1996-present)
  • Martijn Spierenburg – keyboards (2001-present)
  • Stephen van Haestregt – drums (2002-present)

Former members

  • Ivar de Graaf – drums (1996-1998, 1999-2001)
  • Martijn Westerholt – keyboards (1996-2001)
  • Michiel Papenhove – guitar (1996-2001)
  • Jelle Bakker – guitar (2001)
  • Ciro Palma – drums (1998-1999)
  • Dennis Leeflang – drums (1996)
  • Richard Willemse – drums (1996)


Studio albums

Album Cover Album Title
  • Released: April 6, 1997
  • Chart Positions: N/A
  • Sales: 100.000 (only in Europe)
  • Label(s): DSFA Records, Season of Mist
  • Singles: Restless
Mother Earth
  • Released: August 21, 2001
  • Chart Positions: ?
  • Sales: 350.000 (only in Europe)
  • Label(s): DSFA Records, Roadrunner Records, Sanctury Records, GUN Records
  • Singles: Our Farewell, Ice Queen, Mother Earth
The Silent Force
  • Released: November 15, 2004
  • Chart Positions: #1 NET, #5 GER, #26 SPA, #12 AUS, #17 POR, #37 NOR, #22 SWIT, #3 GREE, #28 SWE, #4 BEL
  • Sales: 500.000 (only in Europe)
  • Label(s): GUN Records, Roadrunner Records
  • Singles: Stand My Ground, Memories, Angels
The Heart of Everything
  • Released: March 12, 2007
  • Chart Positions: #38 UK, #26 FRA, #23 SPA, #5 POR, #5 GER, #8 SWI, #12 AUT, #48 ITA, #22 POL, #12 CZE, #4 SWE, #2 FIN, #24 NOR, #32 DEN, #1 NET, #2 BEL, #106 US, #88 AUS.
  • Sales: +450.000 (worldwide),
  • Label(s): Roadrunner Records, GUN Records (Europe)
  • Singles: What Have You Done, The Howling, Frozen, All I Need



Album Cover Album Title
The Dance
  • Released: June 21, 1998
  • Chart Positions: N/A
  • U.S. Sales: N/A
  • Europe Sales: N/A
  • Label(s): DSFA Records, Seasons Of Mist
  • Singles: none

Album Cover Album Title
The Howling
  • Released: May 1, 2007
  • Chart Positions: N/A
  • U.S. Sales: N/A
  • Europe Sales: N/A
  • Label(s): Roadrunner Records
  • Singles: The Howling


  • Mother Earth Tour (2002)
  • The Silent Force Tour (2005)



  • Silver Harp
  • TMF Award Holland - Most Promising Act
  • TMF Award Belgium - Best Rock (International)


  • Edison - Best Live DVD: Mother Earth Tour
  • Conamus Export Award 2003


  • Conamus Export Award 2004


  • Edison Award - Best Band
  • TMF Awards Holland - Best Rock National
  • Popprijs 2005
  • Conamus Export Prize 2005
  • World Music Award - Best-selling Dutch Artist


  • 3 FM Award - Best Rock Artist
  • Golden God (Best Video: Angels)
  • Buma Culture Export Prize 2006


  • 3FM Award - Best Rock Artist
  • TMF Awards Belgium - Best Live Act (International)
  • TMF Awards Holland - Best Live Act
  • TMF Awards Holland - Best Video
  • MTV Europe Music Awards - Best Dutch & Belgian act
  • World Music Awards 2007 - Best Selling Dutch Artist 

Gold plates

  • Gold Single for Ice Queen
  • Mother Earth (2001)
  • The Silent Force (December 12, 2004, Netherlands)
  • The Silent Force (Finland, 2005)

Platinum plates

  • The Silent Force (Nov 18, 2005, Netherlands)
  • Mother Earth (2001)
  • The Silent Force (October 13, 2007, Belgium / Flanders)
  • The Heart Of Everything (2007)