+ Anneke Van Giersbergen (Ex - The Gathering)
‘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.
In 1998 the band continued to tour actively - their profile had elevated them to the main stage at Dynamo for the 1998 event. 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.
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’ on December 1st. The album was a hit, receiving positive reviews across the board and rooted itself in the Dutch charts, ending the year at number 3.
2001 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 was replaced by Martijn Spierenburg, as he suffered Pfeiffer's disease. Westerholt later started the band Delain.
The band achieved wider still 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.
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 into 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.
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 Heart of Everything’ from Within Temptation was released in March and reached number 38 in the UK Album Chart and Number 1 in their home country of Holland. More recently the band have been busy recording their fifth album, titled The Unforgiving. The concept of the album is based on a comic book series written by Steven O’Connell, with characters in the songs reflecting the protagonists of the comic.
See Within Temptation perform live at Manchester Academy on Wednesday 9th November.