Sharon den Adel on early reactions to Within Temptation: "they'd never seen a girl in a dress playing with this kind of band"

Sharon Den Adel
(Image credit: Press)

Within Temptation frontwoman Sharon den Adel has commented on the interesting reactions the band received in certain parts of the metal scene upon their arrival in the 90s.

The latest issue of Metal Hammer features a special look inside the rise of symphonic metal - specifically in 1997, during which two key debut albums, Within Temptation's Enter and Nightwish's Angels Fall First, were released. While symphonic metal itself had already existed for some years, most noticeably within the power metal and black metal scenes, the emergence of Nightwish and Within Temptation offered a new take on the genre that many were unprepared for.

"When we first started playing with Within Temptation, nobody knew where to put us because we were melodic, but also had the growling voices and a doomy sound," says Sharon. "We were strange for metal, but also very strange for the mainstream because we were so dark. It was something they'd never seen before, a girl in a dress playing with this kind of band. We loved it!"

Within Temptation would eventually become one of the biggest European metal bands of recent years, and Sharon is proud of the influence the Dutch megastars have had on the generations of bands that have come since.

"I find it so cool," she notes, "especially hearing that so many girls have been inspired. I find it beautiful that there was a new wave of females coming to the table and taking their place. I like development, and I think if we can help other bands get a seat, that's very cool."

Read more in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, on sale now.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.