Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel on the Iron Maiden seal of approval: “Steve Harris came and watched us every night”

Within Temptation against a black background
(Image credit: Tim Tronckoe)

Within Temptation capped off 2022 with some of the most spectacular live shows in the band’s history, bringing out the kind of stage production that would make Iron Maiden proud. Now their sights are set on finishing their as-yet untitled eighth studio album – and as vocalist Sharon den Adel tells Hammer, their ambitions have only grown after their recent experiences. 

“It’s about 85% done,” Sharon says. “We want to take the time to go over the songs, change some bits and maybe get a bit experimental. The songs that we’ve written are already very different to what we’ve done before, so…”

One thing we know for sure is that the five singles the band have released thus far aren’t part of their vision for what comes next.

 “Originally we thought they could fit together and make a new album, but over time we wrote in ways that didn’t really fit with where we wanted to go next,” Sharon admits. Which raises the question, where are they going?

“With [2019 album] Resist we started using new sounds and that’s something we want to explore. The band Enigma were revolutionary for me growing up and had these atmospheric vibes across an entire album, so that’s something we want to do, but in our own way.”

Teaming back up with long-time producer Daniel Gibson, Sharon already sees the new album as being the most ambitious in Within Temptation’s career. 

“We want to use a lot of string sounds,” she explains. “But something more like you’d hear in the 80s – the kind you might hear on a soundtrack. It’s going to be very filmic. We’re entering a new era – not only with things happening around the world, but also musically.”

Although the album’s largely written, Sharon admits she doesn’t know how it will shape up just yet – or if any high-profile guests might pop up. 

“I love collaborating because other people always add something magical,” she says. “Sometimes you get this realisation like, ‘Oh, they’d be great on this’ and that helps shape the song, but it’s always spur of the moment.”

Given they recently supported Iron Maiden in the US, could one of British metal’s finest be popping up on the record? Sharon diplomatically swerves the question. “Iron Maiden are so young at heart, with so much love and enthusiasm for music,” she says. “Steve Harris came and watched us every night even though it was basically the same set. I hope I can be him in 20 years!” 

Within Temptaton play Download in June

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.