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Within Temptation: The Unforgiving

Dutch symphonic rockers’ overblown concept album.

Forever perched atop a cliff face, the wind in their hair, the rain in their face, a legion of the damned a brooding cloud of menace on the horizon, things must be tough in Within Temptation’s world. It must play havoc with the school run alone.

Built around the husband and wife team of guitarist Robert Westerholt and vocalist Sharon den Adel, they’re as popular at home as Heineken, their brand of bombastic, string-laden hard rock is as over the top as a Charlie Sheen house party.

Their latest album, fittingly, is a concept piece (with a storyline so dense it’s liable to give you a headache unravelling it all) devised by BloodRayne writer Stephen O’Connell.

It’s grandstanding stuff, multi-layered, complex and rich, and especially good in the soaring (they soar a lot) Faster, the thundering Where Is The Edge and the massive A Demon’s Fate.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.