(2000) Within Temptation – Mother Earth: Anniversary Special


Do you remember the golden days of MTV? Known for sharing music videos of all sorts, one of the bands that many youngsters heard continuously there was the Dutch symphonic metal outfit WITHIN TEMPTATION, with songs like “Ice Queen” and “Mother Earth.” Both were instant hits and some of the very few metal songs to get airtime on mainstream radio (at least in Belgium). Likewise, both songs are also from the very same album, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary today, “Mother Earth.”

“Mother Earth” was WITHIN TEMPTATION‘s second full-length album and it provided the band the nudge they needed to gain worldwide success, which they are still enjoying to his day. While their debut album “Enter” was a good start for them, the sound matured and refined with “Mother Earth.” Particularly inspired by the movie “Braveheart” and its soundtrack, WITHIN TEMPTATION introduced Celtic folk melodies to their music, while the rest got darker and heavier.

In slower songs like “The Cage” and “The Promise,” singer Sharon den Adel shines and often channels her inner Kate Bush, subtly playing between artsy vocal styles and operatic singing. Songs like “Deceiver of Fools”, for that reason, are an impressive effort and to date still make prime examples of perfect songs to play live.

The biggest selling point on “Mother Earth” is the wide variety of songs – sometimes slow and doomy, at other times heavy, dark, and experimental. Take, for instance, the dissonant intermezzo “Intro,” which is quite a peculiar choice to serve as an intro to the perfectly harmonious “Dark Wings,” but it works. The latter also includes an impressive virtuoso guitar solo by AYREON‘s mastermind, Arjen Lucassen.

Altogether, “Mother Earth” may not have been an instant hit, as it took a while for fans to discover it – “Ice Queen” didn’t enter the charts until at least half a year after its original release date. However, luck was on their side and now, WITHIN TEMPTATION have regularly released incredibly successful albums for years, have been filling up venues and festival crowds all around the world.


  1. Mother Earth
  2. Ice Queen
  3. Our Farewell
  4. Caged
  5. The Promise
  6. Never Ending Story
  7. Deceiver of Fools
  8. Intro
  9. Dark Wings
  10. In Perfect Harmony


Sharon den Adel – vocals
Robert Westerholt – guitar, vocals on “Mother Earth”, spoken words on “The Promise”
Michiel Papenhove – guitar
Martijn Westerholt – keyboards
Jeroen van Veen – bass
Ivar de Graaf – drums