What a feast, what a proud moment for the Dutch. KERRANG! magazine wrote: This really is the greatest show on earth. OK. Greatest is relative. “Black Symphony” by the Dutch band Within Temptation and the Dutch Metropole Orchestra is probably one of my top 5 most favorite concert recordings. The greatest to me is Pink Floyd’s “Pulse” concert (1995) that I happened to be there when it was recorded in UK.
Performed live at The Ahoy in front of 10,000 fans backed by a 60-piece Metropole Orchestra and the Pa’dam Choir, this 22 tracks recording in HD format is perhaps one of the most ambitious project being made in modern time. Although I have bought the 2 DVD + 2 CD edition, I wouldn’t mind owning the Blu-ray version.
The recording quality – both visual and audio – is awesome. The sound is crisp clear, the cameras follow where the subtle actions are. For weeks, I have been listening to the CD recording prior to watching the DVD and I did not jump off my chair. Combined that with the visual recording, I felt awed by the professional work involved. So much details that I wouldn’t have been able to catch if not for the video.
“Black Symphony” begins with an instrumental track showcasing the orchestra and the Gregorian chanting vocals by the choir. It is a great way to start the show because we get to register in our heads what the instrumental sound is like before the arrival of the heavy metal sound and the lead vocalist of the soprano and mezzo-soprano range.
All blend so perfectly, there is enough visual effects to accompany the acts including firework, smoke, and more. Another of such similar setting I can think of is Metallica’s “S&M (1999)” that I also happen to own. It is not easy to pull this one off as the instrumental arrangement needs to be re-crafted for the orchestra and the choir. It must be a rare moment for the classical players to perform in front of 10,000 cheering crowd. Towards the end of the 2 hours video, after the last track, the 34 years old Sharon den Adel thanked the audience and the guest musicians for being there at a high point of their 12 1/2 years of music career. Such emotion, it must have been a proud moment for the the band and the fans.
After watching the DVD last evening, I turned to Cynthia and said, “I wish I have that kind of energy on stage!” Below is a trailer for the recording.
External Link: Within Temptation Official Site