Lars Griemelijkhuise

When Dutch metallers Within Temptation were planning their new album, they wanted to go full tilt. New music alone wasn't enough. The band also created a complex marketing plan which includes epic videos and a six-part comic series. Together, the videos and comics tell the story of the songs on the 'The Unforgiving.'

To help fans understand the entire concept, Within Temptation released the short films for 'Faster,' 'Mother Maiden' and 'Sinéad' via its official website.

For 'The Unforgiving,' Within Temptation embraced the challenge of their fifth record by stretching their musical wings, embracing change, and taking on the struggles of marketing a rock band in the climate of a download-centric music world. While the songs on 'The Unforgiving' are certainly commercial, the band doesn't lose any of their symphonic metal edge.

"I think music will sound outdated at some point, no matter what. The production itself has certain [spirit of the times.] Something sounds refreshing and new, and when you look back on it... that feeling is gone," vocalist Sharon Den Adel recently told Noisecreep. "There's always a new vibe and new way to produce, but you always try to do what you feel is right for that moment."

The band also had to find a new drummer after Stephen van Haestregt choose to leave to focus on his new project My Favorite Scar. Within Temptation hired a session drummer to record 'The Unforgiving,' and then chose friend Mike Coolen as the band's new permanent time-keeper.

"In the past, we've had friends in the band... It wasn't always the right choice," admits Den Adel. "We didn't want to make the same mistake [this time]." In the end, Den Adel says the choice was clear because Coolen was already familiar with the band, having previously served as van Haestregt's stand-in from time to time.

The group has spent a lot of time planning and creating the filmed and illustrated portions of their marketing campaign. "The short movies will be on the special edition [of the album] and the videos will be there as well," said Den Adel. "The comic is not finished. It will come out in six parts, and the prequel was given out on our website. Around every two months, there will be another part released. In six parts, you will have the full story." The comics will be available through the band's website and select comic stores.

As for more typical rock band plans, Within Temptation are booked to play several festival shows this summer. This pleases Den Adel because it gives the band a "chance to win some new hearts." The band will also play at New York City's Terminal 5 this September.

'The Unforgiving' is available now via Roadrunner.

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