Within Temptation The Unforgiving

Fifth outing The Unforgiving finds Dutch symphonic rockers Within Temptation mining the exact same territory we've come to know and appreciate, if not like: moderate rock heavy on synthesizers, vocalist Sharon den Adel doing her best E-Z listening croon and the odd crunchy solo to give it that metal appeal. While saccharine at its strongest and purely intended for PVC-wearing sorts afraid of getting into something with serious gonads, there are some surprising merits to these 12 tracks. When not coming across like a mixture of what happens when '80s-era Heart and Bon Jovi hang out in the back room of a tour bus, the formidable melodies and intertwining textures during opener "Shot in the Dark," the rousing "In the Middle of the Night" and "Fire And Ice" are palatable. Not like, going back for seconds kind of tasty, but few would mind if someone were to put it on during a D&D sausage party. Hell, it might even bring a few birds into the room, thereby making both Within Temptation and role-playing cooler than… well, nah. (Roadrunner)