There has been a history since the ’80s of rap and metal joining forces to create something edgy – or at least try.
Aerosmith did it. Motorhead did it. Anthrax did it. Fast forward to 2014 and Within Temptation have done it. Within Temptation are known for their jaunts into the pop world and also for their works with guest vocalists. Lets combine the two.
And We Run is an interesting concept and when I first saw the tracklisting and guest vocalists on the new album, several things made sense. Ex-Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen makes sense. Howard Jones makes sense. But Xzibit in my mind did not. Not until I heard the track that is, the shortest track on the album this starts off with a ballad like piano, and driven purely by the vocals of Sharon Den Adel. As with any Within Temptation song it blooms, it grows and blossoms. In comes Xzibit, who over Sharon’s vocal harmonies lays down something awesome. This is infectious song writing from Within Temptation!
Sharon on this song alone is a magnificent think. Add Xzibit and things become sublime. The single also comes packaged with a dance remix of this, the trance based basslines of which simply don’t work until Xzibit comes in. This leaves the impression that this was packaged in for the sake of it rather than adding anything interesting. That said, for all intents and purposes it works alongside the radio edit and a demo of a track entitled Living On Fire which through its duration is stunning. This pop sounding ballad would spill over into the mainstream with no questions asked.
This maybe a stretch too far for the average gothic metal fan of days gone by, but Within Temptation don’t care: they’re intent upon evolving. Which suits me just fine. This single is a prime example of the polarized intent that heavy metal can have: you either roll with the punches or spend your days listening to Metallica’s Black Album and crying about the ‘good old days’.