Originally slated for January of this year but postponed due to the band wanting to add the finishing touches to their latest album “Hydra,” tonight see’s Within Temptation arrive to rock the Manchester Apollo and they certainly do not disappoint.

Opening the night were fellow symphonic metal stars Delain, who recently released a new album themselves “The Human Contradiction,” and receive the sort of reaction that is usually reserved for headline acts. Allowed to have their full production, the Dutch stars storm the stage to ravenous applause and proceed to give it their all. Frontwoman Charlotte Wessels and company set the bar very high.

But not high enough to trouble tonight’s headliners. Within Temptation arrive with the crowd already grasped in the palm of their hands from the moment they hit the stage to ‘Let Us Burn’. Delivering a set comprising mainly of music from their new album “Hydra,” including new single ‘Dangerous’ complete with Devil You Know vocalist Howard Jones making an appearance if only by video screen. The tracks fit in seamlessly to the set and sit nicely alongside the more gothy tracks such as ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Ice Queen’.

The high production values of the band’s stage show added to the sheer majesty of the performance, which is no mean feat for a band with as sound as bombastic as Within Temptation‘s. This really is a band in the form of its life and it is shown as the group plow through a career spanning set with ease including the likes of ‘Ice Queen’ from 2000’s “Mother Earth” to ‘Faster’ (‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Issacs?) from 2011’s “The Unforgiving”.

Overall tonight, Within Temptation have shown exactly why they have taken the title of the worlds premier symphonic metal band from Nightwish. They’re both slight, accessible and at times unbearingly catchy whilst still keeping some seriously rocking riffs in the mix.

Within Temptation Set list:
1. Let Us Burn, 2. Paradise (What About Us?), 3. Faster, 4. Iron, 5. Edge of the World, 6. In the Middle of the Night, 7. Our Solemn Hour, 8. Angels, 9. Dangerous, 10. And We Run, 11. See Who I Am, 12. Stand My Ground, 13. The Cross, 14. Covered By Roses, 15. Mother Earth, 16. What Have You Done, 17. Whole World Is Watching (acoustic), 18. Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Ray cover), 19. Ice Queen.

Within Tempation – Official Website

Delain – Official Website