"Hydra", the new album from Dutch female-fronteed symphonic rockers WITHIN TEMPTATION, sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 16 on The Billboard 200 chart.
WITHIN TEMPTATION's previous CD, "Unforgiving", opened with 12,000 units back in March 2011 to land at No. 50.
In Europe, "Hydra" debuted at No. 1 in The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. It also secured the No. 2 position in Switzerland and Finland, No. 4 in Germany, #6 in the U.K. — the band's highest chart entry in that territory to date — and #9 in France.
"Hydra" was released in North America on February 4 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the new U.S. partnership between Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger and former Roadrunner Records A&R chief Monte Conner. The album was made available in several luxury formats. The cover artwork was created by Romano Molenaar ("X-Men", "Batman", "The Unforgiving").
The digital premium album, complete with digi-booklet, was made available on iTunes and includes 18 audio tracks and a music video. The digital premium album features bonus "Evolution Versions" of four new songs, which contain audio commentary from guitarist Robert Westerholt and singer Sharon Den Adel and give you unique access to the development of the songs, their lyrical inspiration and the sound of the initial demos and vocals.
"Hydra" digital premium album track listing:
01. Let Us Burn
02. Dangerous (feat. Howard Jones)
03. And We Run (feat. Xzibit
04. Paradise (What About Us?) (feat. Tarja)
05. Edge Of The World
06. Silver Moonlight
07. Covered By Roses
08. Dog Days
09. Tell Me Why
10. Whole World Is Watching (feat. Dave Pirner)
11. Radioactive (originally performed by IMAGINE DRAGONS)
12. Summertime Sadness (originally performed by Lana del Ray)
13. Let Her Go (originally performed by PASSENGER)
14. Dirty Dancer (originally performed by Enrique Iglesias)
15. And We Run (evolution track)
16. Silver Moonlight (evolution track)
17. Covered By Roses (evolution track)
18. Tell Me Why (evolution track)
19. Paradise (What About Us?) (feat. Tarja) music video (exclusive to iTunes premium version)
Aside from the digital premium version, "Hydra" was also released in a deluxe box set including exclusive items many fans have been asking for for a long time:
"Hydra" deluxe box set
* "Hydra" 18-track album including bonus tracks in the form of a media book with a hot foil print cover, featuring a 100-page booklet consisting of unique photos
* Double gatefold black vinyl version of the album including bonus tracks
* Instrumental version of the entire album
* Songbook with sheet music of the songs of the album
* "Hydra" guitar pick
* Packaged in an especially designed LP-sized box
The "Whole World Is Watching" video can be seen below. The track features a guest appearance by SOUL ASYLUM frontman Dave Pirner. It is a power ballad about facing and conquering your fears.
"When we wrote 'Whole World Is Watching', Dave was at the very top of our list," said Sharon Den Adel. "He has such a captivating voice: it made the song exactly how it needed to be."
In a recent interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, Sharon stated about the songwriting process for "Hydra"": "A lot of bands were inspired by the '80s at the time we were writing 'The Unforgiving' album. There was a lot of music based on the '80s coming out and it had a lot of '80s flavors. With this new album, even though we're only a few years further up the road, you can feel that music has changed again. Music is not inspired on the '80s, but more like there are different influences in the music again. Music's always organic, and you feel things are changing comfortably."
She added: "When people asked us after 'The Unforgiving', 'Are you gonna make another 'Unforgiving' album?" we said, 'Of course.' Because we were really full of it in a positive way. We really like the album a lot and still do like it a lot but we really feel there's an '80s feel to the songs. When we started writing this album, again we felt like we were already knowing we were gonna go a different direction also."