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Within Temptation is a Dutch gothic metal band, founded by guitarist Robert Westerholt in 1996. He was in a band called The Circle before starting this band, and he asked members of his old band if they were interested in joining his new band. For a singer, he recruited his girlfriend, Sharon Den Adel, who has a terrific opera-like voice. Bass player Jeroen van Veen and guitar player Michiel Papenhove, who both played with Robert in his previous band, also joined the band. Dennis Leeflang played drums, and Robert's brother Martijn Westerholt was to play the keyboard. Robert also does some grunt vocals.

They recorded their first demo tape, which had 4 songs on it: Enter, Candles, The Gatekeeper and Pearls Of Light, and sent it to various record companies. In a short time, Within Temptation got various offers from record companies, and they decided to sign with DSFA Records. Because of some problems the band had with the drummer, he had to go. He was replaced by Ivar de Graaf.

In April of 1997, Within Temptation released their first album, Enter. It became a small hit in the Dutch metal scene, and they played on the Dynamo Open Air festival in 1997, which in fact was one of their first gigs ever. A tour through The Netherlands followed their show at Dynamo, and at the end of 1997 they played a few shows in Germany and Austria. After that, Ivar decided to leave, and they had to search for a new drummer.

In 1998, the band found a new drummer, Ciro Palma. They played at the Dynamo Open Air festival again, and at Noorderslag. An ep was released, which contained 5 songs (3 new ones, and 2 remixes) and a multimedia track. The rest of the year was filled mostly with playing shows all over their home country. In 1999, the band took a year off, since they haven't had too much time off in the previous two years. They did ask Ivar back on drums, and he agreed.

At the beginning of 2000, Within Temptation played a few shows, and went went into the studios to record their second album. They returned from the studios with Mother Earth, an album which is not as heavy as Enter, and doesn't have any grunt vocals on it, but is musically a huge improvement over their first album. The first single from the album, Our Farewell, was released in 2001.

Current line-up:

Discography (albums/live albums/compilations):