Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal/rock band founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music is described as symphonic metal, although their earlier material, such as Enter, was gothic metal. In an interview, den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre with various influences. In a later interview with 3VOOR12, den Adel stated that "we consider ourselves more a symphonic rock band ... we are in my opinion no gothic band".
After the release of their first album Enter, the band became prominent in the Dutch underground scene. It was not until 2001 that they became known to the general public, with the single "Ice Queen" from the album Mother Earth, which reached No. 2 on the Dutch charts. Since then, the band won the Conamus Exportprijs four years in a row. Their next albums The Silent Force and The Heart of Everything debuted at No. 1 on the Dutch charts. In 2008, they released a live DVD and CD, Black Symphony, recorded with the Metropole Orchestra. This collection was followed in 2009 with An Acoustic Night at the Theatre.
The band's fifth studio album The Unforgiving, was released in March 2011, alongside both a comic book series and a series of short films that together encompass a story. The first single, "Faster", was released on January 21, and the first short film, Mother Maiden, was released on January 31. The band has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.