Vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt of Dutch symphonic metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION have released the following statement:
“As you know, in recent years we were blessed with the birth of three children. Since then not only our kids but also WITHIN TEMPTATION has been growing fast and we are touring in more countries than ever before.
“To be able to fulfill the needs of our children but just as much the needs of the band for now and also in the future, we decided Robert will step down from touring live, (except for the occasional show). With this change we can give stability to our children and from the home studio Robert will have more time writing new music and developing new creative ideas for the live show, the comic and future movies.
“What makes the decision easier is the fact that Stefan Helleblad is willing to take Robert‘s place in the band on stage. Stefan has been working with the band behind the scenes for some years. As a sound engineer he was involved in the production of our latest three records. Next to being a great sound engineer, mixing engineer and producer he is also a very gifted guitar player. On our latest album, ‘The Unforgiving’, you can already hear him play some special guitar parts. His first show will be on [September] 21st in Heerhugowaard.
“So this is not a goodbye but a new step, or actually two steps in a very exciting new and inspiring time for our band.
“We hope you keep joining and enjoying this adventure together with us and our paths will keep crossing each other.”
WITHIN TEMPTATION‘s fifth studio album, “The Unforgiving”, sold around 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 50 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Released on March 29, “The Unforgiving” was produced by Daniel Gibson and is based on a comic book story written by script writer Steven O’Connell (BloodRayne, Dark 48). The band asked comic artist Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, Darkness, X-Men) to draw the characters and scenery of “The Unforgiving”, which was made available via Sony Music in Continental Europe and Roadrunner Records in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Japan and Australia.