Although they are far more adventurous and innovative than Nightwish in their career, I personally think Within Temptation suffers a bit from the same problem: both NW with Emppu, as WT with Ruud & Stefan, don't get enough space to shine as guitarists to add that special layer of sound and creativeness to a song.
Not that it's 100% absolutely necessary, but it can add so much more to already fantastic music.
Remember how David Gilmour totally lightens up Pink Floyd-songs with his solo's and there are many more examples.To be honest, I can't remember any long solo's from WT at all on their studio albums. Maybe there are a few live, but I can't recall any. Maybe that someone can post some video's that I've never seen before of long WT-guitar solo's.
Saying that, I must confess that I think that Sharon simply sings too much on songs. Sometimes so much, especially live, that her effort and pronounciation gets a bit drowned. They have so many fantastic songs that are suitable for a guitar solo treatment and where a bit less of Sharon's singing would improve the quality of the songs. But my guess is that Sharon, as founder/composer/writer, has quite a big say in how it all turns out.
Can you imagine how exciting a guitar duel between Ruud and Stefan on a song like 'The heart of everything' or 'Stairway to the skies' would be? Not to mention how epic that could be live? For me this is the thing I miss most, while listening to both WT and NW.
Just listen to some Maiden United-songs if you want to hear Ruud get his fix of solo's, because the man can play!
And it doesn't have to be screaming metal guitars either!
I agree Ruud and Stefan/ Robert should be be able to show off there skills more. There is a bit of a duel on the song "Hand of Sorrow" which i like but am always a bit dissapointed that it didn't lead to anything more. The song itself is one of my favorites of theirs though. Does Robert play on the albums or is it Stefan? I wonder how much input Stefan has on t he songs. I presume its mostly Sharon and Robert writing though.
Fixed the quote. - Dandelion