Within Temptation got founded in 1996. Robert Westerholt, who had already found a singer (his girlfriend Sharon den Adel), started the band. In less than two months, they had been offered various contracts for a record deal. WT decided to sign with DSFA Records and things got started.
After signing to DSFA, things got rolling. The first album, "Enter", was released in April 1997 and soon after that, WT already played Dynamo 1997. It was their fifth gig ever... After playing on Dynamo they got asked for quite a lot of other gigs and at the end of 1997 (November) they even did a two-week tour through Germany and Austria. Some other pretty big gigs followed, including Noorderslag. And Dynamo 1998 of course, where WT played the main stage, after playing the campsite in 1997. Around the time that they played this gig at Dynamo, they also released an EP called "The Dance". This was supposed to serve as a small treat to span the gap between Enter and a new record.
In 1999 WT decided to take things slow. After two years of performing and far too less breaks, they needed some time for themselves. So nothing really exciting happened except they finished their studies and their own studio became reality.
2000 turned out to be the year of major changes. The band received invitations to play at the major festivals in the Benelux countries. In December of this year the cd Mother Earth was released. Many Dutch professional music magazines voted this cd as their cd-of-the-month. Various album charts were topped and the number of fans increased heavily.
In 2001 Within Temptation did a lot of touring, both inside- and outside of The Netherlands. Besides a club tour of 40 'sold-out' concert halls, many festivals concerts were done. One of the highlights was a concert at the famous Pinkpop festival (100.000 visitors). Also concerts in Paris, Mexico-City and at Belgium Festivals were given. 2 cd-singles were released, Our Farewell and Ice Queen.
2002 became the year of the mass-breakthrough. The single Ice Queen reached the number 1 position in may charts, both in The Netherlands and in Belgium. The Album Mother Earth reached the Platinum status in The Netherlands and the Gold status in Belgium. In both countries TMF/MTV Awards were achieved. The band played at the major Festivals in the Benelux (Ozzfest, Lowlands, Dynamo, Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop, Parkpop), as well as in Germany (Rock im Park, Bizarre, Summerbreeze). In France Within Temptation toured the major cities (Paris, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulon) with sold-out venues.