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Temperance - Self-titled

Temperance - CD Review




CD Info
Scarlet Records
English Lyrics
11 Tracks

I've said numerous times on this site how hot Italy is in terms of producing excellent female fronted metal that is not Lacuna Coil - not that there is anything wrong with Lacuna Coil, don't get me wrong; I just saw them live for the first time the other week in Vancouver and that show really reignited my passion for that band.  But Italy is so positively redolent with femme metal acts that you could probably go there, sneeze, and sneeze on a fantastic band.  Seriously.  But don't take me literally and go do that, okay?  It's not healthy.

Anyway, along with so many bands we need labels for all these musicians, too.  And Italy seems to have quite the industry going on there, with Milan-based Scarlet Records being one of the premier stars on the scene.  They have signed to them such recognizable bands as Evenoire, Lullacry, the impressive male-fronted Sound Storm, and this relatively new Italian quintet called Temperance.

Fronted by Chiara Tricarico, who has who has a majestic mane of hair that women with fine mousy brown locks like mine envy like nothing else, Temperance recently released an 11 track self-titled album that was pretty impressive, though perhaps not surprisingly so, since their bio information states that the members of the band have had long careers on the metal scene and have worked with or opened for the likes of Leaves' Eyes, Dragonforce, and Rhapsody of Fire.

Self-describing as "modern melodic metal" Temperance's sound is hard to describe because it has a lot of elements in it.  It's very keyboard-rich with some electronic and symphonic elements, it contains tight riffs, it's fast, it's powerful, and has a bit of a bombastic kick.  Their songs are all entirely headbang-able and they really get the blood pumping.  Chiara has a big voice that matches the power of the music, and Temperance throws in for good measure not only male-peformed growls, done by lead guitarist Marco Pastorino, but plenty of his clean vocals as well, which are really good.  In fact, what I really liked about this album was the balance of the male-female vocals; the growls are not overdone and overwhelming, and Marco's clean voice is nice on the ears and works well with Chaira's clear tones.  Let's not compare them to Amaranthe at all, though, shall we?  That would not be right in my books; Temperance may have a trio of voices (though two are performed by one person, not three like with Amaranthe) but their music is far more rich and complex, and thought out better by far.

The first song, "Tell Me" gets things off to a riotous start, with its ripping pace and kick-ass power, and it has a catchy chorus to boot.  It's a pretty good introduction to the band's overall sound and direction, and it contains some impressive finger work by drummer/keyboardist Guilio Capone and Marco on guitars.  "Hero", the second track, is probably my least favourite on the album - and here I will break my own rule and mention the band Amaranthe, just because the intro to "Hero" sounds a lot like an Amaranthe track and I kinda had to cringe a bit.  But all in all, it was really the only song on the album I didn't care for, and that's pretty good.

I hear some shades of Nightwish in the song, "The Fourth Season", which is an extremely atmospheric, almost cinematic, symphonic, quite amazing tour de force of over seven minutes of music, including some hints of opera vocals from Chiara, some unique instrumentation, and a lot of rich backing vocals.  This is easily one of their best songs.

Other strong tracks include "Breathe", which is the first single off the album, and which has an accompanying music video, which you can see here.  It's a good song, but the video is worth a watch, too, because it's very interesting visually - and it features a trio of beautiful doggies! I'm sure they're pretending to be wolves, but I don't think they are, however they are gorgeous and were the stars of the video. (Note to readers, you can pretty much get me on board with anything involving kitty cats and doggies.)  "Relentlessly" is also a stand-out song, with the vocalists doing quick exchanges that worked really well, and again, it's catchy.  I also loved "Lotus", which is the final song on the album.  It has a lovely eastern-y sounding intro before the driving of the drums kicks in with some heavy riffing, and then there is a nice Asian string arrangement before Chaira comes in accompanied by some symphonic elements.  Like "The Fourth Season", it stands out because of its atmosphere but also because of its complexity, and the Asian influence in it is unique and signifies that the band is thinking outside of the box and willing to take a few risks. 

Someone is on to these folks big time.  A few months ago on Facebook, Temperance announced that it would be going on tour - in the western United States.  I was assuming at the time that they would be opening for a bigger band, but no, Temperance toured on their own and landed in eight locales such as L.A., Seattle, and Las Vegas.  I was very glad to see this happen for them, and wish them bigger successes in the future, because with a fantastic debut album and a successful US tour, their future sure looks bright.