Temperance – Temperance
Temperance – Temperance (2014)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
By now, everyone and their godson (and their godson’s gerbil) has heard Amaranthe, the European sugar-metal sensation that took the metal world by storm a couple of years ago. Lots of people enjoyed the infectious style of that band but recognized it as a “guilty pleasure” due to vapid lyrics, too many bro-core vocals, and the complete waste of Olof Mörck and Morten Løwe Sørensen’s talent (sorry, but it can’t be said enough times). Imagine for a moment, if you will, that Amaranthe sounded less like a group of giddy, hormone-crazed high-schoolers, and more like a grounded, focused, and more mature band that was as interested in musicianship as it was in sheer melodic force. Enter Temperance, an Italian project that is similar in many ways to the polarizing aforementioned band. Though I can’t find a formal list of musicians involved in the group, press releases indicate that a number of established individuals are involved, and the group was signed immediately to Scarlet for this, its self-titled debut.
Since we’re comparing to Amaranthe, let’s continue, because along with modern Dawn Of Destiny, it may be the best place to start. On the whole, Temperance is often more power metal than not, with double bass and drum patterns filling out songs, and it walks the line as a very melodic modern heavy/power metal project in this respect. It also includes more complexity than Amaranthe is typically prone to, while omitting the super-slick “modern metal” male vocals and allowing lead vocalist Chiara to run away with most all of the singing. She is backed during choruses by respectable male cleans and some metalcore harsh vocals (you can’t win ‘em all), but both of these elements are significantly less present throughout most of the album (as compared to Amaranthe and your typical “beauty and the beast”-style bands), and Chiara is quite clearly *the* lead singer.
“Tell Me” strikes me like classic Dawn Of Destiny that’s been facelifted with a modern presentation, and despite a heavy leaning on crappy harsh vocals during the verse, is a surprisingly capable opening number. “Heavens Above” immediately varies the band’s sound enough to indicate to me that this isn’t a faceless cash-grab attempt (They’ve even reined in the female sex object approach pretty well). After proving this, Temperance jumps back into super-hooky territory with “Hero” and “Breathe”, which boast some guitar leads that aren’t shy, as well as great supporting synth work. While this approach is adhered to for most of the album, a ballad and a couple of more exploratory tracks (“The Fouth Season”) are mixed in for good measure.
Every time I listen to this album, I’m surprised by how tastefully this new band comes across. While less out-and-out catchy than Amaranthe, Temperance pays better respect to its metal roots and is just a deeper, more involved listen on the whole. Simultaneously, it manages to be less self-involved and more accessible than newer Dawn Of Destiny. For fans of upbeat, modern, and memorable female-fronted power metal (and who don’t mind a few harsh vocals), Temperance should most definitely be heard.
3.5 // 5