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Temperance – Viridian

Temperance
Viridian
by Rachel Montgomery at 05 March 2020, 3:36 PM

Symphonic Metal has gone electronic. While it’s always made use of synthesizers and keyboards to bring a full orchestral sound to their music, recently, the orchestra has combined with techno ambiance for more of a space opera and less of a fantasy sound. TEMPERANCE, an Italian Metal band, is no exception to this trend. Their new album, “Viridian”, combines the full intensity of orchestral instrumentation and futuristic ambiance, creating a mix of wonderfully produced songs. However, the songs can run into each other, so the mid-tempo, high-octane numbers sound the same after a while.

The opening is pure electronic, symphonic bombast with clear nods to NIGHTWISH, LACUNA COIL, VOSIONS OF ATLANTIS and even HALESTORM. Alessia Scolletti’s vocal work especially reminds me of the latter band’s singer Lizzy Hale. The duet element, hidden behind electronic manipulation, is a touch based in techno which straddles the line between older, orchestral bands and newer, more electronic sounds. I especially love how the guitar is outlined in the solo, using the classic, pure sounds of a tuned down, high-pitched electric guitar to emphasize the more contemporary, technical elements.

The second track beautifully showcases Michele Guantoli’s vocals against a backdrop of epic, uplifting melodies. The harmonies between the vocalists here are spot-on, energizing. The key change in the middle of the guitar solo is such a subtle, but powerful touch. However, by the third song, “Start Another Round”, the tempo between songs is becoming too consistent. That said, this track has a great gallop and some tempo changes via word painting.

Don’t get me wrong, all of these are wonderful songs, but they feel like too much of a good thing. And while there are some variations in the tracks, the instrumentals don’t do enough to vary the songs from one another. Granted, there are differences in the songs. The male vocals in the next track are spot-on and show the power behind his voice. Unaltered by electronics, he can sing. While the tempo is still similar, the vocal styling on this track make up for it by giving us a different-sounding song. The title track is also thrashier than the previous songs, but the tempo isn’t varied so much from the previous tracks. We get some variety in “Let it Beat”, featuring a stronger drum line (again, word painting), and a hard synth melody, but again, it’s mid-tempo, intense Symphonic Metal.

There are songs that stand out more than the others; namely, the ones that start slow, but build in speed. The jangling, slower acoustics “Scent of Dye” are a welcome sound. While the music is as intense as previous tracks, the ballad stylings sets it apart from the rest of the songs. Similarly, “Nanook” uses changing tempos to vary the song, starting with slow instrumentation and stepping it up as the song progresses. “Gaia”, the slow song, begins with a slow dirge and continues as a sad duet about how we’re damaging the planet. It builds in intensity through the song until we get to a heavier, high-pitched refrain culminating in the guitar solo.

The closing track, “Catch The Dream”, is a gospel-inspired rally cry leading into the final track, making use of tribal and gospel chanting elements to close out the album. It’s a good follow to the previous song, ending on a message of hope that we can save the planet and achieve our human dreams of living in a sustainable world. It’s a thematic closing which fits the last few songs well. “Lost In The Christmas Dream” is a bonus track, a novelty epic Christmas carol which is a fun addition to the end of the album.

Overall, the album has awesome songs, great production, and musicality. Each track is a treat for the ears, full of symphonic bravado. However, listening to the album in full, the songs can bleed together and sound similar. If you’re into intense symphonic metal though, this is the album for you. I would recommend putting it in a mix rather than listening to the whole thing in full.

Songwriting: 7
Production: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mission Impossible
2. I Am The Fire
3. Start Another Round
4. My Demons Can’t Sleep
5. Viridian
6. Let it Beat
7. Scent of Dye
8. The Cult of Mystery
9. Nanook
10, Gaia
11. Catch the Dream
12. Lost in the Christmas Dream (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Michele Guantoli – Vocals, Keyboards
Alessia Scolletti – Vocals
Marco Pastorino –Vocals, Guitars
Luca Negro – Bass
Alfonso Morcerino - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 26 October 2020
 

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