Temperance – Diamanti (Album Review)

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Tempered steel and modern bombast unite.

Few bands can boast the level of prolific output and the ambitious work ethic exhibited by Temperance, a band that is fast becoming one of the Milan’s and Napalm Records’ hottest imports. Having already fielded five albums in just under as many years, each a high energy display of ambitious yet accessible symphonic-tinged power metal with a heavy-ended, modernized edge, one wouldn’t be out of line in asking just where the roof is on this thing. Originally cutting their teeth in the metal market in the mid-2010s with a sound that was somewhat reminiscent of the lofty, female-fronted symphonic extravaganzas normally associated with Delain, early Nemesea and Nightwish, they’ve since embarked on a more distinctive duet vocal approach with more of a driving, power metal edge with the exit of original vocalist Chiara Tricarico and drummer/keyboardist Giulio Capone to form the similarly styled “Moonlight Haze” in 2018, and this outfit’s 6th studio venture dubbed “Diamanti” is the most ambitious permutation of their revamped approach yet.

Though by no means are they newcomer at this point, the co-vocal impresarios of this outfit represented in Alessia Scolletti and keyboardist Michele Guaitoli display a level of freshness and pizzazz that would befit a newly ascendant act. Each forgoes an exclusively smooth operatic or jagged edged approach in favor of a wide, multifaceted range of expressions that blend in with the corresponding moments of musical storm and calm seamlessly, though one will have a tendency to upstage the other to varying degrees depending upon the individual song. Meanwhile, the instrumental display put on by the rest of the membership involved is equally captivating, with the kit work of Alfonso Mocerino being particularly intricate as his progressive metal background via his concurrent projects Virtual Symmetry and Starbynary is worn on his shirtsleeve. Likewise, while guitarist Marco Pastorino showcases a highly level of aptitude as a soloist and melodically charged element in the arrangement, he and bassist Liuk Abbott often opt for a bottom-heavy rhythmic assault that is pronounced enough to hint at a latent Nevermore influence at times.

There is definitely a constant theme of triumph and pomp permeating this entire album, though it often manifests in a highly eclectic and versatile fashion. The opening banger “Pure Life Unfolds” checks all of the boxes of a textbook symphonic metal romp after the mold of recent Nightwish and Xandria, with a less overtly operatic performance out of Scolletti and Guaitoli. By contrast, the more guitar-oriented cruiser “Breaking The Rules Of Heavy Metal” treads a darker and more virtuosic path, with Pastarino throwing in some harsher vocal additives alongside his flashy lead guitar gymnastics and pummeling groove/thrash riffing. As things progress, so too does the array of influences that manifest, with the power ballad of a title anthem “Diamanti” sticking to a slower temple and featuring more of a piano-driven approach that is somewhat similar to Nightwish’s 2004 hit single “Nemo”, albeit dressed up with a more involved guitar and orchestral presence. Other compact anthems such as “Black Is My Heart” and “Codebreaker” kick things up a bit and have more of a synth-driven, Metalite meets Amaranthe flavor to coincide with the band’s dense, heavily orchestrated template.

The high degree of variety on display within what is an otherwise fairly stylized sound here is matched by an equally brilliant combination of adventurous songwriting and effective execution. Though the lion’s share of these songs don’t go particularly long in the duration department, power metal-tinged cruisers like “You Only Live Once” and closer “Follow Me” pack a lot of intricate shifts in style while always landing on that signature cadence point of soaring melodies, dense choral bluster and swift double kick drumming, the latter including a brilliant a capella vocal introduction that sets the mood of heroic exploits set to music flawlessly. The shorter banger “Litany Of The Northern Lights” leans a bit more in a folksy direction, complete with a prominent bagpipe theme and a driving feel right out of the Turisas playbook. But the one song that brings it all home and sees this band reach for the heights rarely achieved in this style since the mid-2000s is the brilliant 7-minute excursion into symphonic power metal majesty “The Night Before The End”, merging the classic feel of early 2000s Nightwish with the band’s latent progressive metal tendencies masterfully.

Clocking in at just under an hour in length, Temperance has basically put together the total package of symphonic and melodic power metal expressions into twelve highly developed compositions that are sure to have staying power in the coming months. At times it almost seems like too much is being thrown at the audience to get the sense of it all in a single listen, and if nothing else, the intricate blend of progressive and groove metal elements going on beneath the blaring keyboards and vocals sets this album apart from a highly crowded field of symphonic metal outfits, be they female-fronted or otherwise. That being said, the brilliant interplay between Scolletti’s soaring yet tempered soprano and Guaitoli’s quasi-gritty yet crisp tenor is what really sells these songs, leaving little mystery as to why the latter has been one of the most in-demand vocalists in the scene today with similarly auspicious projects such as Visions Of Atlantis and Kaledon occupying his talents. Whether one be a follower of more pop-tinged outfits like Amaranthe and Beyond The Black or the more metallic side of the power metal coin, this presents a formidable display of both and should play well to both camps.

Released By: Napalm Records
Release Date: November 19th, 2021
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal

Musicians:

  • Alessia Scolletti / Vocals
  • Michele Guaitoli / Vocals, piano
  • Marco Pastorino / Vocals, guitar
  • Luca Negro / Bass guitar
  • Alfonso Mocerino / Drums

“Diamanti” Tracklisting:

1. Pure Life Unfolds
2. Breaking The Rules of Heavy Metal
3. Diamanti
4. Black Is My Heart
5. Litany Of The Northern Lights
6. You Only Live Once
7. I The Loneliness
8. Codebreaker
9. The Night Before The End
10. Fairy Tales For The Stars
11. Let’s Get Started
12. Follow Me

8.5 Excellent

Quantity does not necessitate the loss of quality in the grandiose, symphonic metal world of Italy’s Temperance as they bang out yet another solid modernized regiment of infectious anthems after the spirit of Visions Of Atlantis and Dynazty

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 8
  • Production 8.5
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