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Temperance - "Temperance" (CD)

Temperance - "Temperance" CD cover image

"Temperance" track listing:

1. Tell Me
2. Heavens Above
3. Hero
4. Breathe
5. Stronger
6. Scared & Alone
7. To Be With You
8. The Fourth Season
9. Lotus
10. Dejavù
11. Relentlessly

Reviewed by on June 26, 2014

"Temperance is finding its sound and place among a ton of acts and what sets it apart is strong songwriting, excellent orchestration, and a firm grounding in the classic styles with enough modernization that it doesn’t become overbearing."

When Bejelit hung it up after the release of the extended single – ironically entitled “Don’t Give Up” – the message was clear (followed up by personal contact from drummer Giulio Capone)…we haven’t heard the last of this talented group. Rather than move on as Bejelit with a new vocalist, the band did the respectful thing and changed the name and direction with the addition of Chiara Tricarico (RavenWord). With the emergence of Temperance, the band has taken all the experience of Bejelit and freshened up with a modern approach that takes a page from the book of Amaranthe. For those who may have heard the first song to stream “To Be With You” and figured “Amaranthe clone” – a full listen to the album reveals that it is nothing of the sort. As a matter of fact, there is more depth and just as much of a power and progressive punch on the second half of this album then Bejelit ever had, just slightly "modernized" without being too overbearing.

The main differences between Temperance and its Swedish counterparts are in the arrangements, which have less pop and glitz and are still firmly grounded in a classical style. The use of Stefano Oliva (HateTyler) is tastefully smattered throughout the album, giving hints of the “teen popcore” style of Amaranthe, without overdoing it (more along the lines of Delain). There is such a beautiful use of acoustics on the album, best shown in the mid part of “Hero.” There is no doubt that one of the biggest weapons in the Temperance arsenal is guitarist Marco Pastorino (Secret Sphere/HateTyler), who is not only one of the fastest rising guitar players and purveyor of brilliant solos, but who also has one of the classiest and smoothest clean vocal styles (check out “Stronger”).

One thing is for sure, by the time you reach the second half of the album, the true potential of this talented band shines through. Over the first four tracks, it’s a “feeling out process” as “Tell Me,” “Heavens Above,” “Hero” and “Breathe” have a slightly different approach, aiming for a stronger pop centric direction. On the back half, songs like “Stronger” and “The Fourth Season” start moving the album into a much more substantive, diverse, grounded, progressive, and evolved direction. By far the most impressive track on the release is “Lotus,” a majestically orchestrated number that adds subtle oriental influences. It is here where Chiara shows the breadth of her true talent. “Dejavu” has a really cool nod to Epica, especially the grinding riffs and Chiara sporting elements of both Simone Simons (on her operatic style) and Charlotte Wessels. “Relentlessly” finishes the album strong with some of the best orchestration on the album and more of Pastorino’s fantastic vocals.

Drummer/composer Giulio Capone and brother Sandro have taken the Bejelit sound and spiced up the composition with enough glitz without being too overbearing. Fortunately, the band didn’t succumb completely to the lure of Amaranthe’s popularity and retained a large part of the incredible talent lost with the demise of Bejelit. The Capones represent some of Italy’s best and most prolific songwriters and that shines through here. With that said, there are various spots where I do wish the keyboard glitz wouldn't distract from the guitar as much, though 90% of the time it is kept in check. As for the sound...can you ever go wrong when the wizard Simone Mularoni is involved?

Even with the majority of Bejelit intact and a whole host of experience packed into this album, this album is essentially a debut release. Temperance is finding its sound and place among a ton of acts and what sets it apart is strong songwriting, excellent orchestration, and a firm grounding in the classic styles with enough modernization that it doesn’t become overbearing. This doesn't truly show through until the second half of the release (save “Stronger”), with the first half a marginally less glitzy nod to the Amaranthe style. There is much to look forward to with this rebirth, and with such talented songwriters and musicians it would be hard not to succeed.

Highs: Talented songwriting, fantastic guitar work. "Lotus" is a treasure.

Lows: Some of the material on the first half of the album is a bit like Amaranthe's "teen popcore" style.

Bottom line: Ex-Bejelit members modernize their sound with enough "Temperance" to not become an overbearing Amaranthe.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)