Firmly entrenched in the melodic modern metal scene, Temperance made a bold impression expanding as a vocal triad for their fourth studio album Of Jupiter and Moons. Now having the time to assimilate their talents on the road a bit more, the follow-up Viridian showcases a quintet that confidently wants to go in varied angles with the songwriting and performances, while keeping things on an organic level so as to keep the material as authentic as possible.
Right away the pulsating dance-like groove and futuristic lyrical content for “Mission Impossible” certainly gives off an Amaranthe-ish atmosphere, the guitars and drums slamming in unison with a staccato-like charm. The follow-up “I Am the Fire” maintains a bit of a brighter, melodic power stance – the tradeoffs vocally between Michele Guaitoli, Alessia Scolletti and guitarist Marco Pastorino heightening the main hooks, and when they choose to harmonize for the chorus it’s intense and infectious. Music-wise Temperance choose to be more adventurous in terms of versatility – they add everything from natural organ strains on “Start Another Round” which harkens 70’s Deep Purple/Uriah Heep influences, while “Nanook” has those Middle Ages/folk-ish nuances for an epic, the acoustic to electric spirit adventurous against the woodwind/violin strains. At times the band also venture into heavier terrain – the title track and “The Cult of Mystery” developing crunchy and lower-tuned riffs that allow the vocalists to float in and out at their widest ranges and fill the aural landscape with cascading shapes and colors to fit the atmosphere and attitude the songs portray. Closing the record on a church-like hymn for “Catch the Dream” where handclaps and children choirs command your attention, it’s evident that Temperance leave nothing to chance in their willingness to go where their creative muse takes them – focused on massive melodies and hooks song to song.
When other bands may zag into watered-down commercial pastures, Temperance with Viridian serve up a record that emphasizes the great vocal and musical talent this quintet possesses. Proof that you can be dynamic, heavy, modern, and catchy all in a cohesive package – and should make the band move up the ranks a bit more as a result.
Temperance – Viridian (Napalm Records)