Released by: Scarlet Records
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Genre: Modern Melodic Metal
Chiara Tricarico – Vocals
Marco Pastorino – Guitars, Vocals
Sandro Capone – Guitars
Liuk Abbott – Bass
Giulio Capone – Keyboards, Drums
2. Amber & Fire
3. Save Me
5. Mr. White
6. Here & Now
7. Omega Point
8. Me, Myself & I
9. Side by Side
12. Get a Life
When I first heard the 2014 self-titled debut from Italian band Temperance, one other band instantly came to my mind: Amaranthe. With their unique use of three vocalists along with their mix of metalcore, pop and trance (among many other styles,) becoming more and more popular over time, I guess it was only a matter of time before another band adopted a similar sound for their own, and put their own twists on it, which is exactly what Temperance did on their debut. The comparisons go deeper than that: Like Amaranthe, Temperance consists entirely of experienced metal musicians, four of whom were also together in the power metal band Bejelit, and so just like their counterparts, this is a band who have their roots in metal, and are now looking to expand their music into something a bit more accessible and with potential to be more successful commercially. I enjoyed their first album quite a bit, and if anything their upcoming sophomore release Limitless is an even more impressive album, which at times takes them further into a more mainstream sound, while still letting their metal roots shine through.
One thing that instantly separates Temperance from Amaranthe (and I promise I’ll avoid making that comparison any more as I get deeper into the review) is that they tend to let their metal elements take over a lot more. Sure, many tracks on Limitless have massive crossover potential, but every track has at least faint traces of metal, and quite a few of them remain fairly heavy throughout. Another thing I like is that they tend to vary up their songwriting approach a lot, so it doesn’t become overly formulaic and predictable. The first half is much more varied and features a mix of ultra catchy mid tempo keyboard dominated alternative metal tracks with strong pop elements, speedier tracks which mix together power metal melodies along with metalcore riffs and screams, and lighter, slower paced tracks with occasional heavy bursts.. From “Me, Myself & I” onward, the album takes a turn towards a more power metal centric sound, and it’s this portion of the album that I enjoy the most.
As on their debut, vocals are largely handled by lead singer Chiara Tricarico, who continues to be very dynamic in her approach. When she uses her lower register she tends to sound like a pop/rock singer, with her effortless delivery, while her higher notes show off her wonderful vocal tone, and allow her to excel during the speedier sections. At times she even throws in some operatic vocals, most notably during the stunning chorus of the opening track “Oblivion”. Guitarist Marco Pastorino contributes vocals on most tracks as well, sometimes singing clearly with a nice tone that works well on the more pop-ish songs, and sometimes screaming. His core-ish screams represent the one element of the music I could live without, though that’s more because I tend not to like that style of screaming very much, and not an indication of him being bad or anything.
Opening track “Oblivion” starts off with some calm piano notes and some nice choral vocals, before turning a mid tempo alternative metal track, where their main influences become rather obvious. It’s a very modern sounding, largely keyboard dominant track where Chiara uses her more pop-ish vocals throughout the verses, before launching into her awesome operatic voice during the chorus. It’s not one of my favorites tracks on the album, but it is super catchy, and I really love the intense ending sequence, where the tempo briefly picks up. More importantly, it serves as an indication of what to expect, at least for the first half of the album. Out of these more accessible tracks, my favorite is probably “Mr. White”. At a first glance, it’s every bit as simplistic and accessible as “Oblivion”, if not more so, but the riffs are so good and the chorus so addictive, that the song just ends up working. It’s also worth noting that the lyrics for it are clearly based on the hit AMC series Breaking Bad.
The band further demonstrates their ability to write super addictive tracks with metal elements throughout the album, with “Amber & Fire” starting off as a nice melodic metal track with a slight folk feel to it, before turning into something a bit more powerful, while tracks like “Stay” and “Omega Point” initially seem like ballads, before the riffs kick in and the tempo speeds up in the latter part of both tracks. Even the one obvious ballad “Goodbye” briefly speeds up at one point, though on the whole it serves as an excellent showcase for Chiara’s vocals.
Out of the faster, more power metal based songs, my favorite is “Get a Life”. The song features mid tempo verses where Chiara uses her lower vocals in a slightly harsher way than normal, while the chorus is super fast and features my favorite vocal melodies on the album. The fastest track on the first half is “Save Me”, which is a mix of power metal and metalcore. It’s a really fun track overall, and it features probably my favorite use of screams on the album. As mentioned before, aside from “Goodbye:”, every song towards the end is fast paced, with tracks like “Burning” and “Me Myself & I” being more power metal centric like “Get a Life”, while “Side by Side” and the title track mix in offbeat rhythms and occasional screams for a more varied sound. I actually think the title track may be my least favorite on the album, due to the chorus not hitting me as much as all the other choruses, but otherwise it’s a great track which serves as a summary of the album on the whole.
Limitless is an excellent album which showcases the power metal roots of its musicians, while also showing the band branching off further into more of an accessible sound that could appeal to a larger audience. Highly recommended for melodic metal fans like me who don’t mind having some pop elements and a bit of metalcore mixed in with a more traditional power metal sound.
Written by: Travis Green
Ratings: Travis 9/10