Album Reviews

Temperance – Diamanti Review

Released By: Napalm Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Melodic Metal

Links: https://www.temperanceband.com/

 

Line Up:

Alessia Scolletti – Vocals

Michele Guaitoli – Vocals, Piano

Marco Pastorino – Vocals, Guitars

Luca Negro – Bass

Alfonso Mocerino – Drums

 

Tracklist:

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

 

 

Following a bit of a slow period for the music industry, things seem to finally be picking up in a big way over the last few months, with a ton of my favorite bands either releasing music in the back half of 2021 or planning on releasing something early next year. Unsurprisingly, due to their ever-consistent release pattern, one such band with a highly anticipated new album for me was Italian melodic metal band Temperance, who has been a personal favorite ever since the release of their self-titled debut back in 2014. For the first few years of their existence, the band only showed signs of improving with age, hitting a massive peak in 2018 with their fourth release Of Jupiter and Moons. I wasn’t sure how they could top that one or its predecessor The Earth Embraces Us All, and sure enough their previous release, Viridian, was their first album I would consider a disappointment. It was still a great album, to be sure, but compared to their past releases it felt like they had oversimplified their sound a bit, like they were falling to the level of similar bands like Amaranthe and Metalite, instead of surpassing them as usual. With their recently released sixth full-length album, Diamanti, the band has mostly returned to form, not quite matching their best efforts, but still putting out a fantastic album that fully showcases their talents.

In an ever-changing world (especially in recent years), Temperance themselves have changed very little, keeping the same lineup they’ve had since Of Jupiter and Moons, and their overall sound has largely stayed the same, so fans of past albums should know exactly what to expect. They play a brand of modern melodic metal along the lines of Amaranthe, Metalite, or Dynazty, but with their unique touches, such as the fact they have three vocalists who each provide clean vocals, instead of having one or two clean vocalists and a harsh vocalist. They also have more of a power metal edge to their music, as well as a ton of symphonic elements, and while their music is often melodic, fun, and very catchy, they can write the kind of lengthy, epic pieces most other bands in their field would likely never think to attempt.

It’s that more challenging, adventurous side to the band that pushes them over the top, and so that’s one reason their previous album Viridian disappointed me a bit, as it was largely a very simple album with no real surprises or longer tracks. Diamanti, on the other hand, maybe the band’s most diverse album to date, bringing back some of those epic longer tracks, as well as having a stronger presence of symphonic arrangements (which were largely missing on Viridian), and there’s a couple of tracks that feel fresh and different, while at the same time, the album still has plenty of their fun and catchy material, as well as their more trance infused stuff that puts them more in line with other bands in their genre. It may not be one of my personal favorites by the band, but it’s a stronger release than its predecessor, and one I think all fans of the band should be able to enjoy on some level, as well as being a great starting point for new fans.

Performances are strong across the board, with the trance-infused keys being the main element and those sound as great as always, being very energetic and bouncy at times, while providing a nice backdrop for the rest of the music. Symphonic elements are used quite a bit, and are often very epic and grandiose as expected, especially on the longest track “The Night Before the End”. Guitars are still here and do have a presence, but I find that mostly comes in the form of some nice solos and melodic guitar work, with the riffs largely not being as frequent or as memorable on some of their past releases. Though vocals are the most important part and all three vocalists are in top form here, with Michele Guaitoli and Alessia Scolletti alternating lead vocals on most tracks, while guitarist Marco Pastorino often provides backing vocals as well as taking lead in quick bursts to help add extra power to the tracks, as he’s always done. Production is also top-notch as always, and everything sounds excellent.As good as they’ve always been musically and vocally, one area where Temperance has always excelled in their songwriting, and that is once again the case with Diamanti. The album begins strongly with “Pure Life Unfolds”, the kind of upbeat, epic symphonic power metal opening track the band does best. It showcases all three vocalists impressively, with fun verses and an epic chorus, and allows each singer room to shine during the final run of the chorus, which is one of the highlights of the album. Next is “Breaking the Rules of Heavy Metal”, a slightly slower-paced track, with rather subdued verses, and it’s a more keyboard-driven track, though it does pick up the pace during the chorus, which is very fun and catchy, as expected. I always find lyrics talking about metal to be a bit cheesy, and this track is no different, but the instrumental portions are good and the vocals are strong enough to help make it a great track, despite the silliness.

On the softer side of things, the title track is sung entirely in Italian, and is one of a couple of tracks mostly led by Guaitoli, with Scolletti being largely used in a supporting role. For a band that started female-fronted, this is an interesting choice, and I find the male vocalists are given more room to work with than she is on a lot of the tracks, which is a bit surprising, but it does pay off nicely as Guaitoli and Pastorino deliver some excellent performances, with this track being no exception. It’s a softer, highly keyboard-driven track, which never really gets heavy or intense, but it has a fantastic chorus, and hearing the band sing in their native language is highly enjoyable.

The pace picks up again immediately with “Black is my Heart”, one of the faster, more symphonic power metal-infused tracks on the album, and it’s another track with alternating leads, which is what the band excels at at at, of course. The chorus is fun and catchy, and it’s a very high-energy track throughout, making it a personal favorite. One of the more unique tracks in next, that being “Litany of the Northern Lights”, which utilizes bagpipes to help give the track more of a folk feel, while Scolletti sings with a bit more of an accent than normal, which also helps add to the overall folk metal feeling of the track. It’s a very catchy and epic track, with a wonderful chorus, and is another standout, with the instrumental section, in particular, being one of my favorites on the album. One of the fastest, catchiest tracks on the album is “You Only Live Once”, which flies at full speed the whole way through and also has some of the most elaborate symphonic arrangements on the album, as well as another fantastic, highly addictive chorus, with some of the strongest vocals on the entire album. It also has an incredible solo section, giving way to one extremely epic final run of the chorus, which is another personal favorite moment on the album.

Next is “I the Loneliness”, which keeps the momentum going. It moves at a fairly fast pace during the verses, while having some nice melodic guitar work. It slows down a bit during the initial run through the chorus, which increases in tempo as the track goes on, reaching a pretty frantic tempo and high intensity by the end of the song. It’s a rather slow-building track, but the last minute or so is incredible, with some of the best vocals on the album.

Following a long run of amazing tracks, “Codebreaker” is, unfortunately, the weakest on the album. It starts with some bouncy trance keys and digital vocal effects and is the most Amaranthe sounding song here. It’s a fairly enjoyable track most of the time, with good verses and the chorus is strong until near the end, where it gets extremely repetitive and it starts to become irritating. The band is capable of amazing vocal melodies, so I find this kind of repetition a bit frustrating, and it’s easily the least enjoyable track for me, falling into pop territory in a bad way.
Thankfully, the band follows up one of their worst tracks with one of their absolute best in “The Night Before the End”, the longest on the album at over 7 minutes. The band once again goes into full symphonic power metal territory here, with some of their most epic symphonic arrangements to date. It starts with a rather slow-building opening verse, before giving way to a big, super epic, and catchy chorus, which is yet another highlight. The track-only gets better and more intense as it goes on, with an incredible vocal section in the second half, as well as some memorable instrumental parts. It’s one of the band’s more complex songs, as well as one of the all-time favorites by them.

Reaching the final stretch of the album, “Fairy Tales for the Stars” is a very nice ballad, where Guaitoli once again leads the way through most of the track and delivers some very soft, yet emotional vocals, which help carry the track, especially the chorus which is fantastic. I don’t think it’s the band’s best ballad, but it’s a nice track from start to finish. My least favorite song during this stretch is “Let’s Get Started”, another fun, upbeat track that feels like it could have been written by other bands in the genre. It has a fun, high-energy chorus and Scolletti delivers one of her strongest vocal performances on the album, but I find it does get a bit repetitive in places, and it certainly isn’t what I want from the band. It’s still a highly enjoyable track, though, and much better than “Codebreaker”. Closing out the album is “Follow Me”, another up-tempo symphonic power metal track with a very strong chorus, fun verses, and some nice riffs. It has one of the best vocal sections of the album towards the end where the band goes into full-on Broadway musical territory with an epic bridge section that feels reminiscent of a certain Queen track, though it’s pulled off very well, and is yet another highlight on an album full of them.

Temperance is a band I can always count on to deliver a great album, and Diamanti is no exception. It’s one of their most varied albums to date, with plenty of epic symphonic influenced tracks, as well as some more catchy trance metal tracks, a ballad, a folk metal track, and one of their most epic tracks to date. There’s a bit of everything here, so all fans of the band’s previous work should find something to enjoy, and newcomers should find this to be a great starting point. I do think the band has done better work in the past, but this is still an excellent album, and I like it a great deal more than Viridian, so I consider it a nice return to form.

Ratings: 9/10

Written by: Travis Green

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

Travis Green is a Canadian based writer for My Global Mind, with a particular passion for power metal, as well as an interest metal in all its forms.

 

 

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