The Italian band Temperance and the Rockmusicraider crew crossed paths a few times over the years. The offerings on the menu never quite made it to the blog, though. But with their 2018 record Of Jupiter and Moons things started to change.
A new level of power, juice, and refinement is in the air that was not quite there before. And indeed, changes were made.
Many a fan bemoaned the sudden departure of Chiara Tricarico in 2017. And – as usual – the doomsayers predicted a dire future for this band without the status quo. But I frankly do not think that Temperance has anything to fear, much to the contrary. So, there you go, because change is good. Usually. But specifically on Of Jupiter and Moons.
Now here’s to a style I’d like to register as a potent mix of Melodic and surely Power Metal that starts to put bands like Kamelot to shame. In truth, Temperance sound a little like the new incarnation of Unleash The Archers on Apex, with airs of Within Temptation. And a smattering of Excalion added to the fray.
Some of that sounds so VERY Nightwish, harking back to their Tarja Turunen era. This is when this specific band’s metal was speedier than most, and boy, have things changed in recent times. But back to Temperance.
So, does that indicate where their tune is heading? Not quite. But I sense more winds of change towards a powerful, fast-paced symphonically-laden Power Metal sound that always kinda dwelled in the underground somewhere. You can already feel it.
Before, Temperance sported a cornier sound, which now morphed into a smoother, much more refined tune so typical of the genre. Yet, Of Jupiter and Moons is not quite there yet. And – for sure – it will be difficult to say where they are headed until their next album releases.
Now, whilst I love the boundless energy on Of Jupiter and Moons, there’s shadow in there, too. The songwriting often sits on the repetitive side, like in Broken Promises with the ever-returning refrain that drives me to tears of despair. An endless loop syndrome that often sorely outstays its welcome.
This leads to an undue length on some of the tracks that they do not really deserve. But then again, this is nothing new in Power Metal. Arrayan Path – for instance – do that ad nauseam with their sometimes overcooked catchphrase policy.
Now, most bands content themselves with one lead singer, and a backup or two. Or they will send in two vocalists so that none will take airs of stardom.
Temperance – in comparison – boast three of them. Michele Guaitoli, Alessia Scolletti and Marco Pastorino, who also seconds as lead guitar in this outfit. He indeed often lends his voice at the end of tracks, kinda to drive a point home. Like on Daruma’s Eyes (Part 1). Now, this is serious vocal power, almost a friggin’ choir.
And it shows. As always, the delivery of bands with multiple vocalists always outshines the sometimes weak tea, single vocalist outfits bring to their fans. If they are creative enough to take advantage of that, that is. But let’s be clear, without Scolletti‘s belting, this gig would be no better than other mainstream Power Metal bands. And there’s always the danger of vocal overkill that raises its ugly head at times.
Yet, you cannot beat the choir-like chanting sessions. Like the one in The Last Hope In A World Of Hopes that so nicely gets them out of the mainstream delivery of the remainder of the track. And – in truth – it allows them to present arrangements that are by far more powerful, than what the usual dime-a-dozen bands would be able to indulge in. And Temperance clearly know that, as their video of this track nicely attests.
The gods of metal shall also surely forgive them for the grouchily mainstream opening of the title track. Because Of Jupiter and Moons is first-rate Power Metal, right down the middle. All there, and artfully done.
Not that the tracklist is without its terrors. Alive Again just made me all wobbly with its sugary cheesiness oozing out of all its crevices. Kiske/Somerville could not have done better than that. Yet, The Art of Believing puts things to right again straight after that one, so never fear.
Lastly, I’d like to point out the powerful ballad Empires And Men. Again, the track contains all the ingredients needed for the genre. Which the band knew how to put to good use. I really like that one.
So, what have we got?
In a way, Of Jupiter and Moons marks a turning point for Temperance. One that can potentially be dangerous, too. Their push into more populated territory will mean that they need to increase the quality of their tune going forward. In a genre that is already dominated by a few very big and powerful players. And plagued by a legion of followers and imitators that would dearly like a piece of this juicy pie. The future will tell, if Temperance will have the power to up the ante in the future and really shine in this decidedly difficult area of activity they chose for themselves.
Of Jupiter and Moons definitely is a giant step forward in the right direction. A tune now much more mature than before, with a powerful delivery that will solidify their place in the Melodic and Power Metal genres. And – last, but not least, this is definite proof that the changes made to the band were the right ones.
As to this crew, we thoroughly enjoyed the album and can only recommend it. By Loki, I need to go see these guys live. Their show must surely knock your socks off.
Ed’s note: If you want to find out what happened to Ms. Tricarico, try some Moonlight Haze.