It's true. Since their appearance upon the European metal scene, my interest in Temperance, a female fronted power metal band from Italy, has swayed between ambivalence and frustration. Musically, the band can be thrilling. But then there's the male dirty, death, and screamo vocals. Ugh. Total suckage. You know that old cliche, sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein, that "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" is the definition of insanity. By listening to their third album, The Earth Embraces Us All, will I fall into that description. Or, possibly, to quote another cliche, maybe the third time will be the charm.
Well, the latter might be the case. The Earth Embraces Us All is without doubt better than the previous two albums. For one thing, the dirty male vocals are almost entirely gone. Wow. Really? Like holy shit wow. It's probably the largest improvement the band has made since their inception. If recollection serves those vocals on arrive on the first two songs, and within the second, At The Edge of Space, they're very subtle. Later though, within Advice From A Catepillar, he's a total screamo tool. Nevertheless, if it's the same dude, he actually sings clean and in hamorny with Chiara Tricarico within Unspoken Words.
Another element that rises to the forefront is the symphonic element. Whether by using an actual violin or a synthesizer substitute, that string presence gives their music a strong symphonic presence, even adding a noticeable Celtic or folk feeling to many songs. Empty Lines is a good example. Additionally, there's some element of intrigue in the arrangements, especially in some segments, breakdowns from the bombastic power metal. A good example is the latter third of A Thousand Place where the heaviness is dropped for light piano twice, the second time with that violin presence. Another song, the aforementioned Advice From A Catepillar has, after the shitty screamo vocals, has a very charming and intriguing segment. It begins with Tricarico's light voice over piano, and then turns to some jazz-metal fusion with saxophone. But then that dude starts screaming again. Shut up, will you.
Also of interest is The Restless Ride, the longest song here, which has three segments of classical piano in the beginning, middle, and end which softens a largely bombastic number. Two other songs deserve some mention. First, there's Haze which, with its rhythm and groove, reminds a bit of more modern alternative rock or metal. Second is Maschere which appears to be song in Italian, but I could be mistaken.
Fundamentally, The Earth Embraces Us All is definitely a step forward for Temperance, showing musical maturity and promise in their symphonic power metal. Now, if they could only finally kill off those male dirty vocals once and for all. A guy can dream, right?
The Earth Embraces Us All is definitely a step forward for Temperance, showing musical maturity and promise in their symphonic power metal.
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