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Temperance: Melodies of Green and Blue

Ahh, the acoustic EP. A tradition unlike any other. Some bands just nail acoustic guitars and the mellower sound that is required for something like this. Blind Guardian come to mind immediately, but their music already has a folky, bardic jaunt to it so it comes naturally to them. A band like Temperance, who play a more direct, symphonic, and melodic strain of metal, could be more of a crapshoot. Their latest album, Viridian was quite good, but will an eight song EP comprised chiefly of songs from that release played acoustically fare similarly?

Melodies of Green and Blue features traditional acoustic material instrumentation that we all have come to know well by now. The guitars sound great, ring out brightly and have a nice percussive thump to them. They are accompanied by various forms of percussion (tambourines and box drums ahoy!) and pianos. Guitarist Marco Pastorino is especially fond of utilizing harmonized lead guitar melodies, and for that we thank him as they sound great and really energize the EP as a whole. Instrumentally, there's not much to complain about: it's bouncy, lively, and well performed.

I have a much harder time getting enthused about the vocal performances on the album. The vocals are handled by Pastorino, Alessia Scolletti, and Michele Guaitoli (who also pulls double duty on piano) and it's a bit of a mixed bag at times. All 3 can clearly sing, and a lot of the time they sound great. Unfortunately, Temperance have this bizarre structure to a lot of their vocal harmonies that has Alessia's voice standing out like a sore thumb. She's much louder than the other 2 singers and something sounds off especially during the chorus of the brand-new lead off track, “Paint the World.” It's less noticeable on the rest of the EP, but there's still a few moments that have me wincing. Your mileage may vary as far as all of this goes, and if you have no issues with this like I do, then more power to you.

But enough nitpickery, how does the experiment work as a whole? Well, it's not bad at all actually. The two new tracks might actually be the weakest on here, as some of the older ones like "Let it Beat" and "I Am the Fire" positively bounce and work great acoustically. "Nanook" has some nice piano melodies and definitely exudes a rich, arctic ambiance. All 3 of these arguably sound better on here than on "Viridian", which is unexpected and awesome. Lead single "Start Another Round" has that whole "folk band sitting around a fire" vibe that's charming, aside from some of that vocal eccentricities that give me pause. Good stuff, overall.

If you're a fan of Temperance, you'll find a lot to like here and you won't need me to convince you to pick this up. If you are new to them, check out the songs I highlighted previously as the standouts and give 'em a listen and if you like what you hear you'll definitely want to look into their previous material and have a gander at Temperance proper.

Track Listing:
1. Paint the World
2. Evelyn
3. Let it Beat
4. I Am the Fire
5. Nanook
6. Start Another Round
7. My Demons Can't Sleep
8. Gaia

Added: February 20th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 372
Language: english

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