Having followed Temperance from their self titled debut, it's great to see them release yet another album, and what an album! This album introduces two new singers in Michele Guaitoli and Alessia Scolletti, who takes the place of Chiara Tricarico. While it's sad to see Chiara go, it's evident from the outset that Alessia and Michele are great choices, both of them working off each other perfectly, allowing Marco Pastorino to focus on guitarwork, which seems tighter, while also providing backing vocals. Speaking of tight, everything seems tightened from previous albums from the band, with production being top notch as well as the band's overall sound.
As mentioned previously, Scolleti's vocals soar with Guaitoli's, both of whom seem to fit into Temperance's Symphonic/Synth-pop (Synthonic?) fusion. Every song is laced with orchestral blasts, and not a single one seems out of place. The album's closing track Daruma's Eyes (Part 1) is the essence of Temperance's music; strings over fast paced drumming, synths paired with awesome guitar work with soaring almost-operatic vocals weaving throughout the music, all of which leave you wanting more. Here's to part 2! Back in 2014, I said this is a band to look out for, and I meant it. 3 releases later, their sound is still great and if you haven't listened to them, now is the time! 9/10
Whyzdom: As Time Turns To Dust [Scarlet Records]
Symphonic metal from across the channel, Whyzdom's latest album is a bombastic collection of choirs, strings, heavy drumming and lofty vocals with an almost eastern feel in places, bringing to mind bands such as Orphaned Land. While it's a great sound, there are points where the main guitars and bass are drowned out by the oft-over saturation of brass and strings. While it gives a certain epic feel to each song, it's sometimes a bit overwhelming. Despite that, Marie Mac Leod's vocals work excellently within the music, but again, feel like they're pushing out of their confines; This isn't to say her operatic vocals are bad at all, but they sometimes feel slightly jarring, especially when moving from one style to the other. It's a great album for fans of Symphonic metal, with echoes of old-school Nightwish and Rhapsody, but as mentioned before, sometimes overwhelming in places. 7/10
Messa: Feast For The Water [Aural Music]
Beautifully ambient music from Italy here with dashings of doom throughout. Right from the start, the aquatic theme of the album is evident, with the sounds of bubbles over an eerie backing track, building up to pure static before dropping you in the calming waves of Snakeskin Drape, with lead singer Sara's ethereal voice floating on the soft guitar of Alberto and Mark Sade, before Mistyr's drums smash the calm, the song breaking into some great doom metal, where Sara's voice becomes even more ghostlike. The pattern persists throughout the album, with the music flowing (Pun intended) between calm and rough, mirroring the overall theme of the album; waves of music you can easily float on before you're hit with a crashing of bass and percussion. Overall, a great listen if you like your doom with something a little different. 8/10
Shadygrove: In The Heart Of Scarlet Wood [Rockshots Records]
Featuring Fabien 'Lethien' Polo of Elvenking fame, you know exactly what to expect from this band from Italy. It's great folk metal with all the trimmings; piano, violin, flute, this album has it all. Lisy' Stefanoni's Vocals, as well as her flute skills work perfectly within the genre, with Lethien's violin adding another layer, especially when paired with Simone Morettin's percussion, using a mix of drums and other ethnic percussion instruments.
Shadygrove sit well within the folk part of folk-metal, with the pace of some songs being a bit slower, easy to listen to, while others such as The port of Lisbon pick up the pace, and would not feel out of place in a fantasy game. However, while it's a good album, there isn't too much in the way of diversity between songs, each one tending to blend with the others. Despite that, In The Heart Of Scarlet Wood is definitely worth a look if you're a fan of folk music. 7/10