Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Reviews: Temperance, Elegy Of Madness, Raining Nails, Derdian (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Temperance – Hermitage: Daruma's Eyes Pt. 2 (Napalm Records)

Italian symphonic metal band Temperance, can’t seem to hold on to singers. Founded by guitarist/singer Marco Pastorino (Even Flow, Fallen Sanctuary, Serenity, Virtual Symmetry and Wonders) and bassist Luca Negro (Even Flow/Wonders) Temperance have always been about fusing the symphonic/progressive style of Italian metal with multiple vocalists. Marco provides cleans and harsh screams, but there have been a few male singers though Visions Of Atlantis man Michele Guaitoli has taken that role since 2018 (along with keys), they have had two female singers since their inception with vocal coach/opera/metal singer Kristin Starkey taking the role as their third on new record Hermitage - Daruma's Eyes Pt. 2, the bands seventh.

They also have a new drummer for this album in Marco Sacchetto, also their third, who brings an impressive style to tracks such as the dynamic Darkness Is Just A Drawing. Now this album is a concept record, the story of time travel and warring siblings, Hermitage... really increases the scope of what has come before from Temperance, the addition of Kristin’s varied vocal range matching well with Michele and Marco, her darker, lower vocal a counterpoint to the higher range of her male compatriots, it’s a new collaboration that tells the story brilliantly, through cinematic orchestrations, progressive compositions (Into The Void), and melodic power/heavy metal of their older releases. Pastorino and Negro are old hands with the melodic/prog/symphonic soundscapes so it’s no wonder that this album is done so well.

The story told brilliantly through the music and lyrics as additional performances come from Fabienne Erni (Eluveitie, Illumishade), Laura Fella (Faun) and Alessandro Conti (Twilight Force) as Arjen Lucassen himself provides narration. Can you have a cinematic concept album without Arjen? No I don’t think so. Hermitage - Daruma's Eyes Pt. 2, is a buoyant new era for Temperance, hopefully this line up will hang on as it works well. 8/10

Elegy Of Madness – XI (Scarlet Records)

XI is the first Elegy Of Madness to feature new singer Kyrah Aylin, she joined the band in 2022 and takes both the soprano and harsh growl vocals (I think I couldn't see anything that said it wasn't her). However it's done both are used to great effect on Hybrid Love and Goddess. Elegy Of Madness is the creation of guitarist Tony Tomasiccho, he’s been the driving force since the formation in 2006, I’ll admit at this juncture I’d never heard of the band until this record.

However it seems like the best time to listen to them as XI is something of a redefinition for the band with new singer and a focus on writing heavier more concise material. With Kyrah on the mic, Elegy Of Madness remind me of Epica and After Forever, taking a melancholic route with their music that is driven by the distorted riffs of Tony and Marco Monno, the cinematic orchestrations/keys helping track such as Revelation and Insanity to bring the more gothic pomp of Lacuna Coil.

Lyrically inspired by the significance of the number eleven in spirituality, occult etc. XI is a symphonic metal album that doesn’t redefine the genre but is a gateway into the music of Elegy Of Madness. 7/10

Raining Nails - Human Deeds (Rockshots Records)

I always find it amazing how there are so many symphonic/power metal bands from Italy. I understand of course that many of the best classical/opera composers are Italian but they have more synphinc metal than Norway does face painted church burners. Newest on the piazza are Raining Nails, their debut album Human Deeds. There's a loose concept around the songs, they're about finding positivity in the bleakness of our world, channeled through a symphonic style of metal that incorporates some European power metal. 

Driven by the rapid basslines and production of Massimiliano Flak, Raining Nails are very much in the classic style of power metal but with symphonic elements. Flak links well with Mattia Rubino behind the drums on rockers such as Chained, the Maiden-like Queen Of Thorns and the more dramatic Every Angel Has Its Demon. Marika Vanni's vocals are good and a bit more varied than the normal soprano, especially on the big ballad Close To You. Forr me though Giacomo Paradiso is the best part of this album as his electric and acoustic playing is superb. Human Deeds is a decent debut power/symphonic metal record from this Italian mob. 7/10  

Derdian – New Era Pt.4: Resurgence (Self Released)

More Italian symphonic power metal, this time with independent veterans Derdian who have been existence since 1998. They sound more Swedish than they do Italians less Rhapsody more Hammerfall, Just listen to The Evil Messiah and you’ll hear what I mean. Having been through multiple labels, members and all of the trials associated with being long established metal band, they return after the pandemic hiatus with their new album New Era Pt. 4 – Resurgence, a continuation of their first three albums, the last of which came out in 2010. 

They have released a plethora of albums since then but this one is a conscious effort to celebrate their first three records by adding the fourth part to their fantasy concept, although with long term singer Ivan Giannini on the vocals rather than their original singer Joe Caggianelli. This will definitely excite their huge fanbase in Japan and anyone who listened to those early albums. They’ve looked back musically too with a more ‘classic’ brand of galloping triumphal power metal on Dorian and Resurgence, saving the darker style for Black Typhoon and symphonic The Grin Of Revenge. Blending where they came from and where they are now as a band well. 

All Is Lost is an obligatory folksy ballad that builds, but any saccharine doesn’t last long as Derdian (the song) comes back with more symphonic metal bombast. Having been doing what they do for 25 years, Derdian aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they are paying homage to where they came from with this fourth part of their saga started back in 2005. Strong power metal from veterans of the game. 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment