Album Title: Melodies Of Green And Blue
Label: Napalm Records
Date of Release: 19 February 2021
I’m normally one of those cynics when it comes to releases like this. An acoustic EP, largely comprised of re-recorded songs from a previous album. These records smack a little of cashing in on the loyal fan or casual listener. However, I’ve been feeling in a more forgiving and generous mood of late, so I thought I’d test my misgivings and prejudices, by checking out ‘Melodies Of Green And Blue’ from melodic symphonic metal band Temperance.
One of the main reasons for delving into this record is because six of the eight songs are acoustic re-workings from the ‘Viridian’ album, a record that I really liked when it was released around a year ago in a pre-pandemic world. I’ll admit to being interested in hearing how Temperance’s music might sound in acoustic form and, with two new tracks to hear as well, I ran out of reasons not to check out ‘Melodies Of Green And Blue’.
And it has to be said that I’m glad that I have taken the time to listen to this EP because the experience has been a broadly positive one. It certainly does enough to re-evaluate my preconceptions a little, that’s for sure. I feared that the songs would suffer by being acoustic renditions because Temperance thrive on that energy, power and a certain bombast to their normal compositions. And whilst the music here sounds very different to the originals, it actually works for the most part. The songs, despite being faithful to their roots, almost feel like they are completely different songs, originals in their own right.
Unless I’m very much mistaken, these songs were recorded live in the studio, and that ‘live’ vibe really comes through as I listen. It’s almost like we’re taken into the studio and are sitting alongside the band as they jam out these songs with apparent smiles on their faces. It’s that chilled-out sense of fun and enjoyment that comes through most strongly here.
In terms of the new songs, I may be totally wrong here, but I get the feeling that they were written as acoustic songs first and foremost because they have a slightly different feel about them than the songs taken from ‘Viridian’ which were metal tracks originally. ‘Paint The World’ is my favourite of the two, as it does feature some electric guitar embellishments. It also has some really nice melodies, whilst the three vocalists, Alessia Scolletti, Michele Guaitoli and Marco Pastorino come together to create some lovely harmonies. I really enjoy the rich bass tones from Luca Negro, which add to the song rather than dominate or disappear entirely. ‘Evelyn’ is a slower, softer, more ballad-like number, and is enjoyable as such.
On to the re-worked tracks and ‘Start Another Round’ is fun, as it injects more of a blues edge to the song in place of the normal metal ‘chugging’ riff, led by guitarist Pastorino and bassist Negro. It’s also a track that fully accentuates the vocal ability of the trio of singers. Even in this live studio environment, they are on-point and come together perfectly, belting out the lyrics with passion and power. And ‘Gaia’, led by a rich-sounding piano, is the ideal ending to the EP; again, the vocals are delivered with conviction and emotion.
At the end of the day, in spite of the various positives, this will not be viewed as an essential release by many. In fact, it will likely only appeal to existing ardent fans of the band or those that favour acoustic music. I would still recommend that the casual observer should take a listen though because, like me, it might result in a bit of a positive surprise. It’s a nice listening experience that offers an enjoyable window into another side of Temperance, and for me, it works. But it won’t work for everyone.
The Score of Much Metal: 77%
Further reviews from 2021:
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: