Temperance – Maschere: A Night at the Theater (Scarlet Records)

Tuesday, 29th August 2017
Rating: 8/10

Bold may be the choice word when it comes to this live album for Temperance. They decided to record the action ‘as it happens’, and leave it there, warts and all – no re-recording to touch things up. The outlook of keeping the proceedings as one would hear that night is refreshing, especially in an era where pristine, precise perfection sterilizes the human aspect of in the moment live performance. Maschere: A Night at the Theater gives the listener (and viewer, as this is an audio/visual package) a headlining set from late April of this year as you partake in 15 songs from their three studio albums, featuring a special choir and string section to create all the sounds as one.

What does this mean in terms of sound? For guitarist/vocalist Marco Pastorino and vocalist Chiara Tricarico, you get to hear more of a playfulness to the melodies, hitting all the key notes and choruses but also shaping the songs in their natural registers without backing tracks or samplers piping in thousands of voices. Choosing to concentrate the bulk of the set on the new album The Earth Embraces Us All is quite wise, as the diversity comes off very potent to light up the audience, from the Celtic folk strains during “Unspoken Words” on through to the sweeping symphonic metal ballad textures of “Fragments of Life” or the progressive/modern aspects to the epic “Advice from a Caterpillar” that features a killer bass solo from Luca Negro that has Sting/The Police nuances. The closing section of the concert features material from the first two albums, including the Amaranthe-propulsive “Oblivion” and stair-step downtuned yet catchy “Dejavu”- which can be quite intriguing in the chorus as the Italian background accents come shining through.

The open snare snap separates Temperance from others in this genre who would have triggered that aspect to death – and overall this concert has that in your face aesthetic that brought me to the metal genre as an adolescent child decades prior. Gaining momentum by the year due to a busier touring schedule (and consistently releasing new records yearly), Maschere: A Night at the Theater can be a great primer for the newbie Temperance follower.

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