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Broken Crown Halo

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Album Review

After taking a relatively successful but critically poorly received left-turn into pop-metal territory with 2009's Shallow Life, Lacuna Coil made a slight return to their darker, earlier sound with 2012's Dark Adrenaline, and this opus continues the trend. Ditching Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore for Jay Baumgardner (Evanescence, Helmet, Drowning Pool) and recording in an antique Milan studio with vintage analog equipment, they have replaced most of the remaining traces of pop with a gloomier, gothic feel, resulting in an album with a thick, crushing sound heavily padded with synths, which most strongly recalls their 2006 effort Karmacode. It's supposedly inspired by cult Italian horror movies and progressive rockers Goblin, but there is little of this overtly on show, except perhaps in the Nosferatu atmospheres toward the end of "In the End I Feel Alive." What the band are adept at, however, is creating dense musical textures through an intelligent use of instrumental harmony, which Baumgardner augments with numerous clever little production flourishes. After making a bold statement of intent with the chugging opener "Nothing Stands in Our Way," they set out their stall in earnest with "Zombies," whose soaring refrain has a '90s alternative rock feel. The single "Die & Rise" is a definite highlight with its corkscrewing, string-bending riff, and powerhouse vocal performances from both vocalists, and also sees Cristina Scabbia singing in Italian for the first time since Comalies. "I Burn in You" is a gripping gothic power ballad, and "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)" is indubitably the best thing here, an epic, atmospheric, emotional rocker with a thrilling, ultra-melodic chorus. The album is not without its flaws: the bulk of the songs remain at the same midtempo pace, which can sometimes result in a plodding feel and a sense of sameness as the album progresses. There are also some fairly cheesy, clunky lyrics here which serve to underscore the fact that the band are not native English speakers, and a mercifully brief, ill-advised attempt at rapping on "Victims." The chief complaint to be made is with the treatment of the vocals. Scabbia's voice has always been one of the band's biggest assets, and while she is not exactly neglected here, the production does bury her vocals quite deep in the mix, and she is rarely given a chance to truly shine, with a few exceptions — among them the thrilling melismas on "Infection" and "I Burn in You" and her sweet, soulful performance on "One Cold Day," which closes out the album with a glimmer of hope. Overall, Lacuna Coil have certainly done nothing here to be ashamed of. There are enough excellent tracks to grab the listener's attention when it starts to wander. This is a fine addition to their discography and is sure to please their fans — particularly those yearning for a return to the heavier, more overtly gothic metal sound pioneered on Karmacode — as well as attracting new ones. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Love lacuna coil

First may I say this band never fails me or at all . This band has a song for alot of moments for me and I just love Cristina scabbia vocals and she is really beautiful too !

Lacuna Coil NEVER Disappoints!

They have been one of my favorite bands for quite some time now and with each new album release, they just keep on getting better. They're sound is purely amazing and more so Cristina has some lovely vocals. She will always be ond of the goddess' of Metal to me.

Just saw them LIVE

I've always liked this group, even their ever evolving sound. Those saying the male singer Andrea Ferro has no emotion when he sings is wrong. Maybe you just have to see him live to see that emotion. His energy is amazing, and he is such an electric man. Cristina Scabbia is beautiful and her voice is clear and lovely. I heard these songs live before I heard them on the CD, and they are still fantastic.


Formed: 1994 in Milan, Italy

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

With the debut of their self-titled 1998 EP, Lacuna Coil turned a lot of heads in Italy's ambient/goth scene thanks in part to Cristina Scabbia's haunting but mesmerizing vocals. Additional recognition came after a European tour with Moonspell and later with the Gathering and Seigmen. With the rest of Lacuna Coil's lineup in place — courtesy of Andrea Ferro (vocals), Cristiano Migliore (guitars), Marco Coti Zelati (bass), and Christiano Mozzati (drums) — the...
Full Bio
Broken Crown Halo, Lacuna Coil
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Apr 01, 2014

Customer Ratings