LACUNA COIL – Broken Crown Halo

Broken Crown HaloItalian goth metallers Lacuna Coil is back at it again. I discovered the band with their breakthrough album Karamcode in 2006, like so many others and I hoped and believed that that album was the album that would take the band to the stars. That didn’t happen, but it sure gave them a name outside their immediate fan base. The only thing to do after an album like that is to knock the whole world off its feet by releasing an even better record – a real killer. Lacuna Coil released Shallow Life and even though it was their first American top 20 record, selling a fine 70 000 records over there, I thought it was too obvious that the band aimed for radio and the album lacked the rawness and aggression of their earlier efforts. Frankly, I think that “shallow” is a perfect word for that record. That said, I don’t think it’s a bad album, just… shallow. Too bad as I had hoped that the gorgeous Cristina Scabbia and her band would be a huge act after that album. Things shaped up a bit with 2012’s Dark Adrenaline (reviewed here: https://etainmentnewsreviews.wordpress.com/metal/metal-reviews-2011/lacuna-coil-dark-adrenaline/), but I could still feel that something was missing. The album didn’t exactly feel rushed, but I got the feeling that the more commercial vibes were forced upon them to increase album sales and those things usually doesn’t work at all. Now, I’m not a hardcore fan so I’ll leave it up to them to judge whether what I’m writing here is correct, but that is how it feels to me. I hadn’t heard a word about a new Lacuna Coil record until it was already out, the latest Lacuna Coil related news was that Scabbia was playing the part of the mother on Ayreon’s latest masterpiece The Theory Of Everything (2013), a part she did with brilliance. So here’s a new give from Lacuna Coil and this guy refuses to give up on the band because I have always had the feeling that they have something big in them, ready to attack. The question is, will this album be the one where they take the world by storm?

The album really starts out in the best possible way. Opener “Nothing Stands In Our Way” is awesome! It’s heavy, it has a really contagious groove and the melodies are fantastic. “Zombies” is another killer, a hard and aggressive metal track and “Hostage To The Light” is just great, commercial but this one really sticks. Still it’s dark and a bit gothic, but it sure has a great chorus and the same can be said about “Die And Rise”, it goes in the same style. Lacuna Coil goes into pop territory – albeit gothic pop – with “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)”. Not only do I like it a lot, it has become a favourite of mine as well. “Cybersleep” is a ballad kind of song that sticks to your brain like glue – gotta love those songs. “In The End I Feel Alive” is another very good song although they seem to rely a bit too heavily on trying to grasp the Within Temptation kind of sound. I like Within Temptation, but Lacuna Coil has always struck me as a heavier act. I don’t really care, though, as I’m a sucker for a killer tune no matter what it sounds like, but on the other side I think that it’s better to try to stay true to your own sound instead of looking at other, more succesful bands’ sound.

To round things off, Lacuna Coil is on their way up again and this album is easily their best since Karmacode. Still, it contains some fillers too many and therefore doesn’t go all the way. But it nice that they have skipped much of their commercial thinking and brought back some of their old darkness and heaviness and even though I’m not a fan of growl, it actually speaks volumes that they have brought some of that back into their music again. Shows that they’re thinking less and less of chart success and sales and that they are sticking to their back bone and doing what they do best. Lacuna Coil is alive and well and they still have it in them to come out with their master piece. Let’s hope for that the next time around.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)

Tracklist:

1. Nothing Stands In Our Way
2. Zombies
3. Hostage To The Light
4. Victims
5. Die & Rise
6. I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)
7. Cybersleep
8. Infection
9. I Burn In You
10. In The End I Feel Alive
11. On Cold Day
– See more at: http://www.centurymedia.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=13919&IdCompany=2#sthash.R9J9Wg7A.dpuf

1. Nothing Stands In Our Way
2. Zombies
3. Hostage To The Light
4. Victims
5. Die & Rise
6. I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)
7. Cybersleep
8. Infection
9. I Burn In You
10. In The End I Feel Alive
11. One Cold Day

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