Italian rock-stars Lacuna Coil
formed in Milan back in 1994
, but their moniker remains well-known. Their fusion of gothic metal and alternative rock has become a staple in the music world, and they’ve grown to be one of the most famous of their kind; albums such as “Karmacode” in 2006 and “Dark Adrenaline
” in 2012
have scored relatively high positions on rock charts worldwide, and the band itself grown a massive following over the decades. In 2016, their eighth full-length record “Delirium
” would be added to their long-lived collection.
has always been a mixed bag in my eyes. Singles including “Trip the Darkness
” and their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence
” are rather solid, and their music had this interestingly dark atmosphere to them overall. On the other hand, their last full-length release “Broken Crown Halo
” was a complete drag. The musicianship was dull, the production was weak and blurry, and the songs themselves were utterly soulless and forgettable; simply put, listening to it was a chore. Now that their latest album has hit the shelves recently, I figured I should at least give the band another try, and gave the record a couple listens. Although it is a notable step up from some of the band’s previous work, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
For starters, aside from the vocals, the musicianship is very lacking. The guitars are particularly bland; they're quite generic and repetitive, mostly consisting of one-dimensional djent-like riffs and chugs with little energy or ferocity to them. Once
in a while there’s a guitar solo inserted to breathe more life into the music, but even then, they sound so pedestrian in context of the heavy rock genre that they have no effect. The same goes for the drums; I actually played through a few of the songs on my electronic kit, but after about thirty second, I found myself getting bored. Not that the percussion has to boast any complex patterns and whatnot, but just like with the guitars, they sound so flat and simplistic that they leave little to no impression whatsoever.
Speaking of sound, the mixing in "Delirium
" is watered down and somewhat uneven at times. The album was produced by Marco Coti Zelati (The band’s guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist), and while his mixing in here is an improvement over “Broken Crown Halo
” (Which had Jay Baumgardner [Seether
, Papa Roach
] as its producer), it still comes across as muddy and a bit off. The guitars sound especially buzzy, particularly during their chugging moments and lower-notes, examples including “The House of Shame” and “Ultima Ratio,” and the drums have no meat to them; they lack resonance. On the plus side, however, the vocals are rather crisp, albeit a little too quiet on occasion. More
on those later, but in the meantime, the mixing comes off as murky and somewhat colorless.
This leads into to the biggest problem with “Delirium
:” How uninspired and passionless it is. Although said problem isn’t quite as prominent here as it was in the band’s previous release, it’s definitely still here. There’s this painful lifelessness to the music that makes it incredibly difficult to get any sort of emotional impact out of it. The musicianship, production, and writing all feel so tired and cookie-cutter that personally, I felt almost nothing after listening to it. Even the majority of the song names themselves are blatantly generic! Titles such as “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate
You,” “My Demons,” and “Bleed
” are beyond stereotypical, and the music itself doesn’t help matters any. Lacuna Coil
’s age really seems to be getting the better of them, with their music’s severe lack of energy and creativity weighing their craft down tenfold.
To be fair, however, this isn’t to say that the album doesn’t have a few glimmers of light to it. For an example, the pre-chorus melody in “Broken Things” does bring about this gloomy, potent ambiance that the record is clearly trying to conjure up, courtesy of the guitars and vocals. The choruses in “The House of Shame,” “Delirium
,” and “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate
You” wield decent hooks as well; Cristina's voice is especially smooth and elegant in these particular scenes, and it really helps dish out the music's emotional weight. I just wish the rest of the album held at least just as much energy and emotional atmosphere; it's heart-breaking to see what could have been an impressively dark and ambient piece instead come out so tired and toothless.
In addition to that, one of “Delirium
’s” key saving graces are the vocals. Both
the male and female vocals clearly have more energy put into them than the guitars and drums. Andrea Ferro’s vocals also holds up quite well, an example being in “Broken Things,” where his roars immediately set the dark tone for the track, followed by Cristina’s softer but no-less potent singing to help carry the music’s bleak and somewhat industrial atmosphere. Although they’re not enough to make up for the album’s mountain of flaws, they prove to be a major redeeming factor of aforementioned album, at the very least.
” fares better than its predecessor, it’s still a very slightly-above-average record at best. At its worst, it comes off as bland and ordinary, and that's sadly the realm the album dwells in the most. Granted, there are some moments of emotional power and noteworthy writing, but those don't happen often enough for them to make up for the rest of the album's exhausted pallor. Lacuna Coil
is dangerously close to burning out for good, and it’s going to take a giant leap forward in order for them to be able to stand the test of time for much longer. Until then, maybe if you’re a serious fan of the gothic or alternative rock genres and are very forgiving and tolerant, this might be worth a shot. Other than that, it’s not awful, but there are so many other releases out there that are more deserving of your time; I’d give this one a pass.
Originally posted on: metaljerky.blogspot.com