Lacuna Coil has always been on of my guilty pleasure bands. Not many of my metalhead friends fully agree with tier style, but this is where I differ. I knew of them back in the late ’90s under the name Ethereal, and that’s when I first realized just how unique their sound was. Plus, I have always had a soft spot for the experimental harmonic sound that Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro create with such uniqueness. These two have created the mold for the vocals and locked it away. While other bands have attempted the sound that Lacuna Coil embodies, no one else has managed to get it quite right.
Lacuna Coil’s new effort Broken Crown Halo opens with “Nothing Stands In Our Way,” complete with their trademark synthesizer flourishes and dropping directly into a monstrously heavy guitar riff. Soon the song is accompanied by the beautiful voice of Cristina, then melded under the heat of gothic metal with Andrea’s rough yet melodic voice and deep angsty growls. It’s a great start to the album and clearly the recipe for success for the Italians. “Zombies” has more of a steam-punk tinged gothic feel to it, with melodious vocals and guttural growls to go along with a driving guitar lead to seal the deal. “Infection” is probably the song that sticks out the most to me. It embodies some of the original Lacuna Coils sound that I knew and loved back in high school, but adds a modern feeling that is simply impossible to shake. “Cybersleep” is a great track to listen to if you love the sound of Cristina’s vocals. There aren’t too many women that get notoriety in the metal scene and it’s always a refreshing thing when the come in and kick the “rules” of heavy music in the face.
The last album from Lacuna Coil was largely regarded as somewhat of a disappointment. Not many people (myself included) ever expected the band to start trending towards a more “emo” type of sound or something closer to the pop-metal crap that dominates the airwaves today. I understand that bands occasionally need to take a new direction, but they were clearly headed in the wrong direction last time. However, upon hearing Broken Crown Halo, Lacuna Coil has truly returned to form. This albums proves just how much the band has grown as a group and I daresay, spearheaded a genre of metal all unto themselves.